I recently had the opportunity to chat with Zack Teperman, founder of ZTPR (Zack Teperman Public Relations), a celebrity Public Relations firm based in California. Born and raised in Thornhill, Ontario, Zack grew up in the broadcasting industry where he first started out on many local radio stations such as the Fan 590, KISS 92.5 FM, and z103.5. It was through his experience in the broadcasting industry that Zack became an accredited Canadian blogger, which lead to his career working in the celebrity PR industry, where he was then inspired to start ZTPR. Check out what Zack had to say about his journey here.
- Tell me about ZTPR and how it came to be?
Long-story-short: ZTPR came to be after I was working for a mainly celebrity-based public relations company in Los Angeles for a few years and wanted to branch out on my own and expand my horizons to all different areas of PR and marketing. I also lucked out that the owner of the old company I was working for wanted to cut down on his overall amount of clients he was representing, so I was able to buy out some of his client list from him to help kick start my own firm.
- Was public relations an industry you knew you always wanted to be involved in?
The short answer: Nope! Growing up I always wanted to be a radio disc jockey and be on-air entertaining people. From high school radio to working on-air in Yellowknife and Miami to working on-air at a few stations in Toronto, I did whatever I could to progress my radio career. As time went on, PR and Marketing opportunities kind of came to me in various ways that I couldn’t ignore or say ‘no’ to, and that led me forward on a change of career path to where I am today. Everything happens for a reason, and I couldn’t be more happy and satisfied with the direction my life to this day has gone.
- What has been the biggest challenge you’ve faced thus far in your career?
The biggest challenge was moving from Toronto to Los Angeles years ago when I began working for the other public relations company. I knew nobody really in Hollywood, had minimal media connections in America, and had zero “ins” to events and other gatherings in this new place to begin networking in. But I hustled, I worked, I networked, I created opportunities that weren’t there, and pushed myself forward to overcome that starting challenge.
- Was it an easy transition settling in LA? And what do you miss the most about Canada?
I love traveling and new places. So coming to LA was exciting at first, but then when I had to “get to work.” I had to overcome some challenges to get myself known and settled in this new environment. I have a very positive mindset, so I try to always make the best of any situation. Now I simply love everything about California and it truly does feel like home.
As for Canada — I miss hockey, poutine (and other served only in Canada dishes/treats) and, of course, I miss my family, who are all living in Toronto. But I definitely do not miss the cold or snow. However, I have clients both here in the US and in Canada, so I tend to go back and forth a lot.
- What is the best thing you learned (educational or life lesson) at Seneca College and why? If there is a specific professor or mentor please feel free to share.
Seneca for me was a great overall experience. I was in the radio program, so being able to play around and expand my skills with various equipment really helped me for when I was on-air around the country after I graduated. Teachers (some who I would also consider friends now) such as Jim Carr, Evelyn Macko, Jim Richards, Jim Craig, Jessica Baker and Bruce Marshall, really did a great job in connecting with me on the areas of interest I had, and giving me knowledge through their own personal experiences.
And even though I took mostly broadcasting-related courses at Seneca, the other classes I took (writing, English, marketing/sales), really helped to educate me with a lot of skills that I still use today in running my public relations firm and that I teach to my own employees.
On top of all this, my fellow classmates at Seneca were one of the best things to come out of the program and my time at Seneca@York. Everyone in my year has gone on to do amazing things, and I still keep in contact with a lot of them, as we all help each other still, however, we can. It’s cheesy to say, but the friendships and connections you gain while at college do last a lifetime.
- What is your advice for new professionals starting out their careers in the media/public relations industry?
Network and gain valuable connections. In order to do an outstanding job for your clients (beyond what others can provide), you need to know individuals in the media that will help you with placements, and so it’s very important that you not only gain these valuable connections but also build upon them on every level. Also, PR is not your typical 9-5 type of job, and you have to work with all sorts of personalities. So just learn to be very patient at times, and be prepared for long workdays with very little sleep.
- What are the next steps for both yourself and ZTPR?
Right now ZTPR is quickly expanding across both America and Canada. I am opening up different divisions to help service the very diverse group of clients we have. From athletes, technology, lifestyle products, charities, lawyers, doctors, food/beverage companies to celebrities, musicians and social media stars, I want ZTPR to be able to help service all types here in North America, and eventually worldwide.
My interview with Zack was a sponsored post on behalf of Seneca College. As always, all reviews and opinions are entirely my own.