63: Heidi Vanderlee (A guide to PR for comedy creators)

Danielle Krage interviews Heidi Vanderlee, founder of Positive Jam – a public relations firm specialising in comedy, podcasting, film, live entertainment, and social justice. Heidi has worked in entertainment and PR for more than a decade; in this conversation, she shares insights that will benefit comedy writers and creators.

Chapters:

00:00 Introduction to Heidi Van Der Lee and Positive Jam

03:00 The Importance of Relationship Building in PR

06:08 Common Mistakes in PR

08:53 Timelines and Planning Ahead in PR

12:50 Positive Jam’s Focus on Traditional Media

15:23 Including PR in the Creation Process

20:09 The Changing Media Landscape

22:31 Positive Developments in the Media Industry

25:26 Authenticity and Ideals in Creative Work

30:20 Catching Attention and the No Press is Bad Press Concept

33:44 Balancing Attention-Grabbing and Authenticity

35:35 Trusting Your PR Professional

You can find out more about Heidi and Positive Jam here:

http://www.positivejampr.com

https://x.com/positivejampr

https://www.instagram.com/positivejampr

CLICK HERE FOR TRANSCRIPT

Danielle (00:01.879)

Hey everybody, today I have with me Heidi Vanderee, the founder of Positive Jam. Now Positive Jam is a PR firm that specialises in comedy, podcasting, live entertainment and social justice, which I am super fascinated by and Heidi has over a decade’s experience in entertainment and PR. So she is a brilliant person to be able to ask about all things PR as it relates to comedy, entertainment and more.

Heidi, before we dive in, is there anything else you’d love people to know about you and your work?

Heidi (00:34.766)

Sure, I think that I was saying to you before we started talking, I should think a little more about our description because it’s evolved a bit. The work we do has evolved over the past 10 years. But yeah, we work with people who have something really important to say, and it is sometimes comedy. Sometimes it’s comedy adjacent. But a lot of people we work with have so much going on that they don’t necessarily fit into one category.

Danielle (01:03.575)

Yeah, that makes a lot of sense. And to ask a really basic question, when we say PR, I might have some assumptions about what that might mean, but do you mind saying for other people like me that are writers or podcasters and kind of hear the term, what do you mean by it when you say PR?

Heidi (01:17.774)

Sure.

I think PR for me, or the way that I try to explain it is like getting the thing that you made that you really care about in front of other people who might like it and who don’t have a financial reason to write about it or feature you, you know, because I think a lot of times PR and marketing get conflated and they can work really well together, but I try to be pretty clear that PR is not marketing and vice versa because marketing usually involves spending ad dollars. And I basically try to say if it has to do with money changing hands, that’s usually not my job. So I see it as trying to find the right people who would really care about the project that I’m working on and who would want to talk to the creator of it.

If you’ve spent so much time on this  project or this work that you really care about, itt’s good to keep in mind that you’re competing with a lot of other people who also care about their work. And it’s helpful to try to give it a little boost or a big boost, try to stand out among the crowd. But yeah, I really do think of it as like a whole system of goodwill that works sometimes. And we do our best to you know, to help people understand why what we’re working on is important and why they should care about it.

Danielle (02:56.919)

Yeah. And so I love that. And so inferring from what you’ve said, it sounds like, and let me know if I’m wrong, but it sounds like relationship building is going to be super important in that. Because like you say, it’s not even necessarily transactional in terms of money. So if that is correct, would you mind speaking a little bit to how you think about that? And if I’m off, just let me know.

Heidi (03:12.878)

No, that’s true. I mean, again, the reason that I mentioned money is because like if you are coming from the outside, this is totally makes sense, like if you’re not in marketing PR, you mean you’re a creative. A lot of the people that come to work with us are creatives who have never done marketing or PR. And that makes sense. They’re supposed to be good at creative. You’re not necessarily the business side of it. But I just I think there’s a really big difference between you know, basically pay to play and somebody writing about or featuring your project because they want to or because they think it’s interesting or their editor does. What was the first part of your question again? I’m sorry.

Danielle (03:58.871)

No, it’s not a problem. So I was wondering how much then relationship building is at the core of that in terms of the kind of relationships that you have to build to know where to place it.

Heidi (04:04.014)

Yeah, yeah, I’m nodding and forgetting I’m in a podcast. Yeah, relationships are hugely important. There are relationships that we’ve had for a long time, writers and producers and bookers that we work with very often who we’ve known over the years and even sometimes followed them from publication to show to show because, you know, everything’s so fluid in media and not in a great way, honestly.

But keeping up those relationships is really important. It’s also important to, in my opinion, try to identify new people that would care about the project we’re working on because folks are constantly changing beats. The way media works is constantly changing. And we never apply a one size fits all approach to our clients.

There are people that we go to all the time for most of our clients because we think they’ll be interested. But we also know that it’s important to tailor our outreach specifically to who we’re working with. So just for an example, you know, I’m working on a book right now that has to do with Olympic swimmers. Now I can reach out to everyone who’s written about books, right? But I don’t necessarily have a big Olympic swimming media list. So then I go out there and try and figure out who on the Olympic, in that area of media would care about this. And we’ve already found some folks who do care about it. It’s just people like to know that you know what they write about or cover. It’s really important.

Danielle (05:49.847)

Yeah, yeah. It’s really key. And I know everything is specific cases, but are there any general things as well that spring to mind when you think about that, when you’re writing…, like you say, you’ve got those long-standing relationships, but if you’re reaching out to new people, you are having to write those new pitches.

And I have had some pitches come in to me even as a podcaster and I see the sort of differences between them, what works for me and what doesn’t. But you’ve got that long-term perspective. Are there any general things that you think this is something that really is as a core principle, people do need to think about, or conversely, any things where you think definitely a red flag, like do not do that, avoid, that’s like a real rookie mistake.

Heidi (06:34.862)

I’ll say, with the caveat that it’s difficult to keep up on absolutely everything that everyone’s doing all the time. That’s really difficult. And so I just want to say I acknowledge that. And I have definitely sent the odd misdirected pitch where they’ve been like… this show hasn’t, you know, we haven’t been making it for six months. And I’m like, crap. And then because I didn’t know and, you know, we do our best to keep up to date on that kind of thing. But sometimes you can’t and sometimes you make mistakes.

I think that there is a difference between that and kind of mass emailing anybody who shows up under the category comedy. Like we use a database called PodChaser. So shout out to PodChaser. They’re pretty great. That allow you to search for podcasts by genre. And they actually have a filter that says like accepts guests, right? So that’s very helpful.

Because what will happen a lot of times and I’ve seen this on both sides because I’m both pitching but then also I work with folks who make podcasts or make shows and they’ll say, wow, I got this, you know, we don’t even have guests. I don’t know why I’m getting this pitch. And it’s like, do your homework. Like, again, nobody’s perfect. You might send out the odd mistake pitch. It might just not make sense.

But if it’s very obviously like a mass email, and it’s very obviously not really tailored to the person you’re sending it to. And like, once again, we will write pitches that are just a general, not a general guest pitch, but just like, here is my, you know, here is the person, here’s what they did. Here’s why I think you’ll think they’re interesting. Are you interested? And then we’ll usually customize it to say like, hey, blah, blah, blah, at blah, blah, blah. This is for you, you know, so it doesn’t…So I’m not going to say that we write like a completely unique pitch for every single person because we just wouldn’t get anything done. So we’re always trying to balance that.

What is most important is making sure who you’re writing to makes sense because then the pitches that you’ve written will make sense to them, right? Like, so if you’re like, this is the kind of pitch I would write to somebody who has X kind of show covering X  that’s not going to come off as weird to those people. But if you have not done research and you’re like, this is a show about X to this person whose show is about Y, and the person gets it and is like, huh? Like, that’s pretty easy to avoid. You just have to kind of do your homework. You just have to look at who you’re sending to. No blind emails, no big, like, mass you know. Don’t spam people. Yeah.

Danielle (09:17.559)

Yeah. And what’s it like for you in terms of timelines and managing different media? Because I can only speak to my own very small experience, which is not in PR. But I know, for example, when I receive things, sometimes it just doesn’t line up with the timeline of the show. Because I think people possibly don’t know how far in advance they sometimes record to be able to kind of batch things and know things are going to work out. Whereas they’re kind of thinking that I might be able to do it much sooner, whereas I just wouldn’t have time to read the book, come up with the questions, schedule it. The schedule’s already sorted a long way in advance. So that’s one thing that I see.

But that’s only one kind of media and you’re probably dealing with all kinds of different media. How do you kind of think about timelines and managing that? Say if a client comes to you and is like, I’ve got a show, like for example, some recent guests, they’ve got a show they’re taking to Edinburgh in August, which is like the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. So it’s a bit off, like we’re recording this in June. How would you sort of think about a timeline for them as an example?

Heidi (10:14.894)

There’s like two different parts to that. One is the client part. So like if you’re the creative, like you again, you’ve made something that you really care about and lots of times what will happen is folks won’t think about PR until they’re done with the project, right? When it’s done and it’s ready to be out. Unfortunately, most publicists and firms will be booked out for months and months and months. Like that’s almost always the case with us. So I have folks come to me with something really great that I would love to work on, but it’s coming out in a month. And even if I did have the availability, which we almost never do, a month is like barely enough lead time in my opinion. So I would just say from the beginning, like if you’re working on something that you really care about and you have to make a budget of some kind when it comes to like advertising and distribution, include PR in there. I mean, like, you don’t have to do PR. I’m not saying everyone has to, but if it’s even something that you’re considering, include it in your budget from the beginning.

And like, so for example, like, you know, Kate Willett, who you talked to, who is one of my clients who I adore, she and I had been talking about working together for like a year. You know, she was like, I’m making this special. I want to work with you. Like she had it on her brain that she was going to do that, like way back when the special was being filmed. So I was able to hold the time for her and she was able to, you know, budget for it. And then we worked together. It was great. So that was really cool.

Unfortunately, not everyone has either the foresight or like they aren’t advised on it, especially if it’s like their first thing. Like, I totally get it. But it’s something that I try to say as much as possible without sounding like you totally need me, because sometimes you don’t. But if you want it as an option, think of it early on.

And then there’s the other side, which is me pitching to shows and journalists, which I think is the main question you asked. I would say that one of the great things about podcasting is that the timelines really vary. And like sometimes people will book out for a really long time, but even what’s considered a long time in podcasting, like is not very long compared to print and online media because whenever I work on a book, for example, they’ll be like, I needed this six months ago.

And I’m like, yeah, very rarely do I get that kind of timeline. Sometimes I do and it’s great and we get the best. I always say the more time I have to work with you, we’ll get the best results with it. But I understand not everyone has the budget for that. And that like, that’s legit. That’s a real thing. But there are times where I’ve had the opportunity to work with people on really long lead projects. And we do always get the best results that way.

So the thing that’s wonderful about podcasting and podcasts, it’s only starting to be like a thing that people saw as desirable… about 10 years ago, I would say, in PR, it was still kind of a new thing. And like, if I’m being real, there are still publicists that I know that are like podcasts? I’m like, yes. You know, I’m like, come on. It’s important. But like, even if a podcast is booked out for, say, two, three months, you know you won’t be waiting on it as long as you might be waiting on it for a written piece. And the host slash producer is probably still willing to do it because it’s not necessarily like the host and producer aren’t going to be like, well, this came out before we can’t print it like the way that like printing online is they’re way more tied to like release date.

And then for the client, like not only do they have more fun doing it usually, like it’s a lot more fun to just kind of be yourself on a podcast rather than do more of a formal interview. And then there’s another reason for them to say, hey, I was on this podcast. Remember this thing I did. This was about that. And it kind of extends the promotional cycle. So I always say that I’m like, look, this isn’t going to come out until after this is released, but that’s OK because it will probably draw in new people. It’s no longer the case that everyone has to read or listen to or watch your thing the week it happens for people to know about it.

Danielle (15:17.143)

Brilliant. And I’ve got a couple of follow-up questions from that. So one is that you mentioned budget. And so if there was someone to say they’ve written a book or they’ve made like you say Kate Willett, who will be going out the week before your episode had both an audible original and a recent special. Say someone’s creating, they’ve created that product, that piece of art. How do they even start to talk to a PR firm? About budget? For someone like me, I wouldn’t even quite know where to start talking about that and how that might work.

Heidi (16:00.91)

Yeah, I think the things that are most helpful to me when somebody asks me like, you know, how much will this cost me basically…What is it? When is it happening? How long do you want to work together? How big of a scope do you want to work together on? You know, are there tour dates? So like, for example, if somebody is releasing an album or a special, but then they also have tour dates in like a few Midwestern cities, and they want me to work on both – things, that’s going to be like a higher fee, obviously, because it’s different campaigns, right? So there’s like the national campaign and maybe New York, if you’re based in New York, but then like all those separate media markets are different campaigns. So that would be a more costly campaign than if you were just working on the release itself and, you know, booking podcasts and stuff. So…what you want the public, the kinds of media that you want to be reaching out to or have the publicist reach out to, that’s important.

How long is a big one. At this point, we have a two-month minimum, except in rare cases, because I always say we have to have the time to do follow-up -up or else you just annoy the heck out of people, because you can’t email them every other day. If you were getting follow-ups from a publicist every other day, you’d be like, please stop. And I don’t do that, because it drives people crazy. So yeah, sorry, let me try and answer that more succinctly.

Danielle (17:27.191)

No, that’s great.

Heidi (17:28.462)

How long do you want to work together? What kind of a project is it? And when, you know… because like if somebody says I have this coming up, but it might not be for three years, I can’t really make a ballpark estimate then because like, who knows what will be happening in three years. But yeah, you know, I think just having basics, timeline, scope, how long that really helps.

Danielle (17:56.279)

Yeah. And does what you do also cover social media like Twitter X, Instagram, or do you kind of leave that to individual creators and you kind of more focus on the kind of broader media landscape or does it vary?

Heidi (18:10.478)

We don’t do social media consulting simply because I personally do not think I’m the best person for that. I will, and this is a larger thing like Deb, who Deb Pressman, who is my work partner, work wife. We are very much, we really believe in staying in our lane, which is like, we do PR. Social media consulting, social media management is a separate profession that people are absolutely incredible at. And we, I mean, I personally just would not feel comfortable charging money for it because like, I have some knowledge, like I know that like, for example, like faces perform better than texts on an Instagram grid, right? Or like, don’t worry about posting too much because stuff shows up, you know, in different feeds, depending on who they are. But I really have not…I just don’t have the expertise of somebody who would do a really good job at this.

Danielle (19:15.223)

Yeah. So it’s thinking more like podcasts, print media, online media?

Heidi (19:22.766)

Yep, absolutely. And occasionally there will be a project or someone we think they should be introduced to that we might run across while we’re working together, which maybe like, this person is producing this show. Do you want to talk to them? I can’t think of a specific example right now, but we will introduce people to other folks in more of an agent -y way, if it makes sense. But we don’t really do that as a rule. It’s not really something we promise because it usually happens pretty organically. We try to stay in our lane because it’s like we do this thing very well and that’s that’s our job and that’s what we do. That way, it’s like, why didn’t you do a good job on this social media campaign? Well, because that’s not my job.

Danielle (20:11.767)

Yeah, yeah, totally. And I’m curious because from the outside, it does seem like media changes so fast, but then maybe some of the principles are still the same? So I’m just curious where you sit from, like we’re in June, 2024 right now. Do you feel like you can kind of see changes coming in the next year? Like, do you already sort of start to see trends?

Heidi (20:38.67)

I mean, there’s like really bad things and some really good things. Like the really bad thing is that some publications have fired staff and think they’re going to write articles with AI and it’s already happening, which is like, not only is it dystopian, it’s also just the work product is awful. Like it’s really depressing. Like I want to say, I think it’s like Geo Media, which owned until recently The Onion, and like the AV club and they replaced some of their writers with AI, you know, or, and I can’t think of which publication this was, but I know of another one that basically used Google Translate to put out articles written in Spanish. And it’s like, I think that we’re still in a period where people are very enchanted by AI. And when I say people, I mean a lot of non-creatives who have no idea how this works, but unfortunately are in charge of stuff.

But I think it’s starting to trickle down where people are just like, yeah, this actually really sucks and is not easy to, is not fun to read or informative or like doing anything that media was supposed to do. So I think that’s, I predict a crash. It’s just gonna be like, it’s like pivot to video all over again. Do you remember that?

Danielle (21:52.651)

What does that mean, pivot to video?

Heidi (22:02.83)

Oh my God, it was this dumb thing that happened probably like, I mean, not even that long ago now, but like when Facebook was like, everyone should put their things on our video platform. And then like Vice Magazine was like…we’re firing most of our writers and we’re doing video, and Buzzfeed did it too. And it failed spectacularly, because it’s like these folks who are in charge of media get these ideas or really it’s their shareholders. They’re like trying to make their shareholders happy that they think is gonna change the face of media, but because it’s not their expertise and they don’t actually know what they’re talking about, it failed spectacularly.

And then we all pay for it. And I’m being a little bit soapbox here, but I really have seen it happen like a few times. And it’s just the only thing that happens is some people make a bunch of money and a lot of other people lose their jobs and the rest of us don’t have quality media to read. So I think that AI is going to have a pretty bad disastrous effect on media to come.

But I will say a positive thing that I see happening is a lot of publications and newsrooms and podcast networks are unionizing for the first time, which is incredible. And like, you know, it’s not easy and it’s definitely done from, in some cases, a place of relative desperation because it’s like watching the way that people are just getting axed with no regard for anything. I mean, you know, we have terrible labour laws here in the United States. So forming a union is one of the best things you can do to protect yourself.

And I’m really heartened by the fact that there are people who have decided to unionize, their newsrooms. And there are also some publications that are worker owned now that are like the folks who were, you know, the editors of all these other great legacy publications that either got bought by somebody or acquired and then everyone got fired. And these people got together and like have worker-owned publications now, which are doing really incredible work. And I’m sure it’s hard. I’m sure that the money’s not great, but that that’s even able to exist is really cool. So it’s a dark scene, but there are some light spots.

Danielle (24:06.679)

Yeah, okay. Well, that’s good to know that there’s some light spots too. My goodness. And you said earlier on in the conversation about the fact that people have put so much time into making what they want to make, but actually then trying to connect it to the people who might enjoy that can be challenging. What makes you really happy when you get sent something? What do you think are the kinds of things that…if it’s even possible to say, that kind of spark your attention thinking…I can do something with this…I can see how to help cut this through. Are there any sort of commonalities across that? So you mentioned people with something to say, I just wonder what other kinds of things really catch your attention.

Heidi (24:56.782)

We are so lucky in that I’d say 95 % of our business is by referral. So almost everyone who we work with has been referred to us by someone else that we’ve worked with who we obviously, if they liked us, I assume that would be the reason why they refer us. So there’s kind of a common thread through all of the people we work with that they’re more concerned with the artistic side of what they’re doing and the ideals of what they’re doing rather than will this make me a bunch of money? Because you can kind of, I mean, I come from a more idealistic place, I think, than a lot of people, but I really do believe that the media can tell when you’re doing something because you want it to make money like, you know, like the Mr. Beasts and Jake Paul’s of the world. Like, they’re not doing that because they’re like having a fun time. They’re doing it because they’re making a bunch of money. And the people that we work with, the stuff that they make is who they are most of the time. And you can tell, like, again, I’m just using Kate as an example because you talked to her. But like, that’s who Kate is. Kate is outspoken and funny and says whatever she wants. And it has not, and she’ll say this, it has cost her some stuff. You know, there’s people who’ve been rubbed the wrong way by her politics, etc. But then that means that the people who do appreciate her really appreciate her. She has integrity. She says what she thinks and believes. And a lot of folks don’t do that because they’re afraid of the ramifications, whether they be, you know, such and such person will work with you or, you know, the money or whatever.

I feel that we’re very lucky that we’ve been able to find people that make things that are really authentic to them. Another example I’ll use is I work with Danny Tamberelli and his wife, Katelyn Detweiler. So Danny is best known as like here in the US, we have Nickelodeon, which was like the kids TV network. And he was, you know, a star. He was basically a child star, you know, he was really known for that. And he and his wife have written these two absolutely delightful young adult romance novels together. And both of them are very much informed by who they are as people. And since they have such funny, unique voices, and they’re really writing from what they know, the books are absolutely… it’s just like you feel like you’re getting to actually know them a little bit, even though there’s obviously some fantasy to it.

The first book is basically their love story about how they met, but like through the lens of these other characters. And they wrote it together while having an infant. So like they really had to care about this, you know, to make time to write about it, to write it. And you can really tell like they care about it so much. And like, it’s, it’s just nobody else made them do it.

To be fair, Kate is a literary agent, so she does have an idea. I think of what works out there. But you can kind of tell when somebody has been put up to something versus when they really wanted to do it because it felt important to them. I hope that answers your question a little bit.

Danielle (28:27.863)

Yeah. Yeah, it does. And do you think that’s helpful then that they have like this really interesting personal story that lines up with the work? So I guess I’m asking like, how much does that matter or can it work both ways? Because now I just have such a sense of…that’s so interesting. Like the Nickelodeon aspect. Is that helpful to have?

Heidi (28:52.142)

I don’t think it necessarily has to be your exact story. Like some folks don’t want to tell like their exact story. But it has to be something about you, or you need to make sure that the person or institution or thing that you are making work about, you have to make sure that you’re talking to someone who does know what they’re talking about. You know, like try not to work in a vacuum. A lot of the people that we work with, yeah, some of them don’t tell their own story. Some of them are filmmakers who are telling someone else’s story. But like, did they do their homework? Did they work directly with the source? Did they make sure to consider that there are other people who maybe told this story before? Is there something super similar? It has to come from a place of truth somewhere, even if it’s not necessarily your own story.

Danielle (29:47.383)

Yeah. And what do you think, because like I say, you have the job of trying to match it up to people that will be interested in that work. Sometimes I think in the media, we hear the examples of where controversy has been, you know, put together to draw attention… and like the no press is bad press kind of sense, but that doesn’t seem to necessarily fit with what you’re saying with things being very authentic and social justice. I wondered how you think about that? How you think about catching attention. I guess I’m also thinking of a slightly different thing, but like you mentioned Mr. Beast and that literally grabbing attention with different stunts.

Heidi (30:29.006)

Yeah. Look, if that makes him happy, great. You know what I mean? And I’m sure some people may find some enjoyment. I just wouldn’t know what to do with him. Like here I am like if I was Mr. Beast, but no one’s asked me to forget it. You know what I mean? It just feels like a different universe. And there are a lot of people on social media who definitely do things for the bit that I absolutely enjoy. And it’s super fun. You know, I enjoy TikTok. I love TikTok, but…You know, I think that there are times where, you know, because I am a publicist, there are times where I’ll say something that I know will kind of pique people’s interest. And like, you know, like if there’s something that’s kind of a little attention grabby, I’ll put it in the subject headline. But I think we’re very careful not to ever be exploitative, or like lie. Honestly, you know, try not to ever. We don’t really ever say anything that’s not true or throw anyone under the bus who would be hurt by what’s happening.

But I can tell you, like, one of the funniest examples of maybe getting close to that. But I’ll explain why it didn’t feel bad to me. And here’s why. This I’m fine with you talking about this Hollywood Gold podcast. Stay Gold Features is a really incredible film production studio in New York. They’ve worked on so many incredible films like Harriet, Nanny, Honey Boy. And so they have a podcast where the head of the studio talks to producers, screenwriters, directors, basically anyone who’s not an actor right? And so the actor a lot of times will be like, I was in this film and it was fun. You know, they’re like, it was a great experience. You know, like they, they were in the movie, they were the star, they were treated well, et cetera. Most of the time.

And then the thing is, when you talk to the producers, they’re the ones who like had to figure out how to get like 17 polka dot dresses in the middle of the night, you know. They are the ones who know what happened. So sometimes during these interviews, like these bananas stories would come out that like nobody knew, you know? And so sometimes it wasn’t super savoury. But most, you know, nothing really truly awful, but just like bonkers things. And now, of course, I’m forgetting any example. Here’s one. Madonna, the producers of Madonna’s Sesperately Seeking Susan. Madonna was kind of famous at the time, like she was just starting to blow up in New York. And the producers didn’t think she was going to be famous for that long. They thought she was a flash in the pan. So they rushed the release of the movie because they were like, my god, we have to get this out before her 15 minutes are up. And it’s Madonna. Like, what are you talking about? And so that was the thing that we found out during that interview where we were like, my god. I know. So then what I did was I sent it to the celebrity press that was like, Madonna. You know, like producers didn’t think Madonna was going to be famous enough to…. And like, Madonna.

Madonna probably, if she even saw it, she was probably like, yeah, that was dumb, you know, but that is, I think that’s like probably the most, that’s probably the best example of me like using something that I know will grab the press to get something for my client. But you know, it’s a victimless crime. Madonna is not upset with us. Yeah.

Danielle (34:02.903)

Totally, yeah, that makes so much sense. I love it. And as we’re wrapping up, is there anything that we haven’t covered that as you think of the audience who are listening to this…the people I hear from, they’re writing, they’re creating, they’re people like Kate, they’re making books, they’re working on their sitcom pilot. Is there anything that you want to leave them with as they’re thinking about PR and their career?

Heidi (34:29.518)

Sure. I would say that one thing that… a conversation that I have with clients fairly often, not as much anymore, but like…When you say, you know, if you go into a PR campaign and you’re like, I want to be in this publication, this publication, this publication, this publication, my question for them would be, have you read that publication recently? Have you seen someone like you featured in it? Have you seen them featuring people who do this kind of thing? Because if not, it’s not super realistic to expect that this might happen.

And I’m not saying that because your thing isn’t good. I’m not saying I won’t try. I always try. I’ll always try. Sometimes I’ve been surprised. Like there have been times where the New York Times has been like, sure. And I’m like, what? You know? But I think being realistic about where your story might fit best is helpful. And again, it isn’t a creative’s job necessarily to be reading all of the publications all the time and being sure who’s the editor, where, or whatever. That’s my job. So I would say trust me, first of all, to know what’s going on with those publications and who’s writing for them. But also, if you were featured in the New York Times in 2005, I’m sorry, New York Times. I’m not trying to just dump on the New York Times. But if you were featured in a big publication in 2005, it’s a really different media landscape now. It’s real different. I guarantee most of the people who were there aren’t there anymore.

So, I always try to like say, hey, let’s be open -minded about where might make the most sense for you. Like I’ve had clients be like, I have no idea what this podcast is that you’re putting me on, but okay. And then they have a great time. Sometimes they end up working together and collaborating, you know, and then a bunch of people who would have never heard of them before are now into them. So. Trust the person that you hire, I think is the thing I can say. And not just like, you don’t get to know what’s going on, let me do my job, leave me alone. But just like, remember that I’m not a comedian, so I’m not gonna tell you about comedy writing or what I think is best. And you don’t have to be totally in the know about what publications are best. That’s okay. I know that. So.

Danielle (36:56.183)

That’s really helpful. And I really appreciate you taking the time to kind of go behind the scenes with some of this and debunk some of it and help me with what those concepts and language might be. Super helpful, because sometimes it can seem like something that we use as a term, but it’s really lovely to have a face to put to it.

Heidi (37:15.534)

There’s so many, there’s so many different kinds of PR out there. Like, you know, it makes total sense. There’s people who say, I do PR and I’m like, you’re actually marketing, but okay. You know, but all I know is the way that we do it is what’s worked for us for a long time. We love the people we work with. We feel very fortunate to continue to have people want to work with us. And I really love my job. So yeah.

Danielle (37:43.415)

I love it. And it’s nice to work with people who love their job. So that’s great. And where can people go to find out more about you, Heidi?

Heidi (37:52.494)

Me personally. Or the company?

Danielle (37:54.391)

Well, wherever you want to point people. I’ll put the links to your website in the show notes if that’s what would be helpful. Is that the best place?

Heidi (38:01.646)

Yeah, check out our website, positivejampr .com. We’re also on social media as both of those things. If you’re curious about the kinds of people we work with, the kind of work we do, that is the best place to learn about us. And I just want to give a shout out to Deb Pressman, who is my work wife, and Brittany Gerckins, who is our assistant, who is a total godsend, and we love her.

Danielle (38:22.871)

Fabulous. Thank you so much. It’s been really fun chatting with you today, Heidi.

Heidi (38:27.822)

You too, Danielle.