Name: Suhan Razzaque
Degree and university: MSC Human Computer Interaction with Ergonomics from UCL
Job title: Assistant Publicist, Premier PR (film PR)
What do you actually do?
I am responsible for maintaining press cuttings files and scanning press cuttings as requested for reviews and other material relevant to Premier PR (PPR). This includes updating our publicity reports as new projects break. I also compile research for press releases and other purposes, for which I use image.net/PAPicSelect or similar online photography distribution systems. During the day I answer and respond to telephone enquiries. Premier PR is involved with handling the press for many films from pre-production right through to postproduction and until they are released, so I book preview screenings, compile invitation lists to those press screenings, and coordinate the mail-outs for invites and press materials (press kits, EPKs and audiovisual material), as well as logging in RSVPs. I then attend the press screenings and events to check-in guests and to hand out press material.
Were you always interested in film PR as a career?
While I was at University I had a part-time job at my local cinema called the Stratford Picture House, where I had various roles. I was given responsibility for the PR work by liaising with head office and this is where my enthusiasm for this area developed.
How did you find out about this particular job?
I saw the job advertised in The Guardian newspaper. This was for a six month internship with Premier PR via Skillset. The reason why I applied for the programme was down to Skillset’s moral value of creating equal opportunities within the media and film sectors and the great opportunities for learning while I was training. I was selected via an interview process by Charles McDonald who is one of the Chief Executives of Premier PR. After my six month contract had ended I was given a permanent job as Assistant Publicist within the company. Without Skillset I would not have been able to fulfil my dreams of working in this lucrative business of film PR.
What do you most like about what you do and are there any downsides?
I like the fact my role is flexible and I get to do something different everyday. It’s really nice to meet new people on a day-to-day basis. I also get to see lots of new films! There are not many downsides to what I do. But at times, when we are extremely busy, it can get quite hectic and stressful.
What skills do you ned to succeed in this sector?
You definitely need the ability to multi-task, to pitch, and to persuade. You must be extremely flexible, and a quick thinker with the ability to be spontaneous. But most of all you need to be good with people and have excellent communication skills.