By Jamie Zimmerman
Do you ever find yourself sitting on the couch with friends and gossiping over the red carpet at events like the Met Gala? Because I know I do. And so did 27-year-old Robyn DelMonte, otherwise known as “@GirlBossTown” on both TikTok and Instagram.
The difference between the two of us is that while I carry on my life as a college student, DelMonte has successfully self-branded as “the internet’s agent.”
After creating a TikTok series commentating on the October 2021 Met Gala, which she called “Reacting to the Met Gala 2021 from my couch,” DelMonte immediately went viral and captured the attention of up to a million viewers on videos from this series alone.
She followed up her Met Gala videos with the start of a new series called “PR Moves” that features videos where she schemes unique PR moves that she thinks celebrities and brands should make; she even goes as far to curate whole campaign ideas for some.
The PR moves she generates have gained attention of not just her own followers and the “For You” pages of strangers, but of celebrities and brands such as Dunkin, Sports Illustrated Swim, Hoda Kotb and Jenna Bush Hager from “Today with Hoda and Jenna,” and even Noah Schnapp from the hit show Stranger Things. In addition to those listed, celebrities and brands alike have continuously reached out to her in search of potential PR tactics for themselves.
Now DelMonte has over half a million followers on TikTok who, like me, can’t wait to hear her daily predictions and PR hot takes.
Because she gained her first spark of fame from videos she shot from her couch while commenting on the celebrities and pop-culture opinions that spark interest to most members of Generation Z, these viewers see her as a trustworthy and also entertaining source they can look to.
The brilliance of DelMonte and her videos is that she used the skills almost every PR student learns and took them to social media to let her creativity open new professional doors. Her recent rise to popularity and recognition from the media can likely be attributed to not only her clearly executed knowledge of PR but also because her followers see her as someone they can relate to.
DelMonte graduated from University of New Hampshire with a Bachelor of Arts in Communication and completed post-grad at UCLA in a media management program. Afterwards, in her early professional years, she worked with Warner Bros on a digital marketing campaign.
What stands out to me is that it wasn’t her knowledge of traditional media and communication, though still important, that got her to where she is now. Instead, it was the way she used TikTok to showcase her grasp of pop culture and to connect modern brands with her PR and marketing skills that elevated her career.
Before she went viral, she was waitressing to save up for a fresh start at esthetician school when her life changed over TikTok. Soon after her series blew up, she was signed to work with an agency and now creates TikTok videos and series full time.
Since the emergence of her thriving internet presence, DelMonte has been a featured speaker at AdWeek’s Brand Week event, attended the Billboard Awards, been interviewed on the “Drew Barrymore Show,” and even worked independently consulting with brands that found her videos.
Her biggest TikTok video series are her “PRedictions” series where she anticipates the next moves that brands will make, her “GBT Stamp of Approval” videos where she highlights clever marketing and campaigns by celebrities and brands, her “Creative Direct” series where she creates commercial ideas that brands should make, and of course the “PR Moves” series that sparked all the fame to come.
Further building her trustworthiness with her audience, a number of her brand and celebrity hypotheses from her “PRedictions” series have become a reality. For example, in December of 2021 she made a video predicting that Kim Kardashian would promote her personal brands by having a solo-feature on the cover of Vogue. Flash forward to February of 2022, and the Kardashian icon appears on Vogue’s front cover issue.
A more recent prediction-come-true occurred in December 2021: DelMonte predicted that musical legend Taylor Swift would go on an “archives tour” where she would perform re-recordings from each of her past musical eras. And recently this November Swift announced she will be embarking on a 2023 stadium tour called “The Eras Tour” in which she will journey through each of her musical eras. Coincidence? Or just DelMonte’s extraordinary PR-centered mind?
For PR students like myself, it’s refreshing to see someone be able to open these opportunities in ways we haven’t seen before.
In an interview with Boston.com, DelMonte touched on her recent career success: “Less than a year ago, I was struggling to get a corporate job in marketing and watching everybody succeed in their career paths. So believe in yourself and put your ideas out there. The traditional route isn’t for everybody.”
In the same interview, she explained how she wants to inspire others in her footsteps to look at social media “as a tool, rather than thinking it’s a saturated industry and something that you can’t get into.”
PR students and aspiring PR pros can draw inspiration from DelMonte’s savvy videos to fuel their own creativity as they pave their ways in the public relations industry.
And if DelMonte’s videos and popularity tell us anything, it’s that the PR world is ever-changing and re-inventing itself, and that there are always new opportunities opening along the way. You just have to grab them while you can.