Lisa Summers Haas is the woman behind some of Hollywood’s biggest events. She has more than 15 years of public relations experience, with a recent six-year stint as vice president of communications at CBS Television, where she created PR strategies for annual sweeps periods, as well as produced Entertainment Tonight’s Emmy after-party—among the night’s most coveted tickets. Since leaving CBS, Summers Haas joined OWN: The Oprah Winfrey Network, as a vice president of communications, to strategize a national PR campaign to launch that network.
Now, she’s the president and owner of About Town Public Relations. The venture aims to offer the feel of a boutique firm and the knowledge and experience base of a large one. Summers Haas provides PR and media relations, works on local and national media campaigns, produces events, and handles branded and integrated marketing.
“My focus for the new company is to do the things that I get a thrill out of doing,” she says. “I love to take a brand and integrate it into the right arena. What’s the best fit? I find excitement in that creative process. Taking a random idea that pops up, where you think, ‘That’s cool’—and then fast-forwarding and seeing it come to life at an event. It’s great to see guests arrive and know they are going to experience something they haven’t seen elsewhere, whether it’s a dessert bar, wine lounge, musical performer, or gift bag. My focus will continue to be always creating ideas that will be talked about the next morning.”
About Town has a team of 10 and is based in Beverly Hills, with an additional office in New York. Past clients and contacts came along with Summers Haas, including The Insider's Lara Spencer. “Lisa is everything you want your PR representative to be: smart, tenacious, creative, an outside-the-box thinker,” Spencer says. “It’s all about the details with Lisa, and that is where she takes PR to the next level. She takes a germ of an idea, then grows it to best suit the needs [of her clients].”
As a complement to About Town’s work with clients across industries like fashion, beauty, music, and TV, Summers Haas will also be working with the Napa Valley wine business, bringing its product to the L.A. market through high-profile events.
“Bure Family Wines launched only three years ago,” says owner Valeri Bure. “Lisa Summers Haas put us exclusively in one of the hottest Emmy parties of the year for Entertainment Tonight. She knows the ins and outs of the business, what works and what doesn’t. She is continually on top of her game and is a pleasure to work with.”
Summers Haas sums up her readiness for her new business this way: “In my six years [at CBS], I learned and studied from the best. The strengths I take with me to formulate the new company are all about teamwork—building a strong support team, collaboration, [the idea that] there is no wrong answer, the belief that you could do anything if you put your mind to it, and most of all, not being afraid to have an opinion.”