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Author Archive for Carter Breazeale – Page 2

Heading to Houston!

PR/PR is escaping the non-existent winter here in Orlando, Florida and heading out west! This Thursday Russell will be packing up our on-the-go office to attend the 2020 NSA Winter Conference in Houston, Texas—three days that promise to be packed with career enrichment, marquee speakers, and networking.  

This year’s theme is “Building Your Speaker Sales Playbook,” and attendees can expect some actionable takeaways to enhance their sales and grow their business as a speaker. It’s being held February 28th – March 1st at the Omni Houston. While online registration has closed, you can still join us by registering in-person.

We will be unveiling new pricing and service structures at the NSA Winter Conference, offering an annual PR service package at a reduced rate, geared toward generating buzz and name-recognition at a lower monthly investment. Stop by the PR/PR booth and have a chat with Russell about your publicity needs and goals, and the ways you would like to be positioned in the marketplace. Your articles in front of decision makers in trade and industry publications are an imperative when building your sales playbook.

So swing by the booth and say hello! We look forward to seeing you in Houston!    

Redbox to Enter the Streaming Market

Redbox, the ubiquitous red kiosks that hastened the fall of Blockbuster, is determined not to suffer the same fate by maintaining their brand status quo. With streaming services now a go-to platform for entertainment, Redbox is shifting its strategy and entering into the streaming market.

Touting new partnerships with USA Today and TMZ, Redbox is prepared to launch Free Live TV, and formally dipping its toe into the ever-crowded world of streaming services. There’s no definitive date listed—just a nebulous “soon” on the company’s website, but it’s clear that Redbox is committed to continuing to compete in a changing landscape.

Blockbuster famously underestimated the power of on-demand rental services like Redbox, and as they realized the trouble brewing it was already too late. There’s now one remaining Blockbuster on the planet—located in Bend, Oregon, should you like to take a nostalgia trip.

With society moving toward more digital platforms such as Netflix and Hulu, it was clear that Redbox’s model based on physical movie and game rentals was falling out of favor. Their coming move into the world of streaming signals that they will not be caught snoozing as the market shifts around them.

As yet, there’s very little clarity on what content Redbox will have on Free Live TV, or any exclusive programming that it has secured. But it does show keen awareness to the realities of entertainment and the changes in its consumption, and Redbox is making the kinds of moves it needs to remain viable this year and beyond.    

The Oscars Slumping

Viewership has been trending downward for the Oscars, and on Sunday night it hit a new low. The 92nd Academy Awards had its lowest ratings ever, bringing in on 23.6 million viewers.

That’s down 6 million sets of eyes from last year.

So why are the Oscars struggling so mightily of late? Is it the stodgy nature of the program, one that directors have actively tried to punch up in recent years to attract a younger audience? Or is it the lack of diversity in nominees, or the influx of people who are using streaming services instead of traditionally tracked Nielsen devices?

Whatever the root cause, it’s clear that the Oscars have fallen out of favor. The Academy Awards lack the over-the-top, alcohol-influenced comedic chaos of the Golden Globes, and never do match the musical entertainment factor of the Grammys. It’s a very buttoned-up, black tie affair that doesn’t naturally lend itself to audience entertainment—especially since for many, the main reason for tuning in is simply to see who won.

That information is now readily available on social media the moment it breaks.

So what are the Oscars to do? Run-time and entertainment value are definite factors, and in order to stop the bleeding of viewership, the directors must draw in a younger audience. The Academy Awards are a hallmark of American pop culture, so it’s admittedly difficult to see them struggling. It’s not dire yet, but it’s apparent that changes need to be made to reel in new viewers, and reengage traditional viewers who look forward to the Oscars every year.

YouTube Vows to Battle Misinformation

With the votes cast and the Iowa caucus now behind us (well, kind of), it’s time to ruminate on the role that social media and the digital space will play in 2020 as we continue the slog to Election Day 2020. Social media is a differentiator. That was well-established in 2016—and it has resulted in many a company being hauled in front of Congress to detail its means for combatting misinformation.

On previous posts we’ve keyed in on the way digital media—video in particular—can easily be altered to promote a particular narrative or viewpoint. These manipulated clips can spread like wildfire across social media, so the onus is on the specific platforms to monitor and limit the false information that it provides visibility to.

YouTube is (thankfully) up to the challenge, announcing that it will bar any content that has been altered to mislead the viewer—an ongoing issue with edited “deepfakes” that can sway public opinion.

This is absolutely a step in the right direction.

The fever swamps of the internet that crank out this material have a singular goal that’s premised on bad intentions, and many times all it takes is a few initial shares on Twitter or Facebook before the groundwork is laid for conspiracy theories and negative narratives. It’s expected that these peddlers of false information are gearing up to poison the well of popular opinion, so it’s good to see YouTube getting proactive as we roll into the election.

Rest Easy, Mamba.

The entire world was shaken on Sunday with the news that NBA and Los Angeles Lakers legend Kobe Bryant had perished in a helicopter crash in Southern California. You did not need to be a basketball fan, or even a sports fan, to comprehend the enormity of this news. In the last couple of days I’ve been within earshot of multiple conversations that are centered on Kobe—in coffee shops, at the airport, in line to grab lunch.

His death has shaken the country to its core. He was an NBA icon entering the second act of his career. That second act was off to a sterling start, with a 2018 Oscar for the short film Dear Basketball joining the five NBA Championship trophies in his case. It was a second act that tragically far too soon.  

Kobe Bryant’s death hit me particularly hard. I grew up watching him surgically pick apart defenses and dagger them with game-winners. I lamented the loss of Shaquille O’Neal in Orlando but celebrated his pairing with Black Mamba in Los Angeles, a tandem that would bring three titles to Los Angeles. I celebrated the Orlando Magic’s run to the 2009 NBA Finals, only to realize that Kobe Bryant would be on the other side of the court.

That didn’t turn out well for the Magic. It didn’t turn out well for many teams.

Kobe carried the baton from Michael Jordan as one of the greatest players in NBA history. He was a polarizing figure off the court, but he was all business on it. Kobe Bryant introduced a new generation to basketball—boys and girls, alike.  

One of Bryant’s biggest off-court accomplishments was his work to bring the game to young girls, and encouraging their growth in the sport. He was a vocal champion for the WNBA, actively promoting the league and encouraging young women to pursue their love of basketball. He was flying with his 13-year-old daughter Gianna to one of her travel games when the helicopter went down.  

Gianna would tragically perish alongside her dad, as well as her teammates Payton Chester and Alyssa Altobelli. Alyssa’s parents, John and Keri, were also on board, as was Mambas assistant basketball coach Christina Mauser and pilot Ara Zobayan.

None would survive the horrific accident.

It’s easy to get wrapped up in the day-to-day and lose sight of what’s truly important, and sometimes it takes inconceivable tragedy to provide some forced perspective. The little things that you think really matter really don’t in the grand scheme of things. Take some time to appreciate what’s in front of you.

Our hearts go out to the families of all who were on board, and we are thinking of them during this incredibly difficult time.