Hi everyone! Kelly here, LCI’s soon-to-be former Senior Account Executive. This will be my last official LCI blog, but you never know, a guest-writing spot may open up in the future and I will be all over it!
As I prepare to depart San Francisco and return, once again, to Los Angeles, it got me thinking about the differences between NorCal and SoCal public relations practices. Obviously the geographical locations of each city are like night and day, but in my opinion, so are the clients, campaign strategies and overall client needs.
Like my job here in SF, the majority of my clients in LA consisted of consumer products. However, unlike my job here in SF, my LA clients were looking more for the Maxim coverage, and less for the SF Business Times coverage. It could have been the same product in both cities, but my SF clients were looking for the solid business story promoting their product as innovative and groundbreaking, while my LA clients were looking for the “my product is hip, edgy and will get you all the ladies” stories.
One time while working in LA, I got a call from Reuters wanting to do a story on my client. They asked to speak with him immediately due to a looming deadline. The problem? I couldn’t find my client! After numerous phone calls and a few hours of searching, I found out that there was a huge swell in Malibu and he was surfing. SURFING! In LA, I’ve found that the clients don’t care how you do your job and don’t really want to be bothered with the logistics; they just want to see the results, which can be incredibly freeing or an incredible roadblock. In SF, I’ve found that many of my clients want to be a part of every campaign step, which can be incredibly useful, or incredibly challenging.
In LA, every product needs a launch party complete with open-bar. In SF, every product needs a society cocktail gathering complete with a mention in Leah Garchik’s column (on a side note, what would we do without the incredible Leah Garchik? Her column could be noted as THE SF survival guide.) Almost all of my LA clients requested big, over-the-top parties with an A-list guest list where press would be sure to mention who attended this incredible products party. SF clients are more likely to request small, intimate gatherings so press can take a moment to enjoy themselves and write about the in-depth ingenuity of the product.
I have had the pleasure of meeting quite a few SF Public Relations specialists from all types of firms. I have found them to be a very enjoyable crowd and our conversations don’t start and end with work-talk. In LA, conversations amongst PR reps are mostly work related and what each firm can do for the other. Networking is important to me, but the lives of my fellow industry colleagues would be nice to discuss sometimes too.
There are pros and cons of working in each city, but I consider myself to be very lucky that I have been able to experience each during my career. What does the future hold for me in Los Angeles? We shall see, but I look forward to utilizing the communications skills that I have learned in SF when interacting with new clients in LA.
Here are a few of my favorite Buzzworthy activities in SF:
California Academy of Sciences – I will miss Pierre the Penguin the most!
Blue Barn – My absolute favorite sandwich and salad place in the entire city.
San Francisco Symphony – Michael Tilson Thomas’s rendition of Mahler’s Resurrection Symphony is not to be missed
Dine About Town – A fantastic way to be kept in the loop on all the yummy attractions SF has to offer!