Monday, December 04, 2006

Great PR, cont. 

Over the years, I might not have liked all of the choices, but I have always appreciated the public relations value of the Kennedy Center Honors for artists who have made a difference in society. One wonders why it hadn't been done before. It's hard to remember now, but since 1978, it took the spotlight from New York with its well-known theaters and shifted it firmly to Washington DC. That's a feat enough in itself. Even more importantly, it put a political and cultural stamp on the honors given to the recipients, which guaranteed its recognition. Finally, the show itself has always been done in a sophisticated style that makes it easily watchable.

The Kennedy Center in its early years was a "wannabe" theater complex on the edge of the Potomac -- striking building but not much was going on in it. That has changed over the decades. Perceptually, it is an anchor for the American arts. That would make the Honor's long-time co-producer, George Stevens, Jr., one of the most successful PR practitioners in American today.


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