As much as it hurts to say farewell (for now, we hope), the final Lady & The Champs in Las Vegas was a smashing success. Any opportunity to spend time with our clients, past and current, and have conversations with speakers looking to boost their brand is time well-spent, and each and every year Lady & The Champs has provided it.
We want to thank Patricia Fripp, Darren LaCroix, Ed Tate, Ford Saeks, Mark Brown and Kevin Burke for their hospitality year-in and year-out, and for putting on such a wonderful event.
As for us? The PR/PR Roadshow continues. Russell is heading over to our client Henry DeVries’s event this week in La Jolla, California. While the Indie Family and Friends Forum is a closed meeting, please reach out if you’re in the area and would like to talk publicity!
Russell will be heading back to the office early next week, but please feel free to reach out to me directly in his absence.
Should you ever find yourself in a legal quandary, do not do what former Trump aide Sam Nunberg did yesterday. Nunberg, a one-time legal adviser (irony alert) to then-candidate Donald Trump was served with a subpoena from Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s team, requesting documents and an appearance before a federal grand jury. An intimidating and stress-inducing situation to be sure, but Nunberg compounded his issues—and presumably had his legal team tearing their hair out—by responding in the absolute worst way possible: he went on television.
A lot of television, actually.
Nunberg’s ill-advised media tour began with a call into MSNBC Live with Katy Tur, where he spent quite some time threatening to ignore the legal document, and throwing as many people under the bus as possible. He sounded paranoid, panicked, terrified, and defiant.
He continued on this calamitous crusade by calling into Jake Tapper’s CNN show, appearing live in MSNBC’s The Beat with Ari Melber, and topped the evening off with CNN’s Erin Burnett where she questioned if he had been drinking. At times he seemed ready to rip up the subpoena live on air, other times questioning legal analysts if he’d actually go to jail if he ignored it.
Rule of thumb: should you find yourself in a precarious legal position, it’s generally not wise to then go on national television and essentially thumb your nose at the government.
Nunberg seemed to change his tune later in the evening, conceding that he would “likely” cooperate with Mueller and his team, but the damage had already been done. You’ll likely see and hear clips of these interviews routinely for the foreseeable future. With his whirlwind media blitz that torpedoed his legal strategy, Sam Nunberg is officially entered into the PR Blunders Hall of Fame.
The final, final, Lady & The Champs conference begins next week! As one of the highlights on our annual calendar, we’re admittedly a bit saddened that this is the last hurrah of sorts, but also extremely excited about heading out to Vegas for what promises to be a phenomenal event.
Lady & The Champs 2018 kicks off next Friday, March 9th and culminates with its big finish on Saturday, March 10th. Patricia Fripp, Darren LaCroix, and Ed Tate will be joined by Ford Saeks, Mark Brown, and Kevin Burke to deliver entertaining, informative and insightful expertise. At L&TC 2018 you’ll receive steadfast keys to find your story, hone its unique message, and ultimately boost your profitability.
Early Bird pricing is only available until tomorrow, so take advantage of the discounted rate and register early! For those who cannot make it to Las Vegas, virtual attendance is also available. You can register here.
We can’t wait to see all of you in Vegas!
Yes, the hype is real. Black Panther, the long-awaited Marvel film directed by Ryan Coogler dominated the box office this past weekend.
Headlined by a remarkable cast including Chadwick Boseman, Michael B. Jordan, Lupita Nyong’o, and Forest Whitaker, Black Panther shattered estimates to secure $201.7 million in North America, making it the fifth-largest opening of all time.
And it’s not just initial audience hype inflating the numbers, either. Black Panther has received glowing reviews across the board, evidenced by its 97% “fresh” rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
There’s been an ongoing conversation in Hollywood about diversity in filmmaking. Recent social media campaigns have lamented the lack of people of color in Oscar-worthy films, leading to some high-profile abstentions from awards shows. Black Panther’s success over the weekend is an extremely positive moment for those who appreciate fantastic films and would like to see greater diversity in casting.
Comic books have long been a medium for inclusivity, and now that appears to be translating into major motion pictures.
Michael B. Jordan has long been one of my favorite “up-and-coming” actors. From his younger days as Wallace in The Wire to his gut-wrenching portrayal of Oscar Grant in Fruitvale Station—also directed by Coogler—so seeing the global recognition he’s receiving for his performance is personally satisfying.
So if you’ve got some free time this week—go see Black Panther. You won’t be disappointed.
In prior blog posts we’ve talked about my upcoming trips to the NSA Winter Conference and the 2018 Lady & The Champs, but in this one I’d like to talk about a trip I’ve recently returned from. I’ve just spent five days on the island of Cuba, four days in the city of Havana and one day on a tobacco plantation near the city of Viñales.
For someplace I’d never previously thought of going, it was a wonderful experience! The beauty of the island! The friendliness of the people! The delicious and inexpensive food (lobster and shrimp for $12 and a bottle of Rothschild’s chardonnay for $20)! I felt safe all the time. One of our party is fluent in Spanish, and mine is broken (well, shattered) at best, but most people we came across spoke some English. The tour company we went through arranged for the same guide all week and the same van driver all week. We took a direct flight on JetBlue from Orlando to Havana, and Southwest from Havana to Ft. Lauderdale to Orlando on the way back. It was a trip I’d take again tomorrow.
There was one thing that struck me over and over again as we toured the city of Havana. The city is loosely divided into three areas: the old colonial Spanish (think New Orleans) with it’s four squares and cathedral and courtyards; the mid-century (think South Beach and rat-pack Vegas) with it’s mid-rise hotels and casinos; and the Plaza de la Revolución (think Moscow bunker) with its Ministry of This and Ministry of That. But, no matter where you went there is rubble. Crumbling from the buildings is some of the most beautiful rubble you’ve ever seen.
Post revolution you were allowed to live wherever you were already living, but now for free. This was great if you were renting, no more rent! But it was awful if you owned your own home, you could stay in it but you no longer owned it. Because of this free housing, there is no incentive to keep them up. The government is not investing in their infrastructure and the citizens do not have income enough to keep up their housing, or a good reason to do so if they did have the money. Don’t get me started on ADA, there’s not a level sidewalk in the city and everything is upstairs. Our guide spoke of how accessibility is becoming a large problem with the aging population.
I’m not here to get political, and talk about which system of government is better than another. My point is about incentive and investment. If you want to grow and improve, either yourself or your business, you have to constantly invest in what you want to improve, and you have to have the incentive to do so. Otherwise, all you’ll have is rubble. No matter how beautiful the building the rubble comes off of, it’s still rubble and people avoid it.