4 reasons why PR pitching is an art form

By Scott Signore   This Post can Originally Be Found Here

Editorial pitches are opportunities for expression.

Artists have paint, clay, marble, video, mosaics, and many other media with which to express themselves. PR pros have email, direct messages on Twitter, InMail on LinkedIn, and plenty of other communications channels. Editorial pitching provides us PR professionals with a creative channel for securing a story.

It’s an art form, too, and here are four reasons why:

First, a PR pitch offers the practitioner unlimited creativity. You know the charge at hand and can accomplish your goal—connecting with a key writer or editor and seeing that they give attention to your story idea—in any manner that is appropriate.

The words you use count so much. You might be succinct or detailed, punchy or rich with metaphor or vignettes. Each pitch is a clean canvas and every outreach an attempt to inspire a specific reaction. It’s exciting, as every communication is another opportunity for success.

Second, like an artist working on a commissioned piece, it’s crucial that you consider the audience before getting started.

That’s typically both the audience (reporters) and the audience’s audience (editors and readers). The better you capture the imagination of the reporter with your initial outreach, the better the chances he or she will be inspired to “sell” the idea to editors and, ultimately, disseminate the story to legions of your client’s preferred readers.

Third, just as when you see a painting and are moved by what it attempts to convey, you know right away if your PR pitch struck a chord when you hear back (immediately and positively) from your editorial target. It’s a thing of beauty when your creativity captured the interest of your intended subject and inspired action.

Fourth, the preceding point is particularly true if your pitch was highly personalized for and delivered to a priority writer or editor, whose coverage often results in a landslide of other writers covering the same topic. It’s valuable to create the pitch that keeps on giving, paying dividends long after the client’s last check has cleared.

Can you think of other ways that editorial pitching constitutes an art form? Please off your thoughts in the comments section.

Scott Signore is the principal and CEO of Matter Communications. A version of this story first appeared on the agency’s PR Whiteboard blog

What to Consider as you Plan for Next Year

By:   This post can originally be found here

Early December is generally the time you start presenting PR plans for the next year. Pulling together a yearlong PR plan is a boatload of work. Last year, I pulled together some tips for planning for the New Year, but also found the below tidbits to be extremely helpful this year.

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  • Results of 2013. What worked/what didn’t work. Replicate and revamp tactics that worked.
  • Next year’s trends. What’s going to be trendy next year? In food, fashion, beauty, art. Categories beyond just your clients.
  • National holidays. Make note of those that your client should get involved in. Including national food and beverage holidays.
  • Movie premieres. Look up movie premieres in 2014 and see if there’s anything your client can tie into.
  • New social platforms. Thinking beyond just Twitter and Facebook – what are those other social platforms that are on the rise? More and more brands are joining Snapchat for example.
  • Media you haven’t tapped. What media is your target audience reading/ watching. Where haven’t you been featured? Brainstorm ideas on how to be a part of these outlets.
  • Brainstorm everywhere. The subway, in the shower, at the gym. Sometimes you come up with your greatest ideas out of the office.

What other factors do you consider when developing ideas for the new year?

8 tips for getting your press releases read and shared

By:Russell Working  This post can originally be found here

 

The press release is dead—or so we keep hearing.

But somebody forgot to tell Sarah Skerik, vice president of content marketing for PR Newswire.

“No one reads press releases?” she says. “I’m sorry, I have data otherwise. People read them by the millions.”

The thing is, press releases can be written well or handled badly. In a session titled “Proving the Value of PR Across the Organization,” she explains that press releases are content that can be widely shared—if you make it interesting and shareable.

“People are tweeting the daylights out of press releases,” she says.

Her comments come as many in public relations express doubt about the value of the press release. In a recent piece for the HubSpot blog, a former Newsweek reporter states that he deleted nearly every press release he received.

He quotes one industry pro who says: “The simple press release should have died years ago. In my mind, they’re dead already.”

Skerik, however, says press releases keep pulling in readers. Ten years ago, she would have told you that most of the people who will read your press release do so within 72 hours.

Today, press releases accrue only half their reads over the first four days. The rest of the readers continue to find the press release over the next four months and beyond.

Here are some tips from Skerik:

1. Write the way you talk.

Search engines prefer natural language, not jargon or marketing-speak. So do readers. Write naturally and use good grammar, Skerik says.

2. Cut back on links.

Skerik analyzed the worst-performing 500 out of a set of 20,000 press releases to figure out why these were the bottom feeders.

“I did find that the duds almost to an item had a preponderance of links within the release,” she says. “Every other word it seems has links, and it’s really annoying to the reader. And search engines saw it as spam.”

3. Avoid the use of Unnecessary Capitalization.

Copy littered with capital letters “in weird places … are a turnoff for a lot of readers and really will make your press release underperform,” Skerik says.

4. Recognize that content recirculates.

Ever puzzle why a friend on Facebook posted that same damned cat video you saw a year ago? That’s because content now is available to people on their own time frame, enabling them to recirculate it, Skerik says.

What’s old hat to you is new and interesting to the person who Googled it five minutes ago. Treat your press releases as part of your permanent content archive.

5. Always include something tweetable in your pitches.

Fans, bloggers, and even journalists can be willing to your press releases—but not if you make them work at it. Always include something they can tweet or share. Make it easy for them.

“They just hate it when you send a text-only pitch and attach a press release, and that’s it,” Skerik says.

6. How about issuing a press release in tweets?

In September, @AmazonKindle issued a press release in a series of 14 tweets. This allowed followers to retweet the parts that most interested them, such as the music or extended battery life, Skerik says.

She adds that a tweet about music might not have elicited a reaction from her, but because she provides tech support for an out-of-town parent, the tweet about a new “mayday button” for such support caught her eye.

 

The Mayday button revolutionizes tech support. Free and 24x7x365. Preview the TV spots: http://t.co/trvKced6oh #firehdx

— Kindle Team (@AmazonKindle) September 25, 2013

Caveats: @AmazonKindle lost an opportunity by not including additional images or media with every tweet, Skerik says. We at Ragan Central also noticed that at least one irritated Kindle follower responded to the stream of tweets with the words, “BLOCK FOR SPAM.”

7. Feed your influencers.

These hungry critters require regular doses of information to survive. They thrive on attention, and multimedia content is their favorite snack food. Exclusives make them purr.

“Give them the star treatment-give them the media treatment-and you will win an enthusiast for life,” Skerik says.

8. Interaction matters.

The Google algorithm has moved beyond merely scanning pages for words, Skerik says. Google now places a high value on people interacting with your content, and this can include old press releases.

Do people like the content? Do they link to it? Are they interacting with it? Do they continue to share it over time? That’s how you gain visibility in searches.

Russell Working is a staff writer at Ragan Communications.

Rachael Sacks: Why PR Pros Are Different Than Publicists

By Shawn Paul Wood This post can be found here

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Forgive the headline. This nitwit does not espouse the definition of why PR pros are different than publicists. Rather, she is the proof in the proverbial pudding splattered all over her dress.

I have often aforethought a contentious opinion on the said difference between PR pros and publicists.

Full disclosure, I — as well as almost 90 percent of the media — loathe publicists. And if you check my LinkedIn profile, I’ve been one to some major domos out there, so I can share this. Why the vitriol in the industry? The aforementioned example. They make PR professionals look bad. I have a theory, so kids, hold your ears. The difference between a PR pro and publicist is like a pimp and his ho. One works for it, strategizes the right area for it, and knows how to bring in ROI for it. The other…well, just shows up. Enough said?

That said, thanks to the New York Post, meet Rachael Sacks.

Here’s how self-avowed wealthy college brat Rachael Sacks responded Saturday after her online essay, “I’m Not Going to Pretend That I’m Poor to be Accepted by You,” earned her Page One notoriety in the best paper in town.
“I don’t even have a publicist yet,” exclaimed Sacks, whose doctor dad back home in Maryland is footing all her bills as she pursues a writing degree at the New School.
“Maybe I’ll get a publicist, I don’t know,” she mused holding up The Post and smiling as she flipped the bird to haters. “People are suggesting that to me.”

So, sans an introduction to celebrity fandom via the night-vision tape (Kim Kardashian, we see you), this pre-pubescent dolt thinks he answer to fame is having someone schlep around to get her on TV and radio.

And that’s what is wrong with PR — the publicist.

Any dolt with Mommy and Daddy money thinks being a publicist means you have arrived. No, a publicist means they haven’t arrived. You think what they do is work? They represent someone famous, and after fetching said starlet’s dry cleaning and sex toys, they call a local radio station and say, “Hey, I have this chick. Wanna talk to her?”

Of course the answer is a clamoring, “YES” and a PR-ish career is born. The minute PR professionals can stop confusing publicists actions to what we do, the better off we will be as an industry. And publicists, if you want to join the real world, call us.

Then again who could blame you? You get drive cars that aren’t yours. Fetch clothes you can’t afford. Shill for people who don’t deserve fame in hope you get a cameo on some dumbass ‘Bravo’ show.

Maybe being a publicist is the way to go after all. Hey, Rachael? Call me.

Tips for PR pros planning a 2014 editorial calendar

By Carrie Morgan  This post can originally be found here

If you’re the kind of uber-efficient PR pro who organizes Outlook into client-specific folders, keeps client folders for years after they’ve evaporated, and alphabetizes books and CDs, this post is for you.

If you’re a new PR professional still learning the ropes, this might help.

It’s October. If you aren’t thinking about 2014 editorial calendars, it’s time to shift into gear.

I’m talking not about creating editorial calendars for your blog or social content, but about the traditional PR tactic of using editorial calendars created by magazines, trade publications, and other media for securing placement opportunities. Newspapers and broadcast media generally don’t provide editorial calendars.

Editorial calendar searches are a basic PR skill, but one that way too many pros gloss over, only do annually, or forget entirely. That’s a mistake, given how aligning your pitches to an editorial calendar bumps your success rate way up.

It’s time to kick off the process for next year. If you wait much longer, it will be too late to pitch January/February issues. You don’t want a client calling to ask, “Why am I not in this issue? It’s a perfect fit for what we do.”

For newbies

Magazines and many other media outlets, as well as the larger blogs, publish an annual calendar of upcoming articles or topics they’ll be covering. It’s a smorgasbord of opportunity and a foundational public relations skill. It’s also an opportunity for you to let your PR skills shine, because most agencies and PR pros don’t spend enough time with them to gain maximum benefit.

1. If a team is handling the client, ask whether editorial calendars have been collected, and what agency or department procedures typically are for handling this part of PR. You don’t want to re-invent the wheel if someone is already on top of it, but you do want to show everyone that you are getting the foundation in place for fantastic results, that you are covering the basics.

2. Assuming you’ve already built your client media list and/or a list of publications you’ll be targeting, check their website first to see if it is available for download, then contact every outlet on that list and ask for a media kit. Generally this includes the editorial calendar, demographic information about readership, ad sizes and specs, and ad due dates. Why is this better than asking for just the editorial calendar? Because the ad due dates tell you when the publication goes to press. It helps you plan the timing of your pitch so it isn’t too late to be considered.

3. Keep a spreadsheet so you can easily track whom you’ve spoken with, which ones you have, and which ones you are still waiting on. It also gives you a tickler file to get started on the next year.

4. Print out the editorial calendars, put them in a clearly labeled folder and keep it on your desk. Plan on referring to it often. Tuck a copy of your spreadsheet in the folder, too.

5. If you don’t already have a relationship going, contact each publication individually to discuss their print schedule. When do they typically close out their issue? How far in advance should you pitch them? What is too late? Do they prefer to be pitched via email, LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, or phone? Do they have special issues with different print schedules? If it’s a blog or e-zine and not a print publication, look at their website to see if they prefer post submissions that are ready to publish. (It’s usually an obvious page.) Note all this information on your spreadsheet.

Next steps for advanced PR pros and newbies alike

6. Spend time going over each editorial calendar and writing down story ideas to pitch. Match the ideas to the issue, and then schedule each individual pitch in Outlook. Don’t assume you’ll remember; schedule it as an appointment using the timing determined in No. 4.

7. You’re not an Outlook user, or you want a secondary tool to be sure important dates don’t slip your mind? Create your own calendar that flags specific dates and publications you should pitch, and look at it every Monday so you know what’s coming up in the next week or two.  Print it out and pop it in that folder with the printed editorial calendars; make it a habit to review it frequently.

8. Every time an Outlook alert goes off and it is time to pitch a specific issue of a publication, glance over the entire folder anew to see what opportunities you have for that month. This might seem too often, but it helps you get intimately familiar with these magazines and their upcoming topics. It also helps inspire creativity, because you’ll notice something new or gain fresh inspiration with every review. Many pros look at their editorial calendars once or twice a year, which isn’t nearly often enough. It also forces you to plan far in advance.

9. If you supervise a team, sit down and review the editorial calendars together. Brainstorm or review their story ideas that the editorial calendar stimulates, then don’t forget to look at the actual pitches. It seems like far too many agencies don’t supervise the team or work with them to improve their tactics—an epic failure for everyone involved. Pitches and the processes we all use are not a big secret; they should be continually improved and fine-tuned for optimal results. Don’t hesitate to get involved.

 

10. Start collecting next year’s editorial calendars in early fall. This helps you to avoid missing out on great opportunities early in the year simply because your timing is off and you start too late. Magazines, trade publications, large blogs, and e-zines—round ’em up and get those opportunities scheduled.

Time to share. What tactics do you use for editorial calendar searches? Any fabulous tips?

Carrie Morgan is a 20-plus year public relations veteran based in Phoenix, specializing in digital PR. A version of this story first appeared on the Rock The Status Quo blog.

Sold Out Summit Brings Women In PR From Around The Country

After a successful, sold out, intense, but very educational Women In PR Summit in Houston, Texas at the Doubletree Suites Galleria.

Women In PR is known for providing a way for students and professionals to learn what it will take to succeed in the public relations industry. Many PR professionals have been eager to give back as a keynote speaker or participating on the panelist.

This year the summit was about the business of PR. Topics that were discussed was everything from social media profiles to how to find sponsorship money.

A highnote was Nicole Garner of The Garner Circle who gave the closing keynote address Running In Heels. Providing tips on how to be successful in the beginning and how to become the publicist that you imagine yourself to be.

This year panelist included Cher Jones, the social media guru, Ruth Ann Wiesner of Raw Marketing, Aerial Ellis and Perri Dugard-Owens from Dugard Ellis, Raven Robinson of PR2Politics, Julie Griffith of J.Griffith Public Relations, Kristi Jackson of Women CEO Project, La Shawn Thomas of Miami Entertainment Law Group and many more.

Women In PR is glad to announce the next Summit will be in Chicago in August 2014. With the continued success of the summit we are ecstatic to go to the windy city next year. Women In PR passion is to teach what can’t be learned in the classroom but by real life experiences.

For more information about the Women In PR Summit http://www.wiprsummit.com

Co-Founder of WIPR Anje Collins and Attendees

Co-Founder of WIPR Anje Collins and Attendees

Co-Founder of WIPR Anje Collins and Attendees
Keynote Speaker Nicole Garner of The Garner Circle

Keynote Speaker Nicole Garner of The Garner Circle

Panelists Kristi Jackson of Women CEO Project, Ruth Ann Wiesner of Raw Marketing, Anje Collins of Women In PR, Julie Griffith of J Griffith PR and Perri Dugard Owens of Dugard Ellis PR

Panelists Kristi Jackson of Women CEO Project, Ruth Ann Wiesner of Raw Marketing, Anje Collins of Women In PR, Julie Griffith of J Griffith PR and Perri Dugard Owens of Dugard Ellis PR

HOW TO WRITE SO EDITORS DON’T HATE YOU

 

This post can be found here

As a writer, it pains me to say that I don’t always know exactly what people will gravitate to and read, instead, I try and identify the type of story a publication would choose to print, or not. While editing yesterday evening,  my frustration became so intense that I recalled  a post from Women in PR, “PR Pro habits Journalists Despise”,  which prompted me to write this piece. The WIPR post stems from Katie Burke’s “S%*t PR People Do That Journalists Hate”.

Now, I’m no Katie Burke, but as a young editor, I feel compelled to express the s%*t writers do that makes me hate them.

1. Write with purpose.
There is nothing worse than being handed an article with all the meat but no veggies or complex carbs. We’re hungry for compelling material, so make a healthy balanced meal out of it. Create a general outline of your story, then decide on its purpose.  If you are having a hard time populating your outline, that could be an indication to either, choose a new angle or trash the story.

2. Ditch the question marks.
Only ask a question when it is a legitimate one.
How would that make you feel? Could this path be for you? You as a writer should write to make me feel, however that I should or convince me that path is my destiny. Stop the “what if?” madness and give us all something to chew on.

3. It’s all about me.
If you are writing a narrative, by all means, recount your journey and experiences, but if your article is supposed to be about herbalism or the history of pancakes—which is quite interesting if I may add—don’t make it about you. It seems it takes an eternity to turn those egomaniacal comments into quotes or supporting facts. I don’t know about you, but who wants to take an eternity on anything.

4. Going comma crazy.
Gone are the days of commas and semi-colons. When appropriate,  connect long thoughts, with a long dash. The article will appear more neat overall.

5. Pay attention.
Review the general writing style of the publication you are submitting to. If the articles don’t contain bullet point lists, first person narrative or funky fonts,  don’t bother sending your story over in poor shape. Great writers have the supreme ability to adapt, don’t be afraid to show off.

6. The guessing game.
Don’t write as if you were talking. Your ideas should be communicated clear and concise, so they won’t be misinterpreted. Also, avoid the use of seemingly common phrases—no one wants to Google every quirky thing you have to say, to determine if it’s tasteful.

7. Act like a writer, think like an editor.
Friendly and accessible writers, that are understanding and genuinely open to improve, get first priority in my book. These writers win you over with their persistence, charisma and of course, precise writing style. Before you have the chance to ask, they already have the answer—be it a quote, supporting graphic or the occasional reminder that any piece they submit comes with a “no piss off” guarantee.

Writers and editors, what are some other things that drive you crazy? How can we fix them?

FYI Meet The 20 Most Powerful Publicists In Hollywood

By: ALY WEISMAN This post can be found here
When most people think of publicists, they picture someone like Vincent Chase’s fast-talking, cell phone-addicted, workaholic publicist, Shauna Roberts (expertly played by Debi Mazar) on HBO’s “Entourage.” 

In reality, most of these traits are actually true of Hollywood publicists, who are on-call 24/7 for their A-list clients.

Whether they’re crafting an actor’s image, babysitting a hard-partying starlet, fielding phone calls from press, or helming a multi-million dollar movie campaign, publicists are an integral part of the showbiz machine.

And they’re getting paid big bucks to do so. “The most basic services start at $4,500 a month and escalate toward what she calls ‘the high six figures’ annually for corporate clients,” reports one top Hollywood publicist in a 2011 New York Times profile.

So we decided to rank them based on their power in the business.

Our picks are based on the wattage of their client roster, feats accomplished, the nominations we asked for in August, and by talking to industry insiders such as journalists and producers who work with publicists on a regular basis, to get a sense of who really holds the keys to Hollywood.

Between TV, film studio, and celebrity publicists, we couldn’t possibly fit everyone on our list, so the following represents at least one in each category.

Although they often prefer to remain under the radar and let their clients soak up the spotlight, publicists know how important image can be. When we asked each of the 20 publicists on our list for further information, almost every single one replied: “Who else is on the list?”

 

20.) John Wentworth, Executive Vice President at CBS Television Distribution

20.) John Wentworth, Executive Vice President at CBS Television Distribution

Courtesy John Wentworth

Clients: “Dr. Phil,” “The Doctors,” “Rachel Ray,” “Entertainment Tonight,” “The Insider,” “Inside Edition,” “Excused,” “Judge Judy,” “Judge Joe Brown,” “Wheel of Fortune,” “Jeopardy!” and “Swift Justice With Nancy Grace.

Memorable moment: Launching such long-running shows.

Why he makes the list: In addition to helping launch a long list of successful TV shows, Wentworth oversees the publicity of 12 syndicated shows. Before his current position at CBS, Wentworth was EVP of Marketing and Communications for 11 years at Paramount Network Television.

19.) Nicole Perna, BWR

19.) Nicole Perna, BWR

Twitter

Clients: Jessica Chastain, Chloe Moretz, Sharon Osbourne, Jenna Dewan, Lucy Hale, Johnny Galecki, Ryan Phillippe, Diane Kruger, Nikki Reed, Kellan Lutz.

Memorable moment: Perna reportedly lost her temper after an Australia morning show teased an interview with her client Nicole Richie by showing video of the star’s troubled past.

Why she makes the list: Perna, who has been at BWR since 2002, was promoted in June to help develop new strategies to support talent in a changing digital landscape. In an announcement, BWR partner Nanci Ryder said Perna has “shown tremendous skill in client development over the years … With [her] leadership and insight we see the opportunity for continued growth and diversification of this company.”

18.) Jill Fritzo, Publicist at PMK*BNC

18.) Jill Fritzo, Publicist at PMK*BNC

Courtesy Jill Fritzo

Clients: Kim Kardashian, Khloe Kardashian, Kourtney Kardashian, Brooke Shields, Shannen Doherty, Denise Richards, Kristin Chenoweth, Vanessa Hudgens, Michael Strahan.

Memorable moment: “I have had so many memorable career moments. I love my job and every day it is exciting to be a part of what the clients are doing and what they are passionate about. I feel very lucky to have this job and be able to be a part of some very cool things! Memorable career moments are getting to work with some people who I idolized growing up.”

Why she makes the list: She reps all three of the Kardashian sisters. Last year alone, the Kardashian empire pulled in roughly $65 million.

17.) Joy Fehily, Partner at Prime Public Relations and Communications

17.) Joy Fehily, Partner at Prime Public Relations and Communications

Courtesy Joy Fehily

Clients: Aaron Sorkin, Olivia Wilde, McG, Seth McFarlane and Graham King.

Memorable moment: “There are so, so, so many! However, all of the ‘firsts’ tend to be the most special.  At my very first film scoring session, the director brought me to the center of the room with the orchestra while they were playing.  Being a part of this music and film collaboration process for the first time was one of my all-time favorite career moments.”

Why she makes the list: Joy is the founding partner of PRIME Public Relations. PRIME is a Los Angeles-based firm providing communications, brand management, marketing, strategic planning and social media services to the entertainment industry.  Clients of the specialty firm include prominent actors, award-winning filmmakers, leading television creators and producers, production companies, nonprofit corporations and sports leagues.

After receiving a dual degree in Social Science and Communications from USC, Fehily began her public relations career at PMK Public Relations, segued to Castle Rock Entertainment and then returned to the newly-formed PMK/HBH.  At PMK/HBH, Fehily served as senior vice president of their bi-coastal film department.

16.) Howard Bragman, Founder, Fifteen Minutes PR

16.) Howard Bragman, Founder, Fifteen Minutes PR

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Clients: Stevie Wonder, Camille Grammer, Chaz Bono, Petra Ecclestone, Adrienne Maloof.

Memorable moment: “The times I remember most are when my lesbian and gay clients came out of the closet and I could actually see and feel the lightness in their hearts as their burdens were lifted.”

Why he makes the list: With over 30 years of PR experience, Bragman now serves as an ABC News Consultant for “Good Morning America,” is the resident Public Relations Expert for “Entertainment Tonight,” resident Spin Doctor for HLN’s “Showbiz Tonight” and was a frequent contributor to “The Joy Behar Show.”

He is the author of the book “Where’s My Fifteen Minutes?,” has over 118,000 followers on Twitter and a deal with E! for a scripted series about PR — inspired by his real-life experiences.

15.) Danica Smith, Publicist at PMK*BNC

15.) Danica Smith, Publicist at PMK*BNC

Shutterstock

Clients: Colin Farrell, Olivia Munn, Wanda Sykes, Mike Epps, Zach Braff, Matthew Fox, Michael Pena, Carmelo Anthony, Kim Cattrall.

Memorable moment: Smith has helped Olivia Munn go from “Attack of the Show” host on G4 to starring in Aaron Sorkin’s HBO series “The Newsroom.”

Why she makes the list: Longtime publicist and PMK executive, Smith is a masterful talent publicist representing actors, actresses, comedians, sports stars, and personalities.

14.) Nicole Perez-Krueger, Publicist, PMK*BNC

14.) Nicole Perez-Krueger, Publicist, PMK*BNC

Courtesy Nicole Perez-Krueger

Clients: Matthew McConaughey, Christina Aguilera, Lauren Conrad, Jewel, Whitney Port, Marisa Miller, Stacy Keibler and Jeff Lewis.

Memorable moment: Under Perez-Krueger’s guidance and tactical direction, Lauren Conrad remains the third highest-selling magazine cover despite the fact that she hasn’t been on a television series for years. Also, by orchestrating strategic press coverage and positioning, Perez-Krueger transformed the public (and professional) image of Matthew McConaughey from a romantic comedy heart throb to a serious actor and awards contender.

Why she makes the list: A veteran entertainment industry publicist, Perez-Krueger joined PMK*BNC in June of 2011 from Rogers & Cowan. Perez-Krueger has an innate sense of media and is an expert at managing the images of her high-profile clientele.   

13.) Amanda Lundberg, co-head of 42West’s Entertainment Marketing Division

13.) Amanda Lundberg, co-head of 42West’s Entertainment Marketing Division

42west.net/lundberg

Clients: Tom Cruise, Kelly Ripa, Bobby & Peter Farrelly, “Bridesmaids” director Paul Feig.

Memorable moment: As as Senior Vice President of Worldwide Publicity at MGM, Lundberg was one of the key executives responsible for rejuvenating the James Bond franchise by initiating and carrying out publicity campaigns for “Goldeneye,” “Tomorrow Never Dies,” and “The World Is Not Enough.”

Why she makes the list: As the co-head of 42West’s Entertainment Marketing Division, Lundberg oversees film release campaigns, awards campaigns, and publicity initiatives for filmmakers. Before joining the firm as a partner in 2005, Lundberg was head of Public Relations at Miramax, overseeing publicity for worldwide theatrical releases.

12.) Jill Hudson, VP of Publicity at FOX

12.) Jill Hudson, VP of Publicity at FOX

Courtesy Jill Hudson/Fox

Clients: Jill is the lead publicist on two of Fox’s biggest shows, “American Idol” and “The X Factor.” She also used to run publicity for the network’s longstanding hit, “The Simpsons.”

Memorable moment: “For the past 16 years at FOX I’ve worked with some of the most talented people in the industry and have had so many incredible experiences, but I’d have to say launching ‘Malcolm in the Middle’ was the turning point in my publicity career. The show went on to become a huge success and it was so gratifying to work on campaigns that garnered truly gifted actors like Bryan Cranston his first Emmy nomination. Since then I’ve gone on to work on everything from ‘The Simpsons’ to ‘Hell’s Kitchen’ to ‘American Idol’ and ‘The X Factor.’ Both the latter have allowed me to travel all over the country and meet everyday people whose lives have literally changed the moment they stepped on that stage. It’s inspirational to be even a small part of that phenomenon.”

Why she makes the list: According to Gaude Paez, Vice President of Corporate Communications at FOX, “Jill is one of the most well-liked and respected network publicists I know, and I don’t think any list of top Hollywood publicists would be complete without her. Her ability to manage huge brands like ‘American Idol’ and ‘The X Factor’ and work with high-profile talent like Simon Cowell, Paula Abdul, Jennifer Lopez, Steven Tyler, and Britney Spears makes her a huge asset for the FOX network.”

11.) Adam Keen, EVP, Worldwide Publicity & Corporate Communications at Relativity Media

11.) Adam Keen, EVP, Worldwide Publicity & Corporate Communications at Relativity Media

Courtesy Adam Keen

Clients: Keen recently led the worldwide theatrical publicity campaigns for Relativity’s box office hits “Act of Valor” and “Immortals,” as well as the successful launches of “Mirror Mirror,”” Limitless,” Steven Soderbergh’s “Haywire” and “Shark Night 3D.” Looking ahead, Keen will lead the theatrical publicity campaigns for Relativity’s upcoming releases including Nicholas Sparks”’ Safe Haven,” Scott Cooper’s “Out of the Furnace,” Liam Hemsworth starrer “Paranoia,” Luc Besson’s” Malavita,” “21 and Over” and many other titles.

Memorable moment: “Working on documentaries or films based on true stories is always a pleasure because of the amazing and inspired people you get to meet. You feel the impact on these projects as you are not only helping to educate the masses on some great factual story or issue, but have the responsibility to represent the personal subjects as well. These are the campaigns that always stay with me.”

Why he makes the list: He’s worked everywhere! Before joining Relativity, Keen was senior vice president of Worldwide Publicity & Corporate Communications at Overture Films, head of Entertainment and Brand Strategies Division at I/D Public Relations, and spent five years as the senior vice president of special projects at MGM & United Artists where he oversaw specialized publicity efforts for both the domestic and international divisions. Before his employment at MGM, Keen handled similar duties at DreamWorks SKG in the special projects department working on such award-winning films as “American Beauty” and “Almost Famous.

10.) Cindi Berger, Chairman and CEO of PMK*BNC

10.) Cindi Berger, Chairman and CEO of PMK*BNC

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Clients: Robert Redford, Mariah Carey, Billy Crystal, Barbara Walters, Simon Cowell, Rosie O’Donnell, John Legend and Harry Connick Jr.

Memorable moment: “One of the most memorable moments in my career was the night the Dixie Chicks won the 5 top Grammy Awards including, Album of the Year, Best Country Album, Song of the Year, Record of the Year, and Best Country Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal (2007).”

Why she makes the list: Berger got her start at publicity firm PMK as the receptionist and worked her way up the ranks to become chairman and CEO of PMK*BNC. She has led countless film campaigns, consults for The Weinstein Company and works on OWN’s documentary film series. She also helped launch and continues to work on the award-winning talk show “The View” and “The Barbara Walters Specials.” 

9.) Lewis Kay, COO/EVP, Entertainment at PMK*BNC

9.) Lewis Kay, COO/EVP, Entertainment at PMK*BNC

Courtesy Lewis Kay

Clients: Jimmy Kimmel, Amy Poehler, Will Arnett, Zooey Deschanel, Louis CK, Tracy Morgan, Chris D’Elia, Joel McHale, Sarah Silverman and Paul Scheer.

Memorable moment: “I am sorry but it is Emmy week so I am tapped out on creativity right now!”

Why he makes the list: He reps the kings and queens of comedy.

During his more than 15-year tenure with the company, Kay has played an integral role in building the agency’s Media Relations area into the robust practice it is today.  Overseeing a staff of more than 30 professionals, Kay supervises the agency’s Television, Special Events, Lifestyle, Talent and Corporate Entertainment divisions.

Kay also oversaw efforts to grow the agency’s overall social media presence by a whopping 4,300 percent in just two years and is an expert in how to effectively utilize social media tools to enhance any communications strategy.

8.) Nanci Ryder, Co-Founder of BWR

8.) Nanci Ryder, Co-Founder of BWR

Ryder, left, with longtime client René Zellwegger.

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Clients: Katie Holmes, Mila Kunis, Ewan McGregor, Viggo Mortensen, Blake Lively, Johnny Galecki, Renée Zellweger, Amber Valletta, Matt LeBlanc, Eric Dane, Rose McGowan, Terrence Howard.

Memorable moment: In July, Katie Holmes left her shared publicist with Tom Cruise and returned to her pre-marriage reps, BWR’s Nanci Ryder and Leslie Sloane—who originally signed the actress at age 16.

Why she makes the list: The “R” in BWR stands for Ryder.

7.) Leslie Sloane Zelnik, Publicist and co-president, BWR

7.) Leslie Sloane Zelnik, Publicist and co-president, BWR

Megan Fox, one of Leslie’s star clients.

AP

Clients: Katie Holmes, Blake Lively, Kate Beckinsale, Megan Fox, Zoe Saldana, Diane Kruger, Michael J. Fox, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Emmy Rossum, Lucy Hale, Gretchen Mol, Melissa McCarthy, Chris Rock, Jason Biggs, Penn Badgley, Edgar Ramirez, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Chris O’Donnell, Mariska Hargitay, keke Palmer, Katharine McPhee, Lauren Graham.

Memorable moment: “I could give a moment with every client, but one that stands out is when a teenage Megan Fox got my phone number from Kelly Ripa and called me to ask if I’d represent her. It was very sweet.”

Why she makes the list: Despite saying “God I hate stuff like that” when contacted about this list, Cindy Guagenti — the managing director at BWR Public Relations — then recommended Leslie Sloane as one of her top picks to get a spot on our list.

6.) Shawn Sachs and Ken Sunshine, Co-CEOs, Sunshine Sachs

6.) Shawn Sachs and Ken Sunshine, Co-CEOs, Sunshine Sachs

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Clients: Leonardo DiCaprio, Ben Affleck, Barbra Streisand, Bette Midler, Cyndi Lauper, Darren Criss, Demi Lovato, Guy Fieri, Harry Belafonte, Jessica Lu, Jon Bon Jovi, Karlie Kloss, Kathy Griffin, Katie Lee , Leonard Cohen, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Malin Akerman, Naomi Campbell, Nick Lachey, Novak Djokovic, Ryan Lochte, The Band Perry, The Jonas Brothers (Joe, Nick, Kevin), Trace Adkins, Trisha Yearwood, Tyler Perry, Andre Benjamin.

Memorable moment: Shawn: “I am really proud of the type of work we do and the clients we represent. Nearly half of the clients we represent have a cause element ranging from documentary films to digital, celebrity, corporate, crisis, legal and of course nonprofit organizations. In a very short amount of time, we have grown significantly without compromising our values or losing our culture. I love that we work with clients like the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, American Red Cross, Calvary Hospital, Canon, DoSomething.org, NY Jets, NYC Ballet, Comcast and digital leaders such as IAC, Bing, eBay, Facebook, and the Webby awards — yet we don’t have a website. Keeping our unique culture while we grow is both the single biggest challenge and at the same time the greatest joy.”

Why they makes the list: A quiet yet super powerful PR firm, their clients range from celebs and corporations to non-profits and politicos. They have recently opened an LA office, run by Keleigh Thomas, and nearly tripled their number of staff.

5.) Ina Treciokas, Publicist & Partner at Slate PR

5.) Ina Treciokas, Publicist & Partner at Slate PR

Treciokas’ longtime client, Sarah Jessica Parker.

Examiner/AP

Clients: Harrison Ford, Woody Harrelson, Sarah Jessica Parker, Leslie Mann, Anna Paquin, Owen Wilson, Liev Schreiber, Jon Favreau, David Schwimmer, George Lopez, Justin Theroux, Anjelica Huston, John Leguizamo, Eddie Izzard.

Memorable Moment: Starting her own company after 13 years in the ‘biz.

Why she makes the list: After working at ID PR, Ina co-founded Slate PR. At the time, ID founder Kelly Bush (see slide 17) called the departing senior EVP one of her best friends. According to Deadline, “It seems like she is leaving at a time when Kelly is expanding the company into other more lucrative revenue streams, like brand representation and management, while Ina enjoys actual client representation.”

4.) Kelly Bush, Founder & CEO, ID PR

4.) Kelly Bush, Founder & CEO, ID PR

Twitter/kellylbush

Clients: Ben Stiller, Tobey Maguire, Ellen Page, Drake, Christopher Nolan, Javier Bardem, Diane Lane, John Malkovich, Alicia Keys.

Memorable moment: Bush took on actor Paul Reubens as a client and led the effort to revive his career by pushing him to resurrect his Pee-wee Herman persona for a 2007 appearance on Spike TV. A positive reception led to a Broadway run for “The Pee-wee Herman Show” in 2010 and a career revival that now has him starting production “very soon” on a new “Pee-wee Herman” movie with Judd Apatow.

Why she makes the list: This NYT profile of Bush discusses how she persuaded Sony to cast Tobey Maguire as the lead in “Spider-Man” by lining up a sexy magazine shoot, can get nasty headlines removed from Google, and jokingly says her goal for ID PR is “world domination.”

According to her Twitter bio, she is also “Mother of two girls. Passionate about equality. Endlessly curious.”

3.) Robin Baum, Publicist & Partner at Slate PR

3.) Robin Baum, Publicist & Partner at Slate PR

Courtesy Robin Baum

Clients: Johnny Depp, Ryan Gosling, Dakota Fanning, Chris Hemsworth, Daniel Craig, Alexander Skarsgard, Kate Bosworth, Naomi Watts, Orlando Bloom, Antonio Banderas, Melanie Griffith, Benicio Del Toro, Jared Leto.

Memorable moment: “A memorable moment for me was being acknowledged by Russell Crowe during his Oscar acceptance speech for ‘Gladiator.'”

Why she makes the list: Her client list speaks for itself.

2.) Meredith O’Sullivan, Head of West Coast Talent Department at 42 West

2.) Meredith O'Sullivan, Head of West Coast Talent Department at 42 West

O’Sullivan’s client, Jessica Biel.

Steffen Kugler/Getty Images

Clients: Jessica Biel, Reese Witherspoon, Will Smith, Ryan Reynolds, Rachel McAdams, Halle Berry, Rosario Dawson, David Spade, Scott Caan.

Memorable moment: Reese Witherspoon recently left her longtime publicist to be repped by O’Sullivan.

Why she makes the list: In addition to repping A-list talent, O’Sullivan is the head of the West Coast talent team at 42West — overseeing all staff.

1.) Stephen Huvane & Simon Halls, Founders of Slate PR

1.) Stephen Huvane & Simon Halls, Founders of Slate PR

Stephen Huvane with client, Jennifer Aniston.

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Clients: Jennifer Aniston, Neil Patrick Harris, Ryan Gosling, Harrison Ford, Kirsten Dunst, Anne Hathaway, Johnny Depp, Channing Tatum, Ryan Murphy, Ridley Scott, Jude Law, Matthew Broderick, Annette Bening, Frances McDormand, Sam Mendes, Nathan Lane, Ang Lee, Brett Ratner, Gore Verbinski and Tom Ford. 

Memorable moment: Perez Hilton printed a fairly lengthy email Stephen Huvane sent to him regarding how the gossip blogger snarkily reported his client Jennifer Aniston’s break up with Vince Vaughn.

Why they make the list: After a long career in public relations and with a few brothers in the ‘biz, including CAA powerhouse agent Kevin Huvane, Stephen Huvane is deeply entrenched in Hollywood.

Simon Halls, whose longtime partner is “White Collar” star Matt Bomer, has played a central role in promoting gay visibility within the entertainment industry.

Together, they rep Hollywood’s top actors and filmmakers.

BONUS: Debi Mazar as publicist Shauna Roberts on HBO’s “Entourage”

Before actors need a publicist, they first need a director.

Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/20-most-powerful-publicists-in-hollywood-2012-10?op=1#ixzz2YktLAsB2

Corporate to Agency Life: Differences Between the Two

By: Yvette Pistorio- This post can be found here

 

Corporate to Agency Life: Differences Between the Two

I come to you to talk about the differences between corporate to agency life because I’ve done both.

I worked on the corporate side for the first five years of my career.

Only recently (about seven months ago) did I join an agency.

Moving from corporate to agency life really showed me how different they are – and it’s not just billable hours, managing multiple accounts, being responsive at all times of the day and night, and client reports.

The pace, culture, day-to-day duties and tasks, income, purpose – really, everything is different.

Corporate Life

On the corporate side, things happen a lot more slowly. I forget where I read it, but the best analogy was when someone said it’s like being stuck at a red light. You’re waiting for the light to turn green; wait for it…wait for it…alright, maybe there is a mechanical issue with the light.

It takes longer to champion your cause, negotiate for resources, and see your projects through to completion. On the flip side, you have the opportunity to truly come up with an idea, follow through on your recommendations, and finish the project.

The good thing about a corporate setting: You have a much deeper understanding of the business, its culture, and the job role. It provides longevity and stability, but it lacks variety. There tends to be more conflicting objectives, not just between departments, but sometimes in your own team. And you have to become an expert at political maneuverings, which I found just annoying.

Agency Life

If you like a fun, fast-paced environment, collaboration, and continuous learning, agency life might be the right fit. Tasks and decisions come quickly. Actually, everything moves at a much faster pace.

There is continuous learning which is fun, but not easy. You get to work with a variety of clients and sectors, and you get to see a breadth of strategies. It requires you to know a lot about, well, a lot. Your clients expect you to bring your A-game every day, so there is a lot of note-taking and studying. You have to stay ahead of current news, trends, and technology. After all, your clients shouldn’t tell you what to do; you’re the expert.

An agency also affords you the opportunity to try your hand at different specializations. What that does, especially early on in your career, is give you the ability to find what you do and don’t like. An agency can also be filled with more experienced and wiser professionals who can help teach and mentor you.

On the downside, you aren’t privy to internal client discussions and sometimes are told about new initiatives much too late. You also most likely work longer hours, including nights and weekends.

Corporate to Agency Life

I can’t say I prefer one more than the other, because they are so completely different. Both have their benefits and drawbacks. Neither side is cushier than the other, but I will say life at an agency has kept me on my toes and I’m never bored…ever.

Do you prefer agency or corporate work? Why?

About Yvette Pistorio

Yvette Pistorio is an account executive and community manager for Arment Dietrich. She is a lover of pop culture, cupcakes, and HGTV, and enjoys a good laugh. There are a gazillion ways you can find her online.

5 things not to expect from an unpaid intern

Don’t be surprised if they come in late or don’t give their all. Without being paid, they have less motivation to do either and can damage your business, argues this PR pro.

By Hannah Stacey

 

 

Ah, the PR internship.

That much-maligned rite of passage for anyone hoping to make their way in the communications world.

It’s a bit like that inevitable bin-dunking you get on your first day of junior school (just me, then?) or learning to drive: Painful and a bit degrading at the same time.

Hopefully you emerge from the whole sorry mess a better, more enlightened person (or, alternatively, a sniveling shadow of your former self).

Those bewildering weeks spent shackled to the photocopier, the tea-making, the media-list compiling, the general skivvying—and without being paid—that’s all a massive favor, isn’t it? No, not on the intern’s part, silly! It’s an act of kindness from PR agencies, giving career-thirsty 20-somethings extremely valuable lessons in the workings of the illustrious communications industry (and hot beverage-making too, of course).

If anything, these interns should pay PR agencies for such an enlightening induction into public relations, right?

Wrong.

My cheekiness aside, unpaid internships can potentially be harmful to your business. At the very least, you’re probably not going to get the very best. And they could prove detrimental to your business.

Unpaid interns can’t do it all

Here are five things you can’t expect from an unpaid intern.

1. They get out of bed on time. We aren’t all morning people. It takes a wildly irritating alarm clock and the comforting reassurance that Starbucks will be open to get me out of bed on time each morning—and I love my job. If you’re not paying someone to get to work on time every day, chances are they won’t.

While punctuality may seem nitpicky to some, rocking through the office door at 9:15 a.m. just isn’t cool; it massively de-motivates everyone on your team. Hitting the ground running at 9 a.m. sharp is crucial if you want to maintain a professional working environment.

2. They give it their all. Okay, so your new intern might start out all bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, but anyone who seriously expects them to arrive with a smile on their face, ready to bust a gut every morning when they’re not getting a dime in return, probably needs their head examined.

If you’re not offering your intern money or job stability for their efforts, you can’t really complain when they dedicate some of their working hours to finding someone else who will. When you pay interns, it’s not unreasonable to expect they’ll put a decent amount of effort in. The result? You’ve got someone who’s genuinely adding value to your business rather than sitting twiddling their thumbs.

3. They’re a team player. Your intern might be as altruistic as Robin Hood, but working day-in and day-out with people who are getting paid when they’re not earning a cent isn’t going to make them feel like part of the team. No matter how much they smile and laugh when you give them another media list to compile, chances are they’ll resent you. When everyone’s hard work is recognized and remunerated, they’ll feel more team-spirited and you’ll be free of office bad vibes.

4. They’ll hit the ground running. Having an “extra pair of hands” around the office sounds nice, but an intern is another person to manage (this is particularly true if they haven’t been through the company’s full selection process). I’ve said enough about how paying your interns will encourage them to work harder. It’s inevitable any intern will cost you in management time. Why not invest this time in someone who brings value to your business rather than someone who doesn’t feel like they owe you anything?

5. They’ll be the best of the best. Unpaid internships make the PR industry silly and elitist. Effectively they say: “You can only work for me if you (or your parents) are willing to fork out for food.” That’s nearly as absurd as saying: “You can only work for me if your surname begins with Q and your dad’s called Nigel.”

You’re shooting yourself and your business in the foot because, as we all know, being rich or influential doesn’t make one good at managing public reputation. Justin Bieber is walking proof of this. Give your interns enough to live off and you’ll likely attract the talented ones—not the ones whose mommy and daddy own a home in the countryside and let them crash at the penthouse in the city rent-free.

Not paying your interns is tempting, but will ultimately damage your business and prevent you from finding those hidden gems who could prove to be your best next hire. What are your thoughts? Are you pro or con paid internships?

Hannah Stacey is an account manager at integrated B2B marketing agency TopLine Communications. A version of this post first appeared on Spin Sucks.