I was on my way to interview Meg Sethi, President of Evolution Public Relations (EPR), when I got a call from CTV news saying they would like me to make a small appearance on the news that night. I was nervous. I had never been on television before, as I explained to Meg. That’s when she flashed into PR mode and helped cool my nerves. She sat me down, helped me relax, and prepared me for my appearance. Thanks to her, I didn’t make a fool of myself in front of millions of viewers.
It was a unique experience, not only as television experiences go, but also for an interview. Instead of telling me what she did, Meg showed me. She began by researching the topic I was speaking about and then testing me on it. She made sure I knew my material inside and out so I would not trip over my words. She also told me what to expect about being on camera and in a television studio, which helped calm me. Instead of being distracted, nervous, and shy, I was confident and focused. I owe my success to Meg for that interview, which is how her clients must surely feel.
Of course, as a Public Relations professional, preparing talent for public appearances is only a part of her job. Meg also creates buzz and hype around the talent. She uses her bubbly personality and extensive network to promote and expose the talent she represents. With her help, people and brands gain the exposure they need to succeed in their industry.
She also throws events. A big part of creating publicity is developing events for her clients to promote their products to the general public and the media, allowing them to experience it. Organizing events is how Meg first cut her teeth in PR.
While attending Humber for her Public Relations Degree, Meg had a one-day placement as an intern at the Children’s Aid Foundation. She was hired as a Special Events Coordinator while she was still in school and completed her last semester remotely. That placement ended up turning into a job that lasted four and a half years. In her time at the Children’s Aid Foundation, Meg organized special events, coordinated volunteers, and structured the student program. After throwing the 20th anniversary of the Teddy Bear Affair, a black tie event with over 1,100 attendees raising $1 million in support for the Children’s Aid Foundation, Meg decided it was time to leave her position and focus exclusively on Evolution PR, which at that time was only a small, side project.
In April 2011, EPR was officially unleashed and almost immediately experienced success. In its first year, EPR was selected as the PR firm to represent The Teenage Paparazzo Experience, the promotion for a documentary created by Adrian Grenier. EPR hosted the screening and created the hype in Toronto about the movie. Then, Meg appeared on the SliceTV show “Party Mamas” as the Event Coordinator. She received further exposure by attending TIFF events as a representative of her clients.
These events transformed Meg from an unknown publicist into a PR maven. However, as she reminds me, “people can open the door, but it is your job to walk through and shine.” Meg always remembers to provide great service, putting her clients first and ensuring that they get the type of exposure they want. She now has expanded her client list to include individual celebrities and corporations. By working with corporate brands, EPR organizes events and conferences that showcase the brand and create a multisensory experience that combines the corporate message and what the attendees want.
As every entrepreneur attests, developing relationships and performing high quality work are essential building blocks to a successful business. As a client for one night, I saw Meg Sethi at work and I know that EPR provides those building blocks with an incredible potential to growth.
WORDS: BRIAN SWEIGMAN
PHOTOS: ALEX BROWNE
HAIR & MUA: MICHELLE SILVERSTEIN, EMILY O’QUINN, SARA FRATIA
NINA MULLER, NATALIE SHEMUEL & MICHAEL FRESH
STYLIST: DEAN L.G. ELLIS
CLOTHING BY: GOTSTYLE, KINGPIN CHIC, CABARET VINTAGE & FREDA’S
MODELS: ANDREA KELLY, HAYLEY MILES, JESSE GIRARD, JOSE SILVA, LILY, MEG SETHI, NICKY MARKS & TYNOMI BANKS
LOCATION: THE HOXTON