10 Questions with ... Schatzi Hageman
January 15, 2012
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
Schatzi Hageman, owner and CEO of Hot Schatz Public Relations, is known as one of Nashville's most accomplished entertainment publicists. With more than 30 years in the entertainment industry in both Los Angeles and Nashville, Schatzi is considered to be one of the most widely experienced and versatile professionals in the business. Since forming her full-service public relations and artist development firm in 1992, she has earned the trust of an enviable list of clients over the past two decades, including Trace Adkins, Steve Azar, Margaret Durante, Waylon Jennings, Loretta Lynn, Patti Page, Lorrie Morgan, Jamie O'Neal, Rissi Palmer, Shooter Jennings, Soundstage (PBS Music Series), The Highwaymen, The Nashville Film Festival, Tony Joe White and many more.
1) You have over three decades worth of entertainment experience, which is quite an accomplishment. What has been the most significant change in the music industry since you first began your career?
There have been many changes since my professional career began back in the late '70s. Continued success in any field requires adopting strategies that work in today's marketplace. But as a publicist, one of the most dramatic changes I've noticed in the past five or six years is how we communicate with press. Gone are long days filled with countless phone calls dedicated to making pitches and assembling press kits for snail-mailing. We now have countless emails that never seem to end. Now, email pitches and digital materials are preferred over phone calls and hard copies in the mail. The days of journalists and talent bookers taking random calls from publicists are virtually over. A successful pitch often depends on how inviting or compelling the subject line is in your email, or how long-standing and credible your relationships are. Too many press releases or emails, and you risk not having them opened to read at all, which defeats the whole purpose.
Additionally, online media can now be as important as a placement in national print. With more and more newspapers and magazine publications diminishing, there are fewer feature stories being done these days. We can no longer discount the power of an online hit, whether it's a small blog, or a major site with thousands or millions of readers. All it takes is for one fan to tell their friends, who share it with their friends, and it just builds organically. Now more than ever - both artists and publicists MUST have a solid website and Facebook page where media and fans alike can go for reference.
2) In the beginning of 2011, Hot Schatz PR partnered with the company Noise New Media, which specializes in innovative web applications and campaigns. With your expertise in print and television, how has the collaboration been effective with clients?
I have really enjoyed having Mark O'Shea and Steve Richo from Noise New Media in the same office space. Their energy and enthusiasm is palpable! Working together has allowed us to more seamlessly integrate ideas for our shared clients - from conception to promotion in all facets of media, both on and offline. Whether it's something simple like promoting a live stream or a more comprehensive interactive campaign, we can cover all the bases and keep the message more consistent, effective and timely.
3) People may identify you with your long-lasting representation of Trace Adkins. Your 12-year relationship is almost unheard of in the PR world. What made your partnership so special?
I have been blessed in having long-lasting professional relationships with several of my clients - especially Trace Adkins, for whom I worked with for twelve years. I also worked with Waylon Jennings for eleven years, and at the time, people always identified me with him, as well. Both are the "real deal" and were incredibly colorful individuals with larger-than-life personalities. I think one of the key elements that existed in both of those long-term partnerships, was that both trusted that I always had their back, and that their best interest was always at the core of everything I did for them. There was also a strong mutual respect and admiration between us. And, I could be just as tough and straight-shooting as they were sometimes. ;-)
4) When looking to represent a new client, what are some things you take into consideration?
Exceptional talent is always the key factor. If they're a recording artist, it always begins and ends with the music. I have to be moved by it. It also depends where the client is in their career, and what their long and short-term goals are. If somebody is new, I try to find out what makes them unique and sets them apart from the dozen or so other singer/songwriters who are out there pounding the pavement with new singles and albums coming out. However, they could be the most talented or unique person out there, but if they're not nice people, or lack character and integrity, I'm simply not interested and will move on.
5) One of the reasons Hot Schatz PR is so unique, is due to the different clients you have represented throughout the years. You have worked with film festivals, as well as television concert series, and theatrical productions. What are some of your favorite parts about representing clients, other than artists?
I enjoy the diversity of having clients outside the music business as it helps to build a broader base of print, broadcast and electronic media contacts. It also keeps it more interesting and fresh for me. I prefer not having my professional life get too predictable.
6) When you're not busy running your company, what are some things you enjoy doing in Nashville?
Believe it or not, I really enjoy cooking. I watch a lot of Food Network television! I also love enjoying good wine and good food with my friends, and spending time with my son, who has definitely made my life more interesting. However, most of my adult life, I have been so dedicated and 'married' to my job, that often my personal life gets sort of placed on a back burner. One of my new life goals now is to create more quality time for my family, and more things I enjoy outside of work. It's a fairly new concept, so I haven't really discovered what my true personal bliss is - not yet, anyway, but I'm working on it!
7) Today you represent artists such as Margaret Durante, O'Shea, Steve Azar, Mountain Heart, and R&J Records. What's the most rewarding part about representing multiple clients?
Each client brings something unique to the table in their own way, and as I mentioned earlier, I enjoy keeping it interesting. While there are no 'typical' days, they are typically always busy.
8) Before moving to Music City, you worked in LA as part of a management team for acts such as Chicago and Sylvester Stallone. What type of insight did you take away from that experience, when forming Hot Schatz PR?
My first job in the entertainment business was working with Jeff Wald Entertainment, one of the largest and most successful management firms in Hollywood at the time. Jeff represented several famous celebrities, including actors, comedians, singers and groups. Later, I worked with Richard Perry, who was also one of the most in-demand producers. It required massive attention to details, and serious multi-tasking! You really had to be on top of your game to keep up. The experience I took away from both of those jobs has been the foundation for pretty much everything I do today. The experience I gained while working in Los Angeles has been invaluable.
9) This year, Hot Schatz PR will celebrate 20 years since opening its doors in Music City - Congratulations! What are some exciting things you have in store for Hot Schatz PR in 2012?
WOW! I have to admit that I truly hadn't realized it had been twenty years until you pointed it out. That's pretty amazing actually, and I'm really quite proud of that accomplishment. I see a press release in my future!
10) As a native of Texas, what do you miss most about the Lonestar state?
Not much. To quote words from George Strait's hit song -'All my exes live in Texas' ;-)
1) What's your favorite place you have visited and why?
I loved traveling to Europe with Waylon. It was in 1994, and I had only been working with him a couple of years. We were on a whirlwind media tour, making stops in Amsterdam, Sweden, Switzerland, Paris, Germany and London - all in just ten days! He wasn't much of a 'tourist,' so I really didn't get to see much of any one area, but it was lots of fun, and such a great experience. I'll treasure those memories forever.
2) If you were deserted on an island, what's the one thing you couldn't live without?
3) Have you ever been star-struck? If so, who was it?
Now, I wouldn't be a good publicist if I gave you such personal inside information like that, now would I?