Howard Bragman on Cultural Shifts
Howard Bragman is Hollywood's premier public relations professional. He founded Bragman Nyman Cafarelli Public Relations and Marketing (BNC) in 1989. The Company is one of the most respected public relations agencies in the United States with billings of more than $15 million annually and a blue-chip client roster of celebrities, consumer products and events. In 2001 BNC was purchased by Interpublic, one of the world's largest holding companies for marketing companies. He founded a strategic media and public relations agency, Fifteen Minutes, in 2005.
Bragman is a nationally respected crisis counselor and has provided litigation support for a significant number of high-profile cases and individuals. These include: Joseph Steffan who was kicked out of the US Naval Academy for his sexual orientation; The Lewinsky Family; and Sharon Smith in Smith v. Knoller, a high-profile civil rights and justice trial involving a tragic dog mauling death. Bragman was also an adjunct professor of Public Relations at the University of Southern California's Annenberg School for Communications for six years and has been honored for his teaching excellence by his students and the University. Bragman has written articles for publications including: Advertising Age, The Advocate, The Los Angeles Times and Playboy. A frequent television guest on issues involving the entertainment industry and popular culture, Bragman has appeared on local and network news programs more than 100 times. He has been a featured speaker for numerous groups including The US Conference of Mayors; The UJC Youth Congress; and many others. He is also the author of Where's My Fifteen Minutes?: Get Your Company, Your Cause, or Yourself the Recognition You Deserve.
Question: Does Obama signal an end to our interest in celebrities? Bragman: I think that for every reaction, there is an equal and opposite reaction, and I think, at the same time, that we have blogs that run celebrity nuggets. Like a TMZ, I call it potato chips, okay? You know, we consume it during the day and we sort of click on to TMZ. We have something like the Big Think that goes a little more in-depth and is a little wiser, and I think there’s always going to be that dichotomy. There’s going to be some people who just want time for potato chips and there are some people who want to consume a meal. And I think the Obama phenomena is great. It’s obviously more than a phenomena. But at the same time, I think something like 23% of people still think he’s a Muslim, so not everybody is an intellectual heavyweight, and, I promise you, the first time a celebrity gets a DUI or doesn’t wear panties or shaves their head again, it’s going to be all over the news. Don’t think it’s going away. We’re just in a quiet period, okay?
Howard Bragman sees a fallow period with the election of Obama—but one that won’t last.
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