Chris Rossi, partner at CORE PR GROUP in Los Angeles, started out on “the other side” of the public relations world as a dancer and actor. From a young age, he developed a fascination with the way people are seen in the public eye. “When I was younger, I remember watching an awards show and hearing one of the hosts make a joke that just wasn’t funny; it was offensive. After hearing that, I thought about how this one joke will shape the way the public perceives that person forever.” Because Rossi’s mother was a dancer, he was immersed in the entertainment world early on. Currently, Rossi has spent his professional life exploring the importance of strategic messaging and image management.
Rossi’s sharp, persistent personality has led him to start a personal publicity agency for actors, actresses, musicians, brands, and production companies. What began as Rossi Public Relations in 2008 has now doubled in size and formed into a new agency called CORE PR GROUP with offices in both Los Angeles and Nashville. CORE PR GROUP’s creative and strategic publicity campaigns have brought some of the country’s most well-known talent into the public eye. “On most accounts or teams, there is a manager, agent and publicist working on a campaign. It is the team’s job to strategize the client’s campaign in the right direction to ensure the desired results.”
Rossi began working with his first client as a freelance agent before starting CORE PR GROUP. Actress Bailee Madison, 13, has been in 18 films, including Just Go with It, along side Jennifer Aniston and Adam Sandler; Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark opposite Katie Holmes; and most recently, Parental Guidance opposite Billy Crystal and Bette Midler. As Rossi’s first client, success came from communication with Madison’s family, as well as her team at CORE PR Group, as each step of her career progressed, in turn, triggering her own publicity plan to include different modes of reaching audiences. Madison’s publicity campaign has landed her on national television talk shows, including “The View” and “Katie Couric” as well as six appearances on “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.” Madison received a Critic’s Choice Award nomination for Best Young Actor for her role in Brothers along side Tobey Maguire, Jake Gyllenhal and Natalie Portman.
According to Rossi, “Brainstorming and figuring objectives and planning for release dates helps to connect the dots so that it is one organic, flowing campaign.” Rossi also suggests being aware of the studio’s direction because you need to work in conjunction with the studios, not against them. To achieve maximum exposure, pitch with an interesting angle when booking clients for television or talking with media such as magazines and newspapers; think outside the box. If they say no, go back and pitch again with a new, fresh angle to try to convince them of your perspective.
Chris describes personal public relations as a job in which he wears many hats. For anyone looking to delve into the personal public relations world, here is an expert’s advice:
- Have will power and the right mindset
- Always listen and treat people with kindness
- Have respect for everyone
- Be persistent and don’t take no for an answer