Monday, February 19, 2007

SCOOP Seminars For The Saavy Publicists

Building A Stellar PR Team Overnight - Entertainment Publicists Professional Society (EPPS) Endorses SCOOP Seminars For The Savvy Publicist

Scoop Seminars in West LA
Los Angeles Sports Club

By George S. Mc Quade III
West Coast Bureau Chief

SCOOP delivers a brand new approach to public relations education,” said President Sandi Padnos, SCOOP, which has been endorsed by Entertainment Publicists Professional Society (EPPS). “It is designed to offer on-the-job training, condensed into a crash course of six hours. SCOOP is the way to get the junior staff up to speed immediately so that they can be contributing members of the team.”

This writer decided to check it out and see if it’s worth it. On a recent Saturday (10-14-06) we attended a session at the upscale Los Angeles Sports Club, which has valet parking and its one block south of Fox Television in the heart of West LA. There were beginning publicists to publicists with 15 years of agency experience. One of the most valuable and secret weapons to gaining a perspective on this industry that attendees come away with is a working “SCOOP Seminars for the Savvy Publicist Public Relations Skills and Techniques: Tools of the Trade Handbook.”

The handbook has 10 powerful chapters of how to become a publicist over night or start your own business. The Handbook covers the Role of Public Relations, Marketing –The Strategic Branding Process, Media Relations, The PR Campaign, PR Writing for Public Relations, PR Writing Shortcuts, Verbal Pitch, Event planning, Trade Shows and Media Training. The handbook offers a Public Relations Glossary/Terminology sections and a Public Relations Resource section that includes wire services, media directories, clipping service and industry news sources including O’Dwyer’s PR News (

“These seminars save time and money for the company, because so much of public relations is on-the-job training,” explained Padnos. “And who’s got time to teach?”

At the Saturday session Padnos talked about the difference between PR and publicity, between public relations and marketing, between marketing and advertising and promotion. “We create a comprehension of the context in which we are operating as public relations professionals,” she said on a break from the morning session.

There is an additional addendum to the handbook where journalists speak out on PR, everything from pet peeves to being a good host for a photojournalist. Participants in the session also learn about targeting calls and developing a better new sense.

Sand Padnos is an internationally recognized public relations expert whose award-winning skills have benefited numerous high-profile corporations such as The Walt Disney Company, Marvel Entertainment Corp., Scripps networks/Fine Living and Prodigy Services Corp., as well as pop culture icons ranging from Justin Timberlake and Britney Spears to Spider-Man and the Lennon Sisters. Additionally, Padnos teaches the popular UCLA extension course, Working with the Media, is Education Chair of EPPS, and a guest speaker and/or trainer at various communications industry events.

SCOOP works like a public relations trade school - companies and budding and seasoned PR Pros can learn:

  • Six months of on-the-job PR training in six hours
  • Skills that nobody has time to teach
  • What every successful PR professional needs to know
  • Key media contact development
  • Compelling messaging for top media placements
  • How to accelerate a PR career path
  • How to integrate marketing and PR strategies
  • Quantify the impact of PR team’s campaigns
  • Fast-track a PR team with time-saving tricks of the trade
  • Comprehensive PR boot camp to enhance leadership skills
  • Augment the corporate marketing agenda
  • Leapfrog the competition

One of the biggest challenges publicists face are verbal pitches to media on the phone. Padnos told seminar attendees, “chances of success of a verbal pitch are increased if it is compelling, easy to absorb and supported with written materials, visuals and executive access.” She also noted that publicists should, “anticipate questions you’ll be asked about your pitch points so you’ll have ready answers. Reduce your pitch to one or two sentences. Questions to ask your self are: What are the five W’s of the pitch? Is it newsworthy? Why should anyone care? Why this outlet?”

Independent Publicists Carole Marie, who flew into Los Angeles from Colorado, was asked about her impression of the one day seminar? Marie put this way, “I’ve always wanted to transition to entertainment publicity, move to Los Angeles some day and maybe even start my own boutique firm. SCOOP gives me the tools I need to work for a firm or build my own. It was worth the trip,” she said.

Publicists who sign up for the workshop can feel good about their purchase. Five percent of the proceeds from SCOOP Seminars are donated to The Michael J. Fox Foundations for Parkinson’s Research. SCOOP is also endorsed by Television Publicity Executives Committee

For more information about SCOOP visit or call
(310) 231-1994 for enrollment. The cost is $495, and all EPPS members receive a 20 percent discount. Even if you can not attend the Seminar, the SCOOP seminar handbook, Public Relations Skills and Techniques: Tools of the Trade, can be purchased Online for $295 (plus $5 shipping) each. (CA Residents add $24.33 tax).

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