Tuesday, October 23, 2007

EPPS Spotlight Legends of Entertainment Publicity

Mike Casey and Cliff Dektar
At EPPS "Legends of PR"

Legends of Entertainment Publicity Say,

"Never Lie To The Media"

Four legendary entertainment publicists with experience totalling more than 150 years took center stage in Hollywood to tell the exciting television publicity story of diverse and informative secrets of the business over the last 50 years. The panel discussed the dramatic changes in production, tactics and what has keep their passion over the years in the evolution of Holllywood publicity.

(l-R ) Doug Duitsman, Gene Walsh and Mike Casey.

Hollywood, CA -“Never lie, or mislead the media, because they’ll never forget,” TV Publicist Legend Gene Walsh, a publicist with NBC for 30 years told a small crowd recently (10-23-07) attending the Entertainment Publicists Professional Society (EPPS)

The event was also sponsored by International Cinematographers Guild Local 600. He was among four legends in TV publicity discussing their “unique” situations and how TV publicity has evolved.
“Legends of Entertainment Publicity” event at the fine arts theatre, Hollywood, CA.

Walsh closely worked with many of TV’s legends, including Grant Tinker, Brandon Tartikoff and Fred Silverman. He is a founding member of the Television Publicity Executive Committee (TPEC) in Los Angeles and continues as a Member Emeritus.

“Nothing makes a public relations job easier than having a star like Johnny Carson,” Gene Walsh, a publicist with NBC for 30 years. “Carson would do everything from getting his picture taken in front of an oven to the top of a hotel in New York, where he would say, ‘this is a long way from the beach.’” After the session Walsh told us, “Johnny had nurtured Joan Rivers into a great job as his permanent substitute host. He (Johnny Carson) was upset because Joan never contacted him before suddenly calling a press conference announcing she was leaving ‘Tonight’ and accepting a late-nite job at Fox,” he said.

Walsh said Carson was upset when Joan Rivers, a weekly fill-in host, announced at a news conference that she was going to host a show on Fox.

Additionally, Walsh noted that “NBC felt obliged to release some sort of statement and that Johnny did not want to say anything. We (NBC) released the statement, ‘We wish her a modicum of success.’"

Doug Duitsman said his last eight years were the most gratifying, and said, “I discovered during that time that women are more equipped to do this job, than men. I don’t know how men feel about it out there, but emotionally women are better prepared to handle this type of job. You look around today, 21 and you see a lot of women are getting into PR departments of major corporations, so I think there might be something to it.”

Duitsman is the founding chairman of the Television Publicity Executive Committee, known as TPEC. He served 34 years in Television Publicity, beginning as a Publicist with NBC and later as Vice President of Publicity, Promotion and Advertising of Columbia Pictures Television and Warner Bros. Television.

Duitsman is also one of only two public relations executives to serve as President of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. Publicity departments he headed were honored on three separate occasions by the Publicist Guild of America for “Best Conceived Publicity and Promotion Campaigns.” “Be dead honest with the media,” he advised.

The moderator was Thomas Roberts, anchor and correspondent with Entertainment Tonight/The Insider.

Thomas Roberts ET Anchor

What’s different today, compared to 50 years ago? “There are a lot of nasty people and regular reporters we need to dump today, because there is no reason for them to be nasty,” said Cliff Dektar, who began his career in entertainment publicity at ABC TV in August 1956. Dektar’s TV publicity career included many TV shows including “The Rifleman,” “Man with a Camera,” “Robert Taylor’s Detectives” and “The Big Valley.” He also helped launch ABC Sports. “Jerry Buck, who was one of my favorite writers at Associated Press said he left the AP, because it was such a strange organization,” said Dektar, who did publicity for the TV show “Hee Haw” for 15 years and as a governor of the public relations branch of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, and president of the Los Angeles Chapter. He is also a founding member of EPPS and the Television Publicity Executives Committee (TPEC).

“I love getting a client, and watching them grow and become famous after a year,” said

Panelist Mike Casey, who did publicity for the Ninja Turtles movies. “When I told my son that I had to do an red carpet event, and he learned it was the Turtles movie, he got so excited, and that’s when I realized they had a real following.” Casey had a long and eclectic career as a press agent and later publicity director for Warner Bros. Television, NBC Productions and KTLA. He was also a senior publicist at Universal Pictures, 20th Century Fox Television, Lorimar Television and served at two major entertainment PR

firms in Los Angeles. He started his showbiz career as night manager of Grauman’s Chinese Theatre and later became stage manager and assistant director of CBS Television. He is currently executive vice president of Hanson & Schwam and handles publicity for the “Broadway on Ice.” And Olympic champions Dorothy Hamill and Nancy Kerrigan.

Also at the event the 2007 EPPSilon award was handed Jill Hudson and the “American Idol” publicity team for the “American Idol” $75 Million Plus campaign, IDOL GIVES BACK. The campaign brought “American Idol” fans, celebrity entertainers, show participants and corporate America together to raise much needed funds through “call-ins” and corporate donations from Ford, News Corporation, Coca-Cola, AT&T, Allstate, The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and ConAgra. The funds were distributed through charity Projects Entertainment Fund, which combats extreme poverty in the U.S. and through the world, particularly in Africa. No one showed up from American Idol to accept the award.

JS2 Communications entry took second place: “The Wonder of Reading holds its 2nd Annual Explore-A-Story: A Celebration of Books Family Festival and Fundraiser” raising $580,000 through ticket sales and donations-surpassing the inaugural year’s results. The event also raised awareness of Pacific Theatres’ charitable work.

2005 EPPS Pres. Scott Pansky
hands JS2 EPPSilon Award.


MAYO PR - "We don't guarantee media, we just get it!"

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

PRSA who? Erase PRS and start over...says Jack O'Dwyer

Jack O'Dwyer
Oct. 16, 2007


This is our last editorial before the once-a-year meeting of the Assembly of the PR Society.

This body, which meets Saturday in Philadelphia, is supposed to represent the interests of the members.

We don't think it does. It represents the interests of the leaders and h.q. staff.

We would like this to be a serious meeting that takes up serious topics like local-only chapter membership, sending Tactics and Strategist by e-mail (saving at least $400,000), moving most of h.q. to a city far from New York thus saving more money (like the AICPA and others have done), returning to members their beloved Blue Book of members which was their phone book and which contained lots of other materials, to name a few topics.

But the Assembly will be delirious if the 250 chapter delegates let themselves be hornswoggled into discussing the "Strategic Plan" for an hour and a half (with monitors patrolling the aisles to make sure they don't discuss anything else).

The current SP is a cloud of soaring aspirations and goals with about as much substance as a real cloud.

It can easily be shown that it has failed in its main goals so why craft another one?

Leaders want to shift the attention of the delegates to the future and away from the painful truths of the present. Another such dodge this year is the threat to re-write the entire bylaws. Delegates will have to worry about that one, too. We recall the adage: "The future is the playground of fools." PR people should not practice bad PR on each other.

Old Strategic Plan Was a Failure

For openers, the 2004-07 SP said that PRS is a "member-driven organization" when it emphatically is not. Members are typically kept in the dark about big decisions like killing the directory, the code, and signing a 13-year lease downtown.

There is no PRS blog for members and they're barred from seeing what their "elected" delegates say in a private e-mail group. As it turns out very little is being said in this e-group. Most of the participants are leaders.

What participants have learned is that they're not getting the third quarter financials until the day of the Assembly. They're ready but the board, which meets this Thursday, has to see them first. We don't think the board is more important than the Assembly.

A chief goal of the SP was making PRS "the profession's leading voice on important industry, societal and global issues." We haven't seen a single speech all year from either CEO Rhoda Weiss or COO Bill Murray, both of whom have ducked all but three of the 15 biggest chapters. How can leaders have a voice when they're in hiding?!

Weiss has only spoken to two of the top 15 chapters and none of the five largest.

Foundation Is Much Smaller than IPR

Another big goal was to "identify the PRS Foundation as the leader in research and education that advances the profession."

This is preposterous because the Institute for PR, which broke away from PRS in 1989 over the APR issue, had revenues of $845,485 in 2006 vs. the Foundation's $259,840 in 2006. IPR is three times as big as the Foundation and we don't see the latter catching up. Actually, it should never have been created. PRS should have accepted an independent foundation back in 1989.

Leadership Development Failed

Another unrealized 2004-07 SP goal was to "create a leadership institute to develop promising mid-careerists to service the Society…"

What a laugh! On the Oct. 9 delegate teleconference, S.E. district chair Blake Lewis bemoaned the failure of even one acceptable candidate to show up for a district board position. One had to be recruited by petition. "No organization should have to go through that," he complained. Obviously this SP initiative failed. Only nine candidates showed up for seven board and officer positions this year. Chapters also have difficulty in attracting volunteers.

APR Is in the Doldrums

Another goal, equally laughable, was "increase the number of accredited members through a targeted marketing plan." New PRS APRs have been at an all-time low for three years running-totaling 391 in three years or an average of 130 yearly. This program, which attracts only a trace of the 18,000+ eligibles, would be very difficult to revive after being in a moribund state for so long.

Leaders have to accept this and other unpleasant facts instead of feeding themselves fluff.

Gold Anvil Winners Absent

Yet another main objective of the SP was "gain recognition" for PRS leaders such as Gold Anvil winners. Where are Debra Miller, 2006 Gold winner, and all the other Gold winners? Are there any speeches or leadership activities coming from them? No.

What have they got to say about the secret e-mail group of the delegates, the false financials that understate conference payroll costs, the lack of a blog on the PRS website, etc.? Nothing. Equally silent are the past presidents, who self-mockingly call themselves "The Dead Presidents Society."

Plan Was Meaningful in 1999

The Strategic Plan was more meaningful when it was created in 1999 as a "check and balance" against rule by the board.

It was meant to gather the opinions of a broad spectrum of members.

The 1999 SP demanded that APR be removed as a qualification for national office or the Assembly or membership on the nominating committee. What happened was that the board removed the SP of its independence. The 1999 board led by Sam Waltz rejected the APR advice in the strongest terms and said it would fight any such changes in the bylaws.

The board now dominates the SP. The SP is no longer a "check and balance" on the board and neither are the Ethics Board, which refuses to make any criticisms of the national board; the audit committee, which rubber stamps the audit by Sobel & Co.; the College of Fellows, which is silent; the ex-presidents, also silent, and the Gold Anvil winners, even more silent. All these possible "checks and balances" are no match for the board and its arsenal of lawyers, accountants and association executives. The Assembly is the last possible "check and balance" but its overwhelming rejection of the Central Michigan proposal last year (which would have made the Assembly the chief policy-making body of the Society) shows the board is in almost complete control of it.

SP Loaded with Positive Spin

The SP is loaded with positive words like "strategy," "critical," "vision," "ethical," "strengths," etc. How many zeros make one? If the delegates spend one minute on creating a new string of superlatives for PRS, they will show how politicized they have become.

If they want to win a lot of brownie points with the national leadership, that is the way to do it. The Assembly is the one day in the year when PRS volunteers and staff must operate in the open. It is too big to be hidden. Its actions will be duly recorded for all to see.

What is needed is for the chapters to create their own governing body, at last providing some balance to the out-of-control national board and staff that has abandoned the democratic principles on which the U.S. is founded.

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Arnie Huberman (10/16):
The only way to save PRSA is to destroy it, and start from scratch. PRSA membership is of ZERO value to me if it is on your resume.APR even worse. Like a phoenix, a new organiztion that represents the members and not the self-serving intersts of the staff should arise. And I would give the job to Richard Edelman to organize!

MAYO PR - "We don't guarantee media, we just get it!"

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Advertising is Dead

George Mc Quade

By Aida Mayo, president
MAYO Communications

MAYO Communications To Share Public Relations Tips At USC Event


Vice President George Mc Quade is Scheduled to Speak at The University of Southern California’s Association of Integrated Marketing (AIM) PR Night, which Exposes Students to the Different Aspects of the Marketing and PR Industry, and It Also Gives Them an Opportunity to Interact with Pros

Los Angeles “Advertising is dead, however public relations and integrated marketing communications

are on the rise,” so said George McQuade, vice president of new business/media at MAYO Communications, an LA based international public relations firm. Mc Quade a board member and last year’s president of Entertainment Publicists Professional Society (EPPS) said, “It is a consumer revolution, where people get their news, information on demand, when ever and where ever they want it via social websites such as Facebook, MySpace or elsewhere Online. The entertainment and advertising agencies are realizing there are billions of dollars to be had on the Internet. And more corporations, even high tech customers are switching to PR.”

Mc Quade is amongst several PR Pros expected to attend the USC’S Fall 2007 Public Relations Night on Wednesday, October 17 from 6:30 - 8 pm. The event is intended to expose students to the different aspects of the marketing and PR industry, and it also gives them an opportunity to interact with professionals. Various companies representing the diverse fields of integrated marketing will be present.

“At every university campus I tell students if they major in Information Technology they’ll become a millionaire overnight, if they minor in it, they’ll become rich in five years. Just about everything from broadcast news to ‘how to find or do whatever’ is discovered Online. The news media has finally

caught up with technology, but now consumers are sometimes even more knowledgeable, and expects more from information resources. There are nearly 2,000 widgets Online, or what I describe as your life on a desktop, where you can obtain info on just about anything your heart desires thanks to Google.”

In addition to the challenges of technology, budding PR and marketing pros are finding they need a wider skill set. “I recommend anyone majoring public relations or marketing also take business, photography, computer science and creative writing classes,” Mc Quade said. “It just makes you that much more valuable, and you can fit into more jobs available. There are lots of new media jobs today. The career opportunities and resources are endless. Only 10 years ago when students applied for jobs they had to request company information ahead of time. Now, students can surf the employer’s website and read everything from annual reports to the mission and goals of the corporation.”

Mc Quade also recommends networking and finding a mentor before students graduate. “When you graduate decide where you want to live, take an entry level job in that city and just move there. Check in with your mentor as you make your moves up the career ladder, and listen to what they say, because your mentor can save you the heartache of making same mistakes they did,” he said.

For More about MAYO Communications visit www.MayoCommunications.com.

MAYO PR - "We don't guarantee media, we just get it!"

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

A hard lesson learned on the Internet

How To Protect Yourself From The Potential Of A $220,000 Judgment: SafeMedia’s P2PD Technology Solutions Are The Answer

By George Mc Quade

“The recent Minnesota copyright infringement precedent-setting case gives the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) the right ammunition to stop people from downloading and distributing unauthorized copyrighted digital files over contaminated Peer-to-Peer (P2P) networks,” said CEO & Chairman Safwat Fahmy SafeMedia Corp., Boca Raton, FL.

“SafeMedia products are the only technology that was designed and created to block all contaminated encrypted and non-encrypted P2P networks and to protect internet users from such costly judgment. SafeMedia products installed on a university/schools, government and ISP networks or at internet users home would make it virtually impossible for anyone to commit illegal file sharing.”

RIAA won its first trial last week when a jury ordered Jammie Thomas of Duluth, Minnesota to pay $220,000 to a half dozen separate record companies -- Sony BMG, Arista Records, Interscope Records, UMG Recordings, Capitol Records, and Warner Bros. Records. The settlement involves 24 copyrighted songs illegally downloaded and shared with others over a Kazaa file-sharing network on her computer. Thomas' lawyer argued that someone else could have downloaded the songs either in-person or remotely, but the Minnesota jury ruled in favor of the recording industry.

In a previous case in Arizona Judge Neil V. Wake provided the legal foundation for the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) recent victory. The case Atlantic v. Howell, where Judge Wake, in a summary judgment, shot down the Howell's arguments and handed the RIAA $40,500 in statutory damages, $350 in court costs, and a permanent injunction against future copyright infringement by the Howells.

“This landmark decision was based on ‘The Made Available Theory’ that anyone who has P2P programs on their computer, which connect to a contaminated P2P network (even without downloading files) is committing copyright infringement since the only reason to have the programs is to make copyrighted files available to all other users,” said Fahmy. (Contaminated P2P networks are known to contain illegal copyrighted files, classified business information, national security data and personal identification documents).

According to Tom Sydnor, senior fellow and director of the Center for the Study of Digital Property at The Progress & Freedom Foundation, the Jammie Thomas case is a double-edge sword for Internet pirates. "First, by rejecting the defendant’s “a-neighbor-could-have-done-it defense,” the jury indicated that the holder of an internet-access account is responsible for illegal uses of their account. This helps dispel the myth that you can download with impunity and then blame on your roommate when get caught.

"Second, by awarding damages of $9250 per song—well above the $750-per-song minimum—the jury spoke to both the illegality and immorality of unauthorized downloading. Some say that this verdict will not deter file-sharing because the number of people using file-sharing programs has increased since the lawsuits began. They miss the point. The defendant here was sued because she was allegedly uploading over 1700 songs. Studies show that the percentage of users uploading files on these networks has plunged since the lawsuits began. As users learn to stop uploading infringing files, the problem of infringing downloaders will resolve itself,” explained Sydnor, who also authored a study for the US Patent Office on dangers of file sharing, and recently testified in Washington DC, along with SafeMedia Corporation.

In another RIAA lawsuit, Elektra v. Santangelo, AOL has been enjoined as a third party defendant and sued for $4 million. The lawsuit against AOL is based on information and belief that, AOL failed to use its controls to prevent illegal downloading (from Contaminated P2P networks) of copyrighted music, even though it had the information, superior knowledge, ability, skill, techniques, tools, power and authority to prevent such downloading.

“The verdict should also send a message to distributors of file-sharing programs,” said Sydnor. “Yet again, a consumer made an utterly foreseeable use of a file-sharing program and suffered dire consequences. Distributors that care about their users will get the hint and start using the best-available technology to prevent infringing uses of their programs and networks.”

SafeMedia’s P2P Disaggregator (P2PD) technology is embedded in DSL and Cable modems in the home or work environment or as a standalone subnet appliance for universities, government agencies and corporate networks. Our strategy of subnet implementation eliminates any network latency; controls darknets file sharing between subnets and reduces exposure to backbone failure. “These cases are likely to send a strong message on piracy throughout cyberspace,” said Fahmy.

“We believe universities and campuses across the country are trying to end piracy on campus. A university, based on the AOL lawsuit may be found liable for allowing the infringing conduct of staff and/or students where the university has provided access to the equipment used to carry out the infringing conduct and not taken reasonable steps to ensure that their network infrastructure is not used to infringe copyrighted material,” he said.

SafeMedia’s products were created specifically to give universities, corporations, government agencies and ISP’s a complete long term cost effective solution for protecting their users and winning the war on Internet piracy associated with contaminated P2P networks.

MAYO PR - "We don't guarantee media, we just get it!"