ComPRehension

Professional development and training blog of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA)
November 4, 2009

Celebrities, Social Values and the Recession: A Public Relations Perspective


Rita Tateel, founder and president, The Celebrity Source, Inc., discusses her PRSA 2009 International Conference presentation, “Celebrities as Brands: How to Work With Celebrities and Talent; Where Celebrity Media and Culture Is Headed in 2010.” Rachel McAllister, president, MPRM; Lynda Dorf, vice president, corporate communications, Dick Clark Productions; and Jessica Herndon, writer-reporter, People, will join Rita as speakers in this presentation.

Exploring some of the points to be covered in their Business Case for Public Relations™ Conference session, principals of Lewton, Seekins & Trester, Kathy Lewton, APR, Fellow PRSA, and Steve Seekins, APR, Fellow PRSA, discuss “When a Recession Hits, Reputation Matters More Than Ever.”

Scott Beaudoin, Jaya K. Bohlmann and Jayne O’Donnell also join the Business Case for Public Relations™ conversation in an interview on their Conference co-presentation, “A Focus on Social Values to Drive Business Results.”

Rita Tateel, founder and president, The Celebrity Source, Inc., has worked with celebrities for the past 19 years — first as director of a speaker’s bureau for a national nonprofit organization, then as president of a celebrity booking agency, and for the last 14 years, as founder and president of her own company, The Celebrity Source, Inc. Over the years, Rita has developed hundreds of relationships within the celebrity community, with her company currently having access to thousands of stars from film, television, music, sports and fashion.

Rita Tateel, founder and president, The Celebrity Source, Inc.Rachel McAllister, co-president, mPRm, a public relations agency specializing in entertainment, new media and communications companies and their product. Co-founder and co-president of mPRm Public Relations, Rachel shares in the strategic direction and overall management of the company. She also provides guidance for the company’s corporate, television and digital media and technology clients. Recognized by the Publicists Guild of America with its Les Mason Award for outstanding career achievement, Rachel includes among her career highlights the launch of E! Entertainment Television, FX, Classic Sports Network, The WB, RealNetworks, broadcast.com and numerous television series and specials including “Dynasty,” “ALF,” “In Living Color” and “Lonesome Dove.” She is chair of Television Publicity Executive Committee (TPEC), and is on the board of the Digital Coast Roundtable. She also founded Rachel McCallister & Associates and co-founded KillerApp Communications, which were merged into mPRm.

Lynda Dorf, vice president, corporate communications, Dick Clark ProductionsLynda Dorf, vice president, corporate communications, Dick Clark Productions, is charged with expanding the company’s presence within both the trade and consumer press realms, Lynda will oversee communications for Dick Clark-produced properties including the Golden Globes, the Country Music Awards, the American Music Awards, “New Year’s Rockin’ Eve With Ryan Seacrest” and “So You Think You Can Dance.” Linda has worked for public relations agency BWR since 1995, and counts Dick Clark Productions as a former client. In recent years, she  co-developed one of the industry’s top corporate and filmed entertainment divisions., writer-reporter, PEOPLE magazine (West Coast Bureau) works on the Scoop section of PEOPLE, BodyWatch, and specials like PEOPLE’S annual Sexiest Man issue or Most Beautiful People, and writes regularly for PEOPLE.com. She freelances for ESSENCE, ESSENCE.com, UPSCALE magazine and URB magazine. Prior to starting at PEOPLE in 2005, she worked in the news department at MTV Networks and in the marketing department at fashion trade Sportswear International magazine. Jessica often cover music stars and has worked with a host of celebrities from Rihanna, Lady Gaga and Fergie to David and Victoria Beckham.

Jessica herndon, writer-reporter, PEOPLE magazineJessica Herndon, writer-reporter, PEOPLE magazine (West Coast Bureau) works on the Scoop section of PEOPLE, BodyWatch, and specials like PEOPLE’S annual Sexiest Man issue or Most Beautiful People and writes regularly for PEOPLE.com. She freelances for ESSENCE, ESSENCE.com, UPSCALE magazine and URB magazine. Prior to starting at PEOPLE in 2005, she worked in the News Department at MTV Networks and in the marketing department at fashion trade Sportswear International magazine. Herndon often cover music stars and has worked with a host of celebrities from Rihanna, Lady Gaga, and Fergie to David and Victoria Beckham.

Kathleen L. Lewton, APR, Fellow PRSA, principal, Lewton, Seekins & TresterKathleen L. Lewton, APR, Fellow PRSA, principal, Lewton, Seekins & Trester, is one of the most experienced professionals in the field of health care public relations and marketing, with a career spanning 23 years in scientific and health care organizations and 13 years as a senior executive at several major U.S. public relations agencies, working with pharmaceutical, biotech and health care provider clients. Kathy was 2001 president of PRSA. She is the author of “Public Relations in Health Care: A Guide for Professionals.” During her agency career, she worked with CEOs and senior management at leading corporations and voluntary organizations, providing counsel on strategic positioning, organizational reputation management and crisis communications.

Steven V. Seekins, APR, Fellow PRSA, principal, Lewton, Seekins & Trester, principal, Lewton, Seekins & Trester, is the former executive vice president and chief executive officer of the Society of Critical Care Medicine (SCCM). SCCM is an international multidisciplinary medical specialty society of over 10,000 critical care practitioners. Prior to coming to SCCM, Steve ran a management and communications consulting business in Chicago after 16 years as a senior executive with the American Medical Association (AMA). Prior to the AMA, Steve had his own communications and management-consulting firm, which specialized in managing political campaigns and building communications strategies for not-for-profit organizations.

Steven V. Seekins, APR, Fellow PRSA

Scott Beaudoin, senior vice president, director of cause marketing, MS&LScott Beaudoin, senior vice president, director of cause marketing, MS&L, has more than 15 years of consumer and cause marketing experience, and is responsible for leading major consumer programs and growing the office’s consumer practice. Scott, a former Emmy-award winning journalist, was most recently with Schneider public relations in Boston, where he was responsible for the strategic direction and execution of campaigns for several of the agency’s top clients, including Woolite, Milliken & Company and IXI Mobile. He previously led consumer and cause-related programs for Devries public relations in New York and Cone LLC in Boston.

Jaya K. Bohlmann, vice president, public relations, corporate communication, Sodexo, manages an eight-person team that is responsible for external visibility for Sodexo’s operating divisions and functions across North America. Jaya joined Sodexo in 2005, bringing to the company a comprehensive background that includes external communication consulting for large agencies and as an independent, as well as corporate communication roles for companies in a variety of industries, including health care, entertainment and media, NGOs, technology and other dynamic industries. Jaya has earned several industry awards for her work, including the PRSA’s Bronze Anvil and the Publicity Club of Los Angeles’ national award.

Jayne O’Donnell, reporter, Money, USA TODAY; author of “Gen BuY: How Tweens, Teens and Twentysomethings are Revolutionizing Retail,” is a widely published and frequently interviewed Washington-based reporter. Jayne covers federal agencies, including the Federal Trade Commission and the Justice Department’s antitrust division. Her specialty is scoops and consumer-oriented coverage that can’t be found in other papers. Her automotive expertise and investigative reporting skills have helped Jayne break many antitrust and auto safety stories over the last several years in USA TODAY. She has won several public service and journalism awards for her work alerting the public to auto safety hazards, including a Detroit Press Foundation first place award for exposing the dangers air bags posed to children.

Join Rita Tateel; Rachel McAllister; Lynda Dorf; Jessica Herndon; Kathleen L. Lewton, APR, Fellow PRSA; Steven V. Seekins, APR, Fellow PRSA; Scott Beaudoin; Jaya K. Bohlmann; and Jayne O’Donnell at the PRSA 2009 International Conference: Delivering Value, November 7–10 in San Diego, CA!

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