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Publicists

Reporter Reads and Replies to Every Single PR Pitch

ZachSchonfeldGraphicIf the ONA handed out Purple Hearts, Newsweek‘s Zach Schonfeld would surely be in the running in that category for 2014.

Per a hilarious essay, Schonfeld shares the ten ground rules for his August 30-September 5 experiment of reading and replying to every single emailed PR pitch. He summarizes his subsequent experiences in the form of a diary, including where applicable a ‘Weirdest PR excerpt of the day.’ Here’s two of our favorites from that honor roll:

Weirdest PR excerpt of the day: “Tori [Spelling], Dean [McDermott] and the kids posed for photos with their favorite Snackeez colors, while Tori and Dean told everyone about their love of the product.”

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Mediabistro Course

Travel Writing

Travel WritingStarting September 23, learn how to turn your travel stories into published essays and articles! Taught by a former Vanity Fair staff writer, James Sturz will teach you how to report, interview, and find sources, discover story ideas and pitch them successfully, and understand what travel editors look for in a story. Register now! 

Business Wire Pegs Press Release Costs Increase at 50%

Fred Godlash, a marketing specialist with Business Wire in Los Angeles, finally decided to do something about the fact that a six-year-old article at the BW end keeps grabbing eyeballs when people type in the Google search question, How much does it cost to write a press release? He wrote a new answer.

He’s not talking about the do-it-yourself Internet press release that today goes for pennies on the PR dollar and generates about the same ratio of response. Rather, Godlash in his update post aims to accurately determine how the 2007 $5,000 pro-PR price tag calculated by former colleague Monika Maeckle has changed. The answer may surprise you:

If the press release produced in 2007 took 100 hours to produce, it is fair to say the 2013 release will take longer through adding multimedia content including video, infographics and social interaction. Comparing apples to apples, the release would need to include any available resources to make it as competitive as possible today.

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Thanks to Savvy LA PR Pro, Sugardaddie.com Shenanigans Keep Mushrooming

On Friday, Darren Shuster, owner of Encino-based Pop Culture PR, received the following response from The Huffington Post:

Am so sorry, but the blog team editors have declined this… They say that assigning a monetary value to women is extremely problematic… and not appropriate for The Huffington Post. We would be happy to look at any other pieces you might have… Sorry about this one!

HuffPo were responding to Shuster’s submission of an article by sugardaddie.com CEO Steve Pasternack entitled “Beta Theory: A New Kind of Math for Older Women and Younger Men.” The article cheekily suggests that there perhaps needs to be an addendum to the old “Hefner Corollary” (a.k.a. the “half plus seven dating rule”) used to calculate the youngest-aged women that can be attracted by older, rich men. Although from our LA traffic light and valet parking standpoint, there seems these days to be no limit to how low the female component of that equation can go.

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Score That Job: Lippe Taylor

Looking for a new job but getting frustrated? Are you trying to figure out who you need to talk to? What does a company really mean when they say they “work hard and play hard?”

In this episode of “Score That Job,” career expert, author and mediabistro editor Vicki Salemi sat down with Lori Rubinson of Lippe Taylor, a New York agency with clients like IKEA and Elizabeth Arden that focuses on women through public relations, advertising and social marketing.

>You may remember Lippe Taylor from an episode of “Cubes”: Cubes: Office Tour of PR Agency Lippe Taylor

Find out why they’re looking for someone who is creative, not “boring” nice and how you can “Score That Job.”

You can view our other MediabistroTV productions on our YouTube Channel.

Cubes: VIP Tour of Ogilvy Public Relations

While Los Angeles basks in the sunshine of another wintry day, Ogilvy Public Relations graciously opened the doors to its colder New York headquarters to the MediabistroTV crew, letting the team run wild through the red and white themed former chocolate factory that’s been renovated to house all of the Ogilvy properties.

Kimberly Ryan played host in showing off the clean open concept space where Ogilvy Public Relations staffers do their relating with the public under the watchful thoughts of founder David Ogilvy who reminds everyone to “Tolerate Genius.”

West Coasters will especially appreciate the final sequence, shot atop the brick building in temperatures creeping toward the 40′s, praising whatever deity they pray to that they live in warmer climes.

For more mediabistroTV videos, check out our YouTube channel, and be sure to follow us on Twitter: @mediabistroTV

Hey Editors, Did You Know You Can Get PR Flacks to Buy You a Puppy?

Last week Shauna Bass, entertainment director of OK! magazine, lost her beloved Pomeranian Simba to an unnamed illness. As often happens in these situations, Bass was stuck with a huge vet bill on top of her enormous grief. Maybe OK! mag doesn’t pay very well, because Bass then solicited $5k in donations to cover her costs via an IndieGoGo page. Additional donations “will also be put towards the costs of buying a new dog.”

As Gawker pointed out, most of the $5,125 raised to date came from PR people whose job it is to get their clients on the pages of magazines like OK! Gawker felt that was a pretty blatant violation of journalism ethics. Gawker was probably right.

Our biggest complaint, however, is that Bass, who clearly can not afford emergency veterinary care, is planning on BUYING another dog. For the cost of a new Pomeranian puppy, she could rescue a dog from a shelter and have plenty of cabbage left over for vet bills. A dog like little Bella, pictured left, a 2-year-old Pomeranian saved from euthanasia at the pound by One Dog Rescue in Calabasas and now desperately in need of a home.

Bella doesn’t have any fancy papers from a breeder, but she does have a lot of love to give, and we think that’s the better option.

Entrepreneur Gets Major Assist from Wedding Publicist Sister

Leila Khalil owns a leading specialized PR boutique firm and blogs about her activities in the celebrity wedding and special events world for the Huffington Post. All of which came in handy when sister Kellee Khalil last year decided to launch wedding photo website lover.ly.

Per an item about Kellee’s efforts in Business Insider, the site is a Pinterest-like destination where users can view wedding photos aggregated from more than two dozen blogs and browse-purchase items shown. Next month, lover.ly will start selling ads across those partnered blogs:

Using her older sister’s contacts, Kellee was able to recruit the initial bloggers for her network. Her sister, of course, was the first on board with her blog Inspired by This. Now lover.ly is a sizable network with 1.8 million uniques and 10 million monthly page views.

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Publicist Sued Over Ronni Chasen Reward

Hollywood publicist Michael Levine is accused of not coughing up $25,000 in reward money following last year’s death of Ronni Chasen, according to a lawsuit filed Monday in Los Angeles Superior Court.

Levine denies ever setting up a $25,000 reward fund to find Chasen’s killer.

“I never arranged for a reward fund,” Levine told TMZ.com “I offered to call some friends, but was told by the family that the Palm Springs Film Festival was handling the reward.”

“John Doe” also named the Palm Springs Film Festival in the lawsuit. They were offering $100,000 in reward money. The unnamed tipster claims he called America’s Most Wanted, which led to the arrest of alleged killer Harold Martin Smith.

The Palm Springs Film Festival believes authorities didn’t provide enough evidence to prove that Smith is indeed the murderer.

Revisiting That Bumble Ward Interview

Now that 20th Century Fox has confirmed last week’s Mike Fleming Deadline.com scoop about Bumble Ward coming out of retirement to head up the studio’s national film publicity department, it’s worth revisiting an interview she gave to Kim Masters in 2005.

Although Ward’s LA Times phoner echoed sentiments captured in a fall 2002 New Yorker mini-profile by Tad Friend, she still managed to rankle the godfather of LA show business PR, the late Warren Cowan. Per Cowan’s response in the same newspaper five days later:

Ward’s saying that she can count on “one hand” the number of great people in PR came as a shock to me. I know hundreds of outstanding people in the PR field… I am sorry that Ward was not blessed with the feeling of pure joy that I have for an occupation that has brought me a lifetime of enjoyment.

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Women in PR Honors Veteran Publicist Eileen Koch*

Tomorrow at the Roosevelt Hotel, Miami based organization Women in PR will host an awards luncheon for Eileen Koch. The event is timed to coincide with this weekend’s MTV Video Music Awards.

Koch moved from New York to LA at age 16, working initially as a dancer. But in recent decades, she has made her mark with celebrity PR moves under the banner of Eileen Koch and Company. Clients past and present include Jamie Foxx, Derek Fisher, Guess?Marciano, Carmen Electra, and Marisa Miller. Her path to publicity began in the corridors of personal management and a certain Ukrainian beauty:

Koch decided in her late 20s to start her own management company specializing in children and teens. One of the first young faces to catch her eye was Milla Jovovich; Koch discovered and managed the Ukrainian beauty secure pivotal jobs that would propel her from obscurity into a top model and actress virtually overnight.

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