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Posts Tagged ‘Harvey Levin’

PR and Porn Part 2: The Insider

In yesterday’s first chapter of our week-long series “PR and Porn,” we introduced you to Brian Gross: PR pro, agency founder and one of the top publicists currently working in the adult entertainment industry.

Today Brian goes into greater detail about how the industry runs—and points us toward one of his most unique and successful clients.

You may have wondered how the adult film industry looks from the inside. When asked who wields the real power in the business, Brian says:

“It’s definitely the producers—the heads of companies like Adam and Eve, publishers like Larry Flynt at Hustler, etc. You have leaders like John Stagliano of Evil Angel, who almost went to prison for defending his first amendment rights as an artist. Then you have female entrepreneurs like Allison Vivas of Pink Visual who has made her name in the mobile world as well as the production world (Ed. Allison has quite an interesting bio).”

“As a publicist, you find very passionate people in every industry and you cling to them, because you’re excited by their energy and what they’ve accomplished.”

Many of these power brokers, however, have watched in horror over the past few years as the Internet dramatically changed their business model. What began as a huge new revenue stream quickly turned into a nightmare due to an explosion of torrenting and streaming sites. As Brian says, many producers have “had to figure out how to monetize in different ways”, just like the music industry did in the days of Napster.

Copyright infringement is a tough challenge to fight, but Brian notes that “Plenty of people are still doing quite well. The strength of brand and content and marketing prowess is what will make the difference between successful and struggling companies.”

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Rep. Giffords Photos Released to Stave Off Paparazzi

Photo: P.K. Weis/southwestphotobank.com for U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords via Facebook

Photographs of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ), who was critically injured during a mass shooting in her home state in January, were posted on her Facebook page yesterday in an effort to keep the paparazzi at bay, said a spokesperson for the Congresswoman.

That spokesperson, C. J. Karamargin, told The New York Times, that there was word of a “bounty” for photos of Giffords as she leaves inpatient rehabilitation this month. Karamargin said he heard TMZ had offered $250,000 for photos, a claim that the gossip site’s founder Harvey Levin denies.

Last week it was reported that despite the unbelievable progress Giffords has made over the past months, her ability to communicate is still greatly impaired.

We wish her all the best for a continued recovery.

Who Do You Call When You Have a Scoop?

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[image cred]

When Harvey Levin‘s TMZ broke the news of Michael Jackson‘s death, it was heralded as yet another victory in the battle of “new media” versus “old.” This past week, the tech/geek crowd has been obsessed with TechCrunch as being the only media outlet to receive – and publish – confidential Twitter company documents.

However, with the recent passing of former CBS News Anchor Walter Cronkite, it was The New York Times who got the story out first, via a fundamental tenet of reporting: a phone call from a source. Cronkite’s son Chip called the Times to let them know of the news. Peter Himler, who served as Chief Media Officer for Edelman Worldwide, following 11 years with Burson-Marsteller as head of the agency’s U.S. corporate and strategic media team and its worldwide spokesperson, reflects on his own experiences on his blog, The Flack:

In early 2003, the family of former CBS Inc. CEO Thomas Wyman asked my firm to help handle the news of his death. The PR duties fell to me. Working with his son, I finally had an announcement in hand. My first call: the city desk of The New York Times followed shortly by the AP city desk. At The Times, Douglas Martin, who penned Mr. Cronkite’s obit, took the lead on Mr. Wyman’s. The media universe ran with the news from there.

As I consider Mr. Cronkite’s passing, I’m stuck on the question of media validation. Which outlets have the journalistic chops to make it safe for everyone else to publish, post or broadcast a big breaking news story? Should one trust TechCrunch, TMZ or BNO as they would a New York Times, AP or CBS News? It’s already clear that many bloggers and most microbloggers don’t distinguish. Shouldn’t they?

Himler makes some good points, namely: which news sources do you trust? It also begs the question: Who would you call when delivering a piece of news as significant as the one Himler had to deliver?