“What do you do all day? Write press releases and go to newsrooms?” asked my friend over mimosas a few weeks ago. It was not the first time I heard this query. As a PR practitioner, I encounter this question often – my friends and family have no clue what the hell I do.
Then, I got an idea.
Why not highlight the lives and days of fellow Communication professionals, namely women, who were doing the damn thing? And, what better way to explain to the world what our profession entails on a daily basis than to start a blog series? Contrary to popular belief, we’re not all Samantha Jones’ or Kellyanne Conway’s.
Thus, I’m excited to launch PR Girl In DC’s newest feature series, #RealPRGirls! Moving forward, we will take you through the days of women working in public relations and marketing – what they wear, where they lunch and how they spend their days.
Whether you’re a budding PR practitioner, mid-level professional looking for a career change, or just interested in what fellow PR pros are up to, make sure to stay tuned.
If you’re still reeling from last week’s Oscar excitement, you’ll love our debut feature! This week, I spoke with someone who was in the middle of the action – Jana Khamo, Social Media Director for the FOX TV show Dish Nation. Check out her day at the Oscar’s below!
My day at the 89th Academy Awards actually began weeks ahead of time. First, you’re probably wondering how I was able to cover the Oscars in the first place, so let me introduce myself. My name is Jana Khamo, and I am the Social Media Director for the FOX TV show Dish Nation. I create social media strategies, cover red carpet events when needed and implement a slew of PR techniques to get the most out of our content.
In the weeks leading up to the Oscars, we received a series of emails with all the logistics from formal attire requirements to parking information, and — what seemed to be — an endless scroll of restrictions. I scored my first peek at the storied Red Carpet on the Thursday before the Oscars. The Dish Nation production team and I were able to get a lay of the land to best plan our approach. We grabbed our show credentials, and went to scout the terrain.
The Academy is serious about NO PHOTOGRAPHING OF CREDENTIALS – NO EXCEPTIONS! No posting of the credentials on any medium is allowed, and if found out, the offending person would not be allowed to attend. Although snapping a selfie with my badge was instinctively the first thing anyone would want to do, I was careful to avoid it. Actually no photographs were allowed anywhere except in the red carpet area so and I took a few reference photos to share with the rest of the team.
Okay, I took a selfie too. After securing my badge I discovered the Dish Nation space on the red carpet and we were ready for the big day!
The real fun (wink, wink) started Saturday as I began my prep for the event. I visited my former client and celebrity hairstylist, John Francis, for cut, color & pre-style.
Fast-forward to Sunday afternoon, and I’m on my way to the event. Press parking was designated to a nearby garage, and they shuttled us to the venue from there. Upon entering the Dolby Theater, we faced two levels of security. First, our badges were scanned to make sure they were valid. Second, we had to go through metal detectors and belongings and equipment checked. I breezed through, found my team and got to work. I took photos and video of our host Andrew Freund to post in real time on Dish Nation’s social media platforms as he was filming B-roll for our show. If you don’t know, B-roll is supplemental footage that is added to the interviews. Check below for the link to the clip. When we were finished I was able to have a little time for my own photos.
Press was allowed approximately one hour on the carpet before they lock us into place. Once that time arrived, we were ready to get down to business. We had three people covering all the social media aspects of the Oscars. One team member was at home pulling photos from Getty Images to post on Twitter as celebs arrived. One of the associate producers at the event with me helped by posting Instagram stories and I worked on getting still photos, video, Facebook Live and Instagram Live coverage. Probably the coolest photo I took was of Pharrell glancing up at me.
The buzz and electricity on the red carpet at the Oscars cannot be described! So, I decided to capture it in a gif!
We were there for almost 6 hours, but it flew by. As we came to the end of the red carpet action our team decided to take one last photo.
The next day, our senior producer sent us screen grabs of all the celebrities we interviewed. Then, the Dish Nation social media team tagged each celebrity on Twitter with the goal of alerting them and their fans to watch the interviews. And finally, drum-roll please… here is the final product!
Exhausting day, but well worth it. Ciao for now!