All posts by Manny Otiko

Will Hollywood Be the Next Industry Consumed by the Internet?

As someone who recently turned the big 4-0, I can say that I have seen a lot of technology come and go in my time. I remember the days when families used to gather around a black and white TV, and you had to get up to change the channel. The stations would also shut off at night leaving you with the much-maligned test screens.

I am sure this sounds prehistoric to the YouTube generation, but it show how much things have changed in the past few decades. One of the biggest changes in the media industry over the past 20 years has been the radical reshaping of the music industry.  I have seen many changes in this medium over my life. I grew up with the record player and used to enjoy and cherish the artistic designs on those huge album covers. I then progressed to the tape, and watched the boom of portable music with the Walkman.

Watching technology change, reminds me of how each technological advancement has its own flaws. Continue reading

What Every PR Rookie Ought to be Doing

Both the PR and media world have undergone great changes since I first got started in the field in the mid 1990s. When I first started off as a reporter, I spent several hours learning how to use the flywheel to resize photos. And just when I had that figured out, along came Photoshop, which made all that knowledge useless.

Today, change seems to be happening at lightning-fast speed. The advent of social media and the rapid demise of the print media have caused huge strains on PR practioners, who have to keep up with these developments.  I am a technophile, but even I admit that sometimes it gets exhausting trying to keep up with the latest press release platform, social media fad or cell phone app.

Having said that, here are a few things that all PR rookies (and some old pros) need to be doing: Continue reading

Can’t We All Just Get Along? – Good Reporters Keep Their PR Contacts Close

Woman talking on phone among co-workerI have spent a lot of time reading about how birth order determines your personality.

Being a middle child, my personality has always been one of the peace maker and the bridge builder, which is why I want to call for a cease fire in the war between reporters and PR professionals.

Bashing PR professionals is getting quite passé. And at times it seems as trite as complaining about government workers. It’s easy to say government workers are slackers, but I used to work for the government and many government employees work very hard in a turbulent political environment. I just don’t see what can be gained from the endless sniping. For example, TechCrunch founder Michael Arrington recently declared, “I don’t like PR people for the most part.” Nice. Continue reading

PR Jobs Require More than Good Writing Skills: Ex-journos find life is not so easy on ‘The Dark Side’

Hands breaking pencilAn old joke in the PR business is that all reporters hate PR people – until they need a job. Then you’re the first person they call. Public relations would seem like a natural extension of the skills you acquire in journalism — writing, news judgment, editing and graphic design.

However, the PR business has taken a huge hit over the last few years, and many laid-off journos are finding that those PR positions, which they hoped to move into, are just not there anymore.

When the economy plunged into a recession one of the first areas that companies cut back on was marketing and public relations. In addition, when business credit dried up many companies simply could not afford the monthly retainer for a PR firm. And for the few PR jobs that do exist, journos are having to compete against recent college grads, who are often more attractive because they are cheaper to hire. In many cases these jobs have been turned into non-paying internship positions. (That is a whole column itself.) Continue reading

Media Disasters Prove that PR Professionals are Needed

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