"Eye On PR"
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West Coast Bureau Chief George McQuade reports on the PR and entertainment industry for Jack O'Dwyer Publications, Manhattan, NY.
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Entertainment news has become more selective and less flexible as
outlets and events balloon, producers told an Entertainment Publicists
Professional Society and PR Newswire event in Hollywood
November 1, 2004
By George S. Mc Quade III
West Coast Correspondent
Odwyer Publications, NY
Nov. 1, 2004
ENTERTAINMENT SECTOR FOLLOWS PR BASICS
By George McQuade
West Coast Bureau Chief
Entertainment news has become more selective and less flexible as outlets and events balloon around the industry, Lillian Mizrahi, of E! Network, told a Hollywood meeting sponsored by the Entertainment Publicists Professional Society and PR Newswire.
Lillian Mizrahi of E!
She was one of the entertainment TV producers who provided the PR people with pitch tips, contact information and "dos and don'ts" about getting clients on air. "Now there are just so many outlets and so many events," continued Mizrahi, who "loves getting a pitch" from PR people who know what they are talking about. She is waiting at email@example.com.
EPPS TV Producers workshop draws a large crowd.
Sharlette Hambrick, of "Entertainment Tonight," believes star power can put legs on many seemingly drab stories. "Never feel a story is not entertaining, because it is really about finding angles," Hambrick said. "Never feel that a client is a ‘has-been,' Don't ever think a product is not interesting – you put a celebrity on a product, the celebrity hosts the event, and it becomes entertainment."
Hambrick said ET's weekend shows are its most successful and urged PR pros to sit home on Saturday or tape the show before making a pitch.
Sharlette Hambrick, 'Entertainment Tonight'
"If you watch our weekend show, you'll know who the talent is and it will give you such an advantage," she said. Hambrick checks out pitches at sharlette.hambrick@ paramount.com.
Luke Sader, of PBS' "Tavis Smiley Show," said the program is all about "empowerment and enrichment." Each show has a political guest, celebrity or author geared toward the African-American sector. Sader opens e-mails at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Luke Sader of PBS' 'Tavis Smiley Show'
"Jimmy Kimmel Live" draws content from news, entertainment and just about anywhere else, said its producer Joy Dolce. Kimmel often leaves slots open on the comedy-oriented show to fill at the last minute, which drives Dolce crazy.
Joy Dolce, Luke Sader and Sharlette Hambrick
Dolce said the show is not live anymore ("We like to say we haven't been live since Janet Jackson") and is comedy oriented. "When people pitch, I'm amazed at some of the things that come in and I say, ‘Gosh, I don't think this person knows the show,'" she said, reiterating a common theme for meet-the-media type PR events.
All the panelists conceded that backgrounder information, "save-the-date" cards, early teasers and preparing guests for a show are the best things a publicist can do.
"I think it's important to watch the show and know a little bit about him, because I still get questions about women in bikinis jumping on trampolines and all those things you do in a men's show, which kind of [stinks]," she said. Dolce can be reached at email@example.com.
Karen Jackovich, NBC Network News, producer
"I'm in a unique position as a consulting producer for NBC Nightly News, and most of you probably know me from People Magazine TV. I was the executive producer for People Magazine TV who managed a strategic partnership with Dateline NBC, the today Show and People magazine so we would get to do two or three shows at a time," said Karen Jackovich, NBC Network News, producer. She has an office at NBC and across the street at Time Inc. and hears what senior producers wanted at several meetings on a daily basis, which was important to know, because each of the shows were different. "I have to sell the shows to various stories. Thanks to Michael Jackson, I'm not making a living as I decide whether a story should go on Dateline, Nightly News, Bravo or Today Show. I'm actually filling in for Stacie Gottsegen, who's principally at Dateline, however to get to the desk sometimes you have go through her as a broker depending upon what the story is. It usually takes about two weeks to get a story on Dateline," she said. Gottsegen can be reach at Stacie.firstname.lastname@example.org, while Jackovich can be reached at email@example.com.
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