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Phaedra Parks Signs Secrets of the Southern Belle + Porsha Stewart Sings!
We caught up with Phaedra Parks last night as she signed copies of her new book, ‘Secrets of the Southern Belle.’ Phaedra was joined by her mom Pastor Parks plus fellow Real Housewife of Atlanta Porsha Stewart.

Watch the video below to see Porsha sing Happy Birthday to Phaedra’s mom:

Contact Phaedra Parks!

Categories : Books & Memoirs
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David Letterman Calls It Quits!

Friday, April 4th, 2014

David Letterman Calls It Quits!
David Letterman announced his retirement Thursday night for 2015 – let him know how much you enjoyed watching his show by sending a card or letter to his address below:

David Letterman
c/o The Late Show with David Letterman
1697 Broadway Floor 11
New York, NY 10019

Get David Letterman’s agent, publicist, financial manager & attorney’s contact information!

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Katy Perry Gets Waxed @ Madame Tussauds!

Wednesday, April 2nd, 2014

Katy Perry Gets Waxed @ Madame Tussauds!
Congratulations to Katy Perry who got her own candy-themed wax figure Tuesday at Madame Tussaud’s London!

Katy worked closely with a team of 20 Madame Tussaud’s artists who styled her wax figure in a button candy-inspired leotard, resembling the one worn by the singer on her 2011 California Dreams World Tour.

The outfit was recreated exclusively for Madame Tussauds by the singer’s personal costume designer. Wax figures of the pop star were also revealed on September 24 at Madame Tussauds locations in Amsterdam, Bangkok, and Sydney. Contact Katy Perry!

Categories : On Location
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How to Secure Raving Celebrity Endorsements

Wednesday, April 3rd, 2013

How to Secure Raving Celebrity EndorsementsIn this book, ‘Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World,’ Michael Hyatt explains how to secure raving endorsements for your product or service:

“A selection of endorsements of you and/or your product or service is absolutely essential for a strong platform. Endorsements are used extensively in all forms of marketing – and for good reason. They provide third-party validation and social authority. They make it easier for potential gatekeepers and customers to say yes.

Easy access to social media, review sites, and product comments means we depend more and more on what other people say about a product or service before we make a purchase. If several people you respect recommend a product, you may make your purchase decision on that alone.

In fact, you have probably endorsed something recently yourself. If you’ve ‘liked’ something on Facebook, you have effectively endorsed it.

Relying on endorsements has become commonplace in almost every area of life. Why? Because with so many options, few of us have time to do the evaluation ourselves. Instead, we rely on the opinions of people we trust. This reduces the risk and helps us make a decision more quickly.

This is why – if you are going to build a successful platform – you can’t afford to ignore endorsements. You must try to get them for every product or service you create. While the process is sometimes difficult and time-consuming, it is absolutely crucial to getting the visibility and credibility you need.

Endorsements fall into one of two types:

1. Celebrity Endorsements. These don’t have to be movie or television personalities. They may simply be the well-known experts in a narrow field. For example, if I wanted to buy a new pair of running shoes and saw an endorsement from Chistopher McDougall, that would mean something to me, because he is a leading authority on barefoot running.

2. User Reviews. These are important too. I want to know what kind of experience mere mortals have had with the product or service. The celebrity endorser may have all kinds of motives for endorsing a product or service, but individuals are more likely to be candid.

By the way, some negative reviews from ordinary users can be helpful. If all user reviews are positive, I get suspicious. When a few are negative, I assume they are all honest and put greater stock in the positive ones.

So how do you get endorsements? Here are the five steps I recommend:

1. Create a great product. People who matter are not going to endorse a mediocre product. They can’t afford to. Why? Because their brand will be hurt by the negative association. So you must be committed to excellence. (Note: I did not say perfection. You do the best you can, then launch.)

2. Make a prospect list. In an ideal world, whom would you like to as endorsers? Think big. (When I wrote my e-book, ‘Creating Your Personal Life Plan,’ I started with a list of 40 people. I ended up getting endorsements from 25 of them. Ask yourself, Who are the recognized authorities in my field? Don’t be too quick to rule out someone because you don’t think you have access. You may not know the prospective endorser, but you may know someone who does.

3. Leverage your endorsement for more. It’s always difficult to go first. Sometimes prospective endorsers need an endorsement themselves in order to get comfortable with your product.

With my e-book, I looked over the list and said, ‘Who is the most likely to say yes because of my relationship with him or her? I then asked this person for an endorsement. Sure enough, I got it. I included that endorsement in all my other requests. (It also gave me the courage to ask the others.) This made it easier for everyone, because someone else had already gone first.

4. Ask for the endorsement. Don’t be around the bush. Busy people – the ones you want endorsements from – don’t have time to read lots of emails. Get to the point. Also, try to ask them when they would be most receptive. For example, I always ask for speaking endorsements (and I always get them) right after the engagement, while it is fresh on their minds and before they get too distracted with everything else.

5. Provide guidance, samples and a deadline. Include a brief description of your product and perhaps a sample. Then offer to send them the entire product. Tell them the kind of endorsement you are looking for. The most specific, the better.

I always tell them I am just looking for two or three sentences. They might write more, but this sounds doable. I then provide a recent endorsement or two and a deadline. I ask for it within a week. In my experience you are more likely to get an endorsement with a short deadline rather than a longer one.

When you get the endorsement, thank the endorser and then display the endorsements prominently on your product and in your marketing. I have also started distilling the endorsements into sound bites, similar to what studios do with movies.

For example, after I spoke at the Gathering, Ted Dekker, a best-selling author and sponsor of the event, said:

‘People in their twenties and thirties are inundated with messages and entertainment, making them a hard crowd to please. Michael’s keynote… cut through the clutter and beautifully illustrated the power of a superb storyteller. It was the kind of speech audiences hope for but rarely get.

I include the full quote in the sidebar of the Speaking page on my website. Then I use an excerpt in the body copy itself: ‘The kind of speech audiences hope for but rarely get.’ If you string several of these together, you create the same effect movie studios create in their marketing materials.

Bottom line: endorsements can make a huge difference in whether or not your product gets noticed by the gatekeepers, trendsetters, and your target market. Take the time to get them. It is worth it.

- Michael Hyatt’s book, ‘Platform: How to Get Noticed in a Noisy World‘ is available from

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Emanuel Rosen on The Anatomy of BuzzYou’ve played Trivial Pursuit, right? Of course you have. But do you know it got to be so well known? In his book, ‘The Anatomy of Buzz: Revisited,’ Emanuel Rosen explains…

“Linda Pezzano was really after the Scrabble account. Instead she was assigned to do the PR for some game nobody had heard of – Trivial Pursuit, a new release by Scrabble’s maker, Selchow & Righter.

Pezzano knew that she’d need to settle for this unproven new game for the time being – and she also realized she’d need to act fast. It was November, and Toy Fair 1983 was fast approaching, and although she had no experience in the toy business, she knew Toy Fair was important – probably the best place to introduce an unknown game.

Scrabble was a product that stores ordered on a regular basis, and Pezzano realized that buyers didn’t have a real reason to visit Selchow & Righter’s exhibit at Toy Fair. Nobody was going to stop by the booth to ask if there are any new letters in the alphabet or if the number of points for Z had changed. How, she wondered, could she build some buzz for Trivial Pursuit among buyers before they even came to New York? How could she make sure none of them skipped Selchow & Righter’s booth?

Pezzano and her staff created a series of teaser mailings that were sent to several hundred key buyers in the toy industry a few weeks before the trade show. The first mailing was sent in a small envelope, hand-addressed, with a real stamp and no return address. It contained a little card with the Trivial Pursuit logo and a random card from the game.

Imagine that you’re a buyer at a toy store and you receive a card with questions such as ‘What’s the largest city between Ireland and Canada?’ and ‘What sport did John Wayne play at the University of Southern California?’ It’s likely to get your attention, and you may even mention it to your coworkers. Three or four days later, a second random card arrives: ‘What was Elvis Presley’s middle name?’ ‘How many sides does a nonagon have?’ ‘What was Al Capone’s nickname?’

Now you’re really curious as to what all this is about, especially since you still have no clue who’s sending you these cards. When the third card comes (finally identifying the sender), I can see you getting up from your chair and stopping the first person you see: ‘Hey, Susan, guess what word was intentionally omitted from the screenplay of ‘The Godfather’ or ‘Who invented peanut butter?’

Buyers started calling up Selchow & Righter before Toy Fair. Some even complained that others got cards and they didn’t. A simple and inexpensive idea created significant buzz. Selchow & Righter’s showroom at Toy Fair was mobbed, and the company wrote up an unusually high number of orders for Trivial Pursuit.

Pezzano also distributed sample cards in popular spring break hangouts, organized Trivial Pursuit parties in bars, and mailed games to celebrities like Gregory Peck and Frank Sinatra who were mentioned in the questions. This helped to start buzz (and trivia parties) in Hollywood.

What would have happened without those mystery envelopes? Without the radio promotions? Without the samples for students? Without the celebrity mailings?

It’s impossible to tell for sure. I suspect that Trivial Pursuit would still have gotten buzz. It’s a great game, and people love to talk about a great experience. I do believe, however, that word about the game would have spread at a much slower rate. Essentially what Linda Pezzano did was accelerate the buzz about the product. During 1984, 20 million games were sold with almost no advertising.”

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In his book, ‘Brandwashed, Martin Lindstrom writes:

“I’ve been asked more than once to ‘brand’ a celebrity, the most recent being a well-known television star. In general I use the same playbook I use with royalty, with a few crucial differences. Unlike royal families, celebrities lack bloodlines, history, timeworn rituals, or pageantry (other than strolling the red carpet at one of the year’s countless awards ceremonies. And unlike royal families, traditional celebrities have attained fame through talent (though this is becoming less and less the case, and if you don’t believe me, watch a season or two of ‘Dancing with the Stars’), whether that talent is acting, singing, dancing, or athleticism (although sheer good looks don’t hurt either). Yes, our celebrities are like disposable royals in that they are wealthy, powerful, and surrounded by a squadron of agents, managers, publicists, and bodyguards.

But the most important thing they have in common is our envy. We want to be them. Barring that, we want to be like them. So I suppose it’s no surprise that advertisers and marketers pay celebrities of all stripes – from actors to athletes to reality TV stars – enormous sums of money to sell us everything from clothing to cars to breakfast cereal to sports drinks.

Most people are aware that celebrity marketing exists (after all, it’s hard to miss). But what many are unaware of is how well it’s working. According to an online survey sent to 11,000 adults and teens across the country, the large majority of us believe that the celebrities who appear in advertising or endorsements do not – repeat, do not – affect our purchasing decisions. In fact, more than 80 percent of respondents claim they would buy the products they like, regardless of whether or not there was a celebrity endorsement.

Well, guess what? I believe them. At least I believe they don’t think they’re being seduced or persuaded by celebrity advertising. But that’s exactly the point. As the chief industry analyst of NPD Insights, Marshal Cohen, points out, ‘Sometimes it is an unseen influence that triggers the consumer’s attention or encourages a product purchase. A celebrity-associated product can be a very powerful, subliminal purchase influence. In some cases, it may even be the reason a consumer recognizes a brand or product, just based on the mere fact a celebrity is associated with it.’

Studies have also shown that when celebrities appear in advertisements or endorse products, not only do we perceive the brand messages as more authentic, but it also enhances our recognition and recall of the product in question. So when we see that product (whether it’s Sarah Jessica Parker’s perfume, the Triscuits with Rachael Ray on the box, or the Nike sneaker endorsed by Rafael Nadal), we reach instinctively and often quite unconsciously for that product over the non-celebrity variety.

There’s even evidence to suggest that the persuasive power of celebrity is biologically based. One Dutch study found that seeing a celebrity endorse a product – in this case a pair of shoes – actually alters a woman’s brain activity. In this fascinating study, researchers scanned 24 women’s brains as they viewed 40 color photos of both famous and non-famous women, all wearing the same footwear. Results showed that when the women looked at the celebrity photos, there was heightened activity in part of the brain associated with the feeling of affection (the medial orbitofrontal cortex), activity that was absent when the women looked at the photos of the non-celebrities. Another recent UK study, which found that even average, ho-hum-looking celebrity models in ads produce a more intense emotional response in us than breathtakingly gorgeous non-celebrity endorsers, concluded that not only is fame even more powerful than beauty in persuading us to buy something, but there may actually be a dedicated area of the human brain that’s become hardwired to respond positively to celebrity-endorsed products.

Given that humans appear to have a practically innate attraction to fame (it also helps that talk of celebrities, like the weather or sports, establishes a common conversational ground among relative strangers and helps us feel a sense of belonging), I suppose it’s no surprise that over the past decade the number of ‘famous’ people in the press has tripled. You read that right: tripled. Thanks to reality TV and the Internet, both of which have provided all kinds of new (if somewhat ridiculous) avenues for celebrity, the boundaries of what it means to be ‘famous’ have expanded beyond our wildest imaginations. Celebrities aren’t just athletes and movie stars anymore; today they include YouTube sensations (like Chris Crocker, the Britney Spears ‘superfan’), MySpace phenomena (think Tila Tequila), celebrity bloggers (like Perez Hilton), and, of course, reality television personalities (too many to name), many of whom have inexplicably managed to parlay their 15 minutes of fame into an hour, at least.

Accordingly, the percentage of ads worldwide using celebrities has doubled (to roughly 17 percent) in the past decade. And let’s not forget celebrities who are famous just for serving celebrities: all the doctors, dentists, plastic surgeons, real estate agents, chefs, bloggers, fashion designers, cosmeticians, hairdressers, party planners, choreographers, and florists to the stars. As Hamish Pringle writes in ‘Celebrity Sells,’ the proportion of UK ads featuring a celebrity is now one in give, an increase of nearly 100 percent in a single decade. In the United States, this figure stands at one in four.


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P!nk Flies Like Tinkerbell!

Sunday, March 3rd, 2013


Categories : Music & Concerts
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