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

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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.

PR pro: Don’t call us marketers

By Kevin Allen The original post can be found here
Earlier this year, I published a piece that may have suggested that PR is a “fallback” career for journalists. The piece garnered 50+ comments; clearly, some PR folks are easily offended.

List Brian Kilgore among the easily offended. He recently penned a piece for The Huffington Posttitled, “Don’t Insult PR People by Calling Them Marketers.”

The offending part is the Globe and Mail, which called CBC’s new boss a former “marketing and public relations executive.”

Marketing and public relations are different, Kilgore asserts.

The piece is actually more of a 101-level “This is what PR is and this is what marketing is—see, aren’t they different?”

I think Kilgore seriously mischaracterizes the approach of a modern brand. Social media has changed everything. The most successful brands don’t function within an old school model under which PR, marketing, and advertising function in their own silos and it’s up to PR to pitch journalists.
Sure, you can still function in that model, but a coordinated approach—with PR, marketing, and advertising functioning as fingers in a fist, with social media as the thumb—can spark much more influence than any department working on its own.

PR people shouldn’t be offended by being perceived as marketers any more than marketers should be offended by being seen as public relations pros. We should all recognize that the lines are blurred in the new paradigm—it’s only when the efforts are coordinated that the best things happen.

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.

Pros and Cons of Keeping Your Personal and Business Social Media Life Separately

Posted by  to Social Media

Somewhat recently I have been seeing a trend developing with professional accounts on social media sites. They have been becoming more personal, and that line that was once so clear between personal and professional life is being blurred. People are even inviting their clients, bosses, coworkers and professional contacts onto their personal social media profiles. Something that was extremely rare in the past.

Does this signal a change in how we view those two part of ourselves on the web? Is it becoming more natural to combine the professional and personal into a single world? Or is it just a coincidence?

For the most part, I believe it is a personal choice. So let’s look at some of the pros and cons of keeping your social media professional and person lives separate.

Duplicate Original

Pro – You can be open without fear of offending a professional contact.

We are all more open with our views, likes, dislikes and opinions on our social media profiles when they are only personal. Some are a little too open, as a matter of fact. But that is your right, as it is your own space where you are free to discuss anything you find appropriate. When you allow people from your professional life to take part in that space, you are more limited.

You have to watch what you are saying and posting, and have to keep in mind that what you would say to your buddy isn’t the same as you say to a client. It also leaves you unable to rant, which is a good way of occasionally blowing off steam. After all, do you really want your boss knowing he made you angry when he spoke to you about proper image for having a crooked tie with a booger hanging out of his nose? Probably not.

Con – You have to have two accounts.

Let’s be real: maintaining more than one social media account takes a lot of time. Which doesn’t stop us, of course. I will bet you have a profile on several different platforms that you use on a regular basis. But that doesn’t stop it from being a bit of a hassle, and with a professional and private account each? Well, that just adds a secondary account to every social media site you sign up for. That means you will be twice as busy trying to keep track, unless you use a program like a social media dashboard. In which case, you have to be careful not to confuse.

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Pro – You won’t be held professionally accountable for your personal views.

Most of us like to be able to freely express ourselves on other sites. Sites which are generally signed into using social media of some kind. By having two separate accounts you can freely comment without it being linked back automatically to your professional persona. Of course, this isn’t always the case. We have seen many examples of people who have made offensive comments on the web under personal accounts and had it traced back to their professional one. But hopefully you won’t be trolling sites or saying anything outrageous or cruel anyway. As long as you are a rational human being, you will probably be fine.

Con – You are splitting your target audience.

I can’t tell you how many times I have had a personal friend or family member share out my content to their massive lists, with a personal recommendation. Which ended up bringing me much more visibility and a surge in visitors for the day. When you have two accounts, the likelihood of this happening is slimmer. Which means you are effectively cleaving your audience in half, and missing out on the opportunity for sharing through people you know face to face.

Meeting In The Middle

In my opinion, the best thing to do is meet in the middle – which is to say, I think you should choose what side works best for you, while recognizing the difference between social media sites. For examples, LinkedIn is for professional use rather than personal as well as Facebook is rather for your personal life (yes, many people won’t agree with me here). So sometimes you won’t have to figure if you need two accounts. YouTube is likewise a good one for professional use, as you are unlikely to need a personal account for commenting. Or Pinterest, which is a fantastic place to merge both the professional and personal with little risk.

How do you handle the separation between those two parts of your life on social media? Let us know in the comments!

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

Fancy Yourself A Fashion PR Girl?

by   This post can originally be found here

 

Ah fashion PR. Ever since the the high brand fashion PR girls (you know…the fashion media goddesses, such as the almighty OscarPR girl/Erika Bearman…) decided to publicly tweet, blog and Facebook away about her job antics..with you know the “usual” 9 to 5 agenda,  the casual name dropping of celebs, the oodles of international trips and champagne swilling parties, a career in Fashion PR has never before looked so (in the worlds of the immortal Coco Chanel) “classy and fabulous.”

The success of popular reality TV shows like “Project Runway,” “Kell on Earth” and “The City,” have also inspired many public relations students and recent graduates to break into the world of fashion PR.  But one must remember that all these lavish ladies such as Whitney Port, Olivia Palermo, Anna Wintour, Grace Coddington… they are at the peaks of their careers. And before you can even think of sipping some martini’s at a high end Monte Carlo fashion bash or hailing that yellow cab in New York City, you may have a long and laborious ladder to climb first.

So what does a PR do exactly? Since publicity is free, a fashion PR company or executive would be responsible for; building relationships with the press (they basically have to make friends with fashion editors, writers and journalists so that these people will write about/feature the product); organising and managing guestlists for promotional events; gifting (sending free product to key editors or celebrities in the hope that they’ll use or write about it); writing, distributing and following up on press releases and press packs; dealing with requests from the press and celebrity PRs; and reporting back to clients on the publicity they’re getting for the brands. PR Reps also help maintain the public image of the brand. They may help with marketing initiatives, or photo shoots, or just maintain the overall perception of the brands mission and image to the market.

So like any other sector in the media (such as journalism for instance) fashion PR is becoming more and more competitive because of how popular culture is depicting is as one of the most charismatic and glamorous jobs in the fashion industry. All the fashion aesthetic and pleasure without the hardcore and challenging sewing/design work. And of course it can be all these stylish things, but only in good time. One must be be prepared to start from the bottom and become acquainted the pains, pressures and hard work that will in due course put you on the winding road towards PR success. So, still fancy becoming the next Gucci PR Gal or Lavin PR Lady? Darlings, go get yourself a notebook and please be ready to take note…

Here are some essential pointers that could assist you onto conquering the yellow brick road of a Fashion PR career:

1. University degree: If you are lucky enough to live in the metropolis of London you may be able to just study for a college diploma in Fashion or for your A-Levels and brave the world of fashion by falling straight into internships. However most Fashion PR wannabe’s will consider doing an undergraduate degree first just as educational insurance in case this becomes a requirement later on. Regarding the academic discipline of your degree it be anything you wish. Still most successful employees in the PR industry usually have an undergraduate degree in the following areas: Journalism, PR, Media studies, English, Fashion, Marketing, History etc. If you don’t have a degree in these disciplines it may still be possible for you to pursue a career as a PR associate however you may need to do some independent research/work to put you up to scratch with the others. I suppose if  you want it enough you will be determined to prove your worth!

2. Work experience: This is a absolute must if you want to place a foot in the first rung of that PR career ladder. While employers aren’t so fussed on your degree discipline, nothing in the world beats hands on experience on the job. When you do your work experience however is entirely up to you. Many students who do a sandwich 4 year course at university will opt to do an industry placement as part of their course. Other students who follow through with more traditional degrees like English may have to do work experience alongside their studies and attempt to balance it out. The best advice is to gain some sort of work experience in the first or second year of your degree so you can concentrate getting the very best marks in your last year. And if you live outside of London where many of the placements and internships are, be prepared to plan ahead and email in advance to avoid nasty surprises of clashing dates and availability!

3. Finding work experience: Finding work experience has never been so easy in this day and age. Long gone are the days were we would have to write letters and deliver them by snail mail post, now we have the world wide web at out fingertips. Sit down with a brew and scour through job websites such as FashionMonitor.com and FashionJobs.com to keep up to date with the latest internship and work placements as and when they happen. And do not just limit yourself to search engine websites. The social media era has now become pervasive with everyone, in every country and with every age. Even your Grandma has probably got a Facebook account and is probably in more tagged pictures than you are. So instead of just using Facebook and Twitter for talking to your friends use it for tracking down companies and employers!

4. Twitter, the biggest social network of them all: Never before has Twitter been in demand so much. Many find it an unfamiliar social media to begin with but once they have sent a few dozen tweets and gained a few followers, it has never become so addictive. You find yourself hash-tagging everything in virtual sight. So if you find yourself on Twitter more times than you would like to admit, use that internet hovering to good use! Track down other who are in similar positions to you to ask for advice, tweet companies directly asking for work placements, follow important people in the industry who might be able to get you a job and reply to their tweets as friendly as you can, in order to show an interest…believe me in the end you will be rewarded for your research and friendliness!

Nonetheless even though Twitter may have its advantages, I’d advise also to be wary of what you voice on there. Unlike Facebook, Twitter has less privacy settings regarding your personal information so don’t write anything down on there you would not want a prospective employer to see.  But all in all, regarding PR placements and internships, Twitter is thee place where they are most regularly advertised. All day every day. You never know when Jonathan Saunders may need an assistant or if Henry Holland  requires a few dozen interns. You just have to be at the right virtual place at the right virtual time…

5. Blogging – As a PR student it might be an idea to show an interest in your area of work by writing a fashion blog. Fashion bloggers have really made their mark in recent years and because of their willingness to write fashion/beauty reviews, articles or whatever interests them they have ended up landing secure PR jobs and placements because of that blog. An employer for instance would gain a brilliant insight into your personality and a taster of how much you want a particular role or how you would fit into the philosophy of their company just through looking at your blog content. And never fear if it’s not as good as some of the other “big bloggers” blogs. Employers will be able to see through that facade of how many “followers” and “comments”  being tantamount to your “success.” It is sheer nonsense. Evidently if you have hundreds of followers then that by all means is fruitful. BUT they will appreciate content over the social factors of it. Blogging after all is not a popularity contest nor should it be enthused to be so.

6. Gaining work experience: Congratulations on getting a placement! But this is were the hard work begins. You must ensure you are punctual for your first day in order to set a good impression. Be friendly, appeasing, willing and approachable as the team you are working in will appreciate those qualities. As it’s fashion PR they won’t expect you to dress so corporal so feel free to dress to revel in your own normal attire. Nonetheless remember it is a fashion placement so be sure to adhere to particular style that will get you noticed for your creativity or wear certain trends you know to be in vogue to stress that you are indeed “style savvy.”

Sadly you may be making tea, photocopying, sitting at a desk, liasoning, answering the phone, on Excel etc on your first day but don’t feel disheartened by this. You must take it on the chin and continue to smile. What did you expect on your first day? That’d you be whisked away with a senior member of staff to eat danish pastry The Savoy or to go to an exhibition in Paris? Of course not. So remember to use your time to observe productively. See what other employees are doing. Ask them questions on how they got their role or to show you how to function particular software or operate different tasks. As a result you will be appear an interested and eager individual and more likely to be remembered for all the right reasons instead of sulking in the corner like a diva. This may be a job in the fashion industry but it gives you no right to appropriate “model behavior” akin to that of Naomi Campbell.

7. After the work experience: YAY you have survived your first tests of PR Fashion girl work. Now what? Well the experience should have taught you whether you feel that PR would be the right career for you or not. If it is and you imagine yourself in your mind as the next Olivia P then you should be focused on securing your next placement. However that does not mean you should disregard the first company that took you under their wing. If you had a really productive time, perhaps suggest an opportunity for working for the employer again in the next few months? Perhaps write down the names of the contacts you have made and ask whether you can keep in touch? Remember networking is crucial to the fashion industry and by regularly tweeting, writing emails and referring to a previous colleague who knows what that person could do for your potential career prospects? One day you could work with someone who knows Kate Moss, Lily Cole or the editor of a big fashion magazine. What I’m saying is that without networking, if you never ask, you will never know! I’d particularly stress making a LinkedIn account to, a social networking site designed for professionals. (www.linkedin.com)

These tips then are just the basis to springboard your career into the fashion PR industry. These points would probably be the most traditional of avenues but don’t feel you have to completely adhere to it. Most PR employees have diverse and wide ranging backgrounds of how their secured their jobs in the industry which makes it all the more interesting, attainable and reassuring to us who may be apprehensive or nervous about whether we can succeed! Still, it would not hurt to take this advice on board to know what you are up against. As a person you need to be (like with any other career in the fashion industry) determined, hard working, willing to work long and unconventional hours, fashion conscious and knowledgeable, adaptable, passionate, calm under pressure, have a range of interpersonal skills and most significantly of all, be confident. Fashion is a industry full of strong willed characters therefore it is essential that you raise your voice high and proud to have it heard. There are no quiet or mousy plain Jane’s in this field of work. Oh no. Only a parade of colourful and loud characters that bring personality and essence to a brand. Candidates of the highest style calibre if you please…

So the question is…could you then be the next OscarPR girl or a Lagerfeld lass? Oh Reality TV watch your back or indeed watch your production budget…because slowly but surely they’ll be a new influx of PR girls swarming into town…

 

 

PR pro habits that journalists despise

By Kevin Allen | This post can be found here

Katie Burke has penned the post that many have been waiting for.

On the HubSpot blog, Burke’s post, “S%*t PR People Do That Journalists Hate” provides a fantastic indictment of all the lazy, annoying, and stupid things that PR people do to try to get journalists to write about their clients.

Among the complaints:

• Calling on the phone, ever.
• Pitching canned and boring story ideas.
• Using all caps.
• Spamming.

All the complaints are collected in the following SlideShare:

http://image.slidesharecdn.com/shitprpeopledo-130710113630-phpapp02/95/slide-1-638.jpg?1374087602

It’s begging for a response, so the challenge to PR pros is to offer enough material for “S%*t Journalists Do That  PR Pros Hate.

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.