So I have the pleasure of indirectly working with Erin, as she has the exact position I have working on MAC Cosmetics, also owned by Estee Lauder Companies. Everyone has at least one MAC beauty product in their makeup bag—the brand is super coveted and the Viva Glam campaign has changed the face of cause related marketing. I’m a huge fan of the brand, but an even bigger fan of the PR machine that is behind this powerhouse beauty brand, of which Erin is a part of. I was thrilled to have scored a Spotlight with her, as you all have been asking for someone from MAC PR, but after reading Erin’s Q&A, I feel very lucky to know her and to call her a colleague, per se, as she has incredible insight and is a true PR pro in every sense of the word. So, meet Erin…
Name: Erin McCaffrey Nenadich
Position/Company: Executive Director, M·A·C Global Communications (North America)
Where did you go to school? Binghamton University
What was your major? Literature and Rhetoric
First internship—what were your responsibilities? I interned at a tiny PR company in London while studying abroad; answering phones, putting together press mailers and getting lunch for everyone. I quickly learned that “chuna on gran-ery” meant tuna on whole wheat bread.
First job—what did you learn or take away from this experience? After graduating, I began temping as a receptionist at Kaplow Communications. There was plenty of work to go around and I volunteered to help wherever appropriate, which allowed me to prove myself beyond my temp role. It must have made a good impression because Liz (Kaplow) hired me to work full time after two months. I was very lucky to have the chance to work on the brands that I did for my first job (Shiseido and Cle de Peau Beaute). You should never be passive in your career, if you want to work on something, ask to work on it. The worst someone can say is no.
Did you move to NY to pursue your career in PR? Yes, there is no better city for beauty PR than NYC.
Favorite part of your job? Getting to work for M·A·C is a dream, no day is the same and our team is incredibly talented. The projects we work on are exciting; we go from and Azealia Banks performance at Fashion’s Night Out to backstage at Prabal Gurung to Paris for a press trip. The rush of a feature story coming out that you slaved over is the best!
Least favorite part of your job? The M·A·C mantra is All Ages, All Races, All Sexes. With us, there’s something for everyone, which means we talk to a lot of different media outlets. Balancing the stories we want to tell with specific media can be a challenge. As the media landscape changes, so do expectations regarding exclusives and advance stories, so it keeps us on our toes.
Favorite brands (brands you think are launching great PR campaigns)? Apple, hands down. They have barely released the new iPad or iPhone and people are speculating, buzzing about the next one. I love how they seemingly keep the launch date a secret too. What I wouldn’t give for 30 mins with the head of PR?!
Biggest accomplishment so far in your career? For the past 6 months, I’ve been spearheading the global launch for M·A·C Carine Roitfeld. Seeing all of the long lead coverage break over the last couple of weeks has been awesome.
Biggest lesson learned to date in your career? Stay positive; a good attitude is sometimes all you need to get your foot in the door.
Who were/are your mentors? Mentors are incredibly important, they can help you grow professionally and personally, provide perspective in challenging situations, connect you to new jobs and people. I try to always find something to take away from a boss or colleague. Look for people with talents and traits that you don’t have and learn from their example.
Best work advice? My Dad once told me, “You will never get promoted to a job you’re not already doing.”
As a publicist, you can’t live without your… relationships, they’re everything.
In order to succeed in PR, you… need to be outgoing enough to hold a conversation with anyone, but buttoned up enough to manage a 15 page event run of show.
If you weren’t a publicist, you’d be… an event planner, I’m freakishly organized. An editor friend, who I’ve traveled with on several press trips once told me I was the most “frighteningly efficient” person she’d ever met.
Follow Erin on Twitter at @erinmccaffrey or her brand M·A·C at @maccosmetics.