Fell in love with this infrographic on Mashable .
The Care and Feeding of the Paparazzi
A few years back I made a great contact at a major tabloid show. He’s a genuine paparazzo whose day job is catching celebrities in their most candid moments. While the publicist/”pap” relationship can sometimes be a love/hate thing, we’ve always had a mutually-beneficial professional relationship and I’ve learned a lot from him over the years.
Not everyone’s a fan of paparrazi, but when celebrities, up-and-comers and other news-makers are looking to hit the spotlight, tabloid media and paps can be your best friends. While media relations basics do apply, the care and feeding of the paparazzi requires an understanding of this unique beast.
We’ll call these the Pap 4 (mostly because deep down inside I have the sense of humor of a 12-year-old-boy and saying the word pap still makes me giggle.)
Rule #1: This isn’t for everyone. If you chose to play in this world, you (and your client) need to check your control issues at the door.
The most important rule in dealing with tabloid media: You can’t control everything. Not that you have total control over any media situation, but more often than not IF your client is media trained and on message, and you have great relationships with the media you’re working with so you understand what they hope to get out of the interviews, often you know where it’s going and what it should look like when their segment is produced or the article hits print. With the shock value that often comes with tabloid media, you need to keep an open line of communication with your client about the risks/benefits. For example, tabloid TV shows often have a lot of commentary and opinions surrounding the piece (let the peanut gallery games begin!). Even if you end up with a well-produced piece that makes your client look like a rock star, you can’t always control the commentary by the hosts (something you don’t always have to worry about with anchors and straight news).
Rule #2 (applies to any media pitching): The opportunity you present needs to be mutually beneficial. Don’t waste your time (and theirs) pitching staged red carpet, step-and-repeat moments that any media can have access to. Offer more off-the-cuff opportunities, provide tidbits of insider info that no one else has and provide photo ops that are away from the staged backgrounds. Know before you pitch: why your client/event is timely, newsworthy and point out how/why/where it fits into their pages and programming (Radar and Seen sections, etc.).
Rule #3: Tip sheets are gold. While most paps are hip to pop culture, they don’t have every celebrity memorized. A solid tip sheet with insight on how/why this person is relevant to them, notes on timely news tie-ins, sometimes even pictures are helpful if you have multiple celebrities at an event that aren’t as immediately recognizable as an A-lister but still relevant.
Rule #4: Set realistic expectations. Nothing will burn your pap bridges faster than promising celebrities who don’t show or hyping up something that ultimately doesn’t fit their programming/editorial. Getting them out to cover you isn’t the challenge– it’s keeping them coming back and making sure you’re a reliable source that they can trust. Earn their trust by delivering the celebrities you promise and only calling them when it fits their programming.
If you show them you value their time and set them up with opportunities that make them look good, you’ll have a happy client and a happy pap. And who doesn’t want a happy pap?
Don’t let the title fool you; it’s not always in that order.
Being a mom, a wife and business owner means a constant state of multitasking and at the end of the day, finding a way to keep it all balanced . . . ish.
You know those women who have it all, and keep it all together? The ones that effortlessly balance me time, mom time and a career while baking cookies and looking flawless when they volunteer for PTA? You know, the ones that are on TV, in those commercials for appliances and microwaveable meals. Yep. That that’s the only place you’ll find them.
Being a woman, a wife, a mom, a PR exec with a growing business, comes with more rewards than I can ever be thankful enough for. But it’s definitely not a life that can be lived without flaws and mishaps, lessons learned and a constant search for ways to make it all fit into one day. This blog is my journey and what I learn along the way, including tips for the working moms that also walk in my shoes (which used to be fabulous 5 inch stilettos but have now been downsized to flats, or whatever I can easily wrangle my toddler and newborn in!