MHB WEEKLY: By the students, for the world

Speaker Series: Fritz Friedman | January 21, 2011

Each Friday, the MHB program hosts an industry pro with insight into career opportunities, marketplace trends and new ideas who engages students for two hours of class time. On January 14, 2011, the speaker series featured Mr. Fritz Friedman, currently the Senior Vice President of Worldwide Publicity at Sony Pictures Entertainment, a major film studio located in Los Angeles.

Mr. Friedman, who within moments of speaking established his bright personality and animated wit, weaved stories both personal and professional into his fascinating presentation. Born in Manila but raised in Boston, Friedman recounted his two earliest career aspirations — first to be a doctor, second to be a lawyer — and why he decided against both, leading quickly to an entertainment career launched through graduate study at the Annenberg School of the University of Pennsylvania. (His thesis focused on the lyrical content of disco music; next time you’re at a wedding, take a close listen to the lyrics of “YMCA.”)

Friedman, now a consummate PR professional, explained what makes publicity fundamentally different from traditional advertising and marketing. He illuminated the complex, symbiotic relationship between publicists and journalists, as well as the personality types most suited to a field as socially dexterous as public relations. And while he didn’t speak of it outright, it’s worth mentioning that even in Hollywood — a town that too often stresses where you’re going over where you’re from — Mr. Friedman remains an active promoter of Filipino accomplishments in America: he co-founded CAPE, the Coalition of Asian-Pacifics in Entertainment, in 1991; he sits on the board of L.A.’s Filipino-American Library, located in Historic Filipinotown; and he’s a member of the advisory board for the San Diego Asian Film Festival, among other things.

Continue reading for more about Mr. Friedman, as well as a video about his life and times in Hollywood.

You can find Mr. Friedman on LinkedIn, or you can read a short biography at proudlypinoy — a blog devoted to the achievements of Filipinos in America. Below is a short news feature from Balitang America, a nightly news program aimed at Filipino communities in America and Canada.

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    Established in 2009 at USC, the Master's of Science in Human Behavior is designed to equip students with knowledge of consumer psychology, social media and market analysis skills. This is our blog. Subscribe

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