Archive for May, 2012|Monthly archive page

Our Auctioneers Go From Strength to Strength

In Uncategorized on May 17, 2012 at 1:14 pm

May 17, 2012.  It has been a banner week here in our boutique public relations office. I already reported that Jake Chait, Natural History Specialist, will appear, along with Billy Roland who we also do work for,  on “Final Offer,” premiering on Discovery Channel on May 31. Now, I am pleased to report that the New York Times will be doing a column on birdstones from the Townsend Collection that is being handled by  Dan Ripley’s  Antique Helper in Indianapolis.

From Jake’s casting call to air date took nine months.  From the time we first approached the media with Ripley’s birdstone and bannerstone sale to coverage took eight months.

The lesson to be learned is that high level visibility is a long term project. It rarely happens in less than three to six months.  And it always happens when the news is “newsworthy.”


Smithsonian Birdstone coming up for auction at Dan Ripley’s Antique Helper.

What does that mean for you? Simply that you must plan ahead when working with a publicist.

Although we push out pre-sale and prices-realized press releases all the time because they are very important, these laundry lists rarely capture national media exposure. That’s why advanced houses like Heritage Auctions in Dallas push out news on individual items every chance they get.

So, how should you be approaching your monthly auction communications?

I’m a huge believer in the power of the Internet. This is where your items of exceptional quality can get immediate exposure.

Further, if you distribute through the right channels, your reach is increased. Case in point. If you have a premium package with, you are entitled to a press release and slide show.  We have helped many get that press release in on time to optimize the package they are paying for.

Press releases handled well are effective in the trades as well. But how many laundry list press release can a reader plough through before he yawns? I would suggest taking only the top lot and two or three more to write about.

The trick about press releases is that they are teasers to get viewers to your site and not mini-catalogs.

Next Step: Re-evaluate your publicity strategy.

Bottom line: the advantages of using a publicity consultant VS an in-house communications person is that you are going to reap benefits of established contacts, out of the box strategies, and follow up.

And be patient. The impossible – in this case, high level visibility –  always takes longer than you think.


2 Clients Head to National TV Fame

In Auction Advertising on May 14, 2012 at 11:10 pm

I am thrilled to announce that a process that began last August has come to a fantastic conclusion. When the reality show “Final Offer” debuts on Thursday, May 31 on the Discovery Chanel it will feature my valued clients Bill Roland of Roland Auctions, New York, and Jake Chait, of I.M. Chait, Beverly Hills.

This is priceless publicity.

As contestants on the show offer items of value to four appraisers, they will be allowed to accept a monetary offer from just one.  From FremantleMedia, the production company behind American Idol, the show is bound to be a  cliff hanger and – even better – a flat out hit.

As so often happens in PR, success took months to realize.  But now that the veil of secrecy has been lifted, the story can be told.

It all began one hot August day in Rolands’ street level gallery. The buzz from a very overworked Bill Roland was that he was being tapped for a potential spot on a potential reality show.

As it turned out, the producer, FremantleMedia, was in the market for a few other good TV type appraisers.  I gave him the name of Jake Chait, a Natural History specialist, who also happens to be a very handsome young man with an Afro right out of the 70s and a swagger that doesn’t stop for red lights. I referred three more appraisers to the casting director: a Chinese paintings expert, a Southern arts specialist and a Russian art specialist. (Surely, I thought, there could be no other publicity person in the U.S. with such access.)

Through the magic of technology, Skype casting calls were set up. I scheduled the dates, even taught one person how to use Skype and assured another that he could do the interview from a car, while on a consignment call.   One dropped out of his own volition, another just didn’t have a TV-Q and the third was not camera friendly, although very knowledgeable.

We knew before 2011 ended that who was good to go. But with background checks, finances, etc. – there was a lot of red tape.  In the meantime, I kept on pumping out the pre-sale and post sale press releases (an important but thankless job if ever there was one.) And today, I learned by e-blast that Jake Chait was on the show.  And then I heard it again from Roland.

All in all, it was exceptional news that reached me today. I am proud that through all the ins and and outs of small-time and big-time publicity, two of my former clients are now about to become national brands. As their visibility soars, so will their auction houses gain recognition. I suspect their businesses will expand exponentially. And for that, I say, raise a toast to good men and raise another to publicity well handled.

Thank you, Izzy, Jake and Josh Chait and Bill and Bob Roland for allowing me to represent your fine companies during that critical time.