Want to know what it takes to be a top Hollywood publicist? This is Jen Betts’s unique story.
Jen Betts is a former nurse practitioner, who changed her career to PR after a tragic accident caused the loss of one eye and forced her to leave nursing. She took her love of helping people to public relations! She is now the CEO & President of Innovative Public Relations (her new firm, she previously co-founded both Pivotal PR and Live Loyal PR) and has made a name for herself in the public relations industry through her exceptional work ethic, a multitude of contacts, and high profile clients over the last two decades.
Betts has helped to catapult some of Hollywood’s hottest talent, fashion icons, lifestyle tastemakers, and charitable foundations into the spotlight by generating awareness for an array of corporate and personal brands across traditional and digital media.
Previous to running her own PR agencies, Betts was an executive at Fingerprint Communications, and worked closely on entertainment events and soirees. Over the years, her industry clients have included Young Fabulous and Broke, Opera, Crimson, GOA, Taryn Manning, Stephanie Pratt, AnnaLynne McCord, Shay Mitchell, and Ellen Pompeo. She’s run campaigns and spearheaded events for brands including GQ, Sundance, the NFL, Muse Lifestyle Group, Voli Lyte Vodkas, and Joico. Jen was pivotal in establishing multi-million dollar companies including Beautycon International and NYX Cosmetics through creative campaigns and strong strategies.
Jen prides herself on being able to identify and incorporate emerging technologies, including digital marketing, social media, and blogger programs into traditional PR. Betts currently reps clients including Philosophy, Electric Sky Wine, LA Food Bowl and Colgate. She is also a new mom and spends her time with her husband and son and living a boss life!
Jen talks about what she looks for in a beauty client, being an integral part of founding Beautycon, and how the digital landscape has changed marketing for this generation.
Q&A with Jen Betts
Which is your favorite marketing campaign you worked on that featured an influencer and why?
Philosophy’s Hope and Grace Initiative during May- Mental Health Awareness Month (annually.) I liked this best because it serves a serious purpose. Philosophy is the only beauty brand to have an initiative to support mental health awareness which is a global issue. They have raised nearly 3 million dollars to date to support communities. Please visit the Hope and Grace Initiative at www.philosophy.com to learn more.
How would you say influencers have changed the game in how you create PR & social media campaigns?
I could talk about this for days… the game has completely changed for the communications industry due to social media. Where we used to rely on print publications, regional/national broadcast, and radio for our news is no longer. Now, in seconds, opinions, voices, photography, and constant creator content is our norm. Journalists, editors, producers will always be around; however, social media and content creators are allowing more access, variety, natural consumer opinion, and individuality. The possibilities today are endless- as an Instagram post, Instastory, Youtube video, digital online editorial write-up, and even a tweet can all be considered news.
How do you ensure the influencers you decide to work with are a good fit for your client and they see a return?
We decide on an influencer per each client or brand. As Innovative PR is an Entertainment Lifestyle Agency, we represent brands in the fashion, beauty, hospitality, tech, non-profit, and event space. Choosing an influencer is reliant on what purpose they serve, why, and how. There are agencies, programs, and ways to capture if the influencer provides return for the brand. At Innovative PR, we put our creative spin and secret strategy to use for all our clients and it involves influencer partnerships. Most of all, my clients see a return on their investment. As long as influencers have the right amount of following, creativity, and serve a purpose for the existing partnership specific to the brand – there is return.
Which is your favorite beauty brand to use? And why do you think as a publicist some brands achieve success over others?
One of my favorite beauty brands is Joico Hair Care. I have been working with them for nearly a decade and every day feels like the first day I started working with them. I love their color care products and all their stylers, especially Hair Shake. Certain brands achieve success over others because they are constantly reinventing the wheel. They exhaust all aspects of new age marketing and PR.
In repping beauty brands, what do you look for in a client? What makes you know they will stand out with so many beauty options on the market?
This is simple- is the beauty brand realistic, good quality, and consumer friendly. A beauty brand will succeed if they have consistency in brand messaging, content creation, constant new news, and utilize brand to brand partnerships. The beauty brand must also value their loyalists and accept generation change.
You were integral in launching the now famous Beautycon. Tell us about how that came about and what you see for the future of that event?
Beautycon was one of my best workings in the PR industry. It taught me a lot and I have utilized these learnings in current clients. Beautycon had excellent teamwork and hit at the perfect time. 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.
What does the future of influencers in campaigns look like in 5 years? How will it continue to shape and change the PR and media landscape?
I think the digital landscape is only going to get more crowded. I love working with micro-influencers. There is something to be said for the young hungry influencer making their creative mark. I’m exciting to see more influencers emerge. I believe we will see digital VR – virtual reality changing the space even further. I think video content has only begun.
I am exhausted and balancing multiple jobs is beyond difficult, but time management and priorities are how I get by. I feel beautiful by my husband and family. I also have time out days where I fill the entire 8-hour day with beauty management. My go-to products are as follows:
1) Liquid eye liner
3) My Juva Lip plumper
4) Joico Kpak color therapy shampoo and conditioner
5) Philosophy Ultimate Miracle working pads
6) Crest white strips
7) Gel nails
8) Eyebrow shaping every two weeks
10) Massages on the regular
11) My hair professional is my best friend- color color color
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