PTA, one of the nation’s premier and largest book publicity firms, today marked its golden anniversary by launching a new name, Media Connect. Its site is now http://www.media-connect.com.
While known for placing authors with broadcast media, the agency has been developing its print connections for the past two decades and increasing its online media offerings in the past five years.
“The media is changing as well as the nature of book publishing,” notes managing director David Hahn, a 26-year company veteran, “And we have certainly evolved with the times. Now our name will more accurately reflect our broader offerings and the essence of who we are and what we do.”
Mike Levine, founder of Planned Television Arts, created the name based on the huge upswing in TV’s popularity at the beginning of the 60’s. TV purchases reached a tipping point in the five years leading up to PTA’s inception and television became the hot, desired medium, much the way the Internet is embraced today.
PTA’s early services included organizing fashion shows for clients to exhibit their designs on the popular daytime show The Mike Douglas Show and The Tonight Show starring Johnny Carson, which also debuted in 1962.
The firm began specializing in book publicity in the mid 70’s, conducting tours for authors Mickey Spillane and Wayne Dyer, two early clients.
Since then Jimmy Carter, Dean Koontz, Harvey Mackay, Jack Canfield, Richard Preston, Sophia Loren, Mark Victor Hansen, Tom Brokaw, Jackie Collins, John Wooden, and Mitch Albom (who actually worked for PTA for six months) are just a handful of the well-known or celebrity authors PTA has promoted over the years.
As Media Connect celebrates its Golden Anniversary, it will pay homage to former clients, changes in the industry, and how the news media has been transformed by the Internet.
“We have always innovated and experimented,” says chief marketing officer Brian Feinblum, “including developing trademarked services such as The Teleprint Conference (scheduling a press conference by phone with 12-18 publications), The Morning Drive Radio Tour (18-20 interviews conducted in one morning by phone), The Satellite TV Campaign (scheduling 15-18 local TV shows from across the country via one studio location), and even launching a speakers bureau.”
1962 may be remembered historically for a number of things. There were no such things as cable TV, the Internet, tablets, or Facebook. 1962 was the era of Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra and Marilyn Monroe, of Mickey Mantle and Willie Mays, of Bonanza, Lassie, and Perry Mason. A new home cost $12,500 on average, annual salaries were $5,600, a new car cost $3,125 and a gallon of gas was just 28 cents.
It was the era of JFK and the Bay of Pigs. The Civil Rights Movement was raging and the Vietnam War was escalating. Space travel was in its infancy as John Glenn became the first American to orbit the earth. The nation’s population was less than half of today’s. Walter Cronkite was just named the anchor of CBS News. And the year gave rise to Planned Television Arts now Media Connect.
Media Connect currently employs 20 full time team members with headquarters in New York City and an office in Washington, DC.