As I was starting Long Shot Productions in 2009, one of my closest friends was quickly rising through the ranks at a lifestyle boutique PR agency called The Hip Event. Once the Montclair, New Jersey firm started receiving video production requests, my friend referred LSP to film their clients’ grand openings, brand launches, and celebrity appearances– “hip events” indeed.
During this time (2009-2010), New Jersey was the hot trend in reality television. Jersey Shore, The Real Housewives of New Jersey, and Jerseylicious all rose to fame. However, their notoriety wasn’t doing the state any favors in bucking unsavory stereotypes. The president of The Hip Event, Maria Falzo, and I decided to join forces and create a television series to showcase the real Garden State lifestyle. Thus, Hip New Jersey was born.
We developed a sizzle reel that featured New Jersey restaurants, nightlife, fashion, real estate, wellness, celebrities, and events–stories that would have otherwise gotten overlooked by the mainstream New York City and Philadelphia media outlets. We then shopped the concept around to the local networks. While they liked the idea, they were unanimous in their advice: focus on getting your show online instead of television as “everything was going digital.”
In 2013, I learned about the NFL’s exciting plans leading up to Super Bowl XLVIII at MetLife Stadium. Realizing that all eyes would be on New Jersey during Super Bowl week, we felt that was the perfect time to debut HipNewJersey.com.
Between Maria’s PR and marketing expertise and my video and digital media skills, HipNewJersey.com staked its claim as a premier Garden State lifestyle destination fairly quickly. Through the site, we developed and executed unique media campaigns that garnered maximum exposure.
In 2018, we were approached by Hometowne Television and NJ on Air about producing a thirty-minute television show. With that request, our original concept had come full circle! Once a month, we released a new episode of Hip New Jersey on those outlets.
In 2020, Hip New Jersey grew its television audience by syndicating its shows on News 12+. Currently, Hip New Jersey reaches over 2 million households in the Garden State.