Job Envy: Sean M. Lashley
33, Senior Vice President & Partner, Global Entertainment Lead, FleishmanHillard
He might live and work in St. Louis, but Sean Lashley is in a Hollywood state of mind. As the Global Entertainment Lead at FleishmanHillard, he spends his days working with TV/film producers, national event planners and celebs like Oprah, Zac Efron and Molly Sims, to name a few. Let’s just say he’s never at a loss for juicy stories and conversation at a dinner party.
HOW HE GOT INTO THE BIZ When I was a kid, I was fascinated by TV, film and music—I thought I wanted to be an actor. As I grew older, I realized that life in front of the camera wasn’t for me, yet I still loved the industry and wanted to be part of it. A friend in the industry encouraged me to look into publicity—he thought it was a perfect fit for my personality. Needless to say, he was right.
EDUCATION/TRAINING I received a BA in speech communication from McKendree University and did multiple internships—from the now defunct Artemis Records in New York to St. Louis companies including Cliffedge Marketing, Ice Cream Specialties and my current employer, FleishmanHillard.
BEST WORK DAY EVER One of my favorite memories is creating an event for Hallmark at the home of Alison Sweeney (“The Biggest Loser,” “Days of Our Lives”). It was a first-of-its-kind event that allowed media access to celebrity talent and their friends inside the home of the celebrity. It was a huge success for the client and was the beginning of some of my best friendships in Hollywood.
WHY HIS JOB ROCKS Working at FleishmanHillard has provided me the opportunity to do what I love while getting to stay close to the ones I love. I’ve been part of campaigns that have helped build understanding about the dangers of texting while driving, the scourge of child hunger in the US, the importance of protecting your hearing and so much more. It’s also because of my amazing job that I have had the opportunity to attend the Academy Awards, MTV Video Music Awards, Super Bowl and Sundance Film Festival and work with amazing talent, such as Ian Somerhalder, Chris O’Donnell, Sofia Vergara and Molly Sims. I even was able to be one of “Santa’s Helpers” on an episode of Oprah’s Favorite Things.
TYPICAL DAY On any given day, you might find me negotiating a talent contract for a celebrity to serve as a spokesperson for one of FleishmanHillard’s global clients, working with producers of “The Ellen DeGeneres Show,” “Jimmy Kimmel Live” or “The Apprentice” to develop content around one of my brand clients, or fielding calls from any number of music festivals, film festivals and awards shows to discuss sponsorship opportunities.
PROUDEST MOMENT Helping co-found and launch FleishmanHillard’s entertainment practice in 2008 and building it into the successful business venture that it is today.
BEST JOB PERK Meeting and working with childhood idols like Oprah, Tiffani Thiessen, Joey McIntyre, Megan Mullally and so many more. And the random phone calls, emails and cards from the likes of Zac Efron and Molly Sims simply to say “thank you” for hooking them up with a client’s product.
FAVORITE INDUSTRY ANECDOTE I once was yelled at by a major morning news personality for not giving him the exclusive on Kevin Federline’s “Life Comes at You Fast” commercial for Nationwide and, instead, giving it to his competitor. I couldn’t believe the star of a major network morning show would feel so passionately about Britney’s ex.
BEST THING ABOUT WORKING WITH CELEBRITIES The cool factor. My family and friends love the “six degrees of separation,” and I’m never at a loss for stories to tell at a dinner party.
BIGGEST CELEBRITY PET PEEVE When a celebrity’s personal publicist makes my job difficult. Like life in general, it’s about surrounding yourself with good people, and not all of the talent I’ve worked with have learned that lesson.
GOALS FOR THE FUTURE To continue to grow FleishmanHillard’s reputation in the entertainment industry and our service offerings. And, if Michael Strahan doesn’t work out, becoming Kelly Ripa’s co-host on “LIVE!”
Photo credit: Attilio D’Agostino