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What Next Now: A glimpse inside the world of publicity

High-profile Australian film publicist Kate Henshaw is the next to be profiled in the latest episode of the What Next Now podcast.

 

 

With a focus on women in the workforce, the new podcast What Next Now continues with its latest episode featuring an in-depth conversation with noted Sydney-based film publicist, Kate Henshaw.

Hosts Elissa Dowler and Tam Henry spoke to her at length about her origins, her career, and the delicate work-life balance that’s brought about by a busy career in the entertainment industry.

From agency junior to successful publicist to the stars, Kate Henshaw’s story is one worth noting.

Staring out having just graduated high school, Kate decided to bypass university and head directly into the workforce. Starting on a small salary of $14,000 a year, her career began as a general office assistant at an agency, where she was able to learn the ropes for the industry and get a better grip on professional life.

Hers was a small agency, of only six staff in total. But one of the senior members of staff gave Kate her stepping stone into where she ended up. This opportunity came about unexpectedly while she was happily enjoying a job working with backpackers and helping them organise their travel arrangements.

“My better judgment came about and I realised what an opportunity it was to work for this amazing, highly reputable film company in a creative industry with someone that I really admired as well as my boss. So, I took the leap and didn’t work with backpackers anymore,” Kate said.

Kate’s become a journey where she has gained insight into what it takes to become a publicist, from knowing how to handle major stars, to the inner workings of the stars’ assistants, demands, odd requests, to not asking for autographs and obeying the cardinal rule – not dropping names. Her life got turned upside down when all of a sudden, she was rubbing shoulders with some of the film world’s biggest names.

“Like anyone who is wondering about publicity or that sort of role, until you step into that world of famous movie stars, or famous people, it’s extremely confronting,” she said. “How do I fit in? What’s it going to be like to be face-to-face with these people who you’ve watched for years? It’s very daunting.”

As part of a broad-reaching conversation, Kate spoke about the challenges a film publicist is faced with daily, from balancing work and home life, to staying grounded in a world where things can easily get out of control.

 

As part of a broad-reaching conversation, Kate spoke about the challenges a film publicist is faced with daily, from balancing work and home life, to staying grounded in a world where things can easily get out of control.

 

Kate also spoke about the value that comes from being effectively mentored in the workplace.

“It’s very important, and I think it’s probably undervalued in some companies where people might be leaders who aren’t necessarily the best people to be those leaders.

“But likewise, if you have someone in those leadership roles, that can be amazing and mentor people and go along for the ride with them, it can be hugely beneficial for the company, the person who’s being mentored, and the person who’s mentoring.”

Of the travails which go hand in hand with working with high-profile, famous people, Kate has learned over time to put everything in perspective and take the good side of things with the bad. And, at the end of the day, no matter how famous a person may be, they are just people at the end of the day.

“It’s like dealing with people in any world,” she said, reflecting on the level of fame some of her encounters involved. “And I learned that quite early on; I thought it was really daunting”.

“My first tour was with these two … high profile actors. One of them was just at the height of their fame, had never been to Australia before, fans everywhere. So, there’s this added level of security.”

“It was very bizarre. But as soon as you have that first conversation, and I know there are other publicists who feel like this, they’re just people. The barriers break down and you might have a conversation about your families, or the weather.”

“Someone once told me they were stalking Mick Jagger while they were on holidays, and this was a very high-profile actress. They have stories like we have those stories!”

The conversation also covered what Kate is most proud of, the best advice she’s ever received, and what the future holds for women in the workforce, flexibility, and the options of working from home.

 

 

The What Next Now podcast featuring Kate Henshaw is the latest of the first series of six to be released, designed to help listeners forge their career pathway to purpose and wealth. The show is aiming to help people discover what they want to do next so they can live the life they want to live.

Inspiring conversations about purpose, career and wealth, the podcasts have been produced in association with DPN, an award-winning, professionally certified financial services and property investment company. DPN also operates Casa Capace, ‘homes to enable’ providing beautiful homes for disables Australians. For more information visit www.dpn.com.au

 

 


 

 

 

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