How to Build Your Business With Radio, TV, and Print Interviews

One fast and easy business building strategy for solo professionals is to get interviewed on radio, the Internet, television, and in print media. It’s easier than ever to catch a request for an interview, what with YouTube, BlogTalk Radio, and Internet TV channels. With Webcam and VOIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) technologies, you might well get the chance to be on radio or TV anywhere in the world without leaving your office. This series of articles will cover everything you need to know to deliver an interview with ease and in a way that will make you welcome on shows and in print media, too. I’ll show you the five key steps of pro interviewing, along with these tips:

1) How you can “drive” the interview in a direction you want to go

2) What the people interviewing you REALLY want from you

3) How to create marketing opportunities right in the interview

4) How to recycle your interviews to build more presence for your business.

First, though, let’s talk about where giving interviews fits into your business. A successful entrepreneur has three things going that ensure business success. These components are a solid business plan with financial projections that take you where you want to go, a creative and low-cost marketing strategy for the business, and a willingness to remove any personal blocks that keep the business from succeeding. Each component is equally important to your business.

Interviewing is a part of your business’s marketing strategy. If you are unsure or resistant to thinking about interviewing as a way to showcase your expertise and experience, you more than likely have inner blocks that are in your way. Working to change that is a part of personal growth. For solo professionals who decide to do it, interviewing can be easy, fun, and help you build your business.

Before you begin to accept interview opportunities, you’ll need to put together a simple media kit or media page on your website. As a beginning, this should include:

1) A head shot of you (both black & white and color) that can be downloaded from your website or sent as a.jpg file in an e-mail

2) A brief (250 words) bio about you and what you do

3) A list of topics you can speak about

4) A list of your speaking and media experience (if you have any).

Pulling together this simple media kit will allow you to quickly respond to a request for an interview. You can refer the person to the media page on your website, or e-mail the information quickly.

There are five key steps to interviewing like a pro. Here they are, in the order you will probably use.

1) Know your goal.

2) Pick gigs based on your goal.

3) Prep the call.

4) Answer questions briefly but strategically.

5) Follow up diligently.

If you follow each step, you’ll find yourself quickly and easily handing interviews and benefiting from them in more ways than one. Each step helps ensure that your interview will be of benefit to the person interviewing you and to your business. Any time a solo professional can take an action that has a double benefit, it’s sure to be a winner!

Know Your Goal

Just as with anything else you do in business, being interviewed takes your time away from other things you could be doing. You won’t be getting paid, but you still do want a return on your investment of time and sharing of your expertise. Setting a goal for each interview you decide to give will help you get a return.

Ask yourself why you want to do this particular interview, and what you would like to get out of it. There are at least five ways to benefit, and you can probably hit two of them with each interview. The first goal is to build visibility for your business. Think about where and how much the interview will be publicized, the likely size of the listeners or audience, and how much introduction you are likely to receive.

Gaining credibility is a second goal. No one is going to ask you to be interviewed if they think you have nothing of value to offer their listeners or audience. Just by doing the interview, you gain credibility. It’s a good idea to keep a list of all the places you’ve done interviews, and add this to your media page. Reporters and others who are always looking for guests will be impressed that you’ve interviews and will be grateful to find someone who knows the ropes. Just like many other things in the business world, doing interviews can create its own energy. Word spreads that you are both interesting and willing, and you will get more opportunities once you break the ice.

A third goal for doing interviews is to build your list of prospects. Especially if you are an Internet-based business (or have an Internet-based component to your business) constantly building your list is a key concern for you. For Internet businesses, a list of potential customers is the goose that lays the golden egg. For businesses that are not Internet-based, their database of contacts and prospects is also important.

How does interviewing help you build your list? Many times, the person interviewing you will require people who want to listen in on the call or radio show to register ahead of time, even if the call is free. The interviewer may be building his own list using this strategy. He may need to know roughly how many people to expect on a telephone interview so that he can reserve enough phone lines through his conference call provider. He may want to collect information about the industry his listeners are coming from. Whatever the reason, there is often an opportunity to share this information and build your own list, too. If you do this, make sure that when a prospect registers for the event she is told that registering means she will receive the call-in access information and that she will receive a free subscription to your own electronic newsletter (e-zine). Make sure that you operate within the Federal laws regarding e-mails and SPAM.

Even if the person interviewing you doesn’t require a registration to listen in on the event, you can still build your list right on the call. Your bio should include information about your website’s URL. Include a statement something like, “Be sure to go to my website and subscribe to my e-zine, for you’ll receive valuable marketing tips several times a month.”

Product development is the fourth goal you can meet by doing interviews. Once the interview is done, there will likely be a recording of it. Viola! You have a product, a half-hour or hour-long interview about a particular topic that you can give away as an MP3 file, burn to a CD and sell, or have transcribed and make part of a product bundle. Interviewing is a quick and easy way to build up a library of low-cost products that can create a passive income stream for you. Agree ahead of time that you will get to share the audio file of the interview with the person who interviews you. The majority of times, this is understood at the outset – that both of you can use that resource in any way you want. Having the file is useful, for you can create audio clips from it to use in advertising or presentations along with using it as a product to give away or sell.

Finally, you may have a goal to make a special offer to the audience during an interview. Most hosts will be more than willing to take a brief time during the interview to let you offer something special to their listeners. This helps the host become known as someone who offers special deals or surprises, which in turn builds their audience. For you, it can be a way to test out a new product or service with an audience, or to raise some quick cash by offering one of your services with a special add-on for the same price. To make special offers effective, limit the time it is available (usually that day or 24 hours only) and/or the quantity offered. Build a special link in your website for this special offer, and announce it on the call, leading the audience to browse to your website, purchase the offer, and perhaps browse the rest of your website, too.

My next article will explore more of the five key steps to interviewing like a pro. Stay tuned!

(c) Sue Painter



Online Product Promotion

Promotion of a product plays vital role in Marketing Management. Companies can run same advertisement and promotion campaign side by side, in home market or change them for each local market.

The use of media for promotion also requires international adaptation because availability varies from country to country. Basically all the advertisement features the same single image. Magazines, TV, and internet plays major role for promotion of a product. But all of them vary in availability and effectiveness. For example newspaper has a national reach in UK but advertiser can only buy local coverage in most of countries.

In my opinion, internet will not become a major advertising medium like radio,TV,and print media, as internet users are more interested in its other uses ,yet advertising appear on screen. Reason can be a company has to decide which media will be cost effective for promotion of product. Popular portals such as MSN and yahoo are able to charge large fees due to huge audience.

Banner ads containing text and may be a picture are most extensively used promotion tool.

Micro sites are relevant for companies selling low interested products, such as insurance. People rarely visit an insurance company website.

Interstitials are advertisement that pops up between changes on website.

Sponsorships are best placed in well targeted sites where one can offer relevant information or service.

Companies can set up alliances and affiliate program where one internet company works with another one .Companies can offer to print content and adds to targeted audience who want to receive them. Ads reach to audience who are really interested in product. Costs are also reasonable compared with other advertising media.

Promotion being the important part of 5 Ps should be considered at optimum level for product marketing and media should be selected with all factors in mind.



Regulatory Challenges and the Media

There is definitely a culture clash in the world, and I’m not talking about the Western World and the Middle East, rather I’m talking about in the media such as television, radio, and newspapers and the new paradigm of social media, the Internet, and all the combination variations in between. Not only that, we also note that there have been lots of regulatory changes propping up the old, and preventing the new from making headway. Let’s go ahead and talk about this for a moment if we shall.

You see, the Internet is rising so quickly along with e-commerce, and social networks that the media can’t keep up. In fact the old media is trying to find new ways to use social networks and the Internet to blend the content so they don’t lose the next generation of readers, and can keep from losing current subscribers who are migrating to electronic formats for their intake of news. Consider if you will all the apps on the iPad for all the major news outlets, and all of the industry association trade journals.

The old media is also very upset because it is being plagiarized at such a high rate that as soon as the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, or any other publication puts out an article, that article is copied, or parts of it are copied and syndicated across the Internet within minutes, and redistributed to the whole world. Those that are consolidators or syndicators of news often make quite a bit of money off their advertising on their websites, but the old media still has to pay to create the content. Obviously it’s easy to make a lot of money grabbing other company’s work when all there is; is revenue, and someone else is generating all of the articles, videos, and news.

You can see how upsetting this is – especially considering that the new media is competing with the old media, and the old media is paying for all the content that the new media is stealing. Because of this we are noticing new regulatory challenges in the online venues. This culture clash, of the new versus the old will continue. It appears that everyone in the new media believes that all the information should be free. But the old media is trying to stand on the integrity of the reporting, often flying reporters halfway around the world doing stories in places off the beaten path.

If they are not paying for that content, they can no longer send the actual reporter there to collect the information first hand. Further if they collect the information through social media, tweets, and cell phone videos of people who are actually there, then obviously the news will be jaded, and favoring the opinions of those taking the pictures. This might seem like an okay thing, because we are getting information in real time, but we aren’t necessarily getting nonbiased news.

Government regulations to try to protect the old media aren’t working, attempts to shut off ISPs of those who allow the posting of plagiarized information isn’t going to fly with Internet users, and it’s a bad idea anyway. Nevertheless, you can expect these controversies to continue throughout 2012 and more regulations to come. Please consider all this and think on it.



12 Amazing Bluetooth Facts

Bluetooth is a wireless technology that allows personal computers, laptops, cell phones and other electronic enables devices to communicate with each other over short distances of about 10 meters to transfer information/files from one device to another. It uses radio waves and is designed to be a secure and inexpensive way of connecting and exchanging information between devices wirelessly.

Following are a few of the most informative Bluetooth facts from the arsenal of thousands.

Fact # 1: “Bluetooth” refers to Harold Blatand who was the tenth century Danish king and unified the Norwegians and Danes.

Fact # 2: The renowned Andretti Green Racing team communicated during the race using Bluetooth devices

Fact # 3: According to a research the, this device users was expected to rise more than one billion by the year 2006.

Fact # 4: Analysts predict that one third of all new cars in the world will have built-in wireless Bluetooth connections.

Fact # 5: A lot of latest Bluetooth medical equipment, are being manufactures and deployed by hospitals to enhance the patient care.

Fact # 6: Latest wireless communication enabled devices let you watch images on your TV screen. This can be achieved using laptop or mobile phone over a wireless connection to a media viewer.

Fact # 7: Printing can be done wirelessly now! One can send files to print from Bluetooth enabled computer or mobile gadget directly to printer. There are also small home use printers that just print out color pictures by taking wireless input from cell phone or computer.

Fact # 8: The latest Multi point pairing Bluetooth enabled interface lets you connect with more than one Bluetooth devices, for example your cell phone can be connected to Stereo Bluetooth headset and your computer at a time

Fact # 9: One of the fastest growing devices in “Bluetooth hands free” and the second largest overall application, just behind the hands free is “stereo audio”.

Fact # 10: Extensive Bluetooth usage is hazardous for health. Blue tooth uses microware radio waves with the frequency range of 2.4 GHz to 2.4835 GHz and the power output from a Blue tooth radio is 100 mW, 2.5 mW, and 1 mW for class 1, class 2 and class 3 devices respectively. The class 1 is almost at the same level as cell phones are, whereas class2 and class 3 are much lower than class 1 and considered less of potential hazard then cell phones.

Fact # 11: Future of Blue tooth is expected to have information points for broadcasting channels, this will start the real usage of wireless connections inside the mobiles and enable advertising models based around users pulling information from the info points, and not based on current limited object push model. One of the best Bluetooth stereo headset companies which is expected to excel in this field is Motorola and Blackberry

Fact # 12: The latest wireless communication devices can now play a role of the “master” and can communicate with up to a maximum of 7 devices as “slave”. This group of 8 devices (1 master + 7 slaves) is called a Piconet. At any given time, data can be transferred between the master and 1 slave; but the master switches rapidly from slave to slave in a round-robin fashion to see for any further file transfer request.



Breaking Into Hollywood – How Do I Sell My Own Reality TV Show?

How do you sell your own reality TV show? If you’re like most people who work in reality TV, you sell a show by working for some years in reality television, amassing good credits and production experience, building strong relationships with production companies, networks and vendors, running someone else’s shows for trench education, then pitching your concepts and your solid reputation to make your first sale(s). If that doesn’t sound like you, or even if it does, please read on.

If you’re like most people who don’t work in reality TV, you sell a show by coming up with an entertaining concept and find a personal “in” to a network exec or a production company where you can pitch. If a network exec likes the idea, s/he will partner you with a production company or show runner s/he already knows and trusts, and they will execute your concept. You will turn all of the control of your show, as well as most of whatever initial fees come in, over to the show runner or production company.

The same process happens if you approach a production company yourself to bring your idea to a network for you. Your attorney will work with the production companies to hammer out a “deal memo” that spells out what involvement, if any, you will have in the show. The company will do their best to remove you from any control over the process…because you have no idea how to run a television show. They also will take most of the money involved…because you are bringing nothing to the table but an idea that they will have to do all of the work to develop then execute, as well as use their hard-earned contacts to sell. In their eyes, you are bringing nothing to the table.

If you are still reading this blog after that stunning statement, you are ready for the road ahead as you try to pitch a show. You understand now how the industry will perceive you, and you accept your own limitations as someone who knows nothing about making a show but has an entertaining spin on a popular concept. You also understand, because I’m about to tell you, that you are not going to become rich when the show is sold.

Don’t confuse non-fiction TV with selling a movie or a sit-com or drama. “Back-end” and “created-by” fees and “residuals” are rare in this world. On your very first sale, be ready for some serious compromise if all you have is an idea. Your attorney is going to work hard enough just to keep you from being removed from the show entirely.

I’m going to write that again. YOUR ATTORNEY IS GOING TO WORK HARD ENOUGH JUST TO KEEP YOU FROM BEING REMOVED FROM THE SHOW ENTIRELY.

So how exactly do you sell your own show?

The smart way is to work in the biz and know that you are selling yourself and your experience and your reputation and your contacts far more than any concept itself. In fact, networks who have come to know you will call you and ask you to do a show for them! And you will be able control the production process and make the fees from it, because you’ve learned and earned you way into that position. Your agent is your best friend here because s/he is pitching you non-stop to the nets, setting up meet-and-greets with execs and keeping you up-to-date on how the net calls for content are shifting (and they always are shifting).

The fast way is to have a terrific concept and partner with someone else who can get it executed. You will have researched similar shows, checked out imdb.com for company and network information and approached the right people to match your genre and audience. If all goes well, you, indeed, will have sold a show, but often with limited involvement or reward! Your attorney will be your best friend here because s/he will need to be determined and creative to keep you a part of the process after the sale.

The back-door way is to know a person or property (like a popular book) that people want a piece of, develop a show with them attached to it, and have a written “option” that binds them to any sale. This is where having Paris Hilton as a close friend actually is a good thing. A hypothetical: Yes, she stole your boyfriend, but she felt so bad that she signed an option agreement allowing you to shop a makeover show with her as the host. Pretty much anyone will talk to you now, and you’ll have a lot more power keeping yourself attached since you are, at last, bringing something bankable to the table!

Whatever way you try to sell your show, remember, as always, to do an “entitlement” check before you start the process. If you are not Tyra Banks, do not expect to get a deal like Tyra Banks. If your talent is not Donald Trump, don’t expect to get a budget like Donald Trump’s. And if you have never run a television show (I didn’t say never written, produced, edited or shot, I said RUN), then don’t expect to run even your own. Not the first season, at least.

And please don’t go into reality TV to get rich. (Where are all of these Discovery Health- and Food Network-producing millionaires people think they’re joining the ranks of?) If you want to get rich, please go back for your MBA and head to Wall Street and build and protect your stock options like everyone else does. There’s way more chance you’ll get a return on your investment – and in a far shorter period of time! If you want to get rich quickly, with minimal effort, keep buying scratchers and hope for the best. But if you really want to make reality TV, while there’s no money at the start in this world, like almost everything else, working hard in this business ultimately has its own personal, professional and, yes, financial rewards. Plus sometimes, you get to make people eat bugs.



How Much Do You Know About Satellite TV?

If you drive around your village or if you are able to get the chance to go around a rural area, you will find a couple of houses with those satellite dishes that are installed in their roofs or concrete walls. At the sight of this familiar equipment, you can immediately tell that these homes have their own satellite TV system. However, do you have any idea what this technology really is, how it works and why more and more people are signing up for their own subscription? If you don’t have this system yet in your own home and are not at the slightest instance even intrigued about this amazing breakthrough in the TV network broadcasting technology, then you should read further.

Satellite TV is a type of broadcasting system where it makes use of satellites to send signals to the subscribers. Unlike the cable system where subscribers are connected to the broadcast center through cables in receiving signals, in a satellite TV system, the subscriber’s satellite dish receive the signals directly from the satellites located above the earth. For this reason, the satellite is always installed on the roofs or concrete walls so it can receive the signals from the satellites.

What you can get from the satellite TV system?

You may be currently enjoying the benefits of your cable TV in providing you with different local and foreign channels. You can get this from satellite TV, too but way much better. This is because you can get a greater selection of local and foreign channels, in different varieties. Whether you are into sports, movies, lifestyle, education, news, and much more, you will surely have a lot of options in any of these categories.

The viewing experience is very much unlike with the cable TV because and you can view the programs in digital format. You also get channels in high definition picture and sound which makes you feel like you are in a movie house when viewing these channels.

After reading these amazing features, you may think the cost of getting a satellite system is expensive. If that is so, you will be delighted to know that subscribing to it is getting more and more affordable. With all the providers trying to compete with each other in getting consumers to sign up, even the leading companies have special offers, discounts and affordable monthly plans that even an average working employee will find reasonable.

What are the conditions that I should meet?

While location is not a problem in getting a satellite TV system because even consumers in the rural and remote area can sign up, there are other conditions that you should have to make sure that you can make the most out of this technology.

Be sure that you can get a clear view of the sky from your home. If you live near tall trees or buildings, you need to examine thoroughly if there is a way that the satellite dish can still get a clear reception. If you are living in an apartment building, check first if you are on the side where the satellite dish can get a good reception from your balcony.



No Animals Were Harmed – All About Animal Actors

ANIMAL ACTORS: Interview with Sandi Buck, American Humane, Certified Animal Safety Representative

Q: What is the American Humane Film & TV Unit?

A: American Humane (AH) Film & TV Unit is based in Los Angeles and we monitor the use of animals in media. American Humane is a national organization with headquarters based in Denver, Colorado. I’m one of the Certified Animal Safety Representatives who go on set and monitor the use of animals in film and television. We award the “No Animals Were Harmed® in the Making of this Movie” disclaimer seen at the end of the credits in a movie.

Q: How did the American Film & TV Unit start?

A: Back in 1926, AH set up a committee to investigate abuses of animals in the movie industry. At that time, horses were the most at-risk animal actors. But, then, as now, animals have no inherent legal rights, so we couldn’t mandate the safety of the animal actors. In 1939, for the film “Jesse James,” a horse and rider were sent hurling over a 70-foot cliff into a raging river for an action shot. The stuntman was fine, but the horse’s back was broken in the fall and it died. Outrage over this sparked a new relationship between AH and some motion picture directors and producers and caused the Hays Office to include humane treatment of animals in the Motion Picture Code. The following year, AH received authorization to monitor the production of movies using animals. We worked on set for quite a while after that until the Hays Office was disbanded in 1966, ending our jurisdiction and excluding us from sets. This was a pretty dismal time for animal actors who were being used in some brutal ways. Then, in the early 1980s, another incident caused another public outcry and American Humane was added to the agreement with SAG that mandated that union films contact us if they were using animals. This agreement now includes any filmed media form, including television, commercials, direct-to-video projects, and music videos. A more detailed history is on our website. Right now, we monitor about 900 films a year, maybe more. That’s not counting commercials.

Q: Did you say animal actors no have legal rights?

A: That’s correct. Animals have no “legal” rights in the sense that humans have. But because of our SAG agreement, animal actors in SAG films have “contractual” rights because the AH office must be contacted by productions using animals and an AH Film & TV Unit representative be on set during the filming.

Q: What about nonunion productions?

A: Nonunion productions are not contractually bound to contact us, but we find that a lot of people want us there anyway. I’ve worked with several productions that say – “We want you here. We want that rating at the end of our film and we want people to know what we had you on set.”

Q: So people on set are happy to see you?

A: Generally yes, but sometimes no. Actors always love seeing us there. They look at the AH patches on my jacket and come up to me constantly on set and say – “Oh, you’re here for the animals. That’s so great, I’m so happy you’re here.” That’s what we want. We want people to look for us, to know we’re there, and why we’re there. As for production, it depends on their perception of us and if they’ve worked with us in the past. People we’ve worked with before love having us there. The ones who haven’t worked with us before sometimes think “oh, no, here comes the animal police to patrol us,” like I’m going to stand there with my hands on my hips telling them what they can and can’t do. It’s not like that. We’re not there to criticize. We’re there to work with filmmakers, not against them. If we see a problem, we’ll address it and work it out together. In Florida, for instance, one of the big concerns is heat. During one production, the producer wanted a dog to walk back and forth across the pavement. I told the director there was a problem with this. I already knew he didn’t like having me on set, but I told him anyway, “You take off your shoes and walk across that street.” He went out to the street, put his hand on the pavement, and said – “Yeah, you’re right.” He wasn’t trying to harm the animal, he just wasn’t thinking about the animal, the heat, and the pavement. That’s part of the reason we’re on set. We don’t expect filmmakers to also be animal experts. Even producers who personally don’t care about animals usually realize it makes sense for them to have us there. Many people say they won’t watch a movie in which they think or have heard that an animal was injured or killed. People look for the AH disclaimer at the end of movies saying – “No Animals Were Harmed® in the Making of this Film.”

Q: How do filmmakers get a “No Harm” disclaimer for their movies?

A: The process starts when production contacts our Los Angeles office to let us know that they plan to use animals. We direct them to our Guidelines which are available on the internet and we request their script. We review the script and arrange to come in and observe the animal action to ensure that the conditions in which the animals are working and kept is safe and comfortable. This doesn’t cost the union production anything – that’s part of the arrangement with the SAG office.

Q: What about nonunion productions? Can they get this “No Animals were Harmed®” disclaimer?

A: The process to get the disclaimer is the same, only there’s a $30 an hour fee for the hours we’re on set. The time we spend in pre-production script evaluation and then screening the films and writing up reviews is included in that $30 an hour on set fee.

Q: Can student and independent filmmakers get your disclaimer?

A: Definitely, if they meet the guidelines for it. If they have questions, all they need to do is call our LA office and ask. Our LA office is happy to help young and aspiring filmmakers with guidance and information on safely using animals in their films. If they’re in the process of writing a script, they can call us and ask if certain scenes are feasible and for advice on how to get the scenes and action they want. Productions who can’t get an AH representative on set because of cost or scheduling conflicts can write down what it is they plan to do, document the filming of the animal action with a little video, a behind the scenes – this is how we did it, kind of thing – and send it in. We review it and though we can’t say we were actually there, we can say that through our review, it looks like the production followed the Guidelines. That rating is called: “Not Monitored: Production Compliant.”

Q: How many ratings are there?

A: We have several ratings which range from our highest “Monitored: Outstanding” and receiving the “No Animals Were Harmed”® disclaimer which appears in the end credits of the film, to “Not Monitored,” to our lowest rating which is “Monitored Unacceptable” – where our guidelines and animal safety were disregarded and or negligence caused the injury or death of an animal. Striving for a good rating helps ensure that the production will go well. If a production is half way through shooting and an animal that is key to the movie gets spooked and gets loose or injured, it’s like losing a lead human actor. What’s the producer going to do? Re-shoot the animal scenes with another animal actor? Rewrite the script? Scrap the movie? Professional trainers have several different dogs with different talents that look alike. One’s a really good barking dog, one’s a really good jumping dog, another does something else. That helps in the event one dog gets sick or injured, it won’t halt filming. A lot of the worst scenarios can be avoided with planning. I look for potential problems and to keep everything as safe as possible for everyone. There can always be accidents, there’s no way to prevent that. That happens in life. You can work to make things as safe as possible, but there can still be accidents. We understand that. The bottom line is at that any time filmmakers plan to use animals, even their own pets, they should contact our LA office.

Whether or not one of us comes out to your set, they should refer to our Guidelines For the Safe Use of Animals in Filmed Media so they know what they need to prepare for, to say to themselves – this is what I need to prepare for if I’m going to use an animal on my production. Am I prepared to do what I need to do to make sure that everything is safe for my animal? Having us involved benefits the production in that if there’s ever any question as to how a stunt was done the filmmaker can say – call AH. Filmmakers with the reputation of abusing animals for the sake of producing a film or commercial won’t get hired and people won’t want to watch their movies. We are the only organization authorized to make and uphold these standards and people look for it. When people see animals in films, they look to see that no animals were harmed. If they have any questions on how things were done, they can go to our website and read about it. They can see that this stunt that looks absolutely horrible was actually done with computer graphics, a real animal wasn’t even involved.

Q: Are personal pets allowed to be in movies?

A: Our Guidelines recommend that filmmakers use professional animal actors obtained through trainers, but we know that filmmakers, especially small independent and student filmmakers are going to use their own pets or the pets of friends and family in their movies. We understand that, that’s a reality in this business. But even if it’s no more than filming their own pet cat or dog sitting in a chair or walking across the room, filmmakers should get in the habit of contacting our office. When producers choose dogs, for instance, they should look for dogs with outgoing personalities, dogs that aren’t afraid of people. Fear can cause a disaster. The dog can bite someone out of fear if they get in a situation in which they’re not comfortable. If more than one dog is to be used on set, the dogs should be used to being around other dogs. If one dog shows aggression toward another dog on set, the aggressive dog must be removed. Dogs that live together and are accustomed to being with each other are good choices.

Q: You mentioned education as being part of the goal of AH. Would you talk some about that?

A: We’d like to work more with film schools developing programs where as part of the curriculum, students take a course or attend a seminar held by an AH representative about using animals in film. If the school can’t put us into their program yet, just having our Guidelines available at the school or distributed to students will help educate them. The earlier we reach the students, the better. These filmmakers will grow in their careers and will eventually be involved in large productions where they might end up working on films with large animals. That’s the point where you really worry about safety, so the earlier we can educate students, the better.

Q: What can you advise students or aspiring filmmakers wanting to use pets? Your Guidelines can look daunting.

A: If filmmakers choose to use a pet instead of trained animal, we have no control over that but we still recommend they review and adhere to our Guidelines. If the Guidelines seem overwhelming, call our LA office with questions, say – “All I want is for my dog to sit in a chair or walk across the room while we’re doing our filming, what are the guidelines?” Most of it is just common sense. Know that the animal you’re using is friendly and completely safe to be around people and other animals. You don’t want an animal on set that’s aggressive, skittish, or snaps. Think about what you’re going to do with this animal while you’re setting up shots. How many times do you actually need the real animal? Can you use a stuffed animal if there’s any concern about using a real animal? You don’t want a real dog sitting under hot lights while you’re setting up. Go to a toy store and get a stuffie look-alike of whatever animal you’re using. Make sure the animal won’t be in the way of a moving dolly and that she won’t be in area in which she can get stepped on. When she’s not being used on set have a suitable place for her to hang out, that she’s not running around loose. There needs to be a safe area like a crate or separate room for the animal. Make sure the pet has breaks and gets to lie down and rest or get something to eat and drink. If the pet isn’t kept in a crate, make sure it’s on a harness or leash so that should she get spooked by a loud noise or quick movement, she can’t jump down and run away. Plan ahead and prepare for all possible scenarios. That’s critical. If an animal won’t do what you want, what are your options? Have back up plans. How far should you go to try to get an animal to do something? If the animal won’t or can’t do what you want him to do, forcing him is inviting disaster. Even if the animal normally does something, an animal is an animal. You can never predict what it’s going to do or not do. It’s like working with a child. The producer has to be prepared.

Q: Who is responsible for the safety of a pet during filming?

A: The ultimate responsibility lies with the owners as they will suffer the anguish and grief if something happens to their pet. I recommend that pets not be passed around to people on set to play with. That can be overstimulating to animals, and if they’re all excited, they may not be able to perform the action you want them to perform. Many trainers make a general announcement on set – don’t touch animals while they’re working. Obviously, with the exotics, people are pretty good about asking before touching them but a lot of times, with dogs and cats, people just walk up and pet them without asking.

Q: Does AH have a problem with certain action shots?

A: If filmmakers wonder if a certain action shot can be obtained safely, call and ask us. If a filmmaker wants a dog to run off the end of the dock and jump into a lake to get an exciting shot, they should make the obvious choice. Pick a Labrador Retriever who loves to swim and run and jump off the dock and has actually practiced this. They shouldn’t choose a little Chihuahua that’s never been in the water.

Q: How did you get into the field?

A: I grew up in Michigan in a very animal-oriented family. We had the house with the invisible sucker sign hanging on the front of it – animals could see the sign, but we couldn’t. Animals constantly showed up at our door and people dumped their puppies and kittens off in our barn. We had dogs, cats, horses, guinea pigs, and hamsters, and just about everything else. As a teenager, I raised and trained a working Seeing Eye dog. After that, I raised a wonderful Doberman for obedience. After college, I tried a few careers, but didn’t really care for any of them. In the early 1990s, I moved to Key West, Florida. That was about the time the series “Key West” with Fisher Stevens and Jennifer Tilly was being filmed as a pilot. I accidentally met the medic on set and we started talking. He learned that I was a dive master with dive master medical training and said they’d been looking for someone else to work on set when they went to series. He asked if I was interested and I was. So, I went and got EMT certification and worked on that series as the medic when the other medic wasn’t available. After the series ended, I worked fulltime as an EMT paramedic and part time as paramedic in film. I also volunteered with my dog in the education department at the Humane Society of Broward County. We went around to schools and taught pet education to the kids. Through that, I began working as a surgical assistant for the shelter. I was basically done the same things for animals that I was doing for humans. It was hard working for the shelter, for obvious reasons, but it was also very rewarding and I loved it. One day I was watching a movie through the credits and saw the “No Animals Were Harmed® in the Making of this Film” disclaimer and that a representative was on set to monitor all animal action. A light went off in my head – “Hey, that’s a job. If somebody was on set that means it’s an actual job.” I sent my resume to the recruiting office in LA and got an interview. My background with horses and dogs, and dog training, and medical and film experience worked well together for the position. I then went through the AH training which basically teaches film and set etiquette, which I already knew from my experience on set, and learning report writing and the Guidelines. Right now, I live in Virginia. As my husband is in the military, we move around a bit, but as my job requires a lot of travel, I can do it from wherever we’re based. Though most of my work is in this area, I’ve traveled all over the country. I’ve been to Mexico, Canada, Wyoming.

Q: What films have you worked on locally?

A: Susan Jackson, our representative based in Richmond, and I have worked independently and, in the case of large films such as “Dreamer,” we’ve worked together. During the filming of “Dreamer,” producers wanted something that looked like ointment to slather on an animal and they didn’t know what to use. Susan suggested a solution of milk and water. So they mixed the milk and water and said – “oh, that’s looks really good.” Another instance on “Dreamer” was a barn scene. The crew needed the barn cats out before they could start filming. Susan came up with and organized a plan to catch the cats and send them off to be spayed and neutered. By the time filming was done, the cats could come back. It helped everybody. These are simple solutions that have helped producers get the scenes they want. We don’t expect filmmakers to be animal experts; that’s why we’re there. We’ve been in this business a long time and have a lot of training behind us. A lot can be done with camera tricks, computer graphics, stuffie stunt and photo doubles and some creative solutions. Most recently I was one of the Safety Reps on “Evan Almighty.” “Birds and Animals,” a huge animal company for the film business supplied the animal talent. They have offices in Florida, California, New York, overseas and have all kinds of animals and I’ve worked with them for years since I started at AH seven years ago. They’re great to work with and have excellent trainers who very concerned about the safety and welfare of their animals. Another huge part of our job is perception. It’s often the perception of actors who aren’t familiar with animal training. For example, when I was on “Evan Almighty” there was a scene with all these different small animals. One way to lure small animals like skunks, rats, and porcupines from point A to point B is with a buzzer. These little animals can’t be trained to come like dog or even a cat. These little animals are taught that when they walk across the room to the buzzer, they get a food reward. One of the actors watching this came over and asked – “Are these animals being shocked?” I said, no, and explained the whole buzzer thing. Without someone like myself being there to ask, this actor could have walked off set thinking that the animals on set were being shocked. It was amazing to watch the whole process on “Evan Almighty.” A huge ark was built in Charlottesville, VA, and they had a special camera that exactly replicated every single move of the animals. Animal were brought in one at a time, so if there were forty animals in a scene, they did that take forty different times at least, each time with each different animal. Sometimes there were pairs of animals, sometimes there was only one – the same animal walked across the room twice. It was all put together by computer to look like all these pairs of animals were in the same room, even though they weren’t. That was a lot of fun to work on.

I also do the “Puppy Bowl” in Silver Spring, Maryland, at the Discovery Channel which airs on the Animal Planet at the same time as the Super Bowl. A little stage is built that looks like a football field and puppies go out there and play. They have “Kitty Half Time” and a “Tail Gate Party” for the dogs that didn’t get into the game. It’s hilarious. Initially, they were a little wary of me, but now we have a great relationship. It’s nice when you walk off the set and the people you met when you first came in were looking at you like – “here she comes,” then say – “thank you so much for being here, we want you back next year.”

American Humane was founded in 1877. It is the oldest national organization dedicated to protecting both children and animals. Through a network of child and animal protection agencies and individuals, the American Humane Association develops policies, legislation, curricula and training programs to protect children and animals from abuse, neglect and exploitation. The nonprofit membership organization, headquartered in Denver, raises awareness about The Link® between animal abuse and other forms of violence, as well as the benefits derived from the human-animal bond. American Humane’s regional office in Los Angeles is the authority behind the “No Animals Were Harmed”® End Credit Disclaimer on film and TV productions, and American Humane’s office in Washington is an advocate for child and animal protection at the federal and state levels. American Humane is endorsed by the Better Business Bureau’s Wise Giving Alliance and has been awarded the Independent Charities Seal of Excellence.

Animal actor “Angus,” Actor Ken Kline’s black Labrador Retriever was cast as “Dog with Man” in “Capitol Law,” an ABC Pilot filmed in Washington, D.C., and also on “Shooter” as a quadedestrian in Baltimore’s Federal Hill. Ken met American Humane Film & TV Unit representative Sandi Buck on the set of “Evan Almighty” in Richmond, Virginia, where she was overseeing the use of wild animals like bears, wolves, and mountain lions on set. Angus decided stay to home for that particular film.



Know All About Measuring ROI of Social Media

Whenever any conversation arises about social media marketing, companies always involve the ROI of such media and try to define ways to measure it. Businesses using social media view it as any other marketing tool and expect it to provide similar returns, not realizing that this is not a simple marketing tool. Before asking how to measure ROI of such marketing, it is important understand why you need to measure it and whether such reasons really warrant an in-depth analysis of ROI.

Traditionally, businesses used TV advertisements to promote their companies’ products or services. The impact of such marketing strategies was very easy to measure by measuring the change in sales during and after the advertisement period. Businesses feel that social media marketing works in a similar way and want to measure the ROI of such media in the same manner. Moreover, companies feel that as they have appointed a special person to look after social media marketing, there should be noticeable returns.

The problem with most businesses is with this basic assumption and comparison of social media marketing to traditional marketing. Social media marketing is a tool that is and should be used for effective communication with the community at large. When compared to a marketing tool, it can at the most be called a pre-sales strategy that involves chatting with the prospective customer with the hope of enticing the person to buy the product. It has been often associated with idle conversations and building relationships. Social media marketing is akin to the free trials of products that are given as part of traditional marketing, and also all types of technical support that is given before final sale. When defined in such terms, ROI of such media becomes very difficult to measure as it is very tricky to measure the ROI of conversations and relationships.

Secondly, it is important to note that such marketing is most useful in post-sale customer service, where companies use these tools to maintain and develop their customer base. If there is a customer who does not like a product, then companies employ such methods to ensure that the problem is solved. By helping such customers, you are building a loyal base, which in turn will virally ensure future growth in sales. This again proves how difficult it is to measure ROI of such media in actual terms. While customer service and pre-sales strategies definitely cost something and are a necessary investment, it is important to understand whether such measures can be calculated and whether such measures actually reflect their impact on businesses.

Finally, proponents of measuring ROI of this type of media feel that people only oppose it because they do not know how to measure it and hence feel that it is hard to calculate. This is not true as it has been proved that while ROI of such media is difficult to measure, it is not impossible. It is pertinent to note that some people feel that this method of measuring ROI of such media is short sighted and completely wrong and that there are other ways of measuring than in monetary terms. According to such people, while value of a conversation and relationship cannot be measured in monetary terms, it definitely has some importance, which may or may not be directly visible.

In a nutshell, you will need to measure ROI of social media to keep a tab on the results that it’s delivering, and fine-tune your strategy, as and when needed, to reap the optimum benefits.



Trying to Figure Your Social Media ROI

As a client attraction coach using social media and online marketing strategies, one of the biggest problems I see small business owners and entrepreneurs have is trying to measure their ROI… Return on Investment.

First: We have to understand that social media is a different type of marketing. It’s not the old traditional static style marketing that send sales messages to buy – buy – buy. Once the ad was printed, that was it for the duration of the time period the ad ran.

There wasn’t any connection or contact made with the person you were marketing to. Advertising companies controlled the marketing. Social media on the other hand is all done in real time and has leveled the playing field between the big guys with big advertising budgets and the little guys with little to no advertising budgets. For the first time, the consumer is in control.

Now your viewers want to talk with you, they want to interact and have conversations with you.

Social Media is all about people and taking the time to build relationships, it’s not about being salesy.

Second: People are not on social platforms looking for ways to spend money. They’re wanting to connect with likeminded people and people with like interests and to learn more about the things they want to spend money on. They aren’t there to actually buy.

Social Media ROI is not measured in Return on Investments, it’s measured more by Return on Impressions.

So how do you measure your Return on Impressions? By connecting and engaging in conversations with your viewers and:

  1. Building your online social media community consistently and persistently
  2. Your community in turn start talking about and promoting you to their communities
  3. Scheduling speaking engagements at live and online events and promote products or services
  4. You build your email list
  5. You’ve built brand recognition
  • These are just a few of the ways you can measure your Return on Impressions using social media. Again, it is not about sales, you’re building relationships which in turn leads to sales which in turn builds your business for traditional ROI.

Your Simple Action Step: Get the word out there and let your ideal clients know about you and what you do. Start searches on Facebook and your other social sites for your ideal clients and message them that you share a common interest (name the interest) and would like to connect with them. Careful though… on Facebook, do not send more than 25 personal friend requests a day or Facebook will shut you down for a few days.

Plus build your community, take the time to interact more on your social sites, it’s critical to your social media success. Post several times a day, using a post scheduler like Hootsuite (for posting across multiple sites) or the Facebook post scheduler (for Facebook business pages only). Ask questions, post pictures, use quotes, post blog posts, share other’s blog posts or information, and bring personal into your business page… it’s not all business.



Bob Hope TV Shows Timeless Classics

“I’m so old, they’ve canceled my blood type” quipped Bob Hope, upon reaching the age of 100 in July 2003. Indeed, Bob Hope has been around throughout the 20th century, becoming immortal to so many generations by entertaining the masses with countless films, TV and radio shows and of course his appearances with the troops overseas.

Bob Hope was born on May 29, 1903 in Eltham, England although his family moved to Cleveland, Ohio when he was four years old (“I left England at the age of four when I found out I couldn’t be king”). His first modest success in show business came in 1915 when he won a Charlie Chaplin imitation competition.

He began to work in vaudeville in the early 1920s and during the early 1930s was appearing on the stage in Broadway. His first film role was “The Big Broadcast” in 1938 in which he sang the song “Thanks for the Memory” in a duet with Shirley Ross. That song would become Bob Hope’s signature tune.

Bob Hope appeared in over 75 films throughout his career although he only won two honorary Oscars. He even joked about his lack of Oscar awards – “Oscar night at our house is called Passover!” He may not have won many Oscars but he enjoyed bringing his unique humor to the awards ceremony – he presented or co-presented them on a record 18 occasions up until 1977.

His most famous movies, of course remain the series of “road” movies that he made with Bing Crosby during the 1940s. He also starred in “The Paleface” along with Jane Russell which many consider his best film. Today, many of his classic movies are available on DVD or regularly shown on cable TV channels.

Hope took to TV fairly late in his career, not entirely convinced that the still fairly new medium would succeed. “Television – that’s where movies go when they die,” quipped Hope once. However, it was television that really made Bob Hope a star and a household name throughout the United States.

Easter Sunday 1950 was a memorable day. It was on that day that Bob Hope made his formal television debut. In addition to Hope’s appearance, the “Star Spangled Revue” featured other popular entertainers and stars of the day including Dinah Shore and Douglas Fairbanks Jr.

The show’s formula was immediately successful and Bob Hope’s television shows remained successful for the next 40 years. NBC was his network of choice and Bob Hope appeared in many of the network’s Christmas and other holiday specials. His last TV special was in 1996 appearing alongside Tony Danza. Today these programs are rightly considered classic TV shows, television programs that translate for multiple generations.

Perhaps Bob Hope is most famous for his appearances with the troops, a gesture that almost certainly boosted morale far more than any appearance by the president. His first such appearance was in May 1941, when Bob Hope, along with various friends, appeared at March Field in California to entertain the airmen.

The rest, as they say, is history. Bob Hope was soon christened “G.I. Bob” by the troops and went on to perform all over the world during the next 60 years. He has entertained troops and broadcast from Europe, the South Pacific, the Indian Ocean and the Persian Gulf. He nearly always appeared in army fatigues as a further gesture of support for the soldiers.

Bob Hope has been honored five times by the United States Congress, has been made honorary mayor of Palm Springs and an honorary veteran. He also has several theaters, a battleship and an airport named in his honor and his love of golf lives on in one of the sport’s major events – the Bob Hope Classic.

But his biggest legacy is the wealth of entertainment he has given us over the years. And of course, his sharp wit; his one-liners and quotes are almost as well known as his TV shows and movies. As he accurately remarked once, “I’ve always been in the right place and time. Of course, I steered myself there.”

~Ben Anton, 2007