Publicist Siri Garber
Although I am rarely star-struck, I have to admit that I was a slightly nervous to meet Siri Garber, owner and president of Platform Public Relations. After all, Siri's resume is beyond impressive, having been picked by LA Confidential as one of the top 6 publicists in Los Angeles in 2004 and having been featured in various publications such as Inked, Elle, US Weekly, The NY Post, Steppin Out, and Stuff Magazine, among others. She also received the “Best Personal Publicist” accolade in “Best of L.A.” from Los Angeles Magazine. Highly educated, the USC grad was chosen as a “Power Woman” in 2006 by New York Moves Magazine and has appeared on several television networks including VH1 and E!. So pretty much, she's the whole powerful package.
The highly successful Platform Public Relations agency, founded in January 1998, is a boutique entertainment public relations firm. By combining the firm's extensive experience in the celebrity arena with their strong media relationships, they are able to secure editorial placements for their clients in a variety of mediums. They are obviously dedicated and passionate about who they represent, providing key, hands-on, individualized attention. Their client roster is filled with incredible talent, including Jon Voight, Madelaine Petsch, A.J. Cook, Lakeith Stanfield, Shameik Alti Moore, Caleb McLaughlin, Danielle Macdonald, and Talitha Bateman just to name a few, They have an office in Sydney, Australia and a brother firm, Serge PR, in New York (with whom they share a symbiotic relationship), but it was in their Los Angeles office where I had the pleasure of chatting with Siri. Tucked away in the Hollywood area, the exterior is modern, built of concrete and glass, but the interior is warmly decorated, relaxed and inviting. Photos, covers and magazine tear-sheets proudly plaster the entry wall. Siri and her agents were hard at work when I walked in.
Siri had agreed to share with us a day in the life of a public relations agent. Before formal introductions, I was first struck by how gorgeous Siri is (again, nerves). But then she smiled, introduced herself and it was quickly apparent how welcoming and friendly she is, possessing an unassumingly confident air about her. Within minutes I understood how much she adores her clients and loves her career as a public relations executive. A professional through and through, Siri is the master of the 'pitch': making her clients sound as awesome as they truly are.
In Siri's mind, the goal of a strong PR firm is to give one-on-one attention to each of their clients, addressing their individual wants. They shape and guide their client's public image through a collaboration with the artist. "Often clients have an idea of how they want to present themselves to the world. If they don't, we help with guidance and consultation." Though Siri has rarely faced negative press with a client, their public image must be finessed in good times and bad; if news is negative, the agency needs to swiftly address the press in order to limit the damage to their client's reputation. As you can imagine, this type of service requires 24/7 attention.
A client's public image is maintained in many various forms of media, including blogs, websites, TV shows, magazines, newspapers and of course, social media platforms including Instagram and Snapchat. When an artist – actor, singer or author – finds themselves in a recurring role on the small screen, a supporting role, or having just signed a record or a book deal, it becomes time to seek out representation. The relationship must be a good fit and the PR agent must understand the direction the client wants to move in. Once that understanding is established, the PR agency can begin promoting their client.
The initial promotion is called a pitch, in which the PR agency encourages various media outlets to feature their clients. To move past the pitch, Siri must also maintain strong relationships with those involved in the media to ensure that her clients have a platform to interact with their audience. The environment is incredibly fast-paced as deadlines occur constantly with ongoing updates of the client’s news. Underneath it all, much of Siri’s day simply revolves around creating and maintaining relationships.
Siri broke down her anything-but-typical day for us:
Good morning! Siri starts her day at 8:30 AM by checking emails for any pressing matters. Over the next few hours, she catches up with her clients and addresses their needs. In addition, she actively pitches to editors looking for a resource to share client news and updates.
Lunch for two or three or four? Client meetings are usually held in her office, as they like the relaxed vibe, but she will also meet at a client’s manager’s office. But lunch meetings change daily – sometimes with magazine editors or other industry professionals to develop and maintain relationships, sometimes with a prospective client and/or their manager to see if the agency is a good fit. Although most lunches are in, when she does eat out, her favorite meeting spots include El Coyote, IZaKaya, Katsura and American Rag Cafe.
At the end of the interview with Siri, I found myself less nervous, but even more in awe. We finished our meeting with a photo shoot for Luca, during which Siri’s husband walked in with their adorable four-year-old daughter in tow. Autumn Jean (A.J.) bounced into a few of the shots and the Luca team’s collective hearts melted. It was obvious how close the mother and daughter are. So how does she do it all? Siri replied thoughtfully, "I have an amazing team who support me and an awesome husband. I couldn't do it alone!" And above all, her daughter A.J. helps her get through my hardest days.