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Publicist Rockstars: “Think like a journalist vs. a PR person.”

I had the pleasure of interviewing Howard Bragman. Howard has become one of America’s best-known PR and crisis experts because of his experience, wisdom, calmness and straightforward yet empathetic manner. He has worked with some of the most recognized people in the world and managed some of the highest profile press moments of this millennium and last. LaBrea.Media is the distillation of 35+ years of Bragman’s media and marketing experience into a responsive, nimble and world-class consultancy. Bragman manages a small team of some of the best and brightest PR talent around, yet is...

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The Art of the Pitch in the Midst of a Pandemic

LOS ANGELES — Millions of people had started to shelter in place. The global economy was cratering. Coronavirus-panicked shoppers were clawing at each other over toilet paper. But apocalypse be darned. Ashley McCormick, a fashion publicist at Ragdoll PR in Los Angeles, had a product to promote. “Forget everything you’ve ever heard about latex,” her March 19 email to lifestyle journalists began. She was not referring to gloves. “Latex has become an inescapable fashion sensation, with designers creating unique and innovative looks for both on and off the runway,” Ms. McCormick wrote, citing...

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Nick Cannon Could Teach a Masterclass in Bouncing Back from a Scandal

Watching the near collapse and resurrection of actor, rapper, and TV host Nick Cannon’s career in real time has been a masterclass in reputation rehab. After Cannon was heard spouting anti-Semitic Louis Farrakhan talking points on his podcast Cannon’s Class, Rabbi Abraham Cooper, associate dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center tweeted, “Anyone seeking a Ph.D. in Jew-hatred should watch this ‘interview’ in its entirety.” The SWC regularly points out hate speech, but in this instance, a media storm of condemnation followed culminating in ViacomCBS severing their relationship with Cannon....

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Meet The 20 Most Powerful Publicists In Hollywood [Ranked]

When most people think of publicists, they picture someone like Vincent Chase's fast-talking, cell phone-addicted, workaholic publicist, Shauna Roberts (expertly played by Debi Mazar) on HBO's "Entourage." In reality, most of these traits are actually true of Hollywood publicists, who are on-call 24/7 for their A-list clients. Whether they're crafting an actor's image, babysitting a hard-partying starlet, fielding phone calls from press, or helming a multi-million dollar movie campaign, publicists are an integral part of the showbiz machine. And they're getting paid big bucks to do so. "The...

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Hollywood Figures to Hold Benefit for Flint, Michigan

Dee Dee Bridgewater is among the entertainment figures scheduled to perform at a benefit that showbiz natives of Flint, Mich., are holding on Feb. 21 for the city’s residents as they face the crisis of contamination in their water supply. Publicist Howard Bragman, manager Tulani Bridgewater and director Alex Grossman are organizing the event, to be held from 4 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. at Spaghettini in Beverly Hills. Also scheduled to perform are Tamir Hendlemen and John Clayton. Angelo’s Coney Island hot dogs, a staple in Flint, will be served along with Vernor’s ginger ale. “We have left Flint,...

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3 coming-out recommendations from the publicist who helps pro athletes come out

Howard Bragman knows a thing or two about coming out publicly. The revered publicist, who’s gay himself, has been helping people come out publicly for over 30 years, including ‘Family Ties’ star Meredith Baxter as well as Dick Sargent from ‘Bewitched.’ In the sports world, Bragman — founder of LaBrea Media and author of Where’s My Fifteen Minutes? — has lead the public coming-out processes of a number of professional athletes, including: NFL player Esera Tuaolo WNBA superstar Sheryl Swoopes NBA player John Amaechi Golfer Rosie Jones NFL player Michael Sam Over the years, Bragman has learned...

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How long can famous people get away with dismissing criticism as ‘bullying’ from ‘haters’?

In 2013, actress Jada Pinkett Smith wrote a long, widely circulated Facebook post that started with the question: “Are we bullying our young artists?” Smith explained she was troubled by hateful Internet comments about A-listers such as Taylor Swift, Justin Bieber and Rihanna. “I was trying to differentiate cyber-bullying from how we attack and ridicule our young stars through media and social networks,” she wrote. She raised a valid point, even before social media became the increasing nightmare that it is today. Celebrities remain as vulnerable as anyone to online harassment, including...

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‘Are you a feminist?’ — the question more and more female celebrities are asked

‘Do you consider yourself a feminist?” This question is being posed to female celebrities more frequently than ever. In between Tell us about your new album! and What are the downsides of being a superstar? it comes out, some say, like a double-edged sword “It’s like a litmus test of some kind,” says Jaclyn Friedman, founder and executive director of Women, Action and the Media. If the celeb says she is a feminist, she risks isolating fans who don’t identify as such. If she says she is not a feminist, it’s almost guaranteed to become the story’s headline. “Kelly Clarkson: ‘Not a Feminist’ ”...

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