Tuesday, December 20, 2011

NEW VIDEO: Carrie Whitney, Publicist

Publicist Carrie Whitney discusses what it's like to be an independent publicist with group of high school students at Grady High School in Atlanta.  In this 44 minute talk, Carrie covers a brief history of Public Relations including a story of Edward Bernays and how he went from creating war propaganda to creating the very first "Flash Mob".

Carrie received very complimentary comments from the students.  Here are some the things they had to say about her talk:
  • I want you to know that your time did not go to waste. I am considering being a publicist.     --De'Avis
  • I'm hoping to build a network with you because I am in the process of opeing my own store.     --Mercedes
  • You were very informative and interesting. I appreciate you and have the utmost respect for you.     --Shayla
  • You seem to like you have a wonderful and interesting career.     --Jamil
  • You have come a long way and it would be an honor of mine to hear you speak more so I can gain more knowledge.     --Terrance 

Friday, December 16, 2011

Carrie Whitney: The Life of a Publicist

Carrie Whitney: The Life of a Publicist
By Ben Gross

Not everyone gets to be his or her own boss. Publicist Carrie Whitney does. Whitney recently shared some of her stories and experiences as a freelance publicist with a group of students at Grady High.

Whitney told the class about what being a publicist is all about. She began by letting the students know that while public relations began as a field less than 100 years ago, it is now a program offered by a host of colleges and universities. Publicists’ chief task, Whitney said, is to use their skill as writers to promote their clients in the media – and to ensure that their clients’ reputations remain favorable.

Sometimes, this can be a challenge (especially the latter part), but that only adds to the thrill of public relations, Whitney said. Whitney spoke about another interesting element of PR: while marketers must pay for advertising spots in the media, publicist’s press releases are actually desired by the media and their contents are published for free. As we all know (probably from personal experience!), the public loves to know about what’s going on in their city, in the operations of businesses they like, and in the lives of their favorite celebrities; publicists are responsible for conveying this information to the media, which then makes it publicly available.

Whitney shared that publicists can work freelance like her, or become full time employees of businesses, institutions, or individual clients (for instance, Madonna has her own full time publicist). Each day brings a new challenge, Whitney said, “and I constantly find myself learning something new.” Whitney’s work as a publicist lets her become involved in a wide range of projects and work with a host of clients. She told the students about her work promoting a new energy drink, “Chuse,” which will hit Atlanta stores in the near future; handling what the industry terms ‘crisis management’ for an author who wrote an article that was taken out of context and began to receive some bad press; and working closely with Atlanta officials and business persons to promote local events like the Dogwood Festival. Whitney spoke about some of the unique advantages of working in public relations. She has contacts with journalists and employees at large media organizations both in Atlanta and New York City and she regularly receives invitations to high-profile events, like celebrity fundraisers and sporting events.

Whitney also talked to the students about what it means to be freelance. She told the students that she has the ability to work on her own schedule – she can sleep in and work late, or get up extra early and take the afternoon off – and she can often work at home in her slippers or with a coffee and muffin at Starbucks.

Whitney said that while there are perks to a salaried job – notably a bit more consistency in hours and pay – she could not imagine giving up the freedom and excitement of freelance work. Freelance work may not be for everyone, Whitney said, but for those who thrive on variety, unpredictability, and a good challenge, it offers a rewarding alternative to a more traditional career.

Friday, December 9, 2011

New Full-Lengh VIdeo: Mark Fogarty

Presented here is the entire 22 minute talk Mark Fogarty recently delivered to the Grady High School class about changes in Journalism. We call Mark's talk,  Getting in Touch with your Inner Genius.  In this clip, Mark tells the young adults that everyone has an “inner genius,” a uniquely personal skill set that enables them to stand out from the crowd and shine.  Mark is an editor for SourceMedia, a company that publishes dozens of business newspapers, magazines, newsletters, and websites.


  • After listening to you presentation, I have a better understanding of journalism and how important it is to our society.
  • Thank you for coming all this way from New York just to speak to us.
  • I think that journalism sounds like an interesting career to have and I might want to do that in the future.
  • I found your presentation very interesting and beneficial because I plan on majoring in communications for college.
  • I thank you with all my heart for the inspiration that you gave to us.
  • I loved your presentation, especially the giving away of the Kindle even thought I didn't win it.
  • Thank you for all the advice and for taking the time out to come and speak.
  • I want to start a better life so I can become some one just like you.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Don Cornwell: Top Ten List for Career Success

Don Cornwell: Top Ten List for Career Success
by Ben Gross

A previous speaker told us that we all have an inner genius, a personal set of skills that makes us unique, which helps us find work that we enjoy and in which we excel.

So, how do we know what our inner genius is?  For some of us, that’s easy.  We may have been playing golf since we were 3 or solving complex differential equations before we knew that the Tooth Fairy didn’t exist.

Still, for a lot of us, finding our inner genius is a little bit more complicated.  That’s where Don Cornwell comes in.

Don is the Associate Director at the Emory University Career Center, and he spends his days working with college students to help them discover what it is that they will find rewarding as a career.

Don recently came to Grady High to speak with the students about the process of laying the groundwork for a successful career.  Don began by telling the students that he himself did not know what he wanted to do for a long time; he said that in his experience working with college students, it’s common not to “know what you want to be when you grow up.”  Don explained that even if you don’t know exactly what you want to do, there are certain practices which will help guide you in the right direction.

Doing his best Dave Letterman imitation, Don presented the students with a Top Ten List for Career Success:

  1.  Believe in yourself 
  2.  Become a life long learner 
  3.  Be ethical…in everything you do 
  4.  Listen to your heart 
  5.  Get experience 
  6.  Challenge yourself 
  7.  Appreciate diversity 
  8.  Build relationships, find mentors 
  9.  Make good grades/Do good work 
  10. Be a team player and develop leadership skills

And, he told the students to always keep an eye open for opportunities and to approach every situation with enthusiasm and dedication.  Don told the class: “if you do your best and make the most of every opportunity, one thing tends to lead to another and good things are never too far away.”  

Mark Fogarty: Getting in Touch with your Inner Genius

Mark Fogarty: Getting in Touch with your Inner Genius
by Ben Gross

Everyone has an “inner genius,” a uniquely personal skill set that enables them to stand out from the crowd and shine.  Mark Fogarty, an editor with New York based SourceMedia, recently delivered this message to a group of students at Grady High School in Atlanta.

Fogarty discussed a slate of ideas and issues, ranging from stories of his own past to experiences and insights he has gained as an editor for a nationwide trade magazine.  He told the students that finding one’s first job and the process of sending out resumes is in large part a number’s game – he told the students that when he was looking for a job, he sometimes had to send out upwards of 100 resumes before receiving an interview, and then only for every ten interviews would he receive a job offer.   His message: don’t get discouraged by rejection, because it’s all but inevitable, just keep at it.

Fogarty talked to the students about the increasingly fast rate of change in today’s world.  As an example, he quoted the Atlanta based band Outkast and their song, “Hey Ya,” which features the lyrics, “Shake it like a Polaroid picture,” telling the students that someday soon, high school students may have no idea what a Polaroid picture is, now that the Polaroid instant camera has been discontinued.  He further gave an example from his own industry, telling the students that in the not-too-distant future, high school students may not even know what a newspaper is – considering how quickly e-media is growing!

Amidst his suggestions to stay enthusiastic and dedicated in spite of rejection and change, Fogarty continued to return to the idea of the inner genius.  Fogarty told the students that they all have a special talent to contribute to the world, and he stated that in his experience, so long as one works hard, pursues what they enjoy, surrounds themselves with people who give them positive energy, and continues to hone their talents (all of which amount to bolstering the inner genius), anyone and everyone can change the world.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Publicist Carrie Whitney to Speak at Grady High Dec. 8th

Atlanta Publicist, Carrie Whitney will speak at Grady High School December 8th about her career in marketing as part of the Grady Talks speakers series. 

Carrie has been associated with the marketing and event production agency, of PennHouse Productions for the past 10 years.   She also works with Launch Atlanta as well as on solo projects.  Carrie's name can be found on numerous press releases announcing art opening in the Atlanta area. She's worked on Atlanta Dogwood Festival, Museum of Design Atlanta, PEASANT bistro, Chuice Raw Food in a Bottle, Grant Park Summer Shade Festival and Caring for Others a homelessness prevention organization.

Additionally, Carrie has been a research assistant history teacher at Georgia State University. In 2010 she graduated from GSU with a Masters in Public Health.