PR’s often suffer a lot of bad press in Ibiza. A journey to the West End bars can feel like a battle, ‘Where are you headed tonight?’, So why do so many brands see them as integral to their success? Underneath Ibiza talks to Jasmin Lawrence, who has been there, done it, and worn the jacket.
UI: What brought you to Ibiza?
JL: I came here in 2009 with 18 – 30 holidays. I’d been with them since I was 18, working in other resorts such as Ayia Napa. They chose Ibiza for me, believing I had the experience and personality to succeed on what is one of the most difficult and heavily targeted islands. I fell in love immediately. It was intense though, I was selling tickets for bar crawls and boat parties, being required to hit targets as high as 99%, but I knew it was where I wanted to be. The next year I refused to go back unless they placed me back in Ibiza.
UI: Since 2009, you have worked your way up to becoming the PR manager for Avicii. How was the journey?
JL: Hard work! But I’ve enjoyed every minute. I honestly think it’s about making the most out of opportunities on this island. If you work hard in any job, you will see results. I don’t understand the workers who come here and treat it completely differently to how they would a job in England. If you just want to party, book a holiday. Working in a PR role puts you in the best possible position for meeting people and making contacts. Like anywhere else, success here is often found through a combination of hard work and knowing the right people.
After I came back in 2010, I took every opportunity to network whilst working really hard at my job. I convinced my employers that I should be selling club tickets instead of their events, and I went on to to sell the most anyone had at that time: 5000 tickets in 3 and half months. I got my name out there, aiming to build the best possible reputation and references.
Over the next few years, I was approached by a working holiday company and then a boat party brand, where I was asked to train and manage their sales teams. It was in 2013 that a DJ phoned me up and said he had referred me for a job. It wasn’t until I got the call, that I found out it was Avicii at Ushuaia. At that stage Avicii’s manager was still unsure as I was only 23. I really wanted the job so I put everything into securing it, promising that I would prove myself in the role. 2013 saw us outsell everyone from the previous year and I became the flagship of San Antonio.
UI: What advice would you give to aspiring PR’s?
JL: I hate it when I hear people saying ‘I wish I’d done that,’ so if you want something, go for it. And ask for help. People call me all the time for advice and that’s what your managers are for, remember they will have all been in your position at some point in time. Everyone struggles at the beginning – Ibiza is a transition for anyone. A lot of people come here and forget what they’ve achieved at home, remember that you are worthy of your job and remember what skills led you to landing it in the first place.
More specifically, confidence is essential. You need to be confident in yourself and you need to be confident in your product. Think: What’s good about the deal you’re offering and who does it appeal to? Know your audience and do your research. This is essential for objection handling, you need to be able to overcome objections fast and move the conversation along. A sale should never take more than 5 minutes, so know when you’re wasting time and don’t be afraid to close the deal. You are selling something, so don’t be scared of asking for money either! 90% of people in Ibiza are here to go out and visit the clubs, so there is plenty of potential to find those who do want to buy.
Finally, enjoy the experience! Otherwise why are you doing it? Soak everything in, be a sponge. Take the positives and use the opportunity to grow. Ibiza is a massive learning curve, but really it’s you who makes the summer what it has the potential to be.
UI: Why do you think the role of a PR can sometimes have such a bad reputation?
JL: Often PR’s are seasonal workers, whereas people who live here all year around are more likely to get a contract by working as a waitress or behind a bar. So I suppose, PR’s could be seen as more transitional workers. Equally, there tends to be more competition and jealously between PR’s due to the general nature of the job. It can be a bit cliquey too, with people seeing their venue as more important than another.
I do believe however, that no job in this island should be looked down on. Each job is equally essential to the success of somewhere. As a tourist, consider how many times a PR has influenced your night, either through choice of venue or ticket sales? I think the most successful places are where the whole team pulls together and makes the most of their collective talents.
UI: How much money do you think could be made in commission on a good night, in a good location?
JL: That entirely depends on the hours you put in and the product you are selling. Starting out, many people will average about €200 a week, as many initial positions can pay as little as 50 cents per head. However, a good product could earn the right person up to €1500. And trust me this is possible. You have to want it though. You need to look the part, talk the part and act the part; in Ibiza it is all about understanding your audience.
UI: Is the quality of the venue is more important than the quality of the PR?
JL: No. Because as a PR, you need to love the product you are selling. It’s somewhat like a relationship, you need need to be compatible with the place that you work for. It’s a very reciprocal process. If you begin working for a smaller venue, don’t underestimate it. It’s a great place to begin learning and in many ways is probably more beneficial to you than diving straight in at the deep end.