Pay attention…no scratch that, pay close attention to the man behind the curtain. That man is Zack Teperman and yes he is both great and powerful. If you truly listen to what he has to say and should you actually follow his direction, he will not only provide you (metaphorically speaking) a heart, a brain and courage, but in reality; fame, fortune and success beyond anything you could have imagined on your own. In a society obsessed with all things celebrity, Mr. Teperman is an expert, having studied both sides of the elusive and enticing acquisition and sustention of fame. This knowledge has allowed him to work with some of the best in many different industries and allotted him the opportunity to put his expertise to the test. That test has consistently resulted in one resounding word…Success.
Zack Teperman is the Operations Manager and a Senior Account Executive at Lexicon Public Relations. They are a premiere entertainment and lifestyle public relations agency. Headquartered in Los Angeles, CA, they are the first independent entertainment PR agency to offer full-service public relations covering both the United States and Canada concurrently.
Zack was very kind to sit down with me and answer a few questions:
What does a public relations agent actually do?
Well, our firm Lexicon Public Relations is a full-service celebrity and corporate public relations agency that covers both the United States and Canada concurrently. What that means is that we offer people (celebs/musicians) and companies (fashion, product, websites, etc.) publicity services such as public profile raising/protection and awareness through various media initiatives, endorsements and crisis/reputation management. To sum up what we do briefly, we pretty much look at a person or company’s goals and we help them get there, whether it be getting them on red carpets, getting them magazine covers, helping to arrange radio/TV interviews, or helping to create a media savvy pitch and biography so that their story or product gets placed in a headline news cycle.
How and when did you get your start? What led you to your current position as a PR Agent?
Before I got into public relations here in Los Angeles I was working as a radio host across Canada (where I’m from) on various stations such as KISS 92.5, Z103.5, Mix100, and for a little bit at Y100 in Miami, Florida.
As a radio host I had always been in touch with celebrities who would come on our shows, and whenever the celebs were in town, I would help them get other interviews, take them out and/or get them endorsement deals with various brands in my city. That was my first real taste of personal public relations.
After helping different companies and celebs grow their brands through my connections, I realized my true passion wasn’t entertaining and being on-air anymore in radio, but the public relations side of things and helping to build and shape careers – both in the celebrity and corporate world.
With this new passion in mind, the opportunity came to change careers as I was helping with the Toronto International Film Festival’s gifting suite one year and met Steve Rohr, the owner of Lexicon Public Relations, as his client Martin Sheen was in town for the festival. Steve and I got talking and eventually came up with a strategy to expand his boutique firm both in the United States and Canada… a year later; I quit radio in Toronto and moved to sunny Los Angeles where I was hired as Lexicon’s Management Consultant, which grew into a position as their Operations Manager / Senior Account Executive.
Why Lexicon Public Relations?
I have had offers from other firms over the last few years to join them, however, the staff we have at Lexicon have all become family and in this industry loyalty is hard to come by. The bigger firms may have more clients, but I truly feel at Lexicon we make sure every single one of our clients gets the time and personal attention they deserve, unlike other firms that sometimes just see clients as a name or number to their list.
How do you decide whom to work with?
I have been lucky enough to be working with a great firm such as Lexicon where we have the ability to be picky on who we sign-on with rather than just be assigned a name/brand. There is a lot that goes into personal public relations and a lot of character and personality meshing that needs to occur during the process when working with a client. It is because of these elements that we have an intensive procedure when meeting with new potential clients and hearing their career/brand goals; Most of our current clients come by referral of current clients, which is always humbling to see.
How would you describe a “good” client?
Passion and trust. Those two traits really do make or break a relationship with a client or in this sense make them a “good” client. The client needs to be 100% passionate about their product/brand/career in order for it to succeed, as with each client I give them 100% of my passion and attention in order to help them succeed. And then, they need to be able to trust us with our firm’s process of how we conduct our strategic marketing plans, and we need to trust them to help carry out some of the items we put forth that will help their career. Publicists tend to know all their client’s deepest and darkest secrets, and so trust is very important in order to properly handle and protect all situations that may arise.
Is the reality of being a PR Agent similar to what we see on tv or the movies?
A little bit of column A and a little bit of column B. However, there is A LOT more that goes into being a PR Agent then one may think!
What does it take to be represented by you and Lexicon PR?
Takes passion and trust as mentioned before, plus obviously you need money. PR is a luxury not everyone can afford; however, it is also an investment in either your career or brand. You may have the best product, or be the best actor, but if nobody knows about you then what?! We are very selective about who we work with, however, the best way for anyone to submit themselves is to either contact us through our website, or for all the viewers reading this article, email me at: [email protected]
What is your greatest success story as an agent?
We have a lot of success stories, and some we can’t even talk about as we like to keep the focus on our clients and not the planning behind the stories. But I will say, the most incredible stories are watching the actors or brands we work with develop and become huge after implementing our strategic PR plans for them and that there is nothing more incredible than watching someone or something that nobody knows about transform into a household name/brand.
Are YOU ever star struck?
Not really. You can’t really be star struck in this industry, even though at times some events and the people you are shaking hands with seem surreal. But I still would love to meet Paul McCartney; So much history with him and his music, I just may be speechless. And I have looked up to the career of Jerry Weintraub, so meeting him would be truly amazing.
Are there any limits to who might be viable client? (Actors, Musicians, Corporations, Charities)
There are no limits. We have actors, musicians, charities, beer pong tables, dogs, etc. I love working with unique people or brands that have a story to tell. Makes my job more fun!
What do you dislike about the work you do?
I really don’t dislike a thing as weird and cheesy as that sounds. I got into PR because I love the business and I honestly have the best clients, so no complaints thus far. Even the long hours don’t bug me… I know, I’m weird.
What do you love about the work you do?
I love watching an individual or a business grow and achieve way more than their original goals they put in place. Nothing is more fulfilling than seeing a client who started with myself as pretty much a “no-namer”, who the media didn’t really care to chat about, and seeing them with my help and guidance grow over the months into an “in-demand” name… It’s such a rewarding process to watch and experience first-hand.
What did you learn from Zack Taylor? If you could make a phone call to the past, what advice would you give Zack Taylor?
Well, Zack Taylor was my on-air radio name back in my broadcasting days, and here’s a fun fact: Zack Taylor is the name of the black power ranger on Power Rangers. But being “Zack Taylor” and an on-air host def. taught me how to interact with people, about what the media is looking for and so forth. I feel like it was to my advantage in my career that I used to be on the “other side” of the fence, and that I used to be a media outlet interviewing celebs on red carpets, because now as a PR agent, I know what the media looks for and wants.
I truly believe everything happens for a reason, and so everything has led me to where I am today. But if I had to talk to Zack Taylor in the past I would tell him all about the future and what products and apps he should invent. Imagine if Zack Taylor invented Facebook?! Hmm…
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
I see our firm Lexicon Public Relations growing and expanding even more, and changing the lives of our current clients as we move them forward. We’ve just opened up a Fashion and Lifestyle Division and a Sports Division, so it’s a very exciting time for everyone and it’s crazy how quickly and fast things in this industry change, so I can only imagine what 5 years, let alone another year will bring.
On a personal note, I hope in five years I’m engaged… Now I just need to find that lucky lady!
What advice would you give to young artists wanting to enter show business?
Get ready to hear a lot of NO’s… but also be ready for an adventure of a lifetime.
What advice would you give to someone wanting to become a PR agent?
My advice is to take some media and marketing courses in school, but to also find a firm that relates to where you see yourself going and start interning. There is nothing more powerful than knowledge and first-hand experience, so my advice is to just learn, watch, do, and network your butt off without burning any bridges. PR is all about strategic planning with clients, but you need to network and work towards gaining valuable media and business contacts in order to succeed. As I tell my clients, you can be the best actor or have the best product, but if nobody knows about you/it does it really matter? And that’s where PR comes into place!
Is your job a 9-5 one?
Public relations is a 28-hour job, 8 days a week (figure that out!). There is no sleeping in the PR world, as we always have to be on-call for our clients in case something happens in their lives that need our attention or advice with. Plus, there is always breaking news somewhere, and it’s our job to help monitor the news/gossip and at times see if we can fit our clients into a headline making news cycle for exposure. People think publicists just walk their clients on red carpets and that’s it, but the truth is, there is A LOT more that goes on behind the scenes with media pitching, branding, strategic planning, etc. that is involved with each and every client. I speak to every one of my clients almost every single day… they are like a second family, so I always have to know everyone’s schedule and be alert to them.
What do you do to unwind? To have fun?
I love just going for a hike, play hockey (even in Cali), watch sports with friends at a bar, or relax with a beer by my pool with my dog and some Dave Matthews Band or country tunes.
What is your family life like?
My family is mostly all back in Canada, but we keep in touch a few times a week, and they always send me notes when they see stories about our clients in the news.
What is your favorite travel location?
Love any place warm. Take me to an island or beach and I’ll bring the drinks!
I would imagine you are extremely busy all the time; however I get the feeling that you both multitask with the best and live your life like a shark where not swimming is not an option. That being said, are you working on anything else now that you are at liberty to talk about?
Always have secret projects and plans in the works. There are some big upcoming celebrity names we are working with, upcoming summer events, and a few secret projects overseas we are working with on bringing to North America. A lot of fun stuff to come!
What are your aspirations? (Zack Teperman, PR AGENT; Zack Teperman, Celebrity PR AGENT; or Zack Teperman, Celebrity)
I love being in the PR business – both celebrity and corporate public relations – and def. do not want to be a “celebrity”. If I wanted to be a star I could have stuck with radio or gone into acting myself, but I choose PR because I love it and I have a passion for it. Plus, the “P” in Public Relations is for Perks, and let me tell you, there are a lot of fun events and things we get to experience that just are an added bonus to our jobs.
My biggest aspiration at this point is to help our firm grow and grow, and maybe one day partner with other firms to all move forward together, and to see our client roster succeed.
If you could change one problem in the world, what would you work on?
World peace?! Is this a beauty pageant?! But seriously, I’d love to come up with something like in Star Trek where we can send ourselves to a location quickly… I hate long travel flights and lines.
Anything you are sitting there dwelling on that you want to get off your chest or pet peeves?
Just wish more people strived for what they wanted and got off their lazy butts. Too ma ny people these days just sit around and cry and complain, yet do nothing to make things better. I don’t care if you are rich or poor, but if you have a goal or passion, go out and find a way to reach it. People give up too quickly or are not motivated. As they say,
Marc S. Boriosi has many passions including writing, editing, producing, and modern culture. His company, The Levity Ball, is an innovative website that highlights the latest trends and most talented artists in fashion, music, and the arts.
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