Sunday, March 31, 2013

Create a Media Kit for Your Small Business
When you start a business, it’s essential to promote your current news to the press in order to generate sales. After all, a feature story in a targeted media venue can significantly boost brand awareness and foot or web traffic to your business. More importantly, this kind of coverage provides third-party credibility that you simply cannot buy with paid advertising. The good news is that you can increase your chances of getting some free publicity by creating a user-friendly media kit for your small business.

What is a Media Kit?

A media kit is a packet of information about your business that is created for use by the press. Its purpose is to provide media members with the necessary data to report on your business.

Why Do You Need a Media Kit?

If reporters are on a tight deadline to finish a story, they are going to look for the fastest and easiest way to get the information they need. If your competitor has a media kit with this data readily available and you don’t, guess who’s going to get the free publicity?

Media kits are also great tools for communicating important points about your company to potential new customers and partners. The information is easily accessible in one central location (especially if it is online), and you can still print copies of your media kit for conferences, tradeshows and targeted media members as needed. But by posting the information on your website, you can save a significant amount of time and money in printing and shipping fees.

What Does a Media Kit Contain?

Most media kits include the following information:

Business Facts
Write a brief synopsis of what your company does and why you are unique. Include your mission statement, goals and any other pertinent information about your business. You can write this in the form of “Frequently Asked Questions” or use succinct paragraphs to describe the important facts you want to convey.

This page contains all of the data about the history of your business. You’ll want to include photos, the date you founded your business and why you started it. To interest readers, also add your thoughts and personal stories on how your business evolved from idea to startup business to present day. If you don’t have a lot to share, you may want to include this information on your “Business Facts” page.

It is very important to list all of your products and services and the benefits of each in your media kit. An outsider should be able to read this page in just a few minutes and know exactly what you sell and why people buy it. Depending on the data, consider using brief paragraphs with headers or a list with bullet-points.

On this page, provide biographies of the key leaders at your organization and their photos. Write short paragraphs that are interesting and easy-to-read. And rather than using a pre-written resume, add pertinent anecdotes, quotes and other unique criteria that establish credibility for each individual listed.

Include information about birthplace, hometown, education, business experience, awards, and any other vital facts you want media members to know. Also, add some personal tidbits, such as marital status, family information and hobbies enjoyed outside of work so readers can relate to the executives.

Current News
Entice the media, and let readers know that your business is up-to-date by including current news, industry trends and exciting events in your media kit. List all of your press releases, published press clippings, video samples, business testimonials from customers, case studies, speaking engagements, articles, and other activities.

Also include company brochures, logos, photos, identity standards, and potential story ideas to help media members get necessary data quickly. If you are in the process of obtaining press clippings, just include whatever information you have now, and make an effort to add to this section on a regular basis.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

How to Improve Communication Skills

I believe that one of the best ways to connect with people and build quality relationships is through making conversation. Although most people can hold a conversation, only a few are smooth and charismatic when they talk.
Working as a communication coach, I have explored and tested many techniques for improving conversation skills. I have discovered 7 simple and effective ways to be a smooth talker. Here they are:
1. Talk slowly
Typically, good talkers don’t rush into a conversation. They take their time when they reflect on something and when they say it out loud. They act as if they have all the time in the world. This makes them come off as centered and collected. Model this way of talking and you will create the same effect.
2. Hold more eye contact
Most people keep eye contact about 2/3 of the time or less when they talk. In my experience, it’s a very good idea to hold eye contact just a bit more than that. This will convey confidence and interest in interacting with them.
3. Notice the details
People with good conversation skills tend to notice the kind of things that the average person doesn’t notice, and to bring such details into the conversation. They may notice and point out an interesting ring on the other person’s hand, a certain foreign accent, or a certain voice tone they use when saying a name. Thus, such individuals impress people in a very elegant manner.
4. Give unique compliments
Anybody can pay a generic compliment to try and get another person’s appreciation. Charismatic people on the other hand are able to really pay attention to others, to look beyond the facade and thus, pay unique compliments. Do the same and besides wooing others, you may even help them find out things about themselves they didn’t know.

5. Express your emotions
It’s very rare to meet a person who is comfortable talking about their emotions and how certain things make them feel, especially with strangers. Yet this way of talking is a real virtue. Don’t just present the facts, you’re not a newspaper. Express your feelings about those facts. Keep in mind that it is at the emotional level that people connect best.
6. Offer interesting insights
Anybody can talk about the news or express basic opinions. But good talkers can frequently tell you things you didn’t know and that you’ll find fascinating. This is why it’s good to have knowledge into fields such as psychology or sociology, and bring such knowledge out at the right moments in a conversation.
7. Use the best words
The ability to talk smoothly has a lot to do with choosing the precise words to convey your precise feelings or thoughts. Constantly develop your vocabulary and practice communicating as accurately as possible. It will help you develop a way with words and allow you to express yourself more easily.
Conversational skills don’t improve just like that. It takes time, practice and the ability to learn at a rapid rate from your own experiences. On top of this, they have virtually no limit to how far they can be developed.
Considering your relationships and social life constitute one of the fundamental components of your life, I believe it is worth embarking on a long-term journey of mastering your interpersonal abilities. It’s a journey you won’t regret.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Acting Career Information: Becoming an Actor or Actress
Requirements for Actors or Actresses
Acting as a career involves more than just performing in movies. Working actors perform in live theater productions, at theme parks, in commercials and on television shows. As actors start their careers, many work multiple jobs, such as working as extras in films or TV, to support themselves financially. While many actors live in large metropolitan areas, such as Los Angeles or New York, production companies all over the U.S. hire actors on a regular basis.

The more experience an actor has, the more desirable he or she is to a director. While a degree is not typically required, bachelor's degree programs are available, particularly for those interested in acting on stage. The following table contains the main qualifications and requirements needed to become an actor or actress listed by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Step 1: Take Classes
Although no formal training is strictly required to become an actor or actress, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that most professionals in the industry participated in college drama courses or acting conservatories. College degree programs allow students to expand their skills in various acting fields, including impromptu acting, sketch comedy, voiceover work and musical theater, while building their portfolios. An undergraduate degree program in drama or theatre includes coursework such as voice and diction, stagecraft, acting theory and stage management.

Success Tip:
Participate in college productions. Acting in performances while in college in an excellent way to bolster a resume and gain experience on stage or in front of a camera. It is important to keep copies of the recordings of these performances to show potential employers when auditioning for a role.
Step 2: Gain Professional Experience
Actors need whatever experience they can get in order to improve their skills and gain more recognition. Many actors start by participating in community or college theatrical productions. Others may choose to perform publicly at 'open mic' nights. Performing in other public settings, such as nightclubs, dinner theaters or theme parks, can also help beginners get real world experience and help them become comfortable in front of an audience.

Success Tip:
Hire a coach. Many actors choose to enlist the help of an acting coach, who is more experienced than they are. This coach helps them prepare for roles and find auditions, while teaching them tricks of the trade.
Step 3: Acquire Additional Skills
Because endless roles are available, the more an actor knows how to do, the more auditions he or she is able to go on. For example, learning foreign accents or impressions may appeal to a certain market that was otherwise unattainable. Some roles may require that actors know how to dance, sing or both. Taking classes and practicing different skills can help actors prepare to play a variety of different characters.

Step 4: Find an Agent
While it is not mandatory, having an agent can make working as an actor easier. Agents complete most of the business-related tasks involved with acting, such as mailing out resumes, scheduling audition appointments and negotiating contracts. Having an agent completing these administrative tasks provides actors with more time to practice their skills. The majority of agents also have connections with casting directors, which means they can more easily connect clients with regular acting roles.

Actors often have to shop around for agents. Before actors submit resumes and audition tapes to agents, they may want to research each agent. For example, it is important to know the number of clients an agent works with and how much personal time an agent spends with each client.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

If you think that finding the most effective ways to make good money in the music industry is "wrong", then do not bother reading this article.

Now if you are still reading-good. In this article, I am going to talk about different ways that you can effectively achieve great success while working in the music industry. This includes being able to make a stable living from your music career and(if you Act on the given advice) making much more money than the average musician.
Most musicians seek to "make it" in the music industry but have a high degree of uncertainty when it comes to the idea of making A Lot of money and supporting themselves through their music career. This causes them to push away their ultimate desire of a career in music in order to work in a "stable" job outside of the musical industry (that they usually hate). Unfortunately, these musicians end up working full time in their day jobs and experience great frustration as they realize that they are wasting their musical potential. This is something I see All The Time as a music career mentor.
In truth, achieving great financial success while working on your music career is not as difficult as you might think. In addition, you don’t need to be a big time rock star to make good money in the music business. However, in order to become financially free in your music career, you will need to take a very different approach than the one that is taken by most musicians. You will need to approach your music career as both a "musical artist" and as a businessman (or woman). You must run your career as a business, where your primary goal is to add as much value as possible to your fans, other bands, music company officials, and other people in the business of music.

The reason why so many musicians do not make much money with music is because they are not aware that music is a business (and needs to be treated as such). These people fail because they are not mentally ready to achieve great things in the music industry. Find out how ready you are to reach success in the music industry by taking this short assessment on how to pursue a career in music. Important: Finish this assessment first, before reading the rest of this article.

Besides not being prepared to achieve success in the business side of music, many musicians fail to make a decent income in their careers because they make the following mistakes:

Not Taking The Time To Set Up Various Music Related Sources Of Income

It is common for musicians to treat their music career in the same manner that they have treated any other job that they have had. They expect a single paycheck at the end of an established period of time from doing a "single" activity. Unfortunately, this approach will not help you to achieve financial success in the music business. In order to make a good living in your music career, you must stop thinking from the mindset of obtaining a single sum of money as your main goal. Instead, you must work to build many different sources of musical income that go into your bank account on an ongoing, residual basis. By taking this approach, it becomes much easier to make a lot of money from music. In fact, musicians who use this method will save themselves time as well (because they do not have to continually work to get a paycheck). This enables them to have more freedom to pursue things such as writing music, touring and performing, or recording in the studio. In the end, it is important to have income coming in from both your active efforts and your past efforts that you already took the time to set up (that continue to make you money). Additionally, by approaching your music career in this manner, you will feel much more stable since you will not be dependent on any single source of income to pay your bills.

Not Working To Continually Add Value To Others In The Music Business

There is one very important concept to understand if you are going to pursue a career in music. Whether you are a touring musician, music teacher, producer, session player, songwriter, or are involved in any other occupation, the people who will pay you money to work with you will need to have a reason to pick you from the thousands of other musicians following the same path. At first, this may seem pretty hopeless, but in reality the amount of competition you face is not a major factor. Why is this? Fact is, most musicians are too busy focusing on their musical skills while not focusing on building as much "value" around themselves as possible. Your musical skills (no matter how great they may be) is only one element of "value". The other elements (that most musicians do not focus on) include your work ethic, temperament, business savvy and reliability just to name a few. To make yourself the absolute best choice to work together with a music company, you must work to build up a massive amount of value so that any of the musicians competing against you will pale in comparison. This means that when a music company considers working with you, it must be obvious that there is no other choice.

Right now you may be thinking that this is a simple concept to understand (and you are right). However, in spite of this, the overwhelming majority of musicians do not take action to do this in their music careers on a daily basis. To see if you are taking the necessary amount of action in this area of your music career, fill out this quick survey about how to build value in the music industry. As long as you have the ability to continually add high amounts of value for anyone in the music business, you will have great potential to make a lot of money. It is for this reason that I train all of the musicians in my music industry mentoring program to develop a mindset for adding value within everything they do.

Not Taking The Time To Identify Your Market

Once you have become familiar with the value you have to give to the music industry, you will you need to find and identify the people who you will give value to. For example, imagine that you were about to release your newest record. Who are the people (fans) that would be waiting to buy your new music? Do you have a way to quickly and easily contact these people? If not, what action are you taking right now to build a list of your potential customers? Now imagine that you were a session musician. Do you have an organized list of all your potential customers/business partners such as musicians, recording studios, or bands? What are you going to do today to get in touch with these people and show them how you can help them with your skills and talents?

One of the most common mistakes made by musicians is that they spend the time to create an album, increase their musical skills, or work in another area of the music industry, but when it comes time to receive the payoff for their hard work, they have great difficulty making any money. This happens because they have not taken the time to build a database of customers who are ready and willing to pay for the value that the musician is offering. Since this is such a common issue, I have made this one of my main areas of focus while mentoring the musicians in my Music Careers Mentoring Program.

Additionally, musicians will make the mistake of assuming that once they are signed with a music company that the company will take all the responsibility to further their career. This is not true. The fact is, YOU are the one who will need to take initiative in your music career in order to promote yourself and make a better living. Work on building your own list of customers and fans so that you are the one in control of this aspect of your career. This can be used as a great tool to improve negotiations with future music business partners to make more money for you (and for everyone else involved).

Not Knowing Your Goals And Not Having A Plan To Reach Them

To earn more money in your music career, you must set specific goals and have a strategy in place for reaching them. Don’t simply have vague ideas of wanting to be a professional musician. Instead, you must focus on what you want out of music. To get started, answer the questions below:

What do you want your annual music career income to be?
What are the various sources of income that will allow you to reach your goal in question #1?
What action must you take in order to create these sources of income? (learn more about how to set up multiple streams of income in this music career planning article.)
What is every possible way that you can add high levels of value to each interaction you have in the music business?
What is every possible way that you can eliminate risk for other people in the music business?
Once you have answered each of the questions above, you must make every step in your music career go toward the specific goals you have determined for yourself.

The majority of musicians struggle to identify exactly "what" they must do to get their desired results in the music industry. Additionally, once they know "what" to do, they struggle to understand "how" to use this knowledge effectively. If you are in this same situation, the best action that you can take is to find a great mentor who can train you to achieve success in your music career and make a lot of money in the music industry. By doing this, you will avoid wasting your time and effort on the same frustrating mistakes that other musicians make.

Confusing "Being Popular" With "Earning A Lot Of Money In The Music Industry"

You don’t need to be touring in an internationally known rock band in order to make a great living in your music career. The reality is that even some famous bands include band members who are working regular jobs to make a living. It is important to understand this point so that you can place priorities on achieving your goals in the most effective way possible. Obviously there are musicians who have achieved both popularity and great financial stability, however you should prioritize your efforts to reach your goals in the most effective way possible.

Ending Thoughts

There are many musicians who view the music business as "deceptive" or "wrong" because it involves making money from one’s passion rather than giving it away for free. These people likely spend their time focusing on songwriting skills or improving their abilities on their instrument. Although these are important things to work on, it is also critical to focus on improving your "music business skills" if you want to earn enough money from music without needing a day job just to get by.

Even though there is no way to predict (in a single article) the specific path you must take to make a great living in the music industry, if you avoid the mistakes mentioned here you will be much more likely to achieve financial freedom in your music career. The good news is that when you do start making a stable living as a professional musician, you will be able to spend more time on that which drew you to the music industry in the first place: making music.

If you haven’t yet taken the music career surveys mentioned in this article about how to pursue a career in music and how to build value in the music industry I encourage you to do so now

Sunday, March 17, 2013

How to Get Started in a Film or Television Career
Getting Started:

One of the hardest things about starting a film or television career is getting that first job. But, it doesn't have to be that difficult, especially if you're armed with the right information. What follows below is a list of various articles and reference materials that will help you navigate your way toward getting your entertainment career off the ground.
What Type of Career Are You Looking For?

Start by narrowing down the selection of career choices. There are literally hundreds of entertainment careers. Many of which can be quite lucrative and fulfilling. But you should know what you're looking for before you start looking. Here are some career profiles of some of the more popular film and television career choices:

Make Up Artist
Casting Director
Film Director
More Film and Television Career Profiles
Assessing Your Skills:

What type of schooling does your particular career choice require? What types of things are you good at? You'll be surprised (and maybe happy) to know that most people in the entertainment field do NOT have any sort of specialized training. Most of the training they received was while working on the job for which I strongly believe there is no real substitute. But, here are a few pieces that will help you figure out which careers best match your abilities as well as helping you to get over the fears of not having enough experience, or figuring out whether or not film school is for you:
Assess Your Skills: You want to find out what you're good at. What innate skills do you have that you can immediately apply to a film or television career?

Valuable Skills You Might Not Know You Have: You probably took a number of classes that at the time you thought were useless. You might be surprised to know that many of these skills will come in quite handy as you hone in on your entertainment career path.
This is a question most people entering the entertainment realm ask and this article helps to provide an answer to that age old question.
Where do You Start Looking For Jobs?:

With the advent of the internet, finding jobs in the entertainment business became quite a bit easier. It used to be that the only way to find a job in the biz was through word of mouth. Now, most production companies have more work than they can handle and try to fill these positions with the most talented people they can find. Here are a few resources you may want to check out to see if you can find an entry level job that's right for you:
Variety Job Classifieds: Variety is one of the two biggest trade mags and has a great jobs section each day.

The Hollywood Reporter Jobs Classifieds: The Hollywood Reporter is another great resource for finding entry level work. Be sure to check their production listings for phone numbers of the production offices. You can often contact them directly to see if they're in the market for someone with your particular skill set.

Major Media Company Job Boards: Most of the major media companies (Disney, NBC-Universal, Warner Brothers, etc.) have pretty thorough job boards as well as a list of available internships.
How do I Write a Resume?

When looking for your first job in the entertainment field, you will often be required to provide some form of resume. Even if the only other job you've had was a part time gig at the local fast food restaurant, you can build a solid resume that will help you get your foot in the door. Here are a few resources to help you build a high quality resume that will get results:
Don't Lie on Your Resume! One of the worst things you can do is lie on a resume, so don't.

Writing Your Resume Resources: Fellow Guide, Dawn Rosenberg McKay gives some great tips on how to go about writing a truly effective resume.
They All Started Somewhere:

Here's some good news -- the vast majority of people who work in the film and television industry had no prior experience, no prodigy-like talent, and even fewer had an uncle with the last name of Coppola or Spielberg. Most people approached their entertainment career the same way you are -- one day at a time. So, don't worry if the "big break" doesn't come in your first day, month or even year. Remember the three P's of just about any film or television career -- stay passionate, persistent and patient and you will dramatically increase your odds of succeeding in the entertainment industry.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Video Editing: 5 Steps to Becoming a Video Editor
Ever want to work in the making of a movie or television show? Editors are responsible for creating the final cut of a film, commercial, television show or other type of video. They work with the directors to arrange the film and cut scenes together.
What Is a Video Editor?

As a video editor, you could work with many different media forms, such as television, motion picture or Internet-based entertainment. Primarily, you would take the raw footage provided by the cinematographer, and edit and combine it with sounds to produce the final version. This final cut would encompass specific concepts and ideas from both the director and your own editing suggestions.

Step One: Join an Audio Visual Club

Many video editors have some basic understanding of video production even before they reach college. Becoming involved in your high school's audio visual (AV) club can help you learn the basic editing techniques that you will build on later into the career. Additionally, AV organizations often provide you a chance to encounter editing tools and software for the first time.

Step Two: Take Computer Classes

Gone are the days when the only way to edit film was by cutting it and taping the pieces together. Today, many cinematographers and editors use digital computer-aided software to bring video to life. Learning computer basics is important for you to understand the editing software needed later on in your career.

Step Three: Graduate With a Bachelor's Degree

A bachelor's degree is the primary method of obtaining the education and skills needed as an editor. A Bachelor of Arts in Film and Video Production program trains you to use the equipment that video editors rely upon in their profession. Examples of coursework would include film theory, script analysis, media ethics, production, feature screenwriting and post-production.

Step Four: Complete an Internship

You will begin your career through an internship during or after college. Completing an internship as a video editor provides you with the opportunity to apply skills, build a resume and obtain professional recommendations. Internships vary in their requirements and job duties. If you were to apply for an internship after college, you may be required to show a portfolio of work, references and understanding of editing software.

Step Five: Become a Video Editor

Becoming a video editor requires current knowledge of the trends in film and video technology. Many video editors move directly into their first salaried position from an internship. As you gain more experience in the field, you may receive recommendations for your previous work, which can lead to more job opportunities.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Career in Media Sector
An Overview of Media Industry            
• Most exciting and versatile industry
(What makes it exciting and versatile?)
* One of the most influential industries directly connected with the mass audience
What is media industry?
• First started with the mass distribution of newspapers and magazines. Today, the definition of media has changed and media has many sub forms like Broadcasting with the help of TV and radio, Entertainment with use of audio visuals: films and videos, internet that includes blogs, forums, music, news, then publishing of books, papers, magazines, and other interactive media.
Purpose of media
• Provide information and generate public opinion
• Provide entertainment, education, advocacy among others.
• Thus the scope of a Career in media industry is vast.
Market Watch
• Market analysis and research shows, Indian media industry has projected size of 7.7 billion US$. Moreover, it is estimated to be over 18 billion US$ by 2012.
• The television sector has a 42 % share and print media has 30 % share.
• The Indian entertainment industry is one of the fastest growing in the world giving 1000 films per year. It is the largest output by any media industry in the world.
Media Group in India
• Some of the reputed media companies in India are- Times Group which owns Indiatimes, Filmfare, Planet M, Times of India and many other brands, Adlabs, Zeetelefilms, UTV, Nimbus Communications, Sahara Group, Mukta Arts, Shrinagar Group, News Corporation, Sony, Walt Disney, Sun Network, BMG, Universal, Hindustan Times, The Indian Express, Manorama etc
Influx of foreign publications in India
• Maxim
• Marie Claire
• Cosmopolitan
• Elle
• Conde Nast
• Vogue
• Currently the marketing and distribution of facsimile editions of Fortune and Time magazine is done by India Today group.
• On the newspaper front, Mint, a business news paper of Hindustan Times Group, has exclusive partnership with Wall Street Journal.
• Deccan Chronicle Ltd. has ventured with The New York Time Co. to distribute the fax edition of The International Herald Tribune.
Print and electronic media
• Print Media: Newspapers, magazines, journals etc. Career option are artists, editors, graphic designers, visualisers, photographers, cartoonists and many more.
• Candidates with exceptional skills in designing, photography and writing along with a good academic background face no difficulty in acquiring a good job in this field.
• Electronic Media:
Television and the radio.
• Career options: News reader, anchor/television host, presenter, producer, programmer, script writer, videographer, stylists, RJs or radio jockeys, production assistant, broadcasters, editors, animation experts, computer graphic designers, set designers and many more.
Career Opportunities
Due to a boom in India's media industry, the nature of jobs in the sector has been transformed.
Radio jockeys, actors, musicians, dancers, journalists, video technology creators and managers to accounts planning, cameramen, editors, soundmen and public relations managers, this sector offers career opportunities for all.
Career Opportunities in Mass Communications: journalism and editing jobs for television as well as print media.
Career Opportunities in Television, Film and Multimedia: Creating new ideas for stories and concepts to graphics and animation, etc.
Career Opportunities for Writers: Political writers, writers for travel, history, places, food etc.

Career Opportunities in Other Segments Like Live Entertainment: Event management professionals
Types of jobs
• Job opportunities are available with:
• Film and television production companies, distribution companies,
• Publishing houses,
• Radio channels,
• News channels,
• Event management companies, etc.
Required Trait and Skill
• Creativity and innovative capabilities.
• A combination of skills and traits like confidence and pleasing personality, patience, teamwork and excellent communication skills
• A career in publishing industry, especially editing, requires extraordinary command over language, attention to grammar and an eye for detail.
• Physical stamina for journalists. And work hard to distinguish oneself from the average performer in the industry.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

The presidential election campaign has stirred debate over the role of government, including taxpayer support for public service media. Much coverage has focused on possible cuts to shows like Sesame Street, and its iconic Big Bird. Long-time public broadcaster and executive Bryon Knight reminds us that funding for public media buys us more than Big Bird. It supports a locally based system of public service that is accountable not to advertisers and shareholders. It supports a service accountable to all citizens.

It’s not entirely about the money.  It’s also about accountability.

During the first Presidential debate, Governor Mitt Romney said “I’m going to stop the subsidy to PBS, I like PBS, I love Big Bird. I actually like you too (Jim Lehrer).  But I am not going to borrow money from China to pay for it.”

And so the headlines read:

“Big Bird becomes a big deal in the political fray.”

“It’s not Wall Street you have to worry about it’s Sesame Street.”

“Million Muppet march in Washington D.C.”

No matter who wins the debates or the election the importance of public support for public broadcasting is about much more than federal tax money.
The Money

Public Broadcasting has long been a target of conservative politics.  They see it as wasteful spending, supporting the “liberal bias” of public television and public radio programming.  In the past twenty years many pieces of legislation have been introduced to reduce or eliminate federal funding for public broadcasting.  Each time members of Congress, including Republicans, have voted to continue the one – 100th of one percent of the federal budget which supports local public broadcasting through the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.  This year CPB received $444 million dollars from Congress, for non-commercial educational broadcast stations, less than a dollar and a half per person per year.

Depending on the size of a station’s budget the amount of federal support a local station receives ranges from less than 10% to more than 30% of the station’s financial support.  Sesame Street is produced by Sesame Workshop which is a non-profit organization, receiving funding from public television stations.  Public Television stations purchase the rights to broadcast Sesame Street through the PBS National Program Service.  Sesame Street could survive without federal funding, even though it would be a struggle, so could public broadcasting.  But, it is not just about the money, it is about public ownership of the service of public broadcasting.

Accountability and Service

Public Television and Public Radio receive most of their funding directly from you, “the public” in the form of viewer and listener support.  You are very generous because you value the service of non- commercial, educational broadcasting.  Even if you are not a contributor you have a stake in public broadcasting because you are a tax-payer.  It is all part of public support for public media.

Much more important than the amount of money which public broadcasting receives from Congress, is the public ownership and accountability which comes with it. It is the ingredient which sets public broadcasting apart from all other media.  Tax support makes public broadcasting non-profit, accountable to the public, and defines public broadcasting’s mission as a service not a business.  Tax support is a wise investment.   It makes public broadcasting accountable to you.

Service, not profit, is the motivator for the 1300 local public radio and television stations in America.  Public broadcasting’s product is quality, informative programming.  Public broadcasting doesn’t have to attract the largest audience possible to sell advertising; its product is quality programming.  Take away the tax support and Congress takes away more than the money.  A privatized public broadcasting service will have less incentive to operate as a public service and more incentive to adopt new business plans which will look more like commercial broadcasting.  Public broadcasting’s success will depend more on its ability to compete for audience and attract corporate support.  The change will be gradual but noticeable.

As a tax supported institution, public broadcasting is accountable to you.  It measures its success by the service it provides you.  The small federal investment in public broadcasting ensures its accountability to the public and ensures the continuation of its core value of public service.

Public Trust

Public broadcasters know that their most important asset is public trust.  There are some services which tax payers feel good about supporting; public broadcasting is one of them. The service of public broadcasting is one of the most valued by the American public.  In survey after survey public broadcasting ranks high in value returned for tax dollars.  It is a trusted source for news, public affairs, education, information and children’s programming.  It is a valued return for a small tax investment that sets public broadcasting apart from commercial and cable broadcasting.

The bottom line is federal support buys much more than support for Big Bird. Federal support buys an entire locally based system of public service media that is accountable not to advertisers or share holders, it is accountable to you.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Photographing everyday life is one of my biggest creative passions! There is just something so special about capturing the things that make today wonderful. I've been photographing my daily life for nearly ten years and I love looking back on random moments from years past. In the days of film photography people were afraid to "waste" film. They chose to take more posed photos of groups of people and less small memories of each day. We're so lucky to live in the digital age where you can literally take 100 photos on your phone today and only keep your 3 favorites. I always think back to my high school self (who spent a lot of allowance money on packs of film) and imagine how blown away I would be if someone would have told me that in just 10 years time I'd have a phone that took better photos than my camera. The resources we have at our fingertips are truly incredible! Here are 5 tips for capturing your everyday life...
1. When In Doubt, Bring Your Camera.

I try to bring my digital SLR with me as much as possible. There are so many random photos that I would have missed if I hadn't been lugging my Canon with me everywhere I go. I have quite a few camera bags to switch out (some that double as purses) and that's super helpful! It's always easier to leave it at home, but I'm determined not to let any dust collect on my camera. I never regret bringing it along!
Here's a photo that I captured this week while at lunch with my sister. I loved the way the light was coming through the blinds. It's always worth it to bring your camera and when that's not possible, rely on your phone camera!
2. Zoom In

Instead of focusing only on wide shots of people, take time to zoom in and capture little details! Each day there are countless expressions, moments and pretty vignettes in your life that you might not remember if you don't caputure them. Always remember to zoom in and photograph the little things you love in life!
3. Be Weird
There are little things that make you unique. Be sure to document these quirks and special qualities! The photo above was taken the morning after Jeremy proposed to me. We get coffee together almost every morning, but this morning was extra special! I am glad I have this photo and it means more to me than most of the posed photos we took that day. One of my family members even commented that it was "kinda weird", but what matters is that it tells a little piece of our story!
4. Cell Phone Photos Are A-O.K.!

Cell phone photos have completely changed the photography world in the past five years. The quality has quickly gone from something you couldn't really print to something that, at times, rivals traditional photography. It's pretty exciting! I often post cell phone photos on my blog and have a basket of them printed out on my coffee table (I shared about ways I display iPhone photos in my home here). There is nothing wrong with using your phone as your secondary, or even primary, camera! It's a great way to capture everyday life because it's always with you.
5. There Is No Such Thing as a "Wasted" Photo

When in doubt, snap the photo! The above photo was taken in an airport while we waited for a flight. I asked Jeremy to hold up his coffee because it said "Jerry". To my delight the photo that resulted is one of my favorite random photos of him. Sometimes the most unlikely moments can produce the most special images!
I hope you've picked up a few helpful hints from this article. Taking everyday life photos is one of the healthiest creative habits to excercise. If you're not currently in this routine, why not try some today? 

Friday, March 8, 2013

Entertainment Journalist
The process of news writing begins with an assignment from the editor or a pitch from the writer that is accepted and approved. The assignment is a general outline that the writer will adhere to while investigating the story, which could be a brief interview with a recording artist about the start of their summer tour or an in-depth look at the complicated financial affects of streaming services on cable television subscriptions. Based on the outline, the journalist researches the topic to gather background information and decides on appropriate contacts to include as sources for the article. The rule is that a credible article needs at least three sources, or quoted individuals, and at least two differing opinions represented beside the evidentiary facts. As we have been taught in grade school, all informative articles must explain who, what, where, when, why, and how. Beyond that, the journalist makes decisions about how best to frame the article to make it compelling and interesting. A categorical listing of facts is not terribly interesting to read; it is the writer’s job to breath life and creativity into the story.
After collecting background information and speaking with sources, the journalist formulates a first draft. This is only a rough version of the article. Every writer is different, but most iterate the copy at least twice before sending it to the editor. It is the editor’s job to review the article for spelling, grammar, and style and then to work with the writer to trim the article and perfect the content. At this stage, it may even be necessary for the writer to gather new background information and contact additional sources. Again, the writer makes necessary changes and submits the draft to the editor. When he or she is satisfied with the story, the editor will approve the story for publication.
Skills & Education
A college degree in journalism, English, or creative writing is recommended for this career and should include courses in non-fiction writing, reporting, new media journalism, editing, and mass communication law. Writers must have a strong command of the English language and the fundamentals of constructing a compelling article. Familiarity with basic HTML and CSS is encouraged. As the news media makes the next evolutionary leap to a web-focused model, contributors should be familiar with content management systems like WordPress, Drupal, and Tumblr and be knowledgeable about embedding rich media content like videos and podcasts. Excellent computer skills are necessary. Experience within a particular segment of the entertainment industry is beneficial, such as previous employment in film, television, music, live production, or video game development.
What to Expect
Like most jobs worth having, the career field for entertainment journalists is highly competitive. The traditional print media is shrinking, as established publications struggle to stay profitable against free online news outlets. Salaries for print journalists have seen a decline in recent years, but pay is based on experience and the size of the company. On the flip side, numerous opportunities exist with online publications covering general news and specific entertainment industries. Of course, the most appealing perk of being an entertainment journalist is the press pass and behind-the-scenes access to events. Most publications will consider applications submitted via email with resumes accompanied by a cover letter and examples of written work. Generally, you do not need to wait to find a specific job opening, simply contact the editor or human resources department.
Once hired, writers can expect to work erratic hours, possibly requiring significant travel. Though a typical workweek is nine to five and Monday through Friday, a certain story may have you out late at night or well before the sun rises in the morning. To gain experience and begin to compile work samples, volunteer for your high school or college newspaper and maintain a professional blog. Freelance writing opportunities are also available, allowing the writer to work for numerous publications on contract.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

How to Make a Short Film     
Anyone can now make a short film—but if you want to make a good film it will take time, preparation, and some expense. But if this is something you really want to do, putting the time in now will make all the difference later.
Do not trust what you see in the view finder.
1. Remember: Anyone can record an image, but that is not making a film.
2. Look for people who have the equipment below and see if you can borrow or rent it if you can't afford to buy it. See if they'll help you with your movie.
3. Learn the following features of your camera
Focus ring
White balance
4. Get yourself a copy of the Filmmaker’s Handbook by Steven Ascher and Edward Pincus. Read it—they explain everything you will need to know.
5. Narrative or Documentary? Download a free script-writing program. A good one is Celtx.
If you are planning to make a fiction film, then it's narrative. Think of a basic story idea. You can get ideas for films from things you read in daily life, short stories, newspapers, etc.
6. Outline your idea. Write out your script, using Celtx; if you have never written a script before, pick up a book that explains script writing and character development, and that—along with the Celtx program—will be all you will need.
7. Write out your script:
8. Consider the following points when writing your script:
Character development
Plot development
Inciting incident
Character arc
9.Story-board each shot in the film. Decide what each shot in the movie is going to be. For example, wide shot, over the shoulder, tracking shot, close up, extreme close up, medium wide shot. crane shot, dolly shot, etc.
10. Decide what you need for each scene. This is called a breakdown sheet.
11. Determine the setting of the scene. Is it external(EXT) or internal(INT)?
12. Determine the equipment you are going to need.
13. Determine the actors and crew.
14. Determine what props, make-up costumes, etc., will be used.
15. Start casting for cast and crew for the movie.
For crew you are going to need as many people as possible, but at least the following
Camera Man
Director of photography
Sound recorder
Costume and makeup person.
Craft service
Someone who knows something about lighting
16. Provide food for your crew and expense money and a copy of the film.
17. Complete principle photography.
18. Edit the film; you do not need to use an expensive program at all. With the right skills, a free program that came with the computer can make stunning films. Do not think you need to use the most expensive program out there!
19. Show the film to friends and family and/or post it to YouTube. If you are serious about filmmaking, submit it to film festivals and send it to film agencies.
20. Have a good time!

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

So You Want to Be…An Entertainment Journalist
Entertainment journalist Alicia Malone will interview film stars for food—literally! From hugging Will Farrell twice to being touched on the arm by Johnny Depp, not many people can say that brushing arms with celebrities is a part of their every day job.

So you want to be an entertainment journalist? Alicia, who recently moved to Los Angeles from Australia, talked to us about how she got her start, how she prepares for an interview and the time she hugged Jake Gyllenhaal.

Feather Magazine: When did you begin your career in entertainment journalism?
Alicia Malone: I always knew I wanted to work in TV in some capacity, so straight out of school, instead of going to university; I got an entry-level job at a television station. I was a little fish in a huge pond, but starting from the bottom, I slowly worked my way up until I was hired as a producer. From there I pitched an idea for a TV show that happened to have me as the reporter, proved that I could produce and edit it myself for no extra cost that was picked up and then suddenly the jobs snowballed until I became a full time reporter, producer and host. I grew up being obsessed with movies—I still am—so getting to interview filmmakers and movie stars is a dream come true. And those years working behind the scenes were so valuable; they taught me a lot—if you want to be good in front of the camera you really need to know what goes on behind it.

FM: What is your all-time favorite movie?
AM: That’s a tricky one! I love “The Shawshank Redemption.” The story is so strong, no matter how many times I see it I always get caught up in it. I also love “Amelie,” the French film. It’s so beautiful that after I first saw it, I felt changed somehow. Other favorites include “Fight Club,” “Pulp Fiction,” “Run Lola Run” and “Being John Malkovich.” I have an eclectic taste in films!

Feather Magazine: You’ve done so many interviews—from Kate Hudson to Ryan Reynolds. If you had to say what is the best or your favorite interview that you have done so far?
AM: My favourite interviews have been with Brad Pitt, Tom Hanks, Robin Williams, Angelina Jolie, Jerry Seinfeld and Matt Damon. All of those stars are such pros, they make you feel instantly comfortable and their answers always sound fresh, even if they’ve been answering the same questions all day! And being a film geek, I got a thrill from chatting to Steven Spielberg, Francis Ford Coppola and James Cameron. Growing up watching their films, I never would have thought I would have the chance to interview them face to face!

Feather Magazine: Giving interviews with celebrities has got to be tough and probably somewhat intimidating, what are some interviewing tips that you can give aspiring entertainment journalists?
AM: Do your research to try and think of interesting questions they may not have answered already. And this may sound obvious, but listen to what they are saying. You can easily fall into the trap of just thinking about your next question instead of listening to their answer, and if they realize that is what you are doing then they will switch off and only give you the bare minimum. If they say something interesting, jump on it and ask for more detail. I never ask personal questions, but if you have to make sure you respect their privacy. I’m often nervous during interviews, but have discovered you never appear as nervous as you feel, fake confidence until you have it!

Feather Magazine: What’s an average day on the job like for you?
AM: The best part of my job is that there is never an average day! If it’s a day of interviews at a press junket, I will have seen the movie the night before, so in the morning I spend a few hours researching and writing my questions, before getting myself camera ready and travelling to the hotel where the interviews are being held. Once I’m there I wait to be called and go in to do the interviews (usually only 5 minutes long), then take the footage back to home to edit. Then I might have a red carpet to cover at nighttime, or another movie screening. I see on average 3 movies a week, and usually have one or two press junkets and one or two red carpets to cover per week. It’s a lot of fun.

Feather Magazine: What’s the coolest part of your career so far?
AM: Taking the leap to move to L.A. from Australia! It was a big risk. I had to quit my very cool job in Sydney and just trust that once I was in L.A., I would be able to find work. I had done everything I wanted to in Australia, so it felt like [was] the right time. Luckily, it all fell into place! I get a thrill working in the film capital of the world. Definitely the highlight of my career to be covering all the major film interviews and premieres from Hollywood!

Feather Magazine: Being that you are an Australian native, when you moved from Australia to the U.S. what was the hardest challenge you faced?
AM: Driving on the other side of the road! And getting myself settled was tricky—applying for visas, going for my driver’s license, getting a car, a bank account etc—it’s all different over here and I’m still figuring it all out!

Feather Magazine: Between your busy schedule interviewing celebrities, how do you find time to relax?
AM: Because I love what I do so much, it doesn’t feel like work, so I don’t really get stressed. But if I have a day off I love to get outside, go hiking or be super girlie and get my nails done or a massage. And probably go to the cinema to see more movies!

Feather Magazine: So you hugged a few celebrities? Tell us more about that?
AM: It’s become a running joke now! I was interviewing Will Ferrell a few years ago and mentioned how one of his characters was loveable. He said “Yeah, you probably want to hug him, right?” I said OK and came over for a hug. He didn’t really expect me to take him up on the offer! Then the next time I interviewed him he was with Mark Wahlberg and when Will remembered the hug, Mark said he wanted one too! I have also hugged Jake Gyllenhaal, but I asked for that one for purely selfish reasons!

Feather Magazine: Your biography page on your website says “spectacular robot dancer.” You’re also “not too bad at recreating Beyonce’s ‘Single Ladies’ dance.” That’s so awesome! What’s another fact that most people don’t know about you?
AM: That I have five tattoos! I don’t look like someone who would have tattoos, but I love them. I have “Dream” on my wrist, “Explore” on my foot, “Discover” on my arm, a butterfly on my shoulder and a bird on my ribs. And more to come. Sorry, [Mom]!

Feather Magazine: Anything else you want to add?
AM: Don’t believe people if they say you can’t achieve your dreams. Work hard, be patient and make it happen for yourself.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

How to Make Your Advertising More Effective and Cost Less
It has been said over and again that up to 50% of all advertising is wasted.

That’s a pretty steep percentage considering how many billions of dollars are spent on advertising annually. So who’s placing the effective advertising and who isn’t? When it comes right down to it…most business people think they know more about advertising and marketing than they actually do.

10 Tips on How to Improve the Effectiveness of Your Advertising

Consider the following tips regarding your advertising efforts.

1. Develop a detailed marketing plan or have one developed for you.

Without a detailed travel plan and a map you wouldn’t get very far for very long on an around the world trip. Many businesses place advertising without a clear-cut plan. The most expensive advertising is advertising that doesn’t work. You can reduce your advertising costs and advertising waste by proper planning.

Professionals do their homework and develop marketing plans that provide them with a comprehensive understanding of their businesses and industries. A marketing plan will provide you with a travel plan and a map. Areas covered in a marketing plan include: An internal/external situational analysis, Positioning, Core Competencies, Pricing, Distribution, Strategies and Tactics, Market Research, Implementation Schedules, Evaluation Strategies, and more.

A professional marketing plan pays off in great dividends by eliminating wasted advertising and marketing efforts and unnecessary costs. Call on experts to create and develop your marketing plan.

2. Make your advertising decisions based upon research and a formal marketing plan.

Media reps make their living by selling you more advertising. Time and again you will receive calls regarding special deals, special sections, time limited offers, etc. These will only have value to you if you know what you are doing. It is best to negotiate deals and specials in advance of placing your advertising.

Your marketing plan and research will help you identify and target your best audiences. It will also help you to determine the best vehicles to reach your best audiences. Make sure to focus your message on what is important to your audience, and not yourself. Potential customers rarely care about what’s important to you. They only care about what you can do for them.

Cost per thousand (CPM), frequency, readership, demographics, BPA statements, and other terms need to be familiar to you. Without this information you’ll be taking a shot in the dark. Reputable media providers will be more than willing to provide you with data on themselves and their audiences. Your marketing plan and your strategies will help you to determine if a particular media or media provider is right for you.

3. Plan your advertising calendar several months in advance.

Failure to plan advertising in advance wastes a lot of your money. Rush charges, poor vehicle choices, rate increases, poor creative and poor copy are common results of failing to plan in advance.

“We didn’t have enough time”, “We were under the gun to get this placed”, are common phrases heard under rushed circumstances.

Take a blank calendar and fill in the days, months or quarters to advertise to your target markets. Figure out the number of ad insertions that will make sense and negotiate a contract with the various media suppliers.

4. Test your copy and your ads.

Only by trial and error will you be able to set a baseline as to the best response rates for your ads and copy. It is very important to maximize response for the amount of dollars spent. Sometimes re-phrasing copy or adjusting ad layouts can mean the difference between an average response and a great response.

You need to find out what works best for you. After you find this out, you’ll want to stay the course.

5. Hire professionals to handle your advertising.

When you’re sick, call a doctor! When you have legal problems, call a lawyer! When you need to advertise, hire an ad agency. You need to concentrate your time and efforts in areas of your business that you’re proficient in.

Advertising is the one area where people try to tell the professionals what to do and how to do it. You wouldn’t tell a doctor what treatment to prescribe, just like you wouldn’t tell your lawyer how to defend you.

You can lose a lot of time and money while trying to act as your own ad agency. Agencies are experts. They charge for their time and experience and have one goal in mind: To get the best results for their clients in order to keep those clients. Many times ads done by amateurs lack the true market drivers of an audience. An agency will research your market and your audience to learn the real issues concerning your product or services.

6. Learn how to develop and use creative briefs when dealing with agencies.

Time is money when it comes to an agency’s billable hours. The more upfront information that you provide to your ad agency the more money you will save. Also, the more detail you have in your creative brief the more effective your advertising will be.

A creative brief is a summary of all of the factors that will affect your advertising from your company’s current business situation, your competitive situation, through your targeted audiences characteristics and buying habits. Even if you choose not to use an agency, a creative brief is a good exercise to go through to make sure that everyone in your creative process is on the same page. You will definitely get better results and save on wasted creative designs by using a creative brief.

7. Save copies of all of your ads, press releases, and printed collateral. Make sure to provide as much information as possible to your agency.

In order to write the most persuasive copy and to design the most effective ads, it is important for your agency to know what has worked in the past and what hasn’t.

There is nothing wrong with using elements or information from previously successful ads. Your advertising should have some consistent elements from your printed collateral and vice-versa.

8. Make sure that your advertising message focuses on what is important for your audience and not what is important to you.

Saving money, gaining market share pre-empting competition, saving time, peace of mind, and related desires are typical of what your audience is looking for. Your target audience will typically be more concerned about what you can do for them, as opposed to what you do.

Speak in your audience’s language and in a way that they can understand. Big words and words that aren’t easily understood should be avoided. Your job is to sell your audience on using your product or services. Too often non-sales people write beautiful and witty prose that doesn’t get a second look from your audience before they pass it over or discard it into the trash.

9. Avoid misleading or dishonest copy in hopes of converting duped readers into using your products or services.

Honesty and integrity are key to repeat sales and repeat business. If you have to trick your audience to get their attention, you will have a very hard time keeping their attention.

10. Avoid using committees to approve your advertising.

Putting together a roomful of experts on just about any subject is a surefire way to get nothing accomplished. Many great ads are killed by committees. And many bad ads are the direct result of committees.

A lot of time and money can be wasted by committees due to: unnecessary changes, re-writes, and wasting time in meetings. Every change, every re-write, and every meeting means billable hours for your agency.

A single point of contact is usually the best way to keep unnecessary changes and meetings to a minimum. If you must meet as a group, do so in advance and work out any potential internal problems before meeting with your agency. When you finally meet with your agency you should be more productive.

Friday, March 1, 2013

6 Tips from ESPN on A Career in Sports Broadcasting

A few weeks ago our Ohio Center for Broadcasting Cleveland campus held a competition where contestants had the chance to audition for the ESPN affiliate in Cleveland, OH.  The contest was called "The Next Star of KNR."

Leading up to the contest we thought it might be cool if the air-staff there at KNR provided the contestants with some tips for jumping into a career in sports broadcasting.  I thought it could be a long shot - since they are all super busy - but worth a shot, right?

Welp, they abliged.  And they were super cool about it.  Giving some very passionate responses.

If you are a current student at one of our Ohio or Illinois campuses, you have no doubt heard a lot of the same advice before.  That is because, there really is no magic pill.  A lot of what makes people successful transcends across all industries.  I'm talking about things like passion, hard work, technical know-how, etc.

However, the WKNR guys really provided some actionable show hosting techniques here.  Which I think is great for a couple of reasons:

1.  If you are already a student - you could take these and employ them immediately during your air-shift.

2.  If you are looking to attend our program and you LOVE the idea of sports broadcasting but are afraid you "don't know enough about sports" - you might see that you don't really have to know a lot if you are, say, entertaining - energetic, opinionated, or funny.

Anywho, enough blabber.  Here are those tips from ESPN Cleveland WKNR:

 Don't overload your take with meaningless stats or boring details. Instead, try to make your listeners laugh, cry, and think about sports in a new way.  -- Hammer
People listen to shows because they are interested in the host's opinions. Rather than simply laying out the big topics of the day, find something that you are passionate about and share your feelings. Everyone knows the Indians are a bad team. Everyone wants LeBron to stay in Cleveland. What can you bring to the marketplace of ideas that isn't totally obvious?   -- Hammer
Don't be affraid or rejection or the word "NO".  It's a competative field and you have to keep on fighting especially when you get turned down or told no. – Kenny Roda
Every great sports talk host has one thing in common: ENERGY! No one wants to listen to someone who sounds tired, bored, or sick.? Sit up, smile, scream, yell, rant, and rave. -- Hammer
Be versatile and know as much as you can about all aspects of broadcasting (Hosting/Reporting/Production/Engineering etc.) The more you know about all aspects, the better off you will be and more valuable you will be to the company. --Chris Fedor
ALWAYS try to be BETTER THAN THE LAST TIME when you open the mic!? -- Munch