Not just any awesome person! An awesome publicist at Penguin named Jillian. Jillian is the best, and she likes bloggers, so she's cool.
Kelsey and I have discussed how cool is would be to be a publicist, so we (mainly Kelsey) thought it would be neat to interview Jillian, one of the nicest publicists I have spoken with. (Though they're all pretty nice.)
This is actually only 5/11 of the interview. Questions 6-11 will be posted at Kelsey's blog tomorrow.
1. What is your official job title and what do you do?
Whenever I'm asked what my job entails, I tend to stick with a response of "all that is cool online." I'm pretty sure most of my friends have no idea what I do! My title is Online & Consumer Marketing Associate and I work with online aspects of marketing, advertising, promotion and publicity such as launching title specific sites, promoting interactive features like trailers and widgets, working with authors to increase their online exposure, sending out ARCs and keeping regular contact with bloggers, coordinating promotions and giveaways, acting as a liaison with online vendors, selecting advertising placements, actively using social networking outlets such as MySpace, Facebook, Twitter, Ning and YouTube and anything else that pops up involving online.
2. What is a day in the life of Jillian like?
It really varies and that's what keeps it so interesting - usually many things at once! I'm pretty big on multi-tasking and have a short attention span; my position is perfectly catered to this. I start off my day by reading through emails and media, trending and book blogs. From there it varies, depending on what project I'm working on. At the moment I'm concentrating on a website launch for the Vampire Academy series - which is a lot of back and forth with the designers on content and aesthetics. It's looking amazing! (Note from Khy: YAY VAMPIRE ACADEMY!)
3. How did you get your job?
My first "real" job out of college was in magazine publishing. While I learned a ton and wanted to remain in the industry, I knew I wanted to work in online. I looked through mediabistro.com and luckily my current job is one of the first positions that caught my eye!
4. What did you have to do to work toward your career?
It really helped having experience in college. I can't advocate internships highly enough, that will definitely help get your foot in the door and many publishing companies provide these opportunities. My first internship was for a UK magazine my sophomore and junior year of college. During my senior year I worked for another magazine, a broadcast station and a publisher in New York (simultaneously - emphasis on my multi-tasking!). My experience with the publisher was so positive that she hired me as an assistant after my internship stint. I had a pretty solid resume before I graduated, which definitely helped when I interviewed for my first position in publishing. My dream job had been to work in magazine editorial, a tough position to come into entry level- so I went in through the research department. After my first year, when it came time to make a departmental transfer decision I realized I no longer wanted to work in editorial - online marketing had piqued my interest.
5. What is your advice for teens like us who want to break into publishing?
Be involved! When I was in high school I wrote for my school paper, participated in summer Journalism programs and ran online newsletters. In college, I pursued publishing internships. By the time I graduated I had an extensive clipbook of published articles and a great lineup of references for my job search, not to mention irreplaceable experience.
Thank you so much Jillian! You're, as previously stated, awesome.
I hope you all enjoyed this part of the interview. Don't forget to check out part two over at Kelsey's blog, Reading Keeps You Sane, tomorrow!