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Otterbein Students Explore Entertainment PR

Otterbein Students Explore Entertainment PR

By Alli Bates ’16

Two public relations students, Alli Bates ‘16 and Kerigan McNamara ’17, were given a once in a lifetime opportunity to travel to Los Angeles, Calif., to explore entertainment public relations opportunities over fall break. Among other things, students met the cast and public relations crew of the TV show Modern Family, observed tapings of the show and met the public relations team of Entertainment Tonight, and spoke with a publicist who has represented Beyoncé, Usher and Alicia Keys.

Each day was packed with adventure. On the days they weren’t meeting with public relations specialists, they were being regular tourists in the midst of L.A. Students were able to see the iconic Hollywood Bowl, eat at In N Out Burger, check out unique juice smoothie bars, visit the Hollywood Walk of Fame and eat a seafood dinner on the Malibu Beach.

“On Monday, we had an appointment at Entertainment Tonight,” said McNamara. “After getting a tour and speaking with the PR team, we were able to meet the crew and hosts. Everyone went out of their way to make sure that our time was memorable. We were practically standing on the stage during the filming and the hosts were talking and joking with us in between takes.”

On another day the PR students were making their way down to stage five of Fox Studios to meet the cast of Modern Family and the Modern Family public relations crew.

“The moment I walked into the building where they film Modern Family I was already star struck,” Bates said. “I was trying so hard to keep my cool. Once we got into the building, Sofia Vergara (Gloria) came through the door and kept repeating her lines to herself. I was freaking out on the inside.”

After Bates and McNamara spoke to the Modern Family PR crew, they saw Ed O’Neill (Jay) and Ty Burrell (Phil). They were able to speak to them for a bit. Afterwards, the PR crew led the student to a script table reading.

“We got the opportunity to attend the table read where the entire cast reads the episode for the first time,” said McNamara. “Every cast member was just a few feet away from us and we sat right next to the writers of the show. Everyone was hilarious and it was absolutely surreal!"

Once the PR students left the Modern Family set, they were on their way to meet with a publicist who has represented R&B and sports stars.  

“It was so cool to hear his career story and how he became a publicist for some of the biggest R&B artists. Listening to him really inspired me,” said Bates.

Could this trip open doors for Bates and McNamara in the entertainment PR world? It might just be in the stars.

Learn more about Otterbein's Public Relations major.