Changes At Etv Publicity Dept ... A Concern

They say change is not always good and that might be the case at 5 Summit Road, Hyde Park. After almost 4 years of dealing with Etv and its efficient publicity stuff I am concerned about the way things are run of late.

This week I received an email from the channel about the return of Moshidi as the audience pulling conniving, NAOMI, on Rhythm City. Yes she is back and from what I hear she is back with a vengeance. Needless to say that that information did not come with the email that was meant to inform us about the return of the DIVA. Instead, with the email came the above picture ONLY. Ok maybe this is meant to be a teaser or something but  what's the point of sending the media a picture of an actress without any information about the character she will be playing and in Moshidi Motshegwa's case maybe some motivating info on why she is back on Rhythm City.

My concern with the new "dispensation" at Etv started with the invitations to the Club 808 party. I was invited as Phil plus 1. Then I asked the publicist that I would like to invite Zoopy to cover the event then we agreed that Zoopy can come so I extended an invitation to Zoopy + 1 with the understanding that there will not become an issue. I emailed the day before the event to confirm my "ticket" plus the other 3 (i.e my +1 and Zoopy +1). On the day of the event in the morning I emailed again to confirm and was told that all was well. Just hours before the event, when I had booked the crew and have prepared to go to the event, I got an email from one of the publicist telling me that they can not give me 3 extra tickets so my invitation will be Phil + 1. I got very pissed off because I had booked a shoot for the night (which costs money to the company) and having to cancel at the 11th hour would have been unprofessional on my part. Needless to say, I had to drop my friend and the other person from Zoopy so that the camera-lady and I could go and cover the event since we had already booked for it. I was livid. 

Never before had I ever had to go through such drama with Etv. On occasions where there has been some misunderstandings with the channel they always managed to sort it out and keep me happy. I had developed a very good relationship with the channel so much so that I could be blunt and criticise their shows and they would still be cordial towards me. That's why I respected and admired them. When I had concerned with Rhythm City, the channel was quick to send me a response clearing up the issue. When I covered the Popstars the publicity team made sure that I was well taken care of and whenever I needed pictures and information on any show I never had to ask twice.

NOW, something has drastically changed. For some reason the competency and efficiency of the channel's publicity department has somewhat declined. I know that there has been some changes there but as far as I know there weren't huge so this begs the question; what the hell is going on? And I am not just saying this because I was not happy with the way they handled my issue with them. This comes from having had a conversation with other people in the industry who feel that for some reason there seems to be some power play thing happening with Etv. I have actually got a hint that some people now have to beg for invitations to the channel's events. I have to admit so far I haven't had to plead with the channel to attend any of their events  but the fact that other people have had bad experiences with the new team as well is a course for concern. Whether the rumours are true or false, the fact that there are there should be a alarming to the powers that be.

Etv is finally positioning itself as the lifestyle brand Mzansi has been yearning for. The new lineup and re-branding of the channel has brought the youthful spark that is authentically South African and yet playful with a hint of Hollywood swag, if you catch my drift. I am loving the direction that the channel is taking. At last the channel has moved away from being a wrestling channel with crappy American shows to being a new platform for young Mzansi to showcase its talent. Big up to the management for finally taking heed of the plight of young Mzansi's creative minds and the yearning from our audiences for something homebrewed with good quality.

It would be a shame that, when the channel is making such strides in positioning itself at the forefront of entertaining Mzansi and being the channel for EVERYONE, its brand would be tarnished by the sloppy job of their publicity department. Unfortunately, the first people the media deal with as far as the channel is concerned are the publicists, if they are not doing a good job then that will reflect on how the industry view the whole channel.   

Looking forward to dealing with the new team and see if they improve with time or they drag the channel down. Only time will tell...

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