7 years ago

Volume 5 Issue 9 - June 2000

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  • Toronto
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There are two schools,

There are two schools, _one is angles, the other one is pushy. I don 't like to d_o that, it makes enemies. kind of newspaper is the Sun and what kind is the Globe and Mail, perhaps som:e local politics or sports, if they are doing interviews, that sort of thing. Sometimes there are problems. Once I had a great conductor for a newspaper interview, and the journalist forgot she' had the appointment. I've promoted artists I've never met. And you get pressure! I don't want to name names, but we had a really great artist, but ticket sales were slow. They told me, you've got to get him an interview. Well, he didn't want do an interview. So, we called his agent and said, .'Look, it says in his contract that- he will grant two interviews. This is what we want to do. Could you please speak to him?' And we did the interviews. Whew! Another time an agent called me, 'Mr. So-and-So-is in his car with his cell phone. He will permit an interview by telephone in 15 minutes, would you line up something?' I called the Star, the National Post, everybody, and they said, 'What do you think we are? Certainly not!' And then someone may be a great singer, but not necessarily articulate. I have one artist I have promoted, an organist, he is a fascinating person, very witty and very funny. ·But he freezes in front of a microphone; we can't send him for an interview, so the public never knows wliat a brilliant conversationalist he is! On the other hand, Measha Bruggergosman' (star of last year's Beatrice Chancey for Queen of Puddings) is a natural. Put her in front of a microphone or a camera and she just knows what to do. !vars Taurins, with whom I sing but do not repre- · sent, is another natural, he's so funny and SO intelligent .. . a publicist's dream. Dawn: Is airport shuttle a usual feature of being a publicist? Francine: No, but I often ask to do that, to establish a rapport. I say to the artist, I have this list of interviews, what can you do? I think it helps me that I am a performer, I understand their needs, I would NEVER schedule an interview an hour before the performance. And being able to talk shop is good, it make~ them trust me more. And you know, I always respected journalists before, but now that I am wo'rking for Radio Canada I understand more of what they need too. Me: Such as? Francine: I have been given an artist for an interview, they said he speaks French, but oh, like a Spanish cow - do you say that in English? In French we say of · someone who speaks French very badly comme une vaclie espagnole. No? Anyway, it might have worked for newspaper, but not for radio. (She sighs.) Me: If you can't guarantee results, how do you convince your clients that you are worth your fee? Francine (sighs again): When I talk to a prospective client, I ask, what are your expectations? If they tell me, 'I waµt to be everywhere, every TV show, on the radio, all the papers, the cover of What's On,' I have to tell them I can't dQ that. In my contract, I say there are no guarantees of that sort, I cannot guarantee results. I get paid for the work I do, and when I invoice my clients I list what I did for them -- press releases written and sent to these media, press packages made up and · sent, follow-up phone calls to so-and-so broadcasters, so-andso journalists, media luncheon arranged -- not the coverage I got for them. Me: How can you, or your clients, tell if the publicity is working? Francine: Publicity does work. If a group has a small advertising budget, I would advise them not to spend their ,000 or ,000 on advertising, but to !lire a publicist. Anybody can say anything in an ad and the public knows that and pays no attention. · A feature anicle by a columnist people know is much more convincing. It's amazing - you can't buy the cover of What's On, but you just might get it for free if you can persuade the right media person that you're interesting.. But I find if is hard to monitor what I do. I sometimes subscribe to Bowden's Media Directory Services, a clipping service, but only for newspapers and some magazines. Their radio and tv service is way more expensive. I can't be everywhere and listen to everything! Sometimes the first I hear back is someone asking for media comps because they promoted my client on the air. I have to take their word! Sometimes I think I'm also the media ticket police, I get a call, 'I work for Media So-and-So, I want to see your show.' (Again a sigh.) And I've given tickets to people who are CONTINUES Canada's foremost Violin _Specialists 201 Church Street Toronto, On. MSB 1Y7 email GHCL @ Toronto's center for Clarinets & Oboes Sales* Repairs Brasswind *Rentals* Toll-free 1-800-356-4025 Warranty Repair Depot Used instruments bought & sold OboEwby FOX F. Lorie;

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