Adrenaline PR, a boutique marketing, public relations and branding agency founded by publicity powerhouse Maria Ferrero, was formed to represent and cultivate some of today's hottest talent.
Q: Tell us a little about yourself and your experience.
Hi! I’m Natalie Camillo, a six-year senior publicist and campaign manager at Adrenaline PR. In addition, I occasionally assist our CEO Maria Ferrero with clerical tasks related to her management firm with Chuck Billy and Jon Zazula, Breaking Bands LLC.
I’m originally from a small country town in southwestern Maryland where heavy metal music was sparsely enjoyed amongst an overload of Top 40, country music, rap, Hot Topic punk rock (think NOFX and Green Day), and Nickelback. At 18, I began attending York College of Pennsylvania where I studied Mass Communications with a focus in Music Industry and Recording Technology, and spent most of my time working at the college radio station, WVYC. In the interest of being brief, my time at the radio station as a program director and heavy metal music director helped me make connections that provided me with several internship and work opportunities (Heavy Hitter Inc., The Syndicate, Relapse Records, MetalSucks, 98.5 The Peak - Hanover, PA), which ultimately lead me to my current career path.
Q: What drove you to choose your career path?
I’ve always been a fan of music, but working in the college radio station really helped introduce me to the business side of things. Once I realized I could make my love for music a career option (and one that I’d be good at), I needed to see it through to fruition.
Q: How did you go about getting your job? What kind of education and experience did you need?
Back in my college days I would set up interviews for my station with a former employee here, and around graduation I learned he was leaving his position at Adrenaline PR. Via referral from said individual, I came in for an interview and the rest is history!
We tend to look for passion and experience in the industry here more than proof of higher education. Honestly – and this comes from someone with a degree – a diploma isn’t a stamp of intelligence and doesn’t always translate into common sense, logic, attention to detail and passion. In my opinion, those are things that you need to truly succeed in any career. That being said, I’d say that my experience garnered in internships and work experience, in addition to general knowledge and connections in the industry/genre, helped me secure this position.
Q: What do you actually spend the majority of your time doing?
Short answer: working my booty off and making things happen. If I took the time to sit here and tell you everything I do in a week, you’d be looking at a “I need to take a bathroom break before I finish reading this” answer.
Q: What misconceptions do people often have about your job?
That it’s all parties and hanging out with rock stars. Do we go to parties? Yes. Do I stay late? No, I’m tired. Do we deal with bonafide rock stars on a day-to-day basis? Yes. But it’s about building businesses and brands than hanging out with famous people. When I answer the phone and the singer of your favorite rock band of all time is on the other line telling me that he has to take his kid to school so he needs to reschedule his interview with Rolling Stone, I’m not Snapchatting my conversation and dancing silently with receiver up to my ear. This is my client. You become a close associate to these people, who just like me, are trying to get their jobs as musicians done. A live gig to them is a day at the office to me. Once you begin looking at everything like that, the glitz isn’t as prominent.
Now, am I saying this job isn’t the coolest ever? No, it definitely is the coolest ever. During my time at this job, I will see and do things and work in close quarters with musicians that people around the world will only ever daydream of seeing live from the nosebleed section. But, at the end of the day, this is a job just like any other – phone calls, spreadsheets, solving problems, reporting to those that hire you, etc.
Q: What are your average work hours?
ALWAYS. Kidding. I’m generally in the office for eight hours a day, give or take a half hour to an hour here and there, and am typically on email when we aren’t here. Depends on how busy we are and if it’s a heavy touring season. We also travel to work events (festivals, award shows, etc.) and attend local shows, which is technically working.
Q: What personal tips and shortcuts have made your job easier?
Work tasks wise: stay organized with time management and pay attention to detail. In addition, understand that not everyone is as sharp as the next guy, so sometimes you just have to ELI5 (Explain Like I’m Five – see reddit). Explaining directions in detail (not to be confused with relentless repetition, however) has saved me on multiple occasions.
Emotionally: try not to take negative things too seriously. There will always be something and if I let everything bother me, I will burn myself out. Oh, and understand that some people actually think they are Jesus H. Christ resurrected from the dead. Attitudes are rampant in entertainment and you just have to roll with it. Finally, learning to be very matter of fact in my judgment of situations and avoiding letting my emotions or opinions seep into that judgment has been a godsend, and I think everyone eventually learns this. To be completely transparent, I think I’m still working on tackling that completely, but I’m not even 30 yet – give me some time!
Q: What do you do differently from your peers in the same profession?
I don’t take myself too seriously or walk around with a chip on my shoulder. A lot of people do. I’m a publicist. I represent rock stars. I’m not an actual rock star. More people on the business side need to remind themselves of that fact more often.
Q: Do you have any advice for people who need to enlist your services?
Have your shit together before you come to us, and make sure what you want promoted is actually worth being promoted. I’m saying this because we want to see bands be savvy with their money and time rather than squander it on services that they aren’t ready for. We’re cool like that. We are definitely going to tell you to come back to us when you have more going on if you come to us looking for promotion on an EP that you released from you mom’s basement four years ago with no distro or touring planned, in addition to having a total of 17 Facebook fans and not knowing what the term “one sheet” means.
Q: What's the worst part of the job and how do you deal with it?
There isn’t anything truly negative about my job. If there were, I wouldn’t be here.
Q: What's the most enjoyable part of the job?
My favorite thing is traveling to visit clients and working on-site at events (although I dislike flying, so you tell me how that makes sense). I also enjoy the fact that we work in a relaxed, open environment where we are free to be creative and live as the people that we are and work for a CEO who builds us up as individuals. And no, I’m not sucking up. It’s true!
Q: What kind of money can one expect to make at your job?
Geez – do you want to know if I vote Republican too? Kidding. I’ll answer this generally.
I think it really depends on what kind of company or business you work for and how much of a go-getter you are. A corporate label is going pay differently and perhaps offer different incentives and benefits than a similar company of a smaller size, roster and staff. Along the same lines, if you prove yourself in your job, you could end up making more than the person next to you. I don’t think there’s a set number.
Q: How do you move up in your field?
Connections and hard work.
Q: What advice would you give to those aspiring to join your profession?
Work hard, love what you do, and don’t give up on what you truly desire for yourself.