Guest post: Meeting Walt Disney comms boss Matt Grossman
Sean Ball, a PR & Marketing student at Leeds Metropolitan is on a work placement at The Walt Disney Company (TWDC). He caught up with Matt Grossman, Vice President for Publicity, Communications and CSR to talk about a career in public relations. Sean: Marketing or public relations? Matt: Marketing is one to many, whereas public relations as one to one, then to many. Marketers just want to get their message out there, there’s not really a dialogue – think of most advertising for example. Where public relations is concerned there is an argument to make, which makes getting our message out there and presented in the desired way somewhat more challenging.
Sean: Where should social media sit within an organisation? Matt: I think people get caught up in who owns social media. Slice and dice it however you like – as long as your messages are aligned and coherent.
Sean: You started out your career in an agency. Would you recommend that graduates follow your lead? Matt: Agencies compete for intellectual capital. Therefore to thrive in the extremely competitive market, you have to have a rigorous work ethic. Your clients expect exceptional results, and if you don’t deliver, there’s always someone else who will. But the main advantage for a graduate is agencies are always looking for new people.
Sean: What is the opportunity for public relations in a rapidly changing media landscape? Matt: Consumers get their info from so many different sources nowadays. New technology has changed everyone’s mind-set – we no longer look for news, news finds us.
Sean: How do you measure the return on investment of public relations? Matt: Evaluation should consist of comparing the results of your initiatives against the initial objectives of what the initiative wanted to achieve - whether that is awareness, sales, brand elevation, social engagement, tune-in etc.
Sean: What advice do you have you for somebody starting out in their career? Matt: Climbing the ladder is important, but students and young professionals need to look at the importance of inspiration, broadly speaking. The next step in enhancing your career and personal development is not always upward or linear.
Sean’s full interview with Matt Grossman including his personal analysis and comment is posted on TheMet Online.
Sean Ball is a public relations student at the Leeds Metropolitan University. He is currently on placement at The Walt Disney Company, in London, working for the Disney Consumer Products PR team across the EMEA region. You can connect with him via Twitter @SeanPRandM or follow his blog.