Talking PR with Morgan Moss

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Morgan Moss is the head of one of North America's top PR agencies, running and co-owning her firm, MPR.

Graduating from SFU in Vancouver, Moss initially worked in film and production before transitioning to PR, and starting her own firm with business partner Mieka Tennant. “I graduated from SFU with a communications degree, so had studied PR and knew it was something I was interested in. I then worked in film for quite a while on the production side before deciding I wanted to meld my two passions, PR and the entertainment industry. My partner Mieka, who had a similar background, and I launched the company shortly after that.”

For the uninitiated PR can seem like a magical world of magazine interviews and tv shows. Morgan explained what she does for a client at her firm. “There are so many layers to what we do and that’s what I love about it. We specialize in the entertainment industry so we represent primarily actors and assist them in promoting their upcoming projects such as the release of a film or TV series.” When an actor is beginning to break out in the industry, their first big projects are crucial. Moss and her company work to boost the profiles of their clients, using all modes of media. “We pitch them to the press and secure interviews for them in all forms of media. We’re very involved in every aspect of their public persona so we also work closely with them and their agents and managers to develop their brand and public voice.”

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Morgan's day to day work life is a hard one to define, with changing hours – especially during award seasons and special events. “The entertainment world is fast-paced and the turnover is quick. We’re constantly working to promote new projects but that’s exciting because it’s a new story every time. We try to keep to regular hours but there are definitely times of the year that are busier than others such as award season or TIFF, and red carpets are usually in the evening.”

Creatively, Moss is able to work with her team at MPR in pitching new projects and concepts to her clients. “We’ve been fortunate to have really wonderful clients who trust our vision and are open to new ideas. We also have an incredibly talented and creative team at MPR. We love art directing photo shoots to showcase our clients in a certain way and putting together creative pitches that are specific to each client and what their PR goals are.” With her clients being predominately actors and those in the film industry, Moss's creative scope has been given plenty of room to play with. “Clients working in the arts are creative by nature and tend to be up for anything. We love to collaborate with them on exciting ways to promote them and enhance their brand.”

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Since starting MPR, social media has changed the way the world shares information and promotion on actors. “Since we started the company almost a decade ago things have changed immensely. So much of how we communicate is through social media now so this plays a large part in what we do. Social media is a great way for our clients to connect with their fans so we offer support and help them grow their fan base in an honest and organic way.”

When I asked Morgan what her favourite form of social media was, she was categorical in her answer. “Definitely Instagram. I love the visual aesthetic it provides.” With the recent influx of new forms of social media, Moss has found the traditional print still works, but isn't the number one form of media in the way it used to be. “Print used to be the most coveted form of publicity but that has changed now with more and more publications moving to the digital form. Now some of our favourite press outlets are digital so I’d say it’s definitely equal if not stronger than print these days.”

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Pitching clients to reporters and publications is part of the job; and one that Moss finds enjoyable. “Pitching is one of my favourite parts of the job and I love the interaction with journalists and publications. We have offices in LA and Vancouver but our media contacts are all across North America and the world. I love that we can all be in completely different places but are working towards the same goal of a great story.” While it's hard to pin down a particular client or campaign that has stood out for Moss, she treats every project with the same importance as the last one. “There are many that stand out. Every new role a client lands is an opportunity for us to do something different with their campaign and we thrive on that challenge. We have some clients who have been with us since the very beginning and it has been amazing to watch their careers grow.”

Though Morgan takes on the large tasks and management of PR for her clients, she still stresses the importance of actors and artists managing their own social media on a day to day basis. “It’s hugely important. Social media is a fantastic way to self promote and offer a unique perspective on your work and personality. Fans love to know what our clients are up to and social media gives them access to who they are beyond the characters they play. With that said, we support our clients in establishing boundaries to maintain an element of privacy and protection on such a public forum.”

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Photography: Noah Asanias
Article by: Mel Riemer
Beauty by Carla Sahagun
Hair by Janis Bekkering