Jennifer Betts is the quintessential Los Angeles publicist—producing glitzy red carpet events and networking with celebrities.
Her firm, Innovative PR, handles lifestyle brands across industries including beauty (Philosophy, Beautycon, NYX), fashion (American Made Supply Co., Tanya Heath Paris, Alberto Parada), liquor (Hennessy, Voli Vodka, Malibu Red), coffee (Keurig, Café Bustelo) and travel and leisure (Gilt City, Priv, Sofitel).
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Innovative PR handles brand content creation, digital and social media, influencer marketing and media relations. But Jennifer is especially known for launching new products into the media spotlight and planning memorable brand events complete with sponsorships, celebs and major news coverage. (Just take a peek at her Instagram and count all the famous faces.)
Despite her success, Jennifer’s original career path was headed in a completely different direction. Read on to see where she started—and the skills she used to make it to the top, as president of her own PR firm.
What does a publicist do, exactly? What’s your day-to-day like?
Publicists are brand communicators. My day-to-day includes at least five conference calls a day with clients, usually ten-hour days. There is a lot of research, creative concept building and pitch strategy.
How did you end up in PR? What was your career journey?
I am a nurse by nature. I’ve always been a caregiver. I became a nurse practitioner in family medicine. At the same time, I’ve always been social my entire life. I loved going to events and hosting parties.
In 2001, I decided to intern at an events PR company and began working my way up the ladder. I launched several PR firms in my career and my current firm is called Innovative PR. I’ve watched public relations change so much over the last 15 years, especially with the rise of digital media and influencer marketing.
Tell us about launching Beautycon and LA Food Bowl. What’s your role in those conferences?
Beautycon is one of the brands I’m most proud to have worked on and developed in the PR industry. It taught me a lot, and I utilize these learnings for my current clients. Beautycon had excellent teamwork and hit at the perfect time.
My role was to launch festivals, the subscription beauty box and media platform. Launching this brand took hard work, pushing down doors and consistent brand building. The beauty industry is a $445 billion industry—Beautycon is only going to get bigger and better.
I was also the publicist for the inaugural LA Food Bowl. I helped create strategy for the festival, which ran for a month.
What skills are most pertinent to your success? What skills are most important for a PR powerhouse have?
Time management, hard work and loyalty.
How do you land clients and gigs?
Hard work, successful previous clients and word of mouth.
Tell us about your campaign with Giada De Laurentiis for Philosophy.
One percent of all Philosophy USA net product sales supports community-based mental health efforts, and this campaign in particular is in support of World Mental Health Day, [which took place] on October 10, 2017.
What gets you out of bed every morning and keeps you motivated?
My love for my job and clients, my family and caring for others.
What’s the most challenging aspect of a career in PR?
The challenge is the ever-changing digital space. The way we find news now has shifted and keeps changing. It’s all about staying ahead of it.
What advice would you give to aspiring publicists?
Be prepared to know this is a career and not a job. It takes a certain type of person to do PR. It is a 24/7 job. It doesn’t sleep.