As publicists, the majority of potential clients that approach us are new businesses. The new part doesn’t bother us. We like new and exciting ideas. However, new businesses we will turn down, are those that are not thought through. This can cause problems, and in some cases is the top reason we will turn down a potential client. If they don’t have a business plan that is sustainable, we can’t guarantee that we can help them, no matter how good we are. Since the majority of new adult businesses are those based online, there is one thing that we are looking for above all else when a potential client wants us to represent them: Do they have a dependable webmaster and IT department?
In an online business, the webmaster and IT department are the business. Their minds are the gears and cogs that make the machinery work.
Personally, I love online businesses founded by webmasters and internet-savvy people. Like a stunt-driver, these people can turn on a dime, change quickly and adapt. Often the people we turn down as clients are not webmasters, and have little or no experience in coding or software. Yet they will pitch huge and complex online business plans, that we already know will never pan out. This is like putting together a race car without an engine.
Some businesses that we have seen have the equivalent of “insert webmaster here” written into the business plan, without any real knowledge of how much the fees and costs will be to erect the site. Many of these potential clients also don’t have realistic expectations on how long building the website, and making it functional will even take. Creating a profitable online business page can take massive amounts of time, and may require detailed knowledge of programming that sometimes evolves day by day.
Not having a responsive, competent, and motivated webmaster will jinx the manager’s ability to control what’s on the site, and puts the company in jeopardy when we go to put out press releases and news about an online company’s new features. This is embarrassing to both client and publicist, when a press release goes out offering a hot, sizzling new feature which shows up late for the launch date, never shows up at all, or worse doesn’t work and the webmaster won’t fix it.
The company webmaster should be close by, competent, and most of all, motivated to move quickly. The client should have access to every part of the website at all times and should be able to regain control quickly if the webmaster is fired. There should never be a question of payment with the webmaster, as this is a key factor in their motivation. If a webmaster is paid well, yet won’t cooperate with you, you’ll need to find someone else and quickly move on.
We’ve watched clients, friends, and peers damage their companies by not having this key component dealt with. They want a website, but they have no idea what goes into a website build, and can’t find a proficient webmaster to run it for them. The last thing you want to do when hiring a webmaster is base your choice on the amount they are charging, or hire someone that you don’t have known references for. (This can also be said of publicity firms, but that’s a different blog post….) Know who you are dealing with, understand what the quote you were given actually covers and have some idea of what goes into maintaining a website before you start.
Work with your webmaster to find out how you can update things like your blog by yourself, or make sure that your webmaster includes updates in their quote. Don’t try to make the site so complex that you will probably never need all of the options you are paying for. However, don’t limit yourself by not having everything you need from the beginning. Always educate yourself as much as possible about what components go into building a website, and what your needs truly are.
A website that doesn’t work, or doesn’t look good to the consumer, is worse than not having one at all. It burns money, wastes time, and can make customers turn away without ever coming back.
(Note: I actually wrote this up in 2008, but after a friend of ours was denied entry into an Adult Entertainment Expo porn party at Tao, I pulled this up and realized this piece is still as relevant and informative as ever – Jay)
Despite the rise in porn party events in the Los Angeles area, porn parties are really nothing new. It’s a great way to make sure hundreds or even thousands of people see your product and brand in a positive light. Lasting impressions are made in one night that can help insure your success down the road.
Yet some of the most noteworthy porn parties are PR disasters. Before we hung out our shingle for Black and Blue Media in 2005, we had fresh in our mind the Pure Play Media disaster during AEE 2005, that caused the axing of their publicist at the time. Further back, many can be reminded of the out of control Ghost Bar/Jill Kelly Party at The Palms in Vegas, and the hell they went through as the guest list went out of control and spilled out into mainstream Vegas nightlife. Back on the home front of porn valley, we’ve watched some incredible successes and nefarious failures as well. So how do you keep from having your porn party turn into a memorable industry nightmare?
Step 1: Know your party’s objective!
Are you heralding the press and champions of industry? If you are, then you want a private affair, with as little public notice as possible.
Are you looking to increase the media spotlight and get your brand out to as many actual human beings as possible? Consider sponsoring a party or event by attaching your name to something cool that a lot of people are already going to.
Is your client headlining a porn party run by an outside promoter? That’s a great opportunity, but the promoter may not honor your client’s guest list or press list. Many party promoters will not work with your publicist or marketing people to ensure that you get anything more from your participation than your logo on the media wall.
The problems experienced by Pure Play Media and Jill Kelly Productions are an application of the right objective at the wrong event. Many think that by luring the industry elite to a trendy nightclub packed with lots of people, they’ll make a big impression. The problem is, unless you have a private party booked, it’s the wrong impression. When discussing private, industry intensive events, look to book a private venue such as a restaurant, or hotel. In Vegas, we actually suggest skipping trendy clubs and hold an industry-only cocktail party in a nicely catered seminar room or hotel suite. In Los Angeles, there are an abundance of knockout hotels that will accommodate a perfect private party. Most hotels offer fine dining, elegant banquet rooms and provide an atmosphere where your guests can discuss business while they enjoy the party aspects of your event. Industry-only parties with a guest list composed of major industry figures should have ample inexpensive or free parking. One of the greatest insults to your guests is to slap industry moguls and members of the press with a double-digit charge for valet or self-parking after inviting them to your party.
Step 2: Know your audience and what you are planning to achieve at your party.
If you’re aiming for business, keep the volume down! The number one complaint from my peers and myself is regardless of the club, we find ourselves talking shop outside in the smoking area. It’s the only place we can hear ourselves think as the DJ drowns out any normal conversation. A common morning after ailment is the scratchy “I was at a porn party” laryngitis. If you absolutely must have music, opt for a quiet tasteful band, subtle background music, or a large “quiet zone” at the party where people can talk business without shouting.
If you are catering to the consumer, make sure that the fans can at least see the industry VIPs that are expected to show at your party. What good does it do to have ten of the hottest women in adult at your party, if they are all spending their time in a VIP area, far way from the fans that paid to get into the event? It leaves a bad impression with your consumers if all they can see around them are other fans like themselves, andit will make your company look bad in turn.
For consumer-based parties, sponsorships are an excellent source of press and branding for as little financial outlay as providing free product for the fans to sponsorship fees running into the thousands. Done well, you don’t even necessarily need to be there, let alone even be in the same state, as your party. Your edge comes from sending out press releases regarding the event, and making sure everyone leaving has your company’s product in their mind or literally in their hand. When I pitched the Bizarre Bazaar sponsorship to Topco, my specific incentive was “300 people will leave with your logo in their hand.” Topco sponsored two very successful events without any officials setting foot in the building or any need for a guest list.
Step 3: Get your money’s worth.
An inexpensive victory is much better than a disastrous money pit. Use free sponsorships to gain easy victories, and learn more about using parties to promote. A tasteful, elegant industry cocktail party is easier to remember fondly because deals get made. Getting a free sponsorship for a loud porn party does work out, as long you promote the hell out of it, and get in as much stuff with your company name on it into the venue for the fans as possible.
It would have been very easy to turn one’s nose up at Porn Star Terroake, our SLLAB promotion for The New Neighbors. There were bigger and louder parties that night. However, for $500 we got 10 times more publicity and crowd response which translated to great public relations, than the folks who paid more than twice that for sponsorships at the big porn parties that Halloween night. Everyone left with a free poster, and a complimentary shot glass thanks to our co-sponsor AdultNewsMedia.com. Many of our friends in the press showed up to our event just to check it out and talk shop outside in the smoking area while porn fans inside had a blast.
Many party promoters will offer free or cheap sponsorship at established prn parties in exchange for free product and promotional swag. If you have a good working relationship with the promoter, you should be able to just send them stuff and be able to trust that the free samples were handed out to fans or highlighted to excite the crowd. One of the first parties our client, Platinum Blue sponsored was coordinated through our friends at Paddles Radio at the Paddles Dungeon in New York. The event was broadcast live, and giveaways were done through the night. This cost a mere 30 copies of product and shipping. We arranged phone-in interviews with Paddles Radio for Aradia and Skye Blue to promote the event. Success and branding were achieved without even setting foot in the club.
However, I will admit, ninety nine percent of success is being there. When Platinum Blue sponsored parties through Louis DePaz, I would often arrive very early, insuring no hassles with security, and being able to place posters strategically through the event. DVD covers were left on the cocktail tables. I even would flyer the stalls of the men’s room. One night, I asked about having Airgazmic run on screen in the VIP room during the party. The club did one better and ran the movie on all their flat panel screens across the bar. “I have got to get this movie!” was something I heard a lot. By being there, you represent your company to fans and more important, make sure the free product you bring ends up in their hands, not the trunk of a promoter’s car.
Step 4: Learn as much about the rules as possible.
What is the camera policy? Can you shoot video? Are your porn stars old enough to enter the bar? By law, nudity in any California bar can loose a bar their liquor license, including handing out free porn. It’s fun to be able to get away with things if the venue normally takes these risks, but you need to know that in advance.
Do you have to have a special permit to place a red carpet or media wall outside of the club? This has become a must for parties in Hollywood and other parts of Los Angeles. Nothing puts a damper on a great party like the local police shutting you down before the party even starts. Even a call to TMZ or the AP line won’t cleanse away that first impression for the people that get kicked out.
With one Hollywood venue we have to watch camera policies closely. Camera passes were limited, we lost the media wall, and recently all video cameras were banned at the location. We were told of the video ban right when the doors opened. I had phone numbers on my press list and gave advanced warning to our press. They walked in prepared, and as our guests still had an awesome time. We arranged to provide every one with stills as soon as the official photographer got them online the next day. Our press got what they needed, and were still able to enjoy themselves, even though the problem came up.
Step 5: Honor your guest list and press list.
I cannot stress this enough. If you know your invited guests and press will not make it through the nightclub’s Men in Black without being charged at the door or made to wait in line, simply tell those asking there is no list. The reason I stopped sponsoring typical porn parties is some of these guys even make the sponsor wait in line and pay.
Announce in advance a deadline for reservations on the guest list, and the press list, and provide a last courtesy call the day before the deadline. This helps eliminate last minute excuses. You’ll have more time to make sure things drop right into place.
Make sure everyone on your list has your cell phone number in case they get lost or stuck at the door.
I watched in horror one night, as spaghetti-thin babes kept walking in without a glance, while two full figured women were stuck in a boiling altercation with the club promoter who refused to let them in. I stepped in and found out they were from Tri-Plex, one of Platinum Blue’s favorite distributors. We let them in, but the promoter still protested, saying “We just can’t let everyone in for free.” If the promoter pushes it, pay for a guest to get in out of your pocket. You can always take a small hit to the pocketbook to get someone in on your dime, losing a priceless business friendship costs more money in the end. The same can be said for parking fees. Sherry paid for parking from her pocket for a member of the press that was stuck outside a client’s party, without the $25 necessary to park his car.
The guest list and press list is even more important for private functions. Your publicist’s job isn’t to hobnob inside and push for getting additional side work as a director. The job is to make sure your relationships with the reporters are secure. In the case of industry parties, it’s also about keeping a positive image with company peers. When Sherry and I worked a large, private Christmas party in 2007, we went inside only long enough to make sure the few press the company invited were happy and to see if we could make a couple of introductions. Most of our time was spent outside holding wristbands, keeping a lookout for invited industry guests.
Done correctly and with great enthusiasm, a sponsored party is a great way to gain love for your company and keep good buzz going long down the road.
How much does all this pay off? Ask JT, owner of the BDSM giant JT’s Stockroom. In 2007, he sponsored an event for West Coast Fetish Ball, a client we were working closely with. I sent out three press releases, included additional promotion through the BDSM web communities, and invited press who left the club astounded and enthusiastic. The ball ran advertising in local magazines and even radio spots. Once there, JT sat with us outside as we worked the press list, getting him an additional boost of press coverage and his quotes into the party news. We passed on a couple of phone numbers to JT for mainstream press. In tenacity resembling that of the late Bill Graham, he stayed outside with us to the end, handing out free catalogs and drawing personal thanks from over a thousand people who will be loyal to his brand for years to come. Everyone had a great time. They left with smiles and great things to say about both the event, JT’s Stockroom and his clothing comoany, Syren Latex.
Plan your budget and then look at the possibilities that will fit into that budget. You do not always have to spend tons of money to produce a great event, but you have to keep in mind what your event is supposed to accomplish for your company’s image. You can always do more successful parties on the cheap, or a small and impressive party within your budget. However, you can’t afford to have repeated expensive follies.
Ninn Worx’s creative team has been busy creating graphics and wallpapers to Spartanize your computer adventures, and the latest downloads are available at http://ninnworx.com/four/four.htm#.
Graphics just released include a wallpaper download recreating a scene from ‘The Four’, and artwork portraying the Ninn Worx contract girls, Brea Bennett, Cassidey, Nikki Kane and Renee Perez in all their conceptualized Spartan glory.
“As we move ahead in promoting ‘The Four’, we’ll be releasing a series of trailers and adding to the artwork galleries on the beta website. We’re also going to begin populating a new website, thefourmovie.com. We have the URL, we are waiting for the right time to start actively building that site,” said director Michael Ninn.
Ninn continues, “Our publicity and marketing people have created a stylized alternative reality game type of promotion for ‘The Four’, and the artwork and trailers will begin to fit into that portion of the campaign, which will be collected on the site thefourmovie.com. I’ve been asked to not give too many details, as it is a viral marketing campaign aimed at the sci-fi and graphic novel crowd, and we don’t want to give too much away so this can grow on its own. I can say that there are a couple of MySpace sites, and we are now working with the creative team at Second Life to see what types of promotional opportunities exist within the online gaming community.”
‘The Four’ wallpaper is available in all of the popular screen sizes, for both traditional and high-resolution monitors. There are also trailer downloads available in Apple iTunes Video and Sony Playstation Portable formats.
Drum beats slowly increase in tempo and the image of a robed Oracle floats into frame on the plasma screens adorning the Ninn Worx booth at the January Adult Entertainment Expo in Las Vegas. As the credits roll on the plasma screens, Ninn Worx contract stars Brea Bennett, Cassidey, Jana Jordan, Nikki Kane and Renee Perez, mount the stage in full costume, recreating their roles in director Michael Ninn’s adventure-fantasy “The Four”.
Microphones and cameras were in abundance as media outlets as diverse as CBS Television, Adult DVD Talk reporters, Fox Reality Productions, Rock Confidential stills photographers and videographers for Hot Video France soaked up the imagery displayed on the monitors.
Ninn Worx creative crew proudly surveyed their AEE domain, taking in the Spike TV video crew capturing Ninn Worx contract girls Perez and Cassidey, as they stood before the 72 inch TVs displaying the “Four” trailer. Spike TV plans to air segments with all five Ninn Worx contract stars on the show ‘MANsers’, January 24, 2008.
Ninn Worx production manager, Lorraine Sisco, took it all in saying, “These girls were simply amazing in their “Four” roles. The reporters and the fans are struck by the talent each of them have brought to Michael’s project, along with the masterful editing and effects that are all part of the visual presentation. We have very good girls. It’s always wonderful to see the reaction of other people to what you have envisioned, once you put it out there for the public.”
From January 17, 2008 through the awards season kicking off in 2009, ‘The Four’ and the Ninn Worx contract stars will make regular appearances in all forms of media, from the pages of gentleman’s magazines, to your home TV screen.
Writer Joanne Cachapero applauded “The Four” trailer and the Ninn Worx AEE exhibit, “Editors for every press outlet are going to be carrying a lot of stories on Ninn Worx and what Michael Ninn has achieved with this project. Ninn Worx is known for creativity in all aspects, as well as technical excellence, and it is obvious from what I have seen at this show that ‘Four’ takes that standard to an entirely new level.”
Ninn Worx releases elegant point of purchase display stands to merchants and distributors with each new product order placed with Ninn Worx sales department through out November and December.
Ninn Worx Sales Manager Tom Deniro is very happy that the displays will arrive in time for the holiday sales period. “We wanted to give our clients a great way to highlight the Ninn Worx titles this shopping season. In the past, I have had numerous requests for this type of display, and now I can offer this type of retailer support for our products in the marketplace. Point of purchase displays provide an excellent way for retailers to increase their sales on our titles, without taking up additional shelf space.”
These displays are created in the double-wide format, holding approximately 24 DVD boxes for single disc releases, or can contain 12 double disc box sets. Each heavy-duty laminate box features artwork in the inimitable Ninn Worx style, and a high gloss finish for visual impact.
Merchants and distributors can request display stands at the same time they submit their orders for Ninn Worx releases. POP displays begin shipping with all orders placed after November 23, and will carry through the December order shipments, while supplies last.
Woodman Entertainment and Ninn Worx debut their new collaborative multi media website, featuring the Woodman Premier label epic, ‘Xcalibur’ and an inside look at the company’s future plans. The full majesty of the Woodman Entertainment site is unveiled today, Monday, April 23, 2007.
Woodman Entertainment turned to the AVN Award winning Ninn Worx web team to take online adult entertainment to new horizons, delivering the unique combination of high class, uncompromising hardcore content that has become synonymous with the name Pierre Woodman, to a global audience.
As with the ‘Sacred Sin’ website which took the AVN 2007 “Best Online Marketing Campaign” and “Best Overall Marketing Campaign” titles, Ninn Worx designers new site for Woodman Entertainment’s ‘Xcalibur’ and the forthcoming ‘The Perfectionist’ will be filled with interactive entertainments wrapped in a sleek design perfectly suited to the Pierre Woodman aesthetic. Visitors will find news, biographies on Woodman’s lovely contract performers and daring directors, production schedules and release information on all of Woodman Entertainment’s products. Inside, members can access Hi-Definition trailers, galleries and exclusive downloads.
“This site has been a pleasure to create,” says Ninn Worx President and creative artist, Michael Ninn. “Woodman Entertainment encompasses such a diverse aesthetic, yet it can all be condensed into one powerful artistic statement of strength and durability. Pierre has lived 15 years on the front-line of adult entertainment, as have I. That’s durability and requires a lot of strength in your product. I see Pierre as a modern knight that is capable of great campaigns in pursuit of the Holy Grail in adult entertainment. He sees himself that way, and I admire that.”
Pierre Woodman, Chairman and CEO of Woodman Entertainment said, “I have huge respect for Michael’s work. His creative talent and business acumen are a combination that gives me the greatest confidence in the future of the Woodman brand in North America, and the online marketing campaign that he is developing is just another example that the collaboration between Ninn Worx and Woodman Entertainment is a winning combination.”
Ninn Worx has scheduled to release Woodman Premier’s ‘Xcalibur’ Part 1 on May 16, 2007.