Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Getting Started So You Can Get Noticed ...

The days of mass mailings, mass e-mails and cold-calling producers and editors are over.  I subscribe to the theory that each client is an individual and thus require the "Personal Touch".  Whether it be an Actor, Producer, Author, Recording Artist or Corporation, the "pitch" needs to be personalized for each client and to each media outlet. First and foremost, there MUST be open lines of communication between the PR Pro and the client.  Honesty is key.  Educate the client - identify strengths and weaknesses - be truthful as to what the potential results are vs. what may result.  Also,
  • A. Chose a client that is telogenic and media savvy.  If not, you are in trouble from the get-go.
  • B. Get to know your client.  Research and learn as much about them as you can possibly can.  Be informed on both a personal and professional level.  You don't want to be surprised three months down the line -- secrets are meant to be uncovered.  Open the closet before the media does.
  • C. Hire a skilled writer to compose a bio and supporting press kit materials (FAQ sheet, What People Are Saying/Quote sheet, etc.) that will best showcase the unique qualities and strengths of the client.  Once completed, spend the necessary time to assure that the message is clear and concise -- you get one shot at making a powerful and compelling first impression - take the time to do it right.
  • D. Hire a photographer that will showcase the diversity of the client -- from a simple headshot to fashion to lifestyle images. Photos need to not only be breathtaking and eye-catching but also capture the personality of the client.  Once again, "first impressions" (no pun intended).
  • E. Develop a pitch or multiple pitches that can be serviced to diverse media outlets.  For instance, a "Black Actress" does not need to be pigeonholed into "Black Media".  Develop additional pitches that can serve the mainstream TV media, Business outlets, Lifestyle outlets, Political outlets.  It is the job of the publicist to broaden the range of possibilities for each client - done with integrity and credibility at all costs and at all times (of course).
  • F. Identify key media outlets for the initial launch of the client.  From there, build accordingly.  If done properly - with patience - persistence - and skill --  the "Domino Effect" will kick in.
  • G. Work with the client on a daily basis - whether it be to create a pitch that could be part of a Breaking News cycle or for ReImaging and ReBranding purposes.  We all have many layers - don't be afraid to peel them off.
  • H. Prepare the client for each interview/appearance.  Inform them of what the outlet is looking for and how the message (of the client) can best serve the outlet and the client. Personally,  I like to have clients conduct pre-interviews prior to each appearance and/or prepare a list of suggested questions.
  • I. Persevere and protect.  If you get a NO FIND ANOTHER WAY IN.  Once again, unpeel those layers -- most of the time what you need is there underneath waiting to be discovered and nurtured.
 Hope this helps.  I will dig further into this at a later time. In closing, be genuine, be wise and know your brand.  Don't sell yourself short and NEVER sell out. The objective is to have a lasting career that is both maintained and strengthened via an always evolving PR campaign. At the same time, however, if you long to be on the cover of Life & Style every week, than I am not your guy. Until next time ... Peace!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013


I have been and remain to be blessed in my career.  I have in my stable of clients Grammy Winners, Oscar Winners, Emmy Winners, NY Times best-selling authors, Bon Appetit "Chefs Of The Year" and a few, do I dare say, ICONS. 

In the last 10 years, I have gradually watched as REAL TALENT has been pushed aside and replaced by REALITY TV STARS famous for only being famous. I mean should I advise my clients to make a Sex Tape or live in a trailer or have 8 kids or join the mafia or be a "Real Housewife" to garner the attention they so rightfully deserve.  Hell no!  My clients can change lives with their immense gifts and talents and thus I will continue to fight the good fight.

The media -- whether it be Tabloid or Mainstream  -- need to move away from the trailer park trash and return to booking guests that have history and expertise and talent and good will to share - guests that can uplift, entertain and educate the world rather than exploit it.

Sorry Kim ...

Monday, January 28, 2013

Tom Leykis: Are You Kidding Me

I have been in the business of PR - Public Relations - Publicity - Imaging and Branding - for 25 years plus. To help us get acquainted, here's a bit about me ...

Tom Estey has been hailed as a "miracle worker" by those in the know - a respected and highly sought after Public Relations Strategist boasting 25 years of comprehensive experience in all facets of Entertainment and Corporate PR, Imaging and Branding and Publishing. 

Previous and current clients include Jenifer Aniston, Matthew Perry, Anita Baker, William Hurt, Kelly McGillis, Kirk Cameron, Richard Simmons, Robin Quivers, John Stamos, Ian Buchanan, Patti Austin, Annie Lennox, Jay Thomas, Ricki Lake, Deidre Hall, Dianne Reeves, Jim Brickman, Dave Koz, Nnenna Freelon, Marcus Miller, Shaun Robinson, Jody Watley, Jimmy Sommers, Michael Boatman, Kathy Kinney, Steve Tyrell, Marilyn Scott, Stacey Dash, Gerald Albright, Everette Harp, Fourplay, Jason Miles, Wendy Moten, Rachelle Ferrell, Brenda Russell, Hilary Kole, Will Downing, Sy Smith, Deniece Williams, Siedah Garrett, Ted Nash, Frank Catalano, Sy Smith, Sheryl Lee Ralph, Tatiana Ali, Abby Dobson, Janet Hubert, Anthony David, Lela Rochon, Tatiana Ali, Lynn Whitfield, Norwood Young, Gloria Loring, Michael Easton, Valarie Pettiford and Vikter Duplaix, just to name a few. 

Fitness personalities including Billy Blanks, Shaun T, Jennifer Nicole Lee, Greg Joujon-Roche, Denise Austin, AJ Johnson and Donna Richardson. 

Corporate accounts ranging from Time Life to Baby Genius to Sally Miller Couture to Choclatique to The DIVA Foundation to Touche' Beauty. 

Revered restaurants and chefs from across the Globe including Cindy Hutson and Ortanique On The Mile in Miami and Grand Cayman, Master Chef Gavan Murphy, Zio Ristorante NYC, and Jon Bonnell of Bonnell's Fine Texas Cuisine in Austin, TX. 

Athletes ranging from Pete Rose to Anthony Davis. 

In the world of publishing, clients range from NY Times bestselling authors Dr. Daniel Amen, Dr. Judith Orloff, Dr. Marc Siegel, Dr. Steven Gundry, "Dr. Judy", DANNION, Deborah King, Dr. Keith Johnson, William Borchert, Kaihan Krippendorff, "Dr. Woody," and the Chicken Soup for the Soul series.

I take great pride and joy in my work while at the same time realizing my efforts are not going to change the planet or our world in any truly heroic fashion. 

On that note, I was informed today of a post written over a year ago by my former client Tom Leykis. I was told of the contents of his ramblings so I decided to check it out for myself. This is what I have to say:

A. Tom - get a life man! 
B. I fired you - get over it!
C. It's against the law to take emails and rewrite them and publish them as you did on your personal blog.
D. I have had several clients attempt to refute your claims in writing but you refuse to post them on your personal blog.
E. The day after I fired you, you appeared on Fox and Friends. 
F. You attempt to slander me and yet you pay my full retainer fee after posting your malicious lies.

I live a life based in truth, integrity and credibility. Perhaps you should try doing the same Tom.

I am not one that would normally address this form of madness but at the end of the day my name - the name lovingly bestowed upon me by now deceased parents - is something that I will not allow to be viciously attacked.

For years, I have defended my clients against wrongful prosecution in the media.  We live in a society where anyone can defame anyone and get away with it most of the time.  I simply can not sit back and allow it to happen to my clients nor myself.

Enough said ...