Press

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Can Bernie Sanders Replicate His Big L.A. Win?

ver the past six months, some of the hottest, youngest, and richest celebrities have thrown in for a plainspoken septuagenarian who, when asked about his skincare regimen, replied, “The doctor gave me something years ago, I put it on.” Ariana Grande, whose tongue-in-cheek single “7 rings” features the line “whoever said money can’t solve your problems / must not have had enough money to solve ’em,” calls Bernie Sanders “my guy.” The Democratic socialist’s squad also includes Mark Ruffalo, Hailey Bieber, Bon Iver, Cardi B, and Jane Fonda. L.A.’s entertainment industry is, of course, famously...

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PR’s ‘Gay Guru’ Helps Celebrities Come Out

Growing up in the Midwest during the 1960s, Howard Bragman was fairly convinced he was an alien. "I was fat and Jewish and gay in Flint, Mich.," he says, "and that makes you a bit of a Martian because there's not a lot of peers, there's not a lot of role models to really look to." Today, Bragman has made a name for himself in Hollywood as the go-to publicist for helping celebrities come out of the closet — they call him the "gay guru." Bragman says he sees his work as a way to create the role models he never had growing up. "These people are heroes because coming out is the single most...

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Obamas, not Kardashians, likely to be model as Meghan and Harry seek fresh brand

But the couple, formally known as the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, should move wisely to make themselves financially independent in a world where social media influencers like Kim Kardashian reign and where their visibility will be magnified rather than reduced, branding experts and Hollywood observers say. “Brand Sussex is a global brand and could end up making an absolute fortune, from public speaking to Meghan reinventing her lifestyle blog, to merchandising or brand endorsements,” said Nick Bullen, editor-in-chief of True Royalty TV. Harry and Meghan shocked Queen Elizabeth when they...

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How Kevin Hart Could Have Saved His Oscar Gig if He Was ‘Sincere’ and Apologized: Expert

Kevin Hart might have saved his Oscars hosting gig if he had put more thought and care into his apology following backlash over his past homophobic comments, an expert tells PEOPLE. The comedian, 39, stepped down from the prestigious post last week and apologized for his past homophobic comments and tweets, less than two hours after he declared that he would not apologize. “You have to say the words ‘I’m sorry.’ His first apology was a non-apology,” says Howard Bragman, a longtime crisis manager and founder of La Brea Media. “I thought he handled it badly. It felt really insincere and...

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Will America forgive Lori Loughlin? Inside the court of public opinion

SALT LAKE CITY — Lori Loughlin and Felicity Huffman took two different paths once the college admissions scandal became public. The two celebrity mothers were among dozens of parents accused of paying bribes so their children could get into elite universities. But they took different approaches when it came to accepting personal responsibility, and that could have lasting impact on each’s ability to return not just to Hollywood, but into public favor. “All things being equal, they were not equal,” said Howard Bragman, a longtime Hollywood celebrity crisis manager, in an interview with the...

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Crisis Consultant on Why Felicity Huffman’s Prison Look Is “Pitch Perfect”

"Felicity, from a PR point of view, has played this pitch perfect from the very beginning, I don't think there's any room to criticize her," said consultant Harold Bragman in response to Martha Stewart calling Huffman's look "pretty schlumpy."Just how "schlumpy" is Felicity Huffman's prison wardrobe? Quite a bit, according to former inmate Martha Stewart. “She should style her outfit a little bit more. She looked pretty schlumpy,” Stewart said Tuesday at Vanity Fair's New Establishment Summit in Los Angeles. Huffman is currently serving out her 14-day sentence for her involvement in the...

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How Celebrities Should Say Sorry: A Pro Apologist Explains (Guest Column)

One of the more colorful, and perhaps apt, descriptions of public relations professionals is the term, “apologist.” While I’m willing to confess that I don’t love the term, I am willing to own it—particularly since I spend much of my time counseling clients in crisis and controversial situations akin to the ones celebrities from Billy Bush to Ryan Lochte (disclaimer: not my clients) find themselves in these days. Based on my nearly four decades in my profession, I’m going to share some thoughts and practical advice on when and how to apologize. Clearly, my expertise is in public apologies,...

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College Admissions Scandal: 10 Ways to Know How Bad the Crisis Is

Howard Bragman, a longtime PR strategist and crisis manager, weighs in on the college admissions scandal that has ensnared “Desperate Housewives” star Felicity Huffman and “Fuller House” actress Lori Loughlin. Neither actress is a client of Bragman’s. Seeing your spin doctor is just like seeing your medical doctor after a scary diagnosis: Everyone wants to know how bad it is. That’s the question everyone is asking right now about Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin. What will their careers look like post-scandal? Actually, there are some objective ways to predict whether this will be a speed...

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10 Things Every Celebrity Should Do When Making a Public Apology (Guest Column)

It’s true. PR people are often called “apologists.” I don’t bristle at that description, because apologizing and getting it right is a crucial skill set for today’s crisis manager. Apologies are hard to do — they are humbling, irritating and often required during periods of high emotional pressure and agitation. I promise, we live in a very forgiving world, people want to forgive you. A solid apology allows that. For public figures apologies may affect your image, your career options and of course your income, and I have always believed that our reputations are the most valuable things we...

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10 Things Every Celebrity Should Do for Better Online Security

I’ve talked to clients and friends who have had their online accounts hacked and private information leaked. It’s repugnant. It feels like a huge violation and can make people feel helpless. Bringing massive awareness to the issue was three waves of leaks that exposed dozens of private photos of celebrities — the latest this past Friday after the initial incident at the end of last month, and another just one week ago. Neither I nor anyone else can guarantee anyone an absolutely safe, privacy-protected experience online with absolutely no risk of hacking or compromise. But what I have...

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Culture of Crisis

You can’t turn on a television set, read a newspaper or surf the Internet without reading about another celebrity, company or politician in crisis. Not only do all our celebrities seem to get into trouble, but ironically, getting into trouble can actually turn people into celebrities. How did we end up in this surrealistic Neverland where a celebrity who behaves never gets any heat, yet a seemingly minor transgression can set the blogosphere on fire? When did all the rules change? And can it be fixed? There wasn’t one thing that changed — everything changed. It’s a perfect storm of mayhem...

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Your Personal Public Relations Tips From Howard Bragman

Jan. 2, 2009 — -- Howard Bragman is the founder of FifteenMinutes.com, a strategic media and public relations agency with offices in Los Angeles and New York and is well respected for his work as a crisis counselor. In his new book, "Where's My 15 Minutes," he talks about how he's helped some of Hollywood's most famous and infamous step from pitfalls to stardom and how those same techniques can be used for anyone's life. Read a few excerpts of his book below. Howard's 10 Commandments of P.R.1. All press is not good press 2. Perception is reality 3. Create a brand 4. The truth seeks its own...

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