Posted At: January 21, 2012 3:30 PM
by Meghan Rodriguez
Since she was first introduced as a cast member on MTV’s “Jersey Shore” in December 2009, Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi has skyrocketed to superstardom. The 24-year-old is the best-selling author of two books and maintains a successful line of products including slippers, sunglasses, perfume, tanning lotions and jewelry.
Polizzi has appeared on just about every major talk show, is frequently featured in magazines and has been dubbed a cultural icon. While her success can be attributed to the hit series and her “party girl” persona, she also has a great publicist to help maintain her spotlight in the media.
Polizzi’s publicist is Stacey Wechsler, owner of Hired Gun Publicity & Consulting in Manhattan. Wechsler has worked in the entertainment PR field for more than 10 years, with clients ranging from GM and American Express to ESPN the Magazine and WWE (World Wrestling Entertainment). After working for large and boutique firms, she overcame challenges and achieved her goal of operating her own firm in February 2006.
“Ultimately you will decide if you are going to stay within the structure of a big agency or go out on your own within the first two years of your career,” Wechsler said. “I face challenges every day, not just in the beginning of creating Hired Gun Publicity & Consulting. You are only as good as your last ‘hit’ so you have to keep on your game, getting the right exposure for your client be it a brand, an event or a personality.
“Competition in entertainment PR is very fierce. You are either up against the big agencies or your colleagues in the boutique world. My advice is never get complacent!”
Wechsler has showed no signs of complacency and some “hits” that she is most proud of include a cover story that she secured in USA Today on WWE Studios, the cover of December’s Maxim Magazine for WWE Diva Kelly Kelly and a six-page exclusive on Sean “Puffy” Combs’ Fab 50 Dinner in In Style Magazine.
Above all, though, she is most proud of being part of a group of publicists who “grew up” in the business together and now all doing amazing things in the business not necessarily by staying with the larger agencies.
Wechsler and Polizzi met at WrestleMania 27 in April 2011. Polizzi was just beginning to get involved with the WWE and immediately impressed Wechsler with her professionalism and down-to-earth personality.
Turn on a television and whether it’s an episode of “Jersey Shore” or a talk show, there’s a chance you will catch a glimpse of Polizzi. But how does someone go from being a cast mate on a reality show to a frequent guest on the “Today Show” and “Jay Leno”?
“It depends on the client and your relationship with the bookers/producers of the shows,” Wechsler said. “If you have a client promoting something specific like a book, new season of a show, new product in a brand or an event there’s a good possibility that they will reach out to you, but if you are proactive you will keep your media contacts updated with what your clients are doing to find opportunities for them on broadcast/print and online.”
“There are some instances that you work with other PR teams on projects such as a book launch or new season of a show and you work with that team on PR opportunities since they are charged with securing PR for the book, show, etc.”
Polizzi, who manages her social media accounts herself, has more than 3.8 million followers on Twitter and more than 700,000 Facebook fans.
In a CNN.com article, Polizzi said, “I like to connect with fans on Facebook and Twitter and to also meet them in person at my book signings and product launches. My fans often ask me where I get the sunglasses or shoes that I wear on the show and I’m in the process of launching a shopping website where fans can find all of my products in one place.”
While she doesn’t deny that she likes to party and have a good time, as portrayed on the show, she also wants to be taken seriously as a businesswoman.
“She’s involved in every single brand/product she touches,” Wechsler said. “She’s dedicated, hardworking and loves her fans above all.”
So has Wechsler become a fan of “Jersey Shore” since working with Snooki?
“Absolutely,” Wechsler said. “I spend my summers in Point Pleasant, N.J., so I definitely get it.”
Wechsler said she enjoys everything about working with Polizzi.
“She has the passion and the drive and knows the business. Her empire will continue and she will continue to surprise people.