Describe the company you work for Paramount's Great America is Northern California's most thrilling theme park. We are the eighth-largest park in California. Our offices are right here at the park, and we have approximately 170 full-time staff, and hire 2,400 seasonal associates who work in the park during the season, from March through October. Our focus is to make people smile by taking them away from the everyday.
What do you do? We have a team of three PR pros. Our primary focus is media relations, especially when the park is open. In the summer, we average about four news crews a week, ranging from Bay Area media to national cable shows. Ninety percent of the coverage is fun - we just celebrated the 25th birthday of one of our coasters - but we also protect the image of the park and handle issues, crisis, and community relations.
How did you get into PR? My father is an anchor/reporter for NBC in Denver, so I grew up around the media. As kids, no one ever told us we couldn't watch television; it paid the bills at our house. After completing a summer internship in the newsroom at my dad's station, I decided I was better suited for the PR side of things.
What was your best stunt? I was at the Housewares Show in Chicago, and my goal was to get the client, Waterpik Misting Massage Showerheads, on a national morning news program. The media room at the show wouldn't let PR people in, so I sat outside the door and wrote down the names of the reporters who came by. It was only about 10 minutes before Dick DeBartolo, Good Morning America's gadget guy, walked in.
I called every hotel in the event guide, found out where he was staying, and had the bellman hand-deliver the showerhead to his room. The next morning, the Misting Massage Showerhead was on the air, and I had a voicemail from Dick DeBartolo congratulating me on non-intrusively getting his attention.
What's the most daring thing you've ever done? My first day of work, the park's coaster enthusiast took me on a tour, and insisted that I ride the Stealth roller coaster. Little did I know, Stealth inverts riders so they get the sensation they are flying (like Superman) the entire ride.
My tour guide graciously offered to hold my shoes so they wouldn't fly off, and reassured me the ride only lasted two minutes. That was the first (and last) day I wore a silk skirt and heels on the job.
Who would you most like to work with? My dad. He's a wonderful inspiration and teacher.
Name one thing about your past people would be surprised to learn In high school, I was the VP of Future Homemakers of America. Yikes!