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On the Case With…

Each month, as part of “The Business Case for Public Relations,” PRSA asks an industry leader to reflect on his or her career and make a “business case” for public relations.

More from “On the Case With…”

On the Case With Rita Tateel

July 1, 2015

Rita Tateel
Rita Tateel

As founder and president of The Celebrity Source, Rita Tateel helps match celebrities with events and PR, marketing and advertising campaigns for corporate and nonprofit clients.

Over the years, she has developed many relationships within the celebrity community, and her company currently has access to thousands of stars from film, television, music, sports and fashion in addition to other influencers and experts.

Tateel specializes in educating her audiences about the “art and science” of working with celebrities and their representatives. She is a frequent guest lecturer at the University of California – Los Angeles and the University of Southern California and for many professional organizations. 

She is a long-serving member of the PRSA-LA Board of Directors and a two-term past president of the Chapter (and is only the third person in the 67-year history of PRSA-LA to have served two terms). Tateel also helped launch PRSA’s Entertainment and Sports Professional Interest Section. She is a member of the Entertainment Publicists Professional Society and is a co-founder and current adviser to the Association of Celebrity Personal Assistants. 

“Visual communications and storytelling will continue to become more important when planning PR campaigns,” she says of trends in the profession. “With this in mind, PRSSA students who take courses in video production, screenwriting and graphic arts may find more doors open upon graduation.”

On the most important thing she’s learned during her career, Tateel says: “Public relations is something that everyone could use; I know of no other profession that can say that!”

She lives in Los Angeles with her solar contractor husband, Ted Bavin, and their two cats, Maxine and Zack.

Name: Rita Tateel

Childhood ambition: To be an actress

Current livelihood: President of The Celebrity Source

What changed: I’m a people person and discovered I was pretty good at communicating, plus I held numerous leadership positions in school. I hated rejection and wanted a secure income, so I became a community organizer, which led me to what I’m doing today.  

First public relations job:
Jewish Federation of St. Louis (public relations was one of several functions I did as part of creating their Young Professionals Division)

What you know now that you wish you’d known then: The importance of building and maintaining relationships

Best piece of advice you’ve ever received: Keep all of your promises and don’t make any promises that you can’t keep.

Greatest professional accomplishment:
Starting my own company in 1988 and still enjoying the fruits of my labor

If you weren’t in public relations, you would be: An artist (the arts and crafts kind)

Desired legacy: That I’ve made a positive impact on people’s lives through my work, and that the students I have taught will do the same

Make a “business case” for public relations: A skilled PR professional has the power to positively influence, guide and impact people’s attitudes, opinions and behaviors. The only other group of people I know who can do that are celebrities!


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