Social media has majorly affected all facets of the business, but perhaps none more than communications. Carefully placed exclusives, timed campaigns and scheduled statements can all be undone by a simple unplanned tweet. This has made Fuentes’ role even more challenging, but it’s one she rises to meet daily as she oversees programming publicity, talent relations, awards and more for Showtime Nets. “In years past,” Fuentes says, “we had time to absorb and react to news stories and formulate strategic plans and thoughtful responses.” Now, she says, stories are “quickly tweeted,” and “the request for comment typically arrives simultaneously with publication.”
Who is an inspirational woman you admire, and why?
Ava Duvernay, a formidable director, activist, producer, screenwriter and overall badass woman–and a former longtime publicist, who used those skills to launch the next phase of her career. First with award-winning indies, then directing “Selma,” to then transitioning to documentaries, television and major features as the first African-American woman to direct a live-action film with an over $100MM budget. There are no lanes for Ava and her passion and drive in a variety of mediums continues to inspire.
What’s been the most dramatic change in your sector of the business today vs. three years ago?
The explosion of social media which has turned once manageable news cycles into the need for immediacy. In years past as communications professionals we had time to absorb and react to news stories and formulate strategic plans and thoughtful responses. Now stories run, they’re quickly tweeted, the request for comment typically arrives simultaneously with publication, and there is not much time to formulate a response before the cycle has moved on to the next angle.
If there were a reality show based on your office, what would it be called?
“Extreme Makeover: PR Edition”