Howard Bragman on New vs. Old Media
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: How has media changed since you started? Bragman: The first change to understand is the speed. In the old days, if you had a crisis, you had a certain amount of time to respond to this crisis. You’d get a call from a journalist and you’d say, “We’re running this story,” and you talk to your team and you’d have a 24-hour news cycle, if you will, until you had to give a response. Today, I get a call from Harvey Levin at TMZ and says, “I’m running this story in 1 minute. Give me a response.” And so just the speed, the metabolism of the media has gone crazy. The second thing is journalistic standards. In this sad time, as we watched major newspapers go out of business, be for sale, lose their circulation, the one thing that’s really lost is journalistic standards and credibility. And a lot of people out there in this world disseminate in the news, particularly bloggers. Not all of them, some of them are great, don’t have journalistic standards, and they’re more interested in speed than accuracy. And when somebody’s inaccurate and they don’t care, it makes it really hard to overcome that with the truth, whereas if I talk to the New York Times and say, “That’s not true and I can prove it,” I can either get a correction or I can get him to stop running something. It’s not going to stop Perez Hilton. What am I … you know, the legal term is “judgment proof.” A lot of these bloggers living in their parents’ basement with a laptop and their boxer shorts, what am I taking, the laptop or the boxer shorts if I sue these guys.
Howard Bragman explains how the "metabolism of the media has gone "crazy."
An ordained Lama in a Tibetan Buddhist lineage, Lama Rod grew up a queer, black male within the black Christian church in the American south. Navigating all of these intersecting, evolving identities has led him to a life's work based on compassion for self and others.
- "What I'm interested in is deep, systematic change. What I understand now is that real change doesn't happen until change on the inside begins to happen."
- "Masculinity is not inherently toxic. Patriarchy is toxic. We have to let that energy go so we can stop forcing other people to do emotional labor for us."
We were gaining three IQ points per decade for many, many years. Now, that's going backward. Could this explain some of our choices lately?
There's a new study out of Norway that indicates our—well, technically, their—IQs are shrinking, to the tune of about seven IQ points per generation.
Here's why generalists triumph over specialists in the new era of innovation.
- Since the explosion of the knowledge economy in the 1990s, generalist inventors have been making larger and more important contributions than specialists.
- One theory is that the rise of rapid communication technologies allowed the information created by specialists to be rapidly disseminated, meaning generalists can combine information across disciplines to invent something new.
- Here, David Epstein explains how Nintendo's Game Boy was a case of "lateral thinking with withered technology." He also relays the findings of a fascinating study that found the common factor of success among comic book authors.
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