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Natasha Koifman’s Tips to Succeed During TIFF (And Beyond)

NKPR INC is up to their neck in TIFF, but they handle it with style and grace. Their notable IT Lounge turns ten this year, moving from their swanky offices on Adelaide directly into the TIFF Bell Lightbox. That’s a big deal, and one of many things that the boutique PR agency is behind.

Not only do they handle the Artists for Peace and Justice Gala (one of TIFF’s hottest parties), but this year, NKPR is also helping to manage the inaugural Bloor-Yorkville “Film By The Rock,” inviting Torontonians to cozy up for an outdoor screening of the TIFF 2014 hit, The Imitation Game; the event is one of many that celebrates TIFF’s 40th anniversary.

With all of this happening (not to mention the management of hotspots like the Thompson and Montecito), how does NKPR Founder and President Natasha Koifman stay sane? We sat down to chat with Natasha Koifman to dish about fashion during TIFF, but we left with ten important life lessons.

If you’re a newbie to the festival or an aspiring publicist, take note of the Koifman Life Advice that we plucked from our tête-à-tête.

Do Things That Scare The Shit Out of You

Most of the success of the agency has been based around that fear, “I don’t know if I can do it,” and then you work through it and do it, and it ends up being one of the best things for your business.

Streamline Your Wardrobe

I just wear black. Fifteen years ago, I made the decision that I feel best in black. I slowly purged my closet. Pay attention to what you feel good in. Pay attention to what you like.

Organize Your TIFF Uniform

During the day, we’re on our feet a lot; I wear black t-shirts, black jeans and Converse. In the evening, my wardrobe is already lined up. I have organized each day – what I’m wearing and when.

Be Kind 

When you’re stressed, you tend not to be kind. You tend to be more aggressive and snap at people, but be nice. Help each other. Ultimately, we’re in it together. Be mindful that the person next to you is going through the same thing as you are.

Manners Make The Publicist

Helping the person next to you more than helping yourself – that’s a rule in life. You can’t be successful on your own; you’re only going to be successful with the people you surround yourself with. Make sure you give them strength.

Strategize

It’s also thinking strategically, asking yourself, “Why are you doing this?” You don’t do this just to throw a party; you’re throwing a party as a means to something.

Know Yourself And What You Need To Stay Sane

I need alone time. I wrote an article for The Huffington Post a while back about being an introvert living the life of an extrovert. I need that alone time to recharge or I get overwhelmed. I need to find those pockets of time. Sometimes it’s just stepping into my office and closing the door. If I’m having a really busy day and a really busy night, I sometimes go to the bathroom for five minutes. I’m not actually going to the bathroom, but I just need some alone time.

TIFF Fashion: Don’t Stress! Rock Your Own Personal Style

There’s no “right way” of dressing – it’s just what you’re comfortable with. The wrong way of dressing is when you put something on that doesn’t feel like you. Whatever you wear, if you feel good about it, then that’s cool. It’s all about finding your own personal style. Knowing your body well enough, knowing what you feel good in. Pay attention to what you like.

Discretion Is Key

Our role is to be helpful. Our role is to blend. We need to be discrete; we’re not there to take pictures of celebrities, we’re not there to document anything. Discretion is a big thing.

Give Back To The World

If every single person just chose a cause that means something to them, the world would be a way better place when we leave it than when we came into it. The work that I do for Artists for Peace and Justice in Haiti is probably the most rewarding right now. We started seven years ago, but we broke ground on a school five years ago; this is the first year we’re going to have a graduating class.

For anyone who has ever trivialized the role of a publicist as a chick who likes to party, let the above be proof that it takes a whole lot of brain and brawn to rise above and create buzz with deep impact.

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