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Posts Tagged ‘Paley Center for Media’

Notable Quotes from 2012 Events

Savvy presenters at business events know the audience is there to hear candid comments, fresh insights, and surprising anecdotes–not humblebragging, self-promotion or overused buzzwords. If presenters don’t deliver, attendees will tune out and spend more time networking outside the conference hall. Not every speaker got that memo, however: it’s still a challenge to sift through all the jargon and make each event worthwhile.

We’ve highlighted seven memorable quotes from various New York-based events we covered in 2012. They deal with a range of topics: creativity, media relations, CEO visibility, producing original content, the risks of using celebrity spokespeople, teamwork, publicity and controversy.

1. “Grit is especially important when it comes to creativity. If it was easy, someone else would have done it.

-Jonah Lehrer, author of Imagine: How Creativity Works and former contributor to The New Yorker and Wired magazines, delivered a keynote at ARF’s Re:think conference in March. In the ensuing months, Lehrer saw his own career falter after being accused of plagiarism and quote fabrication–so he didn’t follow his own advice.

2. “Now it’s a better age between journalists and PR. There’s an absence of friction, and PR is part of the data stream.

-David Carr, New York Times media reporter, spoke during Internet Week in May. Carr’s welcome though limited remarks on the dynamics of the relationship came in response to an audience question.

3. “A few companies with secure, confident CEOs take the lead on issues and speak out, but it’s hardly a universal practice.

-Richard Edelman, president and CEO of Edelman PR, addressed Ethisphere’s Best Practices in Ethics Communication event in June. His comments have since been echoed by others in the industry.

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Men’s Fashion Finesse on the Event Stage

Awards shows aren’t the only venues where one can make a fashion statement. While conferences don’t feature red carpet entrances, the corporate event stage still represents a prime occasion for speakers to display their sense of style.

With more attention being paid to female executives’ wardrobes, our focus today is on their male counterparts. A recent New York Times article pointed to the rise in men’s fitted suits, but colorful accessories or footwear can also attract notice. Nowadays, almost anything to draw the audience’s gaze towards the stage instead of their mobile devices amounts to a good strategy.

We’ve compiled six examples based on New York-based events we’ve covered this year at which some element of the presenters’ attire was as buzzworthy as their performances.

Well Suited: Oakland Athletics general manager Billy Beane (left) sported a gray suit during an Internet Week talk in June. We couldn’t help but think that since Brad Pitt portrayed him in the movie Moneyball, he’s always got to look his best in public (though the actor himself seems to have stopped trying).

Pumpkin Power: Nothing conveys leadership like a bright crewneck sweater, since hoodies now are cliché. That must have been Google executive chairman Eric Schmidt’s view when he wore an orange pullover to an October appearance at the 92Y. As his interviewer, Kara Swisher, remarked, “By the way, I’ve got to tell you that you rock in that pumpkin [colored] sweater!”

In Mufti: Former (and perhaps future) TV show host/sportscaster Keith Olbermann wore blue sneakers to an April evening event at the Paley Center for Media. Sneakers were a smart choice that day, since he filed a lawsuit against Current TV, his former employer, then attended a New York Mets game and appeared later at the Paley Center. When you’re so busy, you need comfortable footwear.

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Craig Ferguson: ‘My Job Is to Be the Naughty Kid’

Craig Ferguson rocked the Paley Center for Media with laughter last night in New York. The self-effacing host of CBS’ The Late Late Show will perform at Radio City Music Hall this weekend, and he gave the Paley Center audience an up-close view of his career and his candid approach to late night comedy. Wearing Kermit the Frog socks in solidarity with Sesame Street, he also weighed in on Mitt Romney’s PBS debate comments.

Since no one can deliver a line quite like Ferguson, we’ve listed selected quotes on various topics that he made in reply to audience queries and questions from moderator Dave Itzkoff of The New York Times:

On Mitt Romney’s debate comments about cutting PBS funding: “How much are we going to save by getting rid of PBS, forty bucks?”

On his influences growing up: “I used to watch the Marx Brothers, The Three Stooges and Laurel and Hardy, so you could say I was drawn to black and white absurdism.”

On overcoming his alcoholism, [which he described in his book, American on Purpose]: “When I got sober, I experienced life on a whole new level. My career is based on resentment and alcohol, and I’m not the first.”

On his accent: “No one in the casting community in Hollywood really knows the difference between British and Scottish accents.”

On the early days of The Late Late Show: “When I auditioned, I said ‘This should be a lark.’ I thought the show would only last three weeks to one month, and I’m not the only one who thought that.”

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Off the Beaten Path with CNN’s Soledad O’Brien

“There’s a tremendous niche in telling stories that fly under the radar,” Soledad O’Brien told the audience at the Paley Center for Media in New York last Thursday. O’Brien, anchor of the CNN morning show Starting Point, shared these and other insights based on her reporting career and growing up in a mixed race family.

O’Brien said she left NBC’s Weekend Today show to go to CNN to be “knee-deep in breaking news stories. It was like going to college in terms of learning the craft.” She said she’s pleased to be known as a tough interviewer, and she has modeled her interviewing approach after Katie Couric. “Katie’s style is also conversational, polite and friendly,” O’Brien noted.

The anchor said her upbringing “shaped her as an outsider, which was a challenge at times.” But from that experience she also learned “your bosses don’t have to love you, and you can still succeed if your work is good. It’s not a popularity contest,” she added.

Working on documentaries has helped O’Brien make her mark in journalism, and she has focused on various demographic groups, including blacks, Hispanics and Muslims. In each case she tells what it’s like living in America from their standpoint.

As O’Brien explained, “the stories that interested me were the ones where you’re not bumping into everyone else covering the same topic. It allowed me to bring a perspective that otherwise wouldn’t exist. There’s no competition for these types of stories. I don’t have a mission or agenda to do PR for a community. I just want to tell these complex human beings’ stories and let them unfold.”

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi: ‘PR Has Always Been Two-Way’

Left to right: Pat Mitchell, President and CEO, The Paley Center for Media; Debora Spar, President, Barnard College; Tina Brown, Founder and Editor-in-Chief, The Daily Beast; Lauren Zalaznick, President, NBCU Women & Lifestyle Entertainment Networks; Mark Addicks, Chief Marketing Officer, General Mills; Kim Brink, Executive Director, Advertising and Sales Promotion, Cadillac; Donna Speciale, President of Investment and Activation, MediaVest USA.

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and NBC Universal president and CEO Jeff Zucker (who just confirmed that he will be leaving the company) kicked off this morning’s Women@NBCU annual Power of the Purse breakfast with a brief chat about the purchasing power of women and the increased effort marketers should be making to reach them.

“The power of the purse is so self-evident,” she said. However, to get women to purchase your products, you need to communicate with them.

“PR has always been two-way,” she continued. All relationships are doomed “when one side doesn’t feel they’re being communicated with.”

The conversation was followed by a panel discussion moderated by Pat Mitchell, president of the Paley Center for Media.  She was joined on stage by a panel that included Tina Brown, founder and editor-in-chief at The Daily BeastDonna Speciale, president of investment and activation at Mediavest; and Mark Addicks, CMO of General Mills. Additional comments and video after the jump. Read more