Friday, 27 November 2009

Zebra Management Wants Naive Young Women for Faux Fame and Fortune

Have you been wondering down Oxford Street or that area and been approached by a young woman/man with a camera who asks to take your picture? Have they then told you that you are great looking and have the idea look for some of the modelling/acting/music videos they are involved in...before taking your details and giving you the Zebra Management agency business card.

During the following week you receive a phone call from a lovely sounding Zebra Management rep who tells you that you take a great picture and would like to organise a photo shoot with you and put you on their books all at no cost to you! NO COST I hear you say... they then tell you that to get a portfolio up on Zebra website that you need to have a professional photoshoot. This then causes you to ask where is the hidden cost, won't you have to pay for the shoot. The 'lovely' rep puts you on hold before coming back and telling you that because you are so likely to get work their boss has said that they will pay for part of the shoot. You can't believe it, this is the kind of thing that you have always dreamed of happening..

You go along to the shoot, a mardy italian girl does your make up and straightens your hair a bit. You are then asked to get into your three outfits that you were instructed to bring with you and spend a couple of hours prancing around a rather professional looking studio called The L*ght R**ms.

Excited, enthusiatic and feeling more like Kate Moss than Chris Moyles, you head back to the reception where you are greeted by the studios manager who's smile can only suggest a massive payout is coming her way, greets you and takes you into a side room to show you your amazing pictures. Once again you are told how incredibly photogentic you are and that you really are truely natural in front of the camera, honestly all of this flattery is working wonders!
Having looked through all of the photos (all 100 of them) and been told you look fantastic in 99.9% of them, the woman turns to you and says "So if you by this package you get all of these for just £300"...

Hold on a minute.


I thought this was being paid mainly by Zebra Management? "Oh no they paid for your hair and make up, so which package do you want, you want to make sure you can show future castings that you are versitile so the more the better"

Whats the cheapest package? "Well if you want to show all of your outfits and I really recommend you do £250, you can pay in installments of £75 a month if its easier"

Feeling bullied, forced and at risk of jepodising any future fame opportunities you begrudingly pay the first installment.

Your pictures are given to you on a copied DVD in a plastic case, you ask if they give you any print copies to which you are told "you can print them out at home"...So what does my money by me? "The rights to your pictures and some fantastic shots that are bound to get you loads of work!"

Upon returning home you panic about spending such a large amount of money and forward your pictures to the agency who in turn load them up to your own personal profile, and when I say them I mean three...

You begin applying to the jobs that appear on the Zebra website full of excitement about the prospects that lie ahead, as well as the determination to earn back that ridiculous amount of money you have just spent.

Weeks go by and still no one has replied to your applications, contact with the agency trails off as they no longer seem very interested in helping you achieve your dreams of stardom, and slowly but surely you begin to realise, you've been had.

How are companies like this allowed to get away with it, their argument would be that you don't have to pay the money, but when in the situation you suddenly feel very under pressure and at the age of 20 or so you are still very impressionable.

Recently one of my house mates was got with this scam and although I warned her of the financial costs she felt that if she found herself in the above situation she would be able to say no. She didn't, and as a result she has found herself in quite an uncomfortable financial position without any 'modelling' work to cover the bill.

I wonder if there are any agencies out there that come up against prejudices due to cowboy agencies such as the one mentioned?

Either way if you get approached by a representative from Zebra Management...Run, run like the wind!

This is all my person opinion and financially ruining experience by the way, so if you value your bank balance take note.

Thursday, 26 November 2009

Network network's all about networking

The title of this blog says it all: PR is all about networking.
If you want to make it in PR, get yourself known/out there/meeting and greeting, whether it's online or face to face.
You ask most graduates 'What are you thinking of heading into when you graduate' and I am willing to put my music collection on it that 5/10 undergrads will say 'ah well I have been thinking about PR'. Its statements like these that should encourage PR undergrads to get out there and get their names known in the industry.

It is difficult though, speaking from a PR undergrads perspective, sometimes the most difficult thing to PR is yourself.

But one thing that I am learning is that it is the most important aspect of PR, that pays off in the long run.

Monday, 23 November 2009

The Wonders of Placement

Five months into my placement and I am feeling more than happy with my achievements to date. Last week saw the publishing of my article in The Sun, which was printed almost completely unaltered and mentioned said organisation 14x! A round of appluse proceeded me during media briefings and the mention that further great things are to be expected...No pressure!!

With this last week, a great case study in The Mail on Sunday the week before and a rather timely ES appears that I am beginning to earn my weight in salt. Makes a nice change from earlier months I must say!

My November development meeting takes place tomorrow, which feels slightly odd as this to me feels the least productive of previous months and so has left me feeling slightly worried at the prospect of presenting my 'developments' as they were. Never mind!

About Me

My photo
Music, pictures, faces, fashion and everything in between