L.A. Publicists Unite to Fight “Slick” Stereotype

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In response to a new mass-market novel about a shady L.A. publicist, an organization of local PR professionals is publicly challenging a longstanding misperception.

market novel about a shady L.A. publicist, an organization of local PR professionals is publicly challenging a longstanding misperception.

“We definitely get a bad rap,” says Ken Burbano, a contract publicist with 12 years of experience in the entertainment industry. “Ever since Tony Curtis played an oily, self-serving press agent in ‘The Sweet Smell of Success,’ publicists have been portrayed as liars, cheats and manipulators. It’s time we did something about it.”

The tipping point occurred on August 24 when Random House released “Slick,” a smarmy debut novel by self-appointed PR critic Daniel Price. The story centers around a wily and insidious spin doctor who orchestrates a massive media hoax to save his rapper client from a Kobe-style sex scandal. Naturally, innocent lives are destroyed in the process.

“That may make compelling fiction,” says Burbano, “but it paints a highly selective picture of what we do. In real life, our work is all about information, not disinformation. Publicity is not a black art.”

As founder and president of the Independent Publicists of Los Angeles (IPOLA), Ken and his organization have chosen to counter “Slick” with an informational awareness campaign aimed at the general public.

“We’re in the middle of one of the nastiest election seasons ever, so Americans are very wary of spin and media manipulation,” says Sunil Krishan, a veteran PR consultant. “But if they knew what the typical publicist really did, they wouldn’t be so quick to vilify us.”

IPOLA’s campaign will be long-term and will cover many different media venues. The effort will be straightforward and honest, unlike the machinations of “Slick’s” main character.

“The only way to fight fiction is with truth,” says Burbano. “Any real publicist can tell you that.”

About IPOLA

Created in 2001, the Independent Publicists of Los Angeles is a trade organization consisting of freelance and contract professionals from all areas of the PR industry. Their third annual “State of the Business” conference will be held in December.

Contact Information:

Ken Burbano

President, IPOLA

1-323-640-8382

http://www.ipola.net

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Ken Burbano
IPOLA
1-323-640-8382
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