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article imageZach Farnum talks one year anniversary of 117 Entertainment Group Special

By Markos Papadatos     Apr 11, 2018 in Music
Nashville - Distinguished music publicist Zach Farnum chatted with Digital Journal about the upcoming one year anniversary of 117 Entertainment Group, his PR and management firm in Nashville. He also gave advice to aspiring publicists.
His client roster includes such artists as Country Music Hall of Famers Bobby Bare and Randy Travis, Paul Bogart, Kalie Shorr, Lewis Brice, Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Jerry Lee Lewis, "Miss Country Soul" Jeannie Seely, John Berry, Cherish Lee, rock star Chuck Negron, Lee Roy Parnell, and Scooter Brown Band, among others.
The one-year anniversary of 117 Entertainment Group will take place in May of 2018. "It's incredible. I can't even believe it. Had you asked me where we would be in a year when I started, I couldn't have imagined this. It's all thanks to an amazing team, dedicated friends and colleagues and our loyal clients," he said.
Regarding his proudest professional moments, he said, "A few that stick out include seeing Bobby Bare get inducted to the Grand Ole Opry, helping to execute the Randy Travis tribute concert last year and Jerry Lee Lewis' Skyville Live tribute concert over the summer. I love when my artists support each other. Jeannie Seely introduced Bare on the Opry when he got inducted and a week prior, she introduced Kalie Shorr on her debut on the hallowed stage. Things like launching a year of anniversaries with Bobby Bare (60th), Exile (55th) and John Berry (25th), and many more moments. Every time a client wins, I am proud. These proudest moments take a team to pull off, I am honored to be a part of many great teams."
His plans for the future are to be bigger and better. "Figuring out more effective strategies for our roster, growing our company at the right pace, adding to our team, those are all pinnacles for us. I am very much a live in the moment person, and I think that's kept me working hard for our current clients and letting the business grow at its own pace," he said.
For aspiring publicists, he encouraged them to be passionate about their clients. "Don't work with clients you aren't passionate about because you won't see success. Our job is a whole lot of hearing the word 'no.' That’s going to wear on you eventually unless you figure out a way to make the right people say 'yes.' If you don't connect with some aspect of your client, whether it be their messaging, music, hobby or something else, that will translate to whomever you are pitching," he said.
Each day, he is motivated by the chase. "There is something about chasing things that are hard to get. Our job is nowhere near as simple as people think it is. There's a lot of competition out there and less and less places to get solid coverage. I'd say equally as so, seeing people I care about excel. There's nothing cooler than seeing your young act debut on the Grand Ole Opry one week and seeing your 83-year-old act get surprise inducted the next week," he explained.
Farnum gave a shout-out to his team, which is comprised of Bev Moser, Vice President of Publicity, as well as Drew Blakeley, Vice President of Management, Publicity Manager Heather Trotter, and Office Manager Max DaCosta.
Digital transformation of the PR industry
On the impact of technology on the public relations industry, Farnum said, "There are tons of amazing (and not so amazing) online blogs and outlets to pitch to. Weeding through and finding the good, bad and ugly is a never-ending process. Luckily, we have tools and great folks to help us out with it. There's a lot of online outlets using freelance writers that we really love working with. Technology, like anything else, has its pros and cons. I prefer to see the positive side of life."
Farnum uses technology in his daily routine as a publicist and manager. "We are focused 100 percent on our clients at all times, in person we are present for the artist we are representing as well as the media outlet who is giving of their time. With the digital platforms available, our team is able to focus and zoom in using multiple digital tools to capture the moment and promote on the spot and in the office to expand on that opportunity and create new ones. We hardly mail anything anymore. Everything is digital, most people prefer digital. Technology and PR are synonymous in 2018," he said.
The acclaimed publicist and manager defined the word success as "growth." "Every time I succeed in some area, I translate that to mean two things: I have grown from where I was and I have some new growing to do. Life is all about evolving and shaping yourself, in my humble opinion," he said.
To learn more about 117 Entertainment Group, check out their official website.
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