Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Independent Journalists Discuss How To Pitch Stories and Clients For Powerful Media Placement

Independent Editors and writers say
“read the trades, and know what
you are pitching"


Mc Quade
West Coast
Bureau Chief

“What helps me the most when pitching my clients, which are mostly celebrity driven, is to know the magazine you want me to pitch to and understand their needs and give me a story tat is focus directly toward what that magazine reports on,” said Scott Huver, a full-time freelance writer/reporter for both print and on-camera. Huver was amongst an Entertainment Publicists Professional Society (EPPS) media workshop at the International Cinematographers Local 600 auditorium, Hollywood, CA (Sept. 19, 2009).  

It’s all about trust
between a publicist and working
member of the press said Independent
Journalist Janice Littlejohn and Scott Huver.


Huver’s primary clients include People Magazine/, TV Guide Magazine, InStyle, Los Angeles Confidential, Giant Magazine, and “I get a lot of generic pitches that I can’t really do anything with, because I don’t know how to spin it until I get more information. Everyone has a very select and specific editorial viewpoint.” 
“I like stories on writers such as screenwriters or fiction,” explained Debra Eckerling, who has freelanced for more than 10 years and has written for local, national, trade and online publications, with a specialty in entertainment and lifestyle. She is the eZine editor for and has her own writers website, where she interviews authors twice a week and provides additional content for writers. “I too, like interesting stories. It’s great if its current, but I’m also aware that maybe a book came out a month ago, but it’s something people need to know about.”

Eckerling has also freelanced for iMedia Connection, Only Child, The Jewish Journal and Script magazine among others. She is the co-host of parties, an excellent resource for publicists as well as writers from New York, to San Francisco to Hollywood, CA.
“I do features in front of the book, profiles and a lot of behind the scenes,” said Libby Slate, who covers the performing arts, television and other forms of entertainment for Performances magazine, the Orange County Performing Arts Center and the Television Academy’s award-winning Emmy magazine as well as the Academy websites and “I’m not always interested in the star of a movie, show or play, but the most interesting story.”

Slate has written nearly 300 articles for the Los Angeles Times. Her credits include TV Guide, Hollywood Reporter Magazine, Disney Magazine, Soap Opera Digest, Los Angeles and Skating, the U.S. Figure Skating Assn.’s magazine.

“I do a lot on what production designers are doing,” said Slate, who recently wrote a story on the Tonight Show set. “I also did a story on the set of Doll House, so it’s not the technical aspect like editing, but it’s the artistic part of the craft.”

“I’m always pitching, because that’s my paycheck,” said Freelancer Susan L. Hornik, who contributes to Good Housekeeping, First for Women, Modern Bridge, Your Prom, Stylehive, Twist, Maxim, MomLogic, Canada’s Inside e and CBS’s Watch to name a few.

Hornik said, “Things are not always in front of you (referring to a story) so you have to stay ahead of the game, even if it means new media like Twitter, because you never know who will be your next boss.” Hornik says magazines are paying more attention to their websites, so she has to think out of the “proverbial box.” For example, during intermission she inquired about receipts from the snack bar. “Intermission bars and snacks were bringing $1 million a year. I found it to be a fascinating story,” she noted.

“I get my best interviews in the restrooms,” said Sue Facter.  For the past three decades, Factor has been interviewing celebs, first in New York and then in LA. Factor current writes for: NY Daily News, Liz Smith, Star Ledger, Women’s Day Australia and her work has appeared in USA Today, People LA Times, NY Post and Entertainment Weekly. Her newest column is called the Travel Factor and will soon appear in And she was George Clooney’s publicist.
“Know your publication,” said Janice Rhosalle Littlejohn, a freelance journalist specializing in entertainment, media, lifestyle and culture. Her work appears regularly in Multichannel News, TV Guide Magazine and Emmy magazine.  She has also done work for The Associated Press, the LA Times, USA today, In Style, Essence and other publications. “I am actually flattered if a publicist calls and knows what I write about.”  Littlejohn said she doesn’t like cold pitches. “I don’t mind a phone pitch, but not harassing call,” adding “most editors and writers don’t like the cold calls anymore.” “I often get calls from publicists saying, ‘I have this wonderful client.’ “Well, they all are, but tell me what’s so great about them, and why they would be appropriate for whatever publication I write for.”

Littlejohn said she did a lot of behind the scenes work for The Associated Press. “However, with the unfortunate thing about the economic downturn as I guess we call it today is AP is no longer using freelance work. Media Bistro has good events, where writers and editors talk about movement, where people are and who’s laying off whom from NY to Los Angeles. It is important to keep up with the stuff, because my editors are moving from place to place and they take us with them,” she said.

 “I look for the celebrity client,” said Facter. “It could be a charity, and you would be surprised to see how much your client is connected to a celebrity, even if they’re not a celebrity as they have some spokesman, so I also look for the story that no one has talk about and anything involving a celebrity. Underneath the temple is more gold, you just have to look for it.”

EPPS Media Workshop Moderator Flo Selfman emphasizes the importance of building good relationships with independent journalists, which spells major media placement.


“The publicist knows more about the celebrity than almost anyone,” said Moderator Flo Selfman, owner of Selfman & Others Pro. Flo has handled celebrities, theatre and arts events, and book and author tours for more than 20 years. “They know more than the celebrity’s manager,” said Selfman. ‘You have an arsenal of material in your head, and you can keep coming up with another piece of information or another angle, and pretty soon the writer is going to say, ‘Yea, let’s go with that one.”

     EPPS & ICG Local 600 Sponsored Media Workshop
“It’s important to know the bylines of the writers you are pitching, because most of them, especially now, are freelancing. All the panelists prefer email pitches.

Scott Huver:
Janice Rhosalle Littlejohn:
Debra Eckerling:
Libby Slate:
Susan L. Hornik:
Sue Facter:
Flo Selfman:

Friday, September 18, 2009

“Evening Before Evictions?” - Industry Members to Rally at MPTF “Evening Before” The Emmys© Event

Entertainment community, residents and families to call for  a dedicated fundraising campaign to save the “Nursing Home to the Stars”

             (Images courtesy of Savng The Lives of Our Own)

Los Angeles — Despite its mission to ―"Take Care of Our Own," the Motion Picture Television Fund is refusing to direct any portion of the monies raised at a lavish fundraising gala tomorrow night (Sturday, Sept. 19, 2009), to save its long-term care facility, also known as the ―"Nursing Home to the Stars," leaving close to 70 elderly and infirm residents at risk of deadly transfer trauma.

Concerned members of SAG, Teamsters Local 399, AFTRA, the WGA, DGA, IATSE and others will gather tomorrow night for a candlelight vigil outside the extravagant party to bring attention to the impending closure, now announced for Thanksgiving, and to inform attendees that the funds they’ll be donating that night will NOT go directly towards keeping the nursing home open.

The remaining elderly and infirm residents and their families continue to be subjected to the emotional and physical trauma of forced relocation. Melody Sherwood’s mother, Kay Meyer, 94, ― "is in a panic believing she’s going to be thrown out because she personally owes 10 million dollars." "Sherwood, a retired studio worker, continues, ―She always believed that this was going to be her Home for life."

Who: Members of SAG, Teamsters Local 399, AFTRA, WGA, DGA, IATSE and other concerned union and community members

When: 7:30 PM – 10:00 PM

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Where: Century Park

1940-2000 block of Century Park East
(between Constellation and Olympic Blvd.)
Century City, CA 90067

Saving the Lives of Our Own is a grass-roots coalition of Entertainment Industry workers, long-term care residents, their families and community members. Our mission is to keep the MPTF long-term care facility open, to stop the evictions of its elderly residents and to ensure that the MPTF promise of “Taking Care Of Our Own” remains unbroken – now and for future generations.

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

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Warrior Records and Chad Smith Pound Out a Drum Solo Contest

Chat Smith's Bombastic Meatbats Now Available at Best Buy.
Chat Smith’s Bombastic Meatbats Now Available at Best Buy.
Warrior Records Announced today drum enthusiasts and musicians are encouraged to enter in the drum solo contest. Click on Warrior Records Logo to see some of the entries so far…and for a little inspiration from Chat Smith, hear his awesome drum solos..

Warrior Records (click here)
Warrior Records (click on logo)
check out Chad Smith's Bombastic Meatbats
Let people know about the contest by copying and pasting the banner code below onto your page!
check out Chad Smith's Bombastic Meatbats   
Are you a drummer? Do you think you have what it takes??? Then enter the Chad Smith’s Bombastic Meatbats Drum Solo Contest! Drummers from around the world are encouraged to submit videos of their best drum solos. 3 lucky winners will be chosen by the band: Drummer extraordinaire Chad Smith (Red Hot Chili Peppers, Chickenfoot), guitar star Jeff Kollman, multi-faceted keyboardist Ed Roth, and Motor City bass ace Kevin Chown.
First prize

The First Place Winner will receive a personal phone call from Chad and the The First Place Winner will receive a personal phone call from Chad and the Meatbats to talk about your winning solo and drumming techniques. You will also win a Pearl Chad Smith Signature 5-piece Shell Pack (MSRP $1,100), with the kick personally autographed by Chad Smith’s Bombastic Meatbats, a Bombastic Meatbats T-Shirt and CD. Shell pack features 22″x18″ Bass, 12″x9″ Tom, 14″x14″ Floor Tom, 16″x16″ Floor Tom, and 14″x5″ Signature Snare. This is a limited-edition killer that gives up the funk!
Second Prize

The Second Place Winner will receive a Pearl Chad Smith Signature 14″x5″ Snare Drum (MSRP $469), which will be autographed by Chad Smith’s Bombastic Meatbats and a Bombastic Meatbats T-Shirt and CD.
Third Prize

The Third Place Winner will receive a Chad Smith’s Bombastic Meatbats autographed CD and T-Shirt.
For mobile contest winner notification and Chad Smith’s Bombastic Meatbats updates:
Also join the Meatbats on:
How to Enter:
All drum solos are judged by online video entries that are posted only to . The entire length of your YouTube video must consist of only your drum solo (don’t ask us to scroll 3 minutes into your video to see your slammin’ solo). There may be no additional instruments playing in the video, only you drumming. Prepare your solos to be a minimum of one (1) minute in length / there is no maximum length (it’s all about how good it is, not how long). Make your solo hot, fresh, and show us your best techniques regardless of genre.
To enter your submission, enter all of the following information (all fields are required or your entry will not be added). Please ensure that your YouTube video is able to be embedded, otherwise your entry will not be accepted. Submissions will be accepted until midnight on 10/19/09. Winners will be announced on this page on 10/26/09:
First Name:
Last Name:
YouTube Link (include http://www.):
State / Province:
Zip Code:
Subscribe to ArtistDirect newsletter.
By submitting your entry you agree to the contest’s // Terms and Conditions .

For a little inspiration, here are a couple solos from Chad:
Chad Smith
Chad Smith
Chad Smith
Los Angeles, CA, USA
Los Angeles, CA, USA
Los Angeles, CA, USA

Raymand Harper
London, England, UK
Chris Robbins
Warren, Michigan, USA
Anton Olsson
Gothenburg, V�strag�taland, Sweden
Florian Ricke
Sundern, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany
Donta Holt
Manor, TX, United States
Rafael Dolinski
Sao Paulo, Sao Paulo, Brazil
thomas devic
bordeaux, aquitaine, France
Cosmin Cadar
Cluj-Napoca, Cluj, Romania
J.D. Hall
Stanville, Kentucky, USA
Carlos Rios
San Juan, PR, USA
Timothy DiDuro
geneva, NY, USA
George Bous
Harwich, MA, USA
Mike Gryciuk
Caledon, Ontario, Canada
Jeff Grindstaff
Pueblo, Colorado, USA
Ian Chouinard
Nashua, NH, United States
Justin Hopkins
Oriskany Falls, NY, USA
Clint Short
Los Angeles , California, USA
Barry Connors
Cambridge, Ontario, Canada
Robert Radke, Jr.
Highland Park, Illinois, USA
Pontus Gillgren
V�nersborg, V�stra G�taland, Sweden
Jake Kindon
Walsall, Europe, England
Mike Gryciuk
Caledon, Ontario, Canada
Konstantin Sherbakov
Maloyaroslavetc, Kaluzkaya oblast, Russia
simon hinton
christchurch, south island, new zealand
Dani Clemente
Badalona, Barcelona, Spain
Elijah Oguma
Waialua, Hawaii, United States
Jeffrey Kramer
Almere, Flevoland, The Netherlands
James Mozina
North Palm Beach, Miami, Miami, United States
Marcello Rocchi
Rome, Rome, Italy
Francois Lalibert�
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Francois Laliberte
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Zack Weinstein
Antioch, IL, USA
Frankie Defilippis
Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada

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