Christine Phillips: Publicist Extraordinaire
Today in the Lounge Nick chats with Christine Phillips of Viola! Public Relations and Design. Christine is a publicist and occasional designer based out of Wisconsin. During the chat we learn about Christine on a more personal level. She speaks about how she entered the business, found clients, how to know when you’re ready for a publicist, and maintaining professional relationships.
Born in Illinois, Christine describes herself as a Chicago runaway. She decided to move to Wisconsin in search of a simpler life after the stress and traffic of the city became too much. Christine went to school for theatre but realized after a few years that the nomadic lifestyle of theatre did not suit her need for stability. She then settled into fashion and later, after moving to Wisconsin, she began to work in the home. After working for Kohler for four years, Christine decided to branch out on her own, and in 2005 started her own business.
Christine has never advertised her business. In fact, her first clients came just a few days after she left Kohler. She was contacted by a company to design showrooms for a firm, which led her to do tradeshow design. Christine believes that if you love what you do and you are a happy person, business will come to you. She had never been the person to go “trolling” for business but instead allows clients to come to her naturally.
Are You Ready For a Publicist?
Christine talks about how a designer can tell when they’re ready for a publicist. She believes that a designer will be ready for a publicist when: (1) they’ve got a good bank of work, (2) they’ve experienced a bit of press and (3) they’re willing to listen and do what they need to do. If she is contacted by someone who believes themselves to be ready she will send them Recipe for Press, by Amy Flurry, which gives a glimpse into what it takes get press. She believes that this will allow designers to more accurately assess whether or not they are truly ready for a publicist and also create a greater appreciation for what she actually does.
Maintaining Professional Relationships
In addition to knowing whether or not they are ready for a publicist, Christine also believes that designers should know how to maintain relationships with editors. She talks about how the reaction to rejection can leave a lasting impression that could make or break future opportunities. She speaks on how impressions are long lasting but rejection can sometimes only be in that moment. Christine believes that no matter what side of the interaction a person should be as gracious and kind as possible and this will help build positive relationships in the industry.
Learn more about Christine Phillips at: www.violapranddesign.com/about
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