TIFF ’10: We’re Not Just Pretty: Victoria Gormley


Victoria Gormley studied communications and radio broadcasting at Fanshawe College. After graduating, she worked on-air on Easy Rock Q97.5. She then moved to Toronto and accepted a position at Alliance Atlantis (now, Alliance Films) as an assistant in their Home Video Marketing department. Shortly thereafter, Gormley was promoted to Publicity and Promotions Manager for Home Video.

In 2006, Gormley joined the Warner Bros. Canada theatrical team as Publicity and Promotions Manager (where she currently works).
“When away from the office, whilst still tied to my BlackBerry, I try to spend as much time with my family and friends as I can, with a few bottles of wine thrown in for good measure. Muskoka, re-runs of Law & Order, shoes, The Distillery District, and low-budget disaster movies are a few of my favourite things!”

Website: www.warnerbroscanada.com

How does your company leverage PR (i.e. to generate press, to build reputation, to manage crisis communications, etc)?
We leverage PR in a variety of different ways, all with the same goal in mind – to create early awareness and drive traffic to the theatres on opening weekend and beyond.

Our main focus is to maximize each and every press opportunity that comes our way, regardless of how likely we “think” it is to generate press activity – you’d be surprised what gets picked up, and in the same way, what is given a pass.

We also find that opinion makers have massively influenced consumer behavior, so building word of mouth is critical. One of the latest tools we’ve found success with is social networking. It’s allowed us to leverage our PR efforts in a far more savvy nature than traditional methods.

What qualities are most important to you when hiring a PR team member?
From my experience, PR has more to do with personality than scholastic achievement. Energetic, personable people determined to see results have typically been a successful hire. That being said, experience is always a huge asset.

Who is your mentor or professional in the industry you admire?
I don’t have any one mentor to mention, but have had the benefit and privilege of working with many highly exceptional people over the course of my career.

What are your feelings about how PR has been positioned in the media in more recent years, on popular TV shows (Melrose Place, Sex and The City, The Real L Word, The City, etc.)?
I think it’s great that the profession is being recognized in popular programs and that more people are exposed to the idea of having a career in PR. My only fear is that it glamorizes an industry that, let’s face it,  is generally not all glitz and glamour. I hope those entering the industry are doing so for the right reasons and won’t be too disappointed when they’re not given a clothing allowance or invited to Lake Como for a script reading with George Clooney.

What’s your biggest piece of advice for PR pros, both junior and senior?
Best advice I was ever given – be positive and offer ideas. The business needs fresh thoughts and the more quality ideas you offer, the more responsibility and recognition you’ll receive. (But also remember to be respectful of the tried and true methods that have proven successful).

Advice for all – The step & repeat is for the actors in the film – stop posing and get out of the shot! 😉

What do you love most about your job?
The content always changes and each film is its own product.

The challenge to respect each film and filmmaker’s work is interesting and exciting. We don’t always have to love the project, but we have to search for and ensure the best avenues to maximize awareness about the project.

A little more from the fourth floor:
Website: YouTube, The Hollywood Reporter, TMZ.com, The Onion, Go Fug Yourself, Funny or Die.
Designer: Nicole Miller, David Dixon, Kensie.
Store: The Bay (totally underrated), Want Boutique, BCBG.
Book: The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri.
Snack: Cereal (with as much artificial colour and flavouring as possible), and chocolate chip granola bars.
Season: Early fall.
Sexy: A great pair of heels.
Inspiration: My family, friends, and the idea of Freedom-45.
Drink: Hendricks & Tonic.
Motto in two words: Keep Going.
Idea of perfect happiness: Vodka Lemonade on a beach in Fiji.
Indulgence: Chicken Parm from Toni Bulloni’s, shoes and spa days.
Celebrity crush: Tom Hardy.

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