Archive for July, 2014

Twitter Fills Movie Theater Seats According to Survey

July 24, 2014

There’s a reason there’s so much chatter from Hollywood about Twitter: it sells tickets.

According to a new study by Nielsen, 87% of Twitter users said their most recent decision to see a film in the theater was influenced by tweets.

Twitter users are also a captive audience for movie-related information, with an estimated 65% of Twitter users saying they follow a film-related account, which includes specific titles, theaters and actors.  Read more

Social media definitely has it’s influence when used organically.  I recently made a decision to go see a movie based on what a friend said about the film on Facebook.

But it’s not just movies that are getting a push through social media.  Social media users share their favorite brands, products and services with the valuable word of mouth “advertising.”

Whether it’s Instagram, Twitter Parties, Facebook and more, social media is an essential tool for your public relations toolbox.  Feel free to contact CMP Media Cafe about setting up a Twitter Party for your product or a free social media consultation.


Peace and coconuts,

Marianne Schwab, Executive Producer, CMP Media Cafe

Follow us on Twitter:  @CMP_MediaCafe

Copyright (c) 2014. CMP Media Cafe. All Rights Reserved.


Guidelines for Identifying a SMT Spokesperson

July 18, 2014

Identifying the right spokesperson for your satellite media tour is pivotal to your broadcast public relations success and can be one of the more challenging aspects of producing the SMT. Here are some basic guidelines for identifying a SMT spokesperson when navigating options on this critical decision for your media tour as well as your surrounding public relations campaign.

Choose an Expert Relevant to the SMT Topic or Product. Contracting the appropriate expert for your topic adds credibility to your message. When conducting your spokesperson search, you should look for an expert who has a respected reputation in the industry that makes sense for your product and/or topic. For example if you’re an automotive company, you should identify an appropriate car expert – it could be a consumer editor of an auto magazine, car care specialist, or even a classic car expert depending on your angle.. If you’re message points are geared toward the latest beauty product, then think of ways where an expert like a dermatologist would add credibility to your message.

Experts Should Have a Book or a Blog (or Both). An expert who has written a book or who has a popular blog on their field of expertise will be highly desirable by television and radio producers. There is nothing like a blog or a book to add credibility to your expert as someone who is reputable in their field. Celebrity experts are also a good choice. A celebrity expert is someone like a chef that is well known or a designer that has a TV show

Spokesperson Should Have a Proven Media Appearance Track Record. Look for an expert who has had experience in broadcast media. Your ideal spokesperson will have had numerous radio and TV appearances. If they have not had media experience, you can always media train them, but verify that they have media potential. This can often be determined in an interview either over the phone and ideally face-to-face or via Skype. You want to confirm that your expert is also “media friendly” in their appearance and how they speak.

Social Media Influence a Plus. Although it is not a deal breaker, more and more clients find that a spokesperson who also has a very visible social media presence a necessary part of the equation. This is an added value since the spokesperson can also leverage their social media following to reach a broader and targeted audience by posting interviews of the satellite media tour and even tips regarding the clients message points to their social media outlets. Depending on the industry, keep in mind that many excellent experts may not be social media savvy.

Don’t Over Pay a Spokesperson Fee. How much you pay your spokesperson is always a little bit of the sticky wicket and I am often flabbergasted by the amount that is paid for certain experts or talent for an SMT primarily because I think some clients overpay. Depending on the reputation of the expert, fees can vary dramatically. I’ve seen them range everywhere from $1,000 honorariums up to $100,000 for top celebrity talent. Unless you happen to have an A-List celebrity as your SMT spokesperson, you should not pay more than $5,000-$10,000 in my opinion. The spokesperson’s job is to deliver the message on camera in a credible way, but in most cases the expert you contract (although pivotal to a good interview) is not the main reason stations are going to book the SMT. In most cases, stations will book the interviews based on a strong and provocative story angle. The spokesperson’s credibility, although essential to the story, is not usually the catalyst that ultimately entices producers to book the interview except in the case of an A-list celebrity.

Finally, the question that is sure to come up is, “should the spokesperson be a company executive and or employee?”   The answer to that is that it really depends on a lot of variables where the story angle is concerned and the objective of the satellite media tour. Obviously, the head of Microsoft, Bill Gates, is a very desirable interview. However, unless the company executive is also strategic to the brand or invention of the product, they may not be the best choice as a spokesperson since newsrooms will often perceive that as being “too commercial.” A natural exception would be a company executive responding in a crisis public relations situation.

The spokesperson search for your PR campaign always presents challenges. Feel free to consult with CMP Media Café when you are in planning stages so that we may assist you in navigating options and guide you through this process.

Peace and coconuts,

Marianne Schwab, Executive Producer, CMP Media Cafe

Follow us on Twitter:  @CMP_MediaCafe

Copyright (c) 2014. CMP Media Cafe. All Rights Reserved.


When a Celebrity SMT Spokesperson Makes Sense

July 16, 2014

When does it make sense to spend a lot of money on the celebrity spokesperson for a satellite media tour or publicity campaign? In today’s evolving broadcast media world, one of the most important decisions you make when using a single client satellite media tour as part of your campaign is the story angle and the choice of spokesperson. Let’s talk about the spokesperson along with the pros and cons when it comes to using a celebrity for a satellite media tour.

An A-List Celebrity Will Guarantee Top Markets for Most SMTs. Hiring a celebrity as a spokesperson for your brand, service, or product makes good sense when it is an A-Lister or even B-Lister, but in most cases, any celebrity that doesn’t carry that clout will not be a good investment as far as ROI on earned interviews. An A-List celebrity will guarantee top markets for most SMTs, but keep in mind that you need to allow 4-to-6 weeks to book a successful satellite media tour even with an A-Lister. Lack of planning and lead time will dramatically diminish the successful return on the budget spent.

Is the Big Fat Fee Worth It? The answer to whether or not the big fat fee for the spokesperson is worth it or not is a personal professional decision contingent on the ability of the spokesperson to generate interest for top market interviews in addition to the elevation of the product reputation and brand awareness with your target demographic with the spokespersons fame. If the celebrity attached is part of an overall brand building objective, then spend the money to find the right spokesperson for your brand. The amount you spend on the fee for an A-Lister usually guarantees national and top market interviews, but when a client settles for a B-List celebrity or below, the interview results decrease significantly.

Hire the Right Celebrity, Not “Any” Celebrity. One of the biggest mistakes I have seen clients make is engaging the services of the “wrong” celebrity spokesperson – usually because they have vetted them appropriately  for the brand or product they are being asked to represent. If the celebrity has no organic connection to the product, then paying them to recite message points just because you like the celebrity (or they have significant name recognition) is a big mistake. The perfect synergy occurs when the celebrity really likes the brand, believes in the product, and it’s obvious to viewers in their delivery.

I have seen clients be very disappointed with high paid celebrity talent when they have discovered that the celebrity’s real-life experience was contradictory to the product message they were paid to deliver. For example, a client had a beauty product to “reverse” aging and the celebrity spokesperson said that they were not a fan of plastic surgery during the satellite media tour interviews. I later came out that this spokesperson had a plastic surgery procedure or two prior to endorsing the product. Integrity is everything so appropriately vet your spokesperson regarding their product experience so that their messaging will be true to who they are as people and to your product.

Another circumstance involved a celebrity who was hired as a spokesperson for a charitable organization and who had absolutely no connection to the cause but represented themselves to the contrary.  When the spokesperson was “pressed” to describe their personal connection, they said it was “too personal” to discuss in interviews.  If the celebrity does not have a relationship to the charity (or refuses to talk about the connection they do have), then they are not a good match. It’s also difficult to book a celebrity spokesperson for a story involving a charitable cause if they have absolutely no link to it other than they think it’s a good idea. I personally and professionally do not like that charitable organizations pay celebrity spokespersons outrageous amounts of money to promote a charitable cause. In my humble opinion, a celebrity should offer services for a charitable organization they believe in on a pro bono basis or for a SAG day rate. I think they are not being truthful to the public when they are a paid spokesperson for a cause.  I am sure there are many in the industry that disagree with me on this issue, especially agents.

A Spokesperson Agreement Should Include Appearances in Addition to the SMT. The celebrity’s services should be part of a broader campaign that is not limited to a satellite media tour. Hiring a celebrity where the satellite media tour spokesperson is the only part of their contract is a mistake. Their services should also include national TV studio interviews, print, radio, web and even personal appearances where it makes sense. In general, most of these services will be provided within a one-to-two day (or more) time frame. Finally, don’t forget that media training your celebrity spokesperson is essential to getting the most out of your investment or you could end up wasting a lot of money, so find out the top five mistakes SMT spokespersons make.

All of this information may sound very basic — almost like “Hiring a Celebrity Spokesperson 101,” but I’ve seen the good, the bad, and the ugly, when it comes to hiring a spokesperson so never assume the obvious.

Feel free to call me and consult when you are in the planning stages of finding the right spokesperson to generate media interest for your brand, product, or service.

Peace and coconuts,

Marianne Schwab, Executive Producer, CMP Media Cafe

Follow us on Twitter:  @CMP_MediaCafe

Copyright (c) 2014. CMP Media Cafe. All Rights Reserved.

Top Five Mistakes SMT Spokespersons Make

July 9, 2014

I have been producing satellite media tours since 1996 and by and large, most of the spokespersons I have worked with whether industry experts or celebrities, have done a great job. However, there are many mistakes that even a good spokesperson makes.

1. Not making good eye contact with camera. This should seem like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised how even celebrity spokespersons fail to make good eye contact with the camera. Especially for actors, direct eye contact with the camera does not necessarily feel natural. They are used to having their performances filmed with no regard to looking at the camera. Some actors may succeed at establishing good eye contact with the camera directly but have a tendency to look up when they are thinking about a response. That does not look good on-camera. If it happens once within an interview it’s okay, but when it happens over and over again it doesn’t feel right to the viewer.

For live interviews via satellite media tours or live shots, establishing eye contact with the camera as though it is the person you are talking to (because theoretically it is) is one of the most important aspects of being a good spokesperson.

2. Weak or Hesitant Vocal Tone. A spokesperson must deliver the message points with passion. If they do not have energy behind what they are saying, then they won’t seem believable. That does not mean they should give an over the top delivery of message points, but they should have high energy and enthusiasm. When there is even a slight hesitation or weakness in a vocal tone when delivering message points, the audience picks up that the spokesperson is not 100% on board with what they’re saying. This is a primary reason for media training since a hesitant tone will be present when a spokesperson is not confident and well trained on the message.

3. Over Commercializing the Message. Sometimes the spokesperson does not understand that the message cannot be “over commercialized” and they will say a product name numerous times within the interview or turn the interview into a commercial. Stations get very annoyed by this and it can be “deadly” for taped interviews since producers may decide not to air the interview or completely edit out the client message. There is no reason that if the spokesperson is media trained correctly that they cannot learn subtle ways to deliver product message points.

4. Using the Word “Try.” Hearing a spokesperson or expert in a television or radio interview say, “Well, what were trying to do is raise awareness on XYZ,” is a big mistake and a reflection of poor media training. There is no commitment in the word “try.” You either do or you do not do.

The word “try” is very lame when it comes to presenting your message since it indicates an attempt versus a commitment. What the spokesperson should say is, “We want to raise awareness on XYZ,” or “We are working toward raising awareness on XYZ.” Keep this in mind when you are forming message points. It is also imperative that you educate your spokesperson on the importance of avoiding the use of the word “try.”

5. Thinking a Spokesperson Doesn’t Need Media Traiing. If you think a high paid celebrity spokesperson can “wing it” without proper media training then you’re setting them up for an epic fail. I’ve worked with everyone from A-listers to D-listers and it doesn’t matter how famous they are, how talented they are, or how articulate they are, if they are not media trained appropriately on your particular message points, they will not be strong in an interview to get your message across.

Clients are often intimidated to require media training in the contract when working with celebrities (or perhaps an agent suggests that it is not necessary). As the producer, it’s my job to help the on-air spokesperson look and perform their best and media training is how you guarantee it.

When you enter into a contract with the celebrity spokesperson, it should include a minimum of a two-to-three hour media training session regarding the exact Q&A they will be required to address in their interviews. Particularly if you’re dealing with an actor, it is important that they know and rehearse their exact message points (keeping in mind that memorizing a script is NOT a good idea). Reassure the actor and their representatives that the reason this media training is required is to ensure that the celebrity will give their best performance on the air. This is a reasonable request, since most actors are aware they must rehearse their lines for a show or movie before they actually shoot the scene. Also, they don’t want to damage their professional credibility by appearing unprepared.

When spokespersons try to “wing” their message points after a brief review of what’s expected of them, you will find that they deliver interviews full of “and ah, ahs and umms.” They may try to convince you that their delivery will feel more “organic,’ but it will only come off as “messy” with a lack of conviction in what they are saying This is often interpreted by viewers (or radio listeners) as a lack of belief in what the spokesperson is saying. Never assume that a spokesperson can have minimal training and hit the message points out of the park.


So avoid these five mistakes and your SMT will be a success, plus here’s one final tip…..

Number One Tip for Spokesperson Success in Satellite Media Tours: Structure a two-to-three minute message point script with a suggested Q&A that you provide to all TV and radio stations prior to the interview. CMP Media Cafe does this for all of our broadcast projects and we find that reporters use our scripts verbatim 85% of the time. We include a Suggested Anchor Lead and Suggested Anchor Tag for the producers and media train our spokesperson to prepare them when anchors take the interview off script.

Peace and coconuts,

Marianne Schwab, Executive Producer, CMP Media Cafe

Follow us on Twitter:  @CMP_MediaCafe

Copyright (c) 2014. CMP Media Cafe. All Rights Reserved.