Tag Archives: celebrity

Why Celebrities Should Keep Their Political Views Private

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Podium © by karindalziel

I have always believed that everyone, whether they are a celebrity or an average person, has the right to express their political views. I remember back in the 1990s, when I was working as a newspaper reporter, there would always be a local eccentric who would run for office every election season, knowing they had no way of winning. But as one of my co-workers pointed out, it was their right as an American to run for political office.  Continue reading

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Maximizing Your Superbowl Investment

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With just about two months before Super Bowl XLV (or the “Big Game” if you don’t have the promotional rights to say Super Bowl), brand plans for Dallas-week are in full swing. Countless companies will launch new products and campaigns because of the heightened media commitment and fan interest. With so many companies crowding the marketplace, brands often use celebrities/athletes to differentiate themselves and get noticed. Here are several tips to accomplish those goals at the Super Bowl:

1. Know Your Milestones…
A brand can’t just go and hire any celebrity as their endorser, they have to be relevant. So who’s relevant at the Super Bowl? Well, this year it’s being played in Dallas so the marketability of former Cowboys greats like Emmitt Smith, Troy Aikman, Deion Sanders, coach Jimmy Johnson, Moose Johnston and others increase. Also, Continue reading

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Media Disasters Prove that PR Professionals are Needed

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Business man sitting before documents and phoningI often say that no one understands why a media relations representative is important until they are in the middle of a PR disaster. This realization is something that might be going through the mind of rap musician Wacka Flocka.

Mr. Flocka has recently become an Internet cause célèbre because of his less than inspiring interview on a BET show. During the show, Flocka stumbled and mumbled through his way through an interview and then dropped this gem. When asked about the November elections, he said, “Voting cool, voting good, … but I don’t know nothing about that s***!” (His words, not mine.)

There are so many things wrong with this media disaster. First of all, didn’t anybody prepare this guy for his interview, and didn’t anyone ask the interviewers what kind of questions they were going to focus on? And why would the interviewers ask a rapper, who can barely string together an intelligent sentence, what he thinks about the upcoming Mid-Terms? That’s like asking a vegan for directions to a good steak house. Continue reading

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Celebrity Representation

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Bouncer holding photographers backSince the majority of us PR professionals work for agencies where we have a variety of different companies as clients (maybe I’m just imagining this, but that’s definitely the way it seems), there’s a sector of communicators that we all tend to forget about- the straight up publicist.  More specially, celebrity representation.  However, somewhere off in the great, big state of California (pardon me for my generalization), there lives a whole lot of people who work incredibly hard to keep the reputations of their clients squeaky clean, or at least a little bit less awful than they already are. Continue reading

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Mythical Vs. Real Life Role Models

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Two Businessmen Sit Face-To-Face in Serious DiscussionUnless you’ve been in a coma over the last few months, it’s safe to say you’ve read/heard/seen about Tiger Wood’s sex scandal and the many women who’ve played with his club. I’m not here to dissect his recent press conference; you can read about that anywhere. I’m disappointed that we feel he owed the world an apology and with the hype that surrounded the whole debacle. I’m not here to condone adultery. Instead I will explain why we weren’t owed an apology, and why we must be realistic when choosing our mythical role models. Continue reading

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Billy Corgan and Jessica Simpson: My official PR statement

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V Festival 2008 - SydneyLet’s get this out of the way first: I’ve had an unnatural obsession with Billy Corgan and The Smashing Pumpkins since the 7th grade.  Sparing you (and me) all the potentially embarrassing details, let’s just say everyone who knows me, knows this little factoid.

As you can imagine, anytime there is a “news” item involving Billy Corgan, I hear from people I haven’t heard from in years. Recently, I’ve been flooded with e-mails, Facebook messages, tweets, IM’s – all asking if I’ve heard about the “news” and what do I think of the whole thing. Well duh, of course I have and here’s what I think. Continue reading

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Hometown Celebrity Spokesmen

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Nicole Polizzi, aka Snooki from MTV's popular Jersey Shore , joins her castmates at STK in LADoes everybody have a “celebrity” spokesperson from their town, organization, or something they are involved in? I feel like everyone has a connection to someone who claimed their “15 minutes.” From reality TV romances, to a big ass brawl that is being talked about for weeks, these “celebrities” are representatives of more than what they are portraying on television…They are representatives of you.  I could go on and on and say how Jerry Seinfeld went to my college, as did Al Roker, and Rob from Survivor All Stars, but I think it’s more fun to talk about the more directly connected ones to me.  I am interested to see who else is connected to the people that read this post. Continue reading

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Is Your Favorite Celeb Giving You a Headache on Twitter?

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Mature woman crying, side view, close-up
It’s hard to remember a time when there were no celebrities on Twitter.  We used to get all of our juicy gossip from the entertainment rags (or Perez, of course), but now we can hear almost any actor, musician, or athletes innermost thoughts and their impulsive commentary just by following them.  While this new system is great for the fans, the problem is that celebrity publicists no longer have any control over what their clients are saying through their feeds.  With the media being able to access anything they write, celebrities are having to become their own representation; their personal brand can be affected positively or negatively by each Tweet they send out. Continue reading

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Dear Twitter….

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Dear Twitter,

I am writing you this letter because I have noticed our relationship has changed in the year plus we’ve been together. When we first met, it was exciting and fun getting to know each other. We shared jokes, discussed interesting topics, met mutual friends and even kept each other in the loop about music. Those were the days!

Then month by month, our relationship began to change. I know it’s not all you, some of it is me. I think it took a turn off the deep end when we started working together. Rather than see each other at night or during our lunchtime at work, now we are around each other every single day. It’s getting to be a bit much.

Continue reading

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Street Dish: The Reality of Public Relations

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Scene 1: Camera One pans to girls at door.  A faint voice states “thirty seconds till we air.” Final checks in place, Louboutins(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christian_Louboutin) (check), black dress (check), clipboard (check), stern look (check.)  Let’s roll, 5 . . . 4 . . . 3 . . . 2 . . . air.
Camera Two pans to X celebrity arriving in the black sedan and walks up to red carpet; she stops to pose for a few photos to hear cat-calling from paparazzi in the galley.  Cut to second scene.
Scene 2: Louboutin-wearing girls hovering around a VIP table having a cocktail (yes, at their own event) and hanging out with their friends they snuck in.  Drama begins to unfold.  Cut, end scene.
Okay, how many of us have watched reality and primetime television shows where this act is played over and over again? (Pause for all PR people to verbally grunt at the computer.) Exactly.
Recent turmoil has been unleashed in response to Kim Kardashian’s announcement (http://www.people.com/people/article/0,,20300835,00.html) of a PR reality show appropriately reported on People.com.  My immediate reaction was frustration and defense of the PR industry as a whole.  Then I wrote this blog post.  While my first draft is lying nicely in my trash can, I came to a realization that I can see the glass half full on this matter.  Please hear me out.
As Lauren Fernandez eloquently pointed out in her blog post (http://laurenafernandez.com/2009/08/31/the-difference-between-pr-and-publicity/ ) Monday, Publicity is different from PR. I concur on this matter with a footnote that publicity is still a form of public relations and has proven successful for corporate clients as well as the entertainment industry.
As I was emotionally ranting of the frustrations that PR is not just red carpets, designer duds, and celebrities, I found myself being a hypocrite.  Currently I finished a publicity/PR event that involved step and repeats while wearing a designer dress and shoes, clipboard in tow, and there was a celebrity involved.  How is this any different?  No, I am not having cocktails with J-Lo and having Versace designers knocking on my door with free gifts, but in some form I am producing the same type of a publicity event and exceeding the client’s expectations in the process. While my background primarily lies in events and launches, my day-to-day public relations duties consist of social media, writing, networking, and all the normal corporate communications.
Publicity events for corporate clients with celebrities, red carpets, and features in magazines are only the icing on the cake for this form of public relations.  Sure, the drama surrounding the on-site events holds the sex appeal to draw millions of viewers, but as PR professionals we all know where the REAL drama lies: behind the scenes.   I believe this is the sore spot with everyone in this industry.  Where are the cameras when the nuts and bolts to the campaign or event are being born?  Brainstorming sessions conducted a la Mad Men style (in no reference to Sunday’s episode), ideas being pitched to clients, hundreds of creative design ideas for invitations, step and repeats, Web sites, logos, press releases being written (and the twenty revisions), media lists compiled, talent negotiations, do I really need to keep going?  I think we understand all the hard work that happens behind the scenes that makes PR and publicity campaigns work.
So, one may ask, “Why are these scenes edited?” My guess: viewers, money, advertisement dollars, and TV executives.  Outside of the PR industry, we would lose the general public on the first draft of a press release.  The producers, and general public, want the glitz and glamor.  Is this necessarily the “right” thing to do? No, but PR isn’t the only industry in the same boat.  What about “Making the Band”( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Making_the_Band) and “Project Runway?” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Project_Runway) Is it really this easy to get a record label or a four-page feature in a major fashion magazine for up-and-coming artists? Are all the steps and dirty laundry revealed? No! Why? Million dollar word: viewers!
Bottom Line:
While some view publicity as Louboutin-wearing blondes with a clipboard obsession, publicity is a form of media relations that has proven successful for many clients.  Our problem lies more in the lack of education to the public on the different sectors that lie within the PR industry.  Trust me that a successful publicity event uses as much communication as a traditional press release launch, plus a few side orders of event logistics.  Now, I can’t say the individuals participating in Kim’s reality show hold these same standards, but they shouldn’t be held as the poster children to the Publicity ring either.
Therefore, PR flacks, I challenge you to sit back, relax, and enjoy the drama that someone else will be experiencing and revel in the fact you are sitting on the couch when their talent says the wrong name of the product!

Scene 1: Camera One pans to girls at door.  A faint voice states “thirty seconds till we air.” Final checks in place, Louboutins (check), black dress (check), clipboard (check), stern look (check.) Let’s roll, 5 . . . 4 . . . 3 . . . 2 . . . air.

Camera Two pans to X celebrity arriving in the black sedan and walks up to red carpet; she stops to pose for a few photos to hear cat-calling from paparazzi in the galley.  Cut to second scene.

Scene 2: Louboutin-wearing girls hovering around a VIP table having a cocktail (yes, at their own event) and hanging out with their friends they snuck in.  Drama begins to unfold.  Cut, end scene.

Okay, how many of us have watched reality and primetime television shows where this act is played over and over again? (Pause for all PR people to verbally grunt at the computer.) Exactly.

Continue reading

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