Q: What is your current job?
A: I have a public relations and marketing agency called GennComm that specializes in consumer products, children’s entertainment, and the toy industry. We provide strategic communications, including public relations, and social media, as well as strategy and connections, which look a little different for each of our clients. Whether it’s with media or business development, we are using our connections to facilitate powerful collaborations for retail programs, licensing, cross-promotions, and consumer events.
Q: What inspired you to start your own business?
A: I worked doing PR for other companies throughout my 20+ year career, starting with a boutique PR firm right after college. Almost four years later, I became an in house publicist for one of my clients, a large, global toymaker, JAKKS Pacific, where I stayed for 12 years and through 16 acquisitions. That experience firmly cemented my place in the toy business, and during that time I developed extensive relationships with many of the largest companies in the industry, including Disney, Nickelodeon, Sanrio, Universal, Mattel, Hasbro, American Greetings, and many retailers including Walmart, Toys R Us, and QVC. I felt that my relationships and experiences positioned me well for starting my own business.
Q: Why is it important to support other women through organizations like Women in Toys?
A: I am currently a board member of Women in Toys and the organization has been an incredible catalyst for me during the past several years. I have had the opportunity to meet and collaborate with countless influential women with different skillsets. The more senior folks offer mentorship, and the membership is generally open to looking for ways to expand their businesses, as well as new exciting partners. We often work in silos, but within WIT, we work to break those down for women and men. We share information, resources, ideas and connections. Having exposure and access to thought leaders and decision makers in a variety of companies can spark revolutionary ideas, as we’ve seen with our WIT Global Empowerment Initiative we do each year with Walmart, which gives women-owned businesses the opportunity to pitch to and learn from a dozen buyers at the world’s largest retailer. We help connect the dots to move mountains and create opportunities.
Q: What advice would you give girls who want to work in public relations?
A: Think about what you really love doing, products and topics that excite you, and also what you’re really good at, and then find a PR job doing it! If you are passionate about the subject matter, your PR job will become your vocation, and it will be like magic, with your enthusiasm shining through. Network at every opportunity. Build relationships and create your network ASAP. Learn to work smart. Read and learn something new every day. Write effectively and double-check everything. And most importantly, when pitching journalists, be sure to do your homework before writing them. Google their recent and relevant articles, check their Twitter feed, and make your pitch personalized. It’s the difference between making an impact or not.
Contact Genna at (818)839-1461 or email@example.com
19528 Ventura Blvd Suite 707
Tarzana, CA 91356