One of the joys of teaching a college course is the chance to meet bright students whom you know will go on to successful careers. Such is the case with Vanessa Kromer, vice president of communications for Nederlander Concerts. When I met her 20+ years ago, she was a bright, energetic student in my entertainment PR class at California State University Fullerton. Today, she’s a smart and savvy executive more than capable of teaching that same class.
I recently caught up with her to see if she had any new projects or case studies that might be of interest to my MediaPost readers. Did she ever!
Vanessa oversees all aspects of public relations for Nederlander Concerts and its award-winning venues, including The Greek Theatre in Los Angeles, Hollywood’s Pantages Theatre, City National Civic of San Jose, City National Grove of Anaheim and UC San Diego’s RIMAC Arena, plus third-party facilities up and down the California coast. She also coordinates publicity campaigns for artists playing Nederlander venues and provides strategic counsel for the company while managing all corporate communications.
As if that weren’t enough, she’s also in the middle of an intense battle with rival company Live Nation to keep The Greek Theatre on Nederlander’s roster: Although Nederlander has operated The Greek for decades, the theater is up for renewal, and the Los Angeles Parks and Recreation Commission (which oversees the venue for the city) has voted to give its new contract to Live Nation. Now the decision goes before the city council and then onto the mayor, who will have the final word.
“We’re not giving up on our campaign to keep The Greek,” says Vanessa. “We’re very passionate about it and that passion comes through in everything we do, from publicity and social media to community outreach and, of course, the creation of our RFP itself.”
Without getting too embroiled in the details of the RFP, I asked Vanessa to describe some of the key components of her PR plan as an example of how to market an entertainment-related issue, rather than a product, event, or celebrity.
The website also features an area where you can write your city councilman as well as a detailed yet easy-to-read explanation as to why Nederlander is the better choice for The Greek job.
“Between outreach teams, neighborhood council meetings, PR strategy, and social media, I’m like a mini politician these days,” Vanessa adds. And that struck me as a good comparison, given that politicians and PR people are all about persuasion and effective campaigns!
But there’s one perk Vanessa enjoys that politicians can only dream of: “I can basically see any concert I want!”