Monday, August 23, 2010

Monday Writers Craft Online: Getting Round The Publicity Machine

I interviewed 3 celebs last week and because I took particular care to avoid their publicists, it took no time at all.

The relationship between writers and celebs is mutual dependency.  We need short quotes to jazz up our writing, and they need to stay in the limelight. 

However, celebs tend to insulate themselves from the world with a wall of publicists, secretaries and other folks.  That's fine if these people are fast and on the ball, but in my experience, too many Malaysian publicity people move at a speed that makes tortoises seem like racing cars. 

Last year I was looking for 2 sentences from celebs for a newspaper supplement for young adults.  I was asking for 1 sentence answers to 2 questions: what it is the best part of your job? and what is the worst part of your job?  I told the publicists I didn't need to meet the celebs.  A quote over the phone or via email would do. 

It should have been a 2 minute job for the publicists to ask the question, email/relay the answers, and get good free national publicity in return.  However, at the end of 1 week of daily calls, I still didn't know if the celebs were willing to take part, or if they were even in town.

In the end, I scratched both.  I called my neighbour who is a relative of TV Chef Ismael and asked her for his phone number, and I called another mate to ask for Formula One driver Alex Yoong's number.  These two gave me their quotes in less than a minute and we were done.

Last week's task was effortless because I went for my talent over Facebook.  I looooooooove the Internet!


Cat-from-Sydney said...

Aunty Ellen,
We are a family of celebs. You can ask us anything anytime. purrr.....meow!

Angelina Jolie
Brad Pitt
Tom Cruise
Nicole Kidman
Michael Schumacher
Nikki Lauda

Katnip Lounge said...

I agree. The internet rocks! Anything I want to know, I can find out. Totally cool.

~CovertOperations78~ said...

Wonderful! It's always best to interview people over email, because then you can retain their responses as evidence that you didn't misquote them. Someone should interview you, because you are AWESOME. And someone should give Au a book contract because he is so witty and smart.

dArtagnan Rumblepurr/Diego Hamlet Moonfur said...

If you ever want to interview us, contact us directly. Rumblemum is a terrible publicist for us.

Boom Nisanart said...

Me too, In love with internet & the cat : )

Mishkat said...

It's really nice to have contacts, isn't it? And I agree that someone should interview you :)!

Hannah and Lucy said...

The internet is great for finding things out without all the hassle.

Brian said...

Yep, that was smart thinking!