This former tour assistant for Michael Bolton certainly has come a long way. Meet the mullet-impervious Sarah Hall, PR mom for skateboarders and full-figured models alike.
Describe your company. Sarah Hall Productions is an award-winning, full-service PR firm in New York's NoHo. Our client roster includes authors, athletes (skateboarder Tony Hawk), models (Emme, Vendela), fashion designers (Lauren Sara - maternity designer to A-list celebs), and more.
What do you do? I started SHP about eight years ago. I'm still very hands-on, attending photo shoots, events, and traveling to LA constantly to meet with clients, managers, and agents.
How did you get into PR? My career in the entertainment world included stints at Ford Models, the William Morris Agency (assisting legendary music agent Jonny Podell), and as Michael Bolton's personal tour assistant at the height of his fame. Eventually, I wanted to work on the personal and professional aspects of a client's career. PR felt like a very good fit for me.
What was your best pitch? After being rebuffed by every East Coast media outlet I pitched Tony Hawk to back in 1998, I targeted the business press. The pitch was, "Here's a guy who wakes up in the morning, but instead of driving to the office, this clean-cut, soft-spoken husband/dad drives to the half-pipe to support his family." It worked. It was interesting without being weird, and eventually led to bigger features in mainstream outlets.
What's the most daring thing you've ever done? Taking a client with me to get a tattoo in LA, only to chicken out. I'm not sure if it was more gutsy to get the tattoo or to back out in front of my client.
What is the biggest item you've ever put on expenses? As I'm the boss, everything is approved, or so my accountant tells me.
What do you wish you hadn't said to the media? "My client is never late." Of course, I said it the one day his car service got lost.
What is your greatest achievement? Professionally, building an agency from scratch that really makes a difference and taking a plus-size model and a skateboarder that no one would give the time of day to, and make them both pop culture icons. Personally, marrying my husband and having an incredible baby boy.
Who would you most like to work with? I love a challenge. Trying to turn around the career of a celebrity who's gotten a bad rap - Demi Moore comes to mind - would be just that.
Which historical figure would you most like to represent? Most historical figures didn't seem to need publicists. However, being a publicist in the old days of Hollywood would have been very exciting as you were literally "building" an image and hence a career. It must have been very glamorous at the time.
Name one thing about your past people would be surprised to learn. I baby-sat (a teenage) Rachel Hunter a number of times when Eileen Ford was having dinner parties at her townhouse where Rachel lived at the time. I look at Rachel now and say, "I could not have baby-sat her, I'm not that old!"
What is the secret of your success? I really love what I do and find my clients fascinating. I couldn't imagine doing this job - or any other - if I felt differently.