Entertainment

TikTok’s @GirlBossTown: How a NH native became “the Internet’s agent”

“When your creativity becomes your career, it puts a lot more weight on what you're doing.”

Robyn DelMonte, 28, has become TikTok's personal PR guru. Carly Sharp

Robyn DelMonte sat on her couch, ordered dinner on UberEats, and switched on reality television. Then she made a video that changed her life.

DelMonte had a decent following on her TikTok account, @GirlBossTown, for her videos commentating on celebrities. But a new idea took her pop culture knowledge and combined it with her love of marketing as she described hypothetical PR moves she would make to improve singer Madison Beer’s public image. 

The TikTok, posted in October of 2021, included a fully-formed pitch for a docuseries, a potential campaign for a collaboration with a brand, and designs for editorial photography — concepts far from the dancing videos that popularized the video-sharing app in the first place. The video amassed over a million views, with viewers clamoring to suggest other public figures for DelMonte to reinvent through out-of-the-box marketing and creative direction.

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The 28-year-old from Medford has become the platform’s personal PR guru, dishing out advice and concepts for brands and businesses on @GirlBossTown. The page currently has over half a million followers and nearly 60 million likes, giving DelMonte the platform to collaborate with brands on her own terms.

“I think that I’m kind of known as the idea girl on TikTok,” DelMonte told Boston.com on Zoom, sitting on the very same couch where she made her first viral video. “To be known for my creativity and my brain is the biggest honor.”

New England beginnings

DelMonte grew up in Nashua, New Hampshire, about 40 minutes outside of Boston. “Honestly, it’s one of my favorite things about myself,” she laughed. As a child and young teen, she was fascinated by the entertainment industry, consuming any type of media she could find. She was particularly drawn to the campaigns that occurred behind the scenes of the E! News stories she read.

“Even if I didn’t know what PR, marketing, and branding was when I was younger, that is always what piqued my interest,” she said. “I think being a fan of something is so powerful when it comes to actually then turning that around and working in that industry.”

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After studying marketing and communications at the University of New Hampshire, DelMonte moved to Los Angeles for a postgraduate media management program at UCLA. After working with Warner Brothers on a digital marketing campaign for their hit show “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend,” DelMonte knew entertainment marketing was her calling. 

“I was getting hands-on experience in the industry that I was always so passionate about,” she said. But while she enjoyed the bright lights of Los Angeles, she missed her roots in New England.

“You can do all these great, amazing things, but if you’re not doing it with the people that you love, the people that you grew up with, it doesn’t hold as much depth. So even though my job is all over the place. I’m so happy that my home base will always be Boston,” she said.

Shortly after, DelMonte moved back to Massachusetts for family reasons. While she was glad to be back home, she was concerned about the job market, finding that the available marketing positions were “very corporate, 9-to-5 jobs” that didn’t line up with her passions.

“I wanted to be able to do the things I love and still be in a place like Boston.”

Going viral

DelMonte needed a fresh start, so she quit her corporate job and began waitressing to save up for esthetician school. That’s when she turned to TikTok.

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“My first viral series was me commentating on the Met Gala in October [2021], and then quickly after that, I did the PR moves series and everything changed. I signed to my agency in November and started doing [TikTok] full-time in January,” DelMonte explained. “So it kind of happened quickly, when it comes to what people would see as success. But it’s been a long journey for me to get where I want to be.”

@girlbosstown

PR moves for @Dunkin’ next ice coffee ad

♬ original sound – GirlBossTown

@GirlBossTown now features several series of videos following the success of “PR Moves.” In her “GBT Stamp of Approval” series, DelMonte highlights clever and unique marketing in everyday life. In “PRedictions,” she anticipates the next move a brand might make (and more often than not, is correct).

DelMonte’s personal favorite is her “Creative Direct” series, videos where DelMonte describes in detail emotional or edgy commercials brands could create. She said looks forward to seeing her followers’ responses to her ideas.

“I think what I have the most fun with is coming up with these ad campaigns and seeing other people’s reactions to it,” DelMonte said. “People [comment] ‘This just made me cry, and it’s just you speaking about the ad.’ Everything that I do and all these videos that I make is wrapped around my passion for storytelling.”

DelMonte’s TikTok fame has brought her beyond the For You Page. She’s worked with E! News on an original series, attended events like the Billboard Music Awards, and has even worked independently, consulting brands that have found her through her videos. 

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“Not only do I have a job now, but these brands and companies that wouldn’t even open my resume are asking me for advice,” she said. “When your creativity becomes your career, it puts a lot more weight on what you’re doing.”

Career moves

Robyn DelMonte arrives at the Billboard Music Awards on Sunday, May 15, 2022, at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)

Although she has plenty of experience in “traditional” media, DelMonte attributes everything back to her online followers, explaining that TikTok is, in essence, a “digital resume.”

“A lot of people thought my likes and my interest in pop culture was kind of vapid. I’m trying to change that narrative and inspire people to put their creativity out there on the internet,” she said. “If I never put these ideas out there, I wouldn’t be in the boardrooms that I’m in now and signing the contracts that I’m signing now.”

She advises people who want to follow 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.” For brands, she said, social media can be a low-budget way to get their message across to huge audiences. 

“If you have the right people on your team and hop on the little things that are going viral that take no money to make, you can get the same amount of views as a multimillion-dollar campaign. Knowing the difference of when to use what resources is massive,” DelMonte said, citing New England favorite Dunkin’ as an example.

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“They have great campaigns that have been planned months in advance, but they’re also popping on these trends on social media that give everybody a giggle and make you remember them,” she said.

As for the future of @GirlBossTown, DelMonte isn’t stopping just yet. Her aspirations include public speaking engagements, producing a television series, and working on a Super Bowl commercial, something she’s devoted an entire TikTok series to.

But most of all, DelMonte wants to uplift unconventional creators like herself.

“The end goal of everything is to create my own creative consulting firm, where I can hire people like me who couldn’t get the resumes on corporate desks,” she said. “I want to employ creative minds that really have their finger on the pulse of what is needed in this industry.”

DelMonte hopes that bringing her story to a young audience will inspire them to seek careers that align with their passions.

“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.”

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