Welcome to Magnetic’s Industry Focus, a series where we highlight the major players working behind the scenes of the EDM biz. These are the folks running the record labels, representing the artists, promoting the shows and just getting it done. They may not get the shine of the DJs on stage, but they work just as hard making sure the parties are packed, the music is perfect and that the artists are where they need to be. We’ve decided to shine the light on the behind the scenes movers and shakers.
Meet Jenni Weinman - Owner of The Current Co. PR & Media Company.
How did you begin your career in PR?
I sort of fell into it. I always thought I would be an attorney and when I slept through the tests I knew that wasn’t it. I did some interning at MTV and CBS while I was a student at USC, in both their media relations departments and thought,.. well this is interesting. I didn’t know the first thing about what “it” was or what I was supposed to be doing. I knew I was social and well spoken and I used that as a way to go out and meet people. I ended up working for a woman named Sue Patricola who was a gift to me she hired me and let me fly, I quickly started meeting people and building a business.
You now run your own PR Consulting firm, The Current Co. In brief – tell us a bit about the company and how you got here?
The Current Co is a full service PR and consultation company. We offer a menu of services tailor made for each client and their needs. We not only specialize in what one may call traditional PR for both actors, musicians and DJ’s but we also offer media training and crisis control for large corporations, documentary film makers, EDM festivals and multiple sports teams. We also offer one off services for brand new DJ’s or already established DJ’s as they work a single or a record.
What is a day in the life like for you?
No two days are really the same. I am a wife and a mother so my mornings start really early. When my daughter is eating breakfast I usually start the first of my emails, I am then at yoga by 8am and I usually get into my office around 10 am. I read all the online news as well as the paper. I get caught up on what’s happening in and around pop culture and the industry. I have a series of standing calls with long time clients and strategy meetings if there is a film, TV show or single or record to work. I usually have a scheduled lunch with different associates or people I want to get to know. But there is also the unknown factor of the day since I also operate a crisis management team, I could get one call that changes the entire direction of the day especially if its something that required me to leave the office early and consult on. I generally leave my office around 6 go home to meet the family and one or two nights a week there is usually something I have to be at, be it a concert a premiere or a talk show. Luckily my husband is in the business (photographer Erik Voake) so we work together tons, making the job even more fun.
What are the most exciting aspects of your job?
Getting to meet really interesting artistic creative people. Dinner parties with tons of different creative types from all sorts of creative fields including arts and books, but the summer music festival circuit are always really great fun. I am always looking for new DJ’s and bands.
What are the biggest challenges?
Personalities. The different personalities of the business minds and the creative ones who are on the same team. There is a management of expectations and then there is reality. Sometimes that’s a challenge.
If you could offer advice to someone just starting out, what would it be?
For the business side I would say you only have one chance to do it right, take time to learn and listen, ask questions, be informed, meet people – and be nice. Everything we do in this business is built on relationships. Preserve them and treat people well. From the artistic side I would say always create and grow and be open to it. Always look ahead, it’s the people with the for site to see how the business is changing that are able to grow and change with it while still being relevant and cool to multiple generations.
Have you always been passionate about pursuing a career that involved music?
I was always interested in Film and TV so it always seemed natural for me to work in that environment and that is where I began my career. As I grew my business I slowly started to represent DJs and musicians- it’s was the natural next step and it was fun and exciting in a different way then TV. I have always been passionate about music from a fans perspective, which made it really fun to work in.
How important is PR in the development of an artist/celebrity?
Incredibly important, when the time is right. A lot of times people put out one thing and think they need press or a publicist right away but that usually isn’t the case. There is an entire strategy that goes into a press campaign to ensure longevity in what it is you are trying to accomplish. It’s not uncommon to work on an album roll out for over a year. There is strategy in placement, songs, video premieres and interviews to be done.
How has social media helped or hindered the industry?
Both. It’s literally the beauty and the beast. You can see how well it works for people who know how to use it and create original content as well as market themselves with their team. It’s a beast at how fast is moves. As a result of that, we have a new generation of people that operate in bites and photos, as a result of that their attention span isn’t very long so there is a need to continually push out new content to keep relevant and stay current, and that becomes exhausting for some – its literally like a part time job for artists to manage their content.
Favorite song of all time?
Hard to have one so it’s a draw. Terrapin Station Medley 1977 by the Grateful Dead (sidebar the entire album Europe 72 makes me incredibly happy, though Terrapin station is on a different album) and Indifference by Pearl Jam.
If you weren’t in the music biz, where could we find you?
At a beach in Hawaii with my family.