Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Brains of Minerva: Helping Actors Promote Themselves

Screen legend Ethel Barrymore once said, "For an actress to be a success, she must have the face of Venus, the brains of Minerva, the grace of Terpsichore, the memory of a Macaulay, the figure of Juno, and the hide of a rhinoceros."

Enter Brains of Minerva, the ultimate actor's guide to the Hollywood hustle. I recently sat down with Sarah Sido to share my thoughts (in 2 parts) on publicity, why Clint Eastwood doesn't cry on camera, and what actors need to know to get themselves in the media spotlight.


Monday, April 12, 2010

DOING IT Spotlight: Nekisha-Michelle Exposes Cycle of Cheating on KTLA

What do Jesse James, Tiger Woods, Senator McCain all have in common besides being famous? They've all recently been caught in headline grabbing affairs.

My self-promotion protege and Life Redesign Queen Dr. Nekisha-Michelle Bakre stopped by KTLA to discuss fame, cheating, and how those caught in a cycle of infidelity can break the invisible chains that are binding them.

Find Nekisha-Michelle online and Twitter!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Polishing a Tarnished Image: Nike's New Tiger Ad

I must admit that when the sex scandal with Tiger Woods began, I hesitated to talk about it with anyone- even close friends. While any person can try to sit back and place judgment on his infidelity, the only people who ever really deserve an apology from Woods are his family members who were directly hurt by his actions. Yet, because he chose to accept endorsement dollars from brands like Nike and Buick and because his anointed title of ROLE MODEL, Mr. Woods does have to acknowledge and answer to questionable behavior that tarnishes his shiny image as well as any brand that has hitched its wagon to him.

Unlike many of his other endorsers, Nike stuck by Woods. At the end of the day, Nike is about sports and, while Tiger Woods won't get a Husband of the Year award, he could still win the Augusta Masters and that coveted green jacket for a 5th time.

So, Nike found themselves facing the dilemma of how to reintroduce Woods to consumers and fans. On August 8th, moments before Woods premiered at the Masters, Nike put out this ad with the voice of Woods' dead father and mentor, Earl, being the only words you hear:

The sum total of this commercial is unforgettable: stark black and white with the golf champion looking rest-broken and somewhat scolded while Earl Woods asks, "did you learn anything?"

The public reaction has been "creepy," "moving," "disturbing," "bizarre," "genius," "obvious!" I don't think Nike intended to just play the dead daddy card. The idea seems to be to show an introspective and embarrassed Tiger Woods post-scandal, post thinking about how he has disappointed the people who matter to him most, and ready to return to sports and the golf course and do again what he does best. Be an athlete.

I find this to be a smart commercial. There was no Woods' ad Nike was ever going to be able to put out into the world that wasn't going to upset some people. At least this one attempts to bring Tiger Woods full circle and it also shows how (through Earl Woods' own words) his father would have judged him. In fact, it seems that his father was less about accusation and more inquiry. Perhaps Nike is urging us to do the same and simply ask Tiger, "did you learn anything?"

One Entrepreneur On Marketing

I recently did an interview with Upstart Smart magazine about marketing strategies entrepreneurs can use to promote their businesses. The mag is the brainchild of Amber Singleton Riviere, who runs one of the smoothest ships I've ever seen. She sent details on how to schedule my interview, pre-questions, and a reminder of the interview. R-E-S-P-E-C-T to Ms. Riviere!

Take a peak at the full interview here for an overview on brand, how personality effects building and promoting your business, and 3 tips on how to spread the word:

One Entrepreneur On Marketing: Joy Donnell of 720 PR

This is part of a series called "The Entrepreneurs on Marketing," where I'm talking with entrepreneurs about their strategies for marketing and promoting their businesses. In this interview, I caught up with Joy Donnell of 720 PR.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

DOING IT Spotlight: Japan Buzzes about Terrisha Kearse

Congrats to my self-promotion protege director Terrisha Kearse who got some overseas press for herself and her film 10-20 in Japan's AUGUST magazine. Check out part of her 4-page article that discusses her unique vision as a filmmaker and where she found the inspiration for her directorial debut.

10-20 tells the story of EJ Henderson (Jah Shams), who discovers at the tender age of 13 that his life is a lie. Tracy (Bee-Be Smith), his birth mother, gave him up to her childless sister who was the victim of a brutal rape and couldn't have kids. Candice (Kimberly Bailey) raised EJ as her own. During these years, EJ channels his anger toward his abusive aunt and uncle into writing poetry. When Candice discovers that she is pregnant, she coldly admits the truth to EJ and sends him to live with Tracy. This betrayal turns the sensitive boy into an angry young man. EJ turns his back on Tracy and looks for acceptance on the streets. As his life spirals downward, EJ realizes too late that he can only control the present when he learns to deal with his past.

The debut film from director Terrisha Kearse, 10-20 derives its name from the Florida law that guarantees a 10-year sentence for possession of an unlicensed firearm, and 20 years to life if the gun is aimed at a person with the intent to shoot or kill. Kearse, who also co-authored the film, based the story on the real-life events that led to the incarceration of a close family member.

View the 10-20 trailer here