Elaine Garza: She's Making a Giant Noise

March 3 - On The Dot
FIRST THOUGHT: Laughter is the Best Medicine

The other night, I went to my first bona fide comedy show. It made me realize that the phrase “laughter is the best medicine” couldn’t be more true. About 1,500 attendees, including myself, laughed until we cried. I heard snorts and hands slapping knees, and had a whole bunch of just plain fun.

Life can be so serious and difficult at times. It’s full of decision-making, and sometimes it can feel impossible to take a break from our minds, our emotions and especially our ever-present to-do lists. Today, track down a comedy podcast, browse the comedies section on Netflix or find a funny special on YouTube. Let go of this week’s stress. Allow yourself some respite and laugh. Really, really laugh.

WOMEN IN NUMBERS: Only 30 Percent

Unless you’re really into the comedy scene, it can be exhausting to figure out what comedians to check out. That’s often where public-relations companies come in. From flyers to Facebook ads, getting the word out is essential to increasing comedians’ recognition, and PR reps are integral to helping get these funny folks a little press coverage and spread awareness.

Like comedians, there are plenty of women PR mavens out there, but they aren’t getting the respect they deserve. And by respect, I mean promotions! While women make up approximately 70 percent of the PR industry, only 30 percent hold top positions. And there’s just nothing funny about that.

WOMAN TO WATCH: Elaine Garza, Founder and Principal of Giant Noise PR

Let’s talk about a woman who has made it to the top of the PR ladder. She did it by starting her own dang company and, unlike many other PR firms, resolved to further stand apart by specializing in the “industry of interesting.” Her name is Elaine Garza. She founded Giant Noise PR, and gals, she’s kind of a big deal.

Elaine earned her great-communicator wings at publishing giant HarperCollins, where she came to the interview equipped with a briefcase stocked with press releases she’d written for pretend businesses. Elaine landed the gig and quickly got to work in the publicity department, taking on big-name clients like Howard Stern and Joan Rivers. Later, she cut her teeth in the magazine world, working for uber cool publications like Spin, Outside and Vibe.

After developing a significant PR repertoire, Elaine buckled down and created Giant Noise in her garage with only one employee, who would occasionally be on bottle duty for her baby daughter. Eleven years later, Giant Noise has become a widely recognized name in an industry in which PR reps are known more for whom they represent than for being kick-butt chicks themselves.

Elaine’s clients are off-the-charts cool, from local eateries to boutique hotels, historic theaters and massive festivals to nonprofits and the only Formula 1 Grand Prix racetrack in America. And one of her clients in particular is a real hoot. Every spring, big-name and up-and-coming comedians journey to Austin, Texas, for the Moontower Comedy Festival, a massive, multi-day event featuring dozens of jokesters, humorists and downright silly standups. This year, lady comedians, including the hilarious Ali Wong and Michelle Wolf, will take the stage.

The executive marketing director of the nonprofit theater that hosts the annual festival says hiring Elaine and Giant Noise was the best decision she’s made for the theater. Her statement is based on Elaine’s ability to help sustain revenue for the theater and commit to honest community outreach. Oh yeah, and let everyone know where to come for a great laugh.

Thanks, Elaine, for getting the word out about some of our favorite hot spots, nonprofits and events!


When it comes to public relations, humorist Oscar Wilde got it right when he said:

“There is only one thing in life worse than being talked about, and that is not being talked about.”

This is Melinda Garvey signing off until next time. Remember, ladies, empowered women empower other women. Share On the Dot so more women can have a voice. Thanks for getting ready with us.

To learn more about our conversation, check us out at OnTheDotWoman.com and talk to us @OnTheDotWoman on Twitter and Instagram. We’d love to hear your voice.

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