Remember the post I made about dreaming big?
It was about that mun2 ad implying Hispanics couldn't dream bigger than trimming hedges, for instance. Well mark me down as being genuinely annoyed.
Thankfully, there are women like Conchita Paz Oliva in this world. Her life is a living, breathing example that when Hispanics dream big, BIG things happen.
From Receptionist to Powerful Publicist...
Conchita worked as a financial aid director in the public school system and after 11 years, she took a job answering phones for Luis Balaguer, CEO of Latin World Entertainment Agency.
Today, not only is she the vice president of the communications department at Latin WE, where she handles publicity and public relations, she has also become one of the most powerful publicists in Hispanic entertainment.
Whenever you see a Hispanic celebrity on a commercial or magazine ad, there's a good chance they are Conchita's client ( see Sofia Vergara Got Milk? ad).
In this interview featured in The Hispanic PR Monitor, she shares with us the secret to her amazing success.
If you always dreamed about working in the entertainment field, how did you
end up working for the public school system?
Well, there are two reasons for why I worked for the public school system. When I
was thinking about my career, I first thought about education, as my family instilled
in me the value of doing something for society, so education seemed a good
solid choice. It was also a more conventional one, and I suppose a safer, path
than the entertainment industry. But in the end, I was able to get my break from
the bottom, answering phones, and with hard work, focus, and God's help, I am
Did you find it easy to transition from working with children to working with demanding high-maintenance celebrities?
And what is the difference?! Just joking - couldn't resist. But seriously it is all about listening, assessing needs and reflecting,
isn't it? When you are working with children, you try to put into place a solid foundation that they can use at a
university and in real life. When you are working with a client, you listen to them, look at their talents and needs, and try
to be their guide, so that they can effectively use their talents to be fulfilled on all levels. Guidance is guidance. And the
truth is everyone needs some pampering, support and objective guidance from time to time.
You seem to be very popular amongst your colleagues, what's your secret?
How sweet of my colleagues to say such nice things about me. I hope that my "popularity secret" is that I treat people
with respect and kindness, and they are returning that to me. It’s also that I love what I do, to the point that I’m always
smiling, even in the midst of chaos. Ah! And the hair, anyone can spot me a mile away in the middle of a crisis to ask for
You work with record labels, talent and movies. How do they compare?
Each film, each record, host, actor or musical star is a world in itself; one that demands tailored strategies fueled by lots
of experience, research and creativity. We treat each record, movie, DVD, and career with the utmost sense of responsibility,
respect and focus. And always the starting point is assessing their strengths and weakness compared to the strengths and weakness of the consumers targeted and the trends of the market as a whole. For us the key is always working
as a team and making each one a priority.
Tell us something interesting and fun about you that no one would suspect.
I would rather die than stand in front of a camera. Maybe that’s why I respect the people behind every segment of the
business so much. The job journalists, actors, producers and everyone does at the end of the day, I would be incapable of
doing for a second.