Grand Communications president Alison Grand says that the move toward diversity in media can be clearly seen in programming for children. "We've seen diversity move from, frankly, tokenism to real, authentic diversity. And several of the kids’ shows that we've worked with and that we represent really have hit the mark in that way."
Grand tells Simon that in world of kids' TV, authenticity and diversity are essential. "It's not even a nice to have, it’s a must-have now and it's not really so much media, it's more about the end-user or the audience and having them really feel seen and included," she says. "It's not the only thing that makes up a great show, but it is an essential ingredient."
One of Grand Communications' clients is the long-running PBS children's show Arthur, and Grand talks with Simon about the "media bonanza" surrounding the show's 25th anniversary. "There was a lot of interest and, of course, so much love out there for the show. We find that, especially when it's a show that's been around for so long, it has generations of fans. So, there's just such a sweet spot, and it really becomes news."
Another shift in the entertainment PR world that Grand discusses is the changes brought about by streaming. "It used to be that everything was very, what we would call street date sensitive. Now, we've found, and definitely streaming is a big reason why, it's not so street date sensitive anymore. It sort of gives almost a second life to the effort and gives the ability for us to drive much more coverage than just being around the premiere, and that’s the end."
She also talks about the importance of public media. "The reason for its existence was to democratize high-quality media, high-quality educational, good-for-you content. And that is just what it does, it democratizes it. And even now, when there are so many streaming services and so many options, PBS remains a very important entity within all of that and probably the most accessible."
The future of entertainment PR, Grand says, will be greatly influenced by social media. "People would be well-advised to really manage and make the best of the connection between media and social media and how one can sort of feed the other." She also says that PR pros should work to engage influencers and "create the sort of goodwill that keeps them touting that brand and keeps them in your corner."
Interested in taking part? Contact Doug Simon at [email protected]