Client Spotlight: catstudio

I’m thrilled to be providing publicity services for one of my favorite home decor companies. Catstudio, famous for their whimsically illustrated, geography-inspired home and gift products, is celebrating its 20th anniversary in 2020, and they hired us to help spread the word.

Carmel and Terrell in PillowsFounders Carmel and Terrell Swan say their success weaves their love of world cultures, travel, and art into decorative textiles inspired by vintage souvenir pillows of the 30s and 40s.

Geography Collection

Juxtaposing local kitsch icons and historical monuments, each piece of artwork is hand-drawn and created with an insider’s perspective. They work with residents, mayors, friends, business owners, and customers, to create designs that locals can proudly display in their home, and visitors will cherish as keepsakes.

America PillowCatstudio’s colorful, uplifting geography pillows are hand-embroidered, made from organic cotton, and it takes over 40 hours to embroider just one. They have developed a cult-like following, and retailers report that fans include celebrities such as Leonardo DiCaprio, Julia Roberts, Martha Stewart, Lionel Ritchie, and Taylor Swift.

Alongside catstudio’s 20th anniversary, Glitterati Editions published Pillow Geography: Dreaming Across America, a stunning coffee table book celebrating their pillows’ status as fine art objects, not just home furnishings or decorations.

Collegiate Collection

While New York City, Texas, and California geography pillows continue to top catstudio’s bestseller list, their new Collegiate Collection is the fastest growing. Capturing the essence of each school, campus, and college community by working one-on-one with every school’s licensing department, the collection delights everyone from incoming freshman to athletic fans and far-flung alumni. Their original art embodies the spirit and uniqueness of each school – the architecture, education, sports, history, and traditions.

Plus a percentage of each purchase is donated back to each respective school – funding scholarships, student activities, or recreational programs.

Catstudio glassware

Glasses, Towels, Pouches and more…

Catstudio’s original artwork is also featured on glassware, dish towels, woven pouches, thermal bottles,  fine art prints, and more. This year, they also launched an exciting new modern astrology collection, a beach and travel towel collection made from recycled plastic bottles, collegiate collection fine art prints, and stainless steel thermal tumblers.

Globetrotting Swans

Now based in Petaluma, CA, Carmel is a native of Hawaii who grew up a globetrotter, visiting Canada, Mexico, Europe, and Asia, with frequent trips to the Continental US, by the age of 18. Settling down in Los Angeles after studying art in college, she initially pursued a career with the recording companies, Arista and CBS.

catstudio print and pillowTerrell was born in California and grew up in Texas and Mississippi before setting off on thrilling adventures around the globe. Channeling the sense of fearlessness he had― riding camels and elephants and catching old steam engine trains―into an entrepreneurial spirit, he opened Houston’s trend-setting fashion boutique Cotton Club in 1982, and in 1989, he and Carmel created Swan Magic, a women’s apparel company in Petaluma.

Catstudio is located at 1340 Industrial Avenue, Suite A in Petaluma, CA 94952, and can be found online at www.catstudio.com.

Here’s an example of the coverage our publicity services have generated during catstudio’s national PR campaign so far: Petaluma’s Catstudio makes products that evoke nostalgia and a sense of home.

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Image of blood sample vials

Autistic Activist’s Publicity Campaign to Encourage COVID19 Plasma Donations

We recently had the honor of working pro bono on an autistic activist’s publicity campaign to encourage COVID19 survivors to donate their plasma.

Jesse Saperstein is a 38-year-old man with autism burdened by countless phobias including spiders, olives, and nonbiodegradable waste such as Styrofoam. But one thing he is certainly not afraid of is needles!

Jesse Saperstein donating blood
Jesse Saperstein donating blood

Jesse recently broke his quarantine during the apex of the Coronavirus to film a public service announcement at a blood drive near Albany, NY.  As soon as the needle was inserted, he began delivering a motivational speech asking society to join him in a dire, time-sensitive mission.

Jesse’s message is to encourage survivors of COVID-19 to contribute their antibody-enriched plasma. This plasma has proven to accelerate the recovery in even the most critically-ill patients.

Jesse reached out to Carney & Associates because he wanted a publicity campaign to help spread the word through the media. His ultimate goal was to launch a National Convalescent Plasma Drive from survivors willing to give back while using his poised speech as a means of assuaging the common fear of needles.

“The fear of needles keeps plenty of individuals from showing up at blood drives when the pool of plasma donors is already sparse,” explained Jesse.  “I created the public service announcement so the public could see someone engaging in public speaking while the blood products are being extracted.”

TV Coverage

We were pleased to schedule a TV interview for Jesse with Anya Tucker at ABC News10 in Albany, NY. Her beautifully produced segment ran May 11, 2020.

Guilderland man with autism asks others to donate plasma amid pandemic

Autism Advocate

Cover of Getting A Life bookA national autism advocate, Jesse is the author of two books with Penguin Group (USA), Atypical and Getting a Life with Asperger’s, and has appeared on Dr. Phil. As a result of a lifetime of bullying and rejection, it is also Jesse’s mission to help others and change the stigma of the autism spectrum.

Jesse added, “On a personal note, my much of my 38 years of life have not been pleasant even though I am fully aware that many others have been through worse obstacles.  Nothing about me is normal or has made it possible to “fit in” most places.  Being kind, considerate, and trying to make a difference has not always been enough to earn acceptance.  (Most typical youths are not entranced by blood drives and phlebotomy machines, for example.)  For the first time in a long while, there is a chance to justify this flamboyant oddness by making a difference in plasma collection endeavors.  Everybody has the ability to battle this pandemic despite their challenges and lack of certain abilities that society deems to be necessary.”

Jesse recently met with the American Red Cross to discuss possibilities of partnering on a campaign later this year.

If you’re looking for publicity services, such as interviews on TV, radio and podcasts, and articles in print and online media, please contact Kathlene Carney at Carney & Associates for a free consultation.

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The Vegetarian’s Guide to Eating Meat

“Food can be about security, guilt, climate, the future we choose, and who we are. And just when we know the green goal of food correctness, I get this head-bender in the mail: ‘The Vegetarian’s Guide to Eating Meat – a Young Woman’s Search for Ethical Food.”  That awesome description is from radio host Alex Smith, describing our client’s new book in his blog at Radio Ecoshock.

Radio Ecoshock is a popular long-running program that’s syndicated to 94+ radio stations in the U.S. and Canada.

“The author is Professor Marissa Landrigan from the University of Pittsburgh,” he continued.  “She’s an engaging American writer whose essays appear in the The Atlantic, Salon, Guernica, and Orion magazines.”

Alex interviewed Marissa recently for his show, where they discussed her  journey from vegetarian PETA activist to blood-and-guts-eating omnivore.

Going “against the green stream,” she describes eating ethically is far from simple—and cutting out meat is not always the answer. Marissa criss-crossed the U.S. to get closer to the source of her food, eventually even visiting a slaughterhouse, and hunting elk. She came to realize that the most ethical way of eating was to know her food—whether meat or vegetable—and prepare it herself, on her own terms, to eat with family and friends.

In her book, Marissa also covers the humane treatment of animals, labor rights, global poverty, and how she made the transition to cooking local, sustainable, affordable recipes.

Many thanks for Alex for having Marissa on his show, it was most appreciated!

This interview is part of our comprehensive publicity campaign for The Vegetarian’s Guide to Eating Meat. Are you looking for a publicist, a publicity firm for nonprofits, a PR firm for small business, or an independent book publicist? Carney & Associates specializes in science pr and sustainability topics. Please contact Kathlene Carney for a free consultation to find out how our publicity services can contribute to your success.

Speak Out Campaign Reached Over 1 Billion

February is Global Population Speak Out month. This grass roots project went worldwide in 2015 with an extraordinary campaign that reached over 1 billion impressions.

Using a crowd-sourced distribution strategy to increase activism, our client’s international environmental activist network began giving away more than four thousand copies of a dramatic coffee table book, Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot (OVER). Featuring more than 300 pages of stunning, full-spread photography it was the centerpiece of the 2015 Global Population Speak Out (“Speak Out”).

Trash wave: Indonesian surfer Dede Surinaya catches a wave in a remote but garbage-covered bay on Java, Indonesia, the world’s most populated island ‘Water and air, the two essential fluids on which all life depends, have become global garbage cans.’ Jacques-Yves Cousteau Photograph: Zak Noyle

The goal was to spread the issues and ideas of Speak Out and OVER far and wide, to young and old, to increase awareness on the problems we confront today and to build on solutions that promote human rights — and the rights of all species on Earth. Whether one is working to mitigate the effects of climate change, end child marriage, protect endangered species, or advocating for women’s rights, the Global Population Speak Out helped strengthen activist voices — so all our interconnected concerns were heard.

Speak Out used social media, word-of-mouth and direct action to engage opinion-leaders, scientists and citizens of the world to respond creatively to environmental degradation. Speak Out emphasized elements of environmental protection that are rarely discussed: promoting human rights and human health as strong, indispensable solutions to preserving the rights of other species to exist and the health of the planet.

Speak Out organizers granted the free copies of OVER to people and organizations around the world who became ambassadors of information and inspiration, and promised personalized delivery to policymakers, opinion leaders, activists, allied organizations, and other audiences.

Many of the subjects in OVER are often discussed by environmentalists around the world: materialism, consumption, pollution, fossil fuels, carbon footprints, and more. But OVER and Speak Out purposefully joined two ever-present parts of environmentalism together: the number of the human species and our socio-economic behaviors. The book and the campaign intentionally moved beyond tired arguments that only one side of the equation matters and pictorially depicted the importance of both the number of people and the way people live.

The environmental book became an international media sensation and demand for the OVER books was beyond our wildest expectations – fueled by over 250 mass-media articles, reaching over 1 billion readers in 47 countries.

Reservoir development:

Former old-growth forest leveled for reservoir development, Willamette National Forest, Oregon

‘What an irony it is that these living beings whose shade we sit in, whose fruit we eat, whose limbs we climb, whose roots we water, to whom most of us rarely give a second thought, are so poorly understood. We need to come, as soon as possible, to a profound understanding and appreciation for trees and forests and the vital role they play, for they are among our best allies in the uncertain future that is unfolding.’ Jim Robbins

Photograph: Daniel Dancer

Examples of media sources that have reported on OVER include Washington Post (online and print), The Guardian (online and print), Buzzfeed.com, Salon.com, News.com (Australia), MSN Germany, Yahoo India, the China Daily News, BBC’s Impact, The Daily Mail Online (UK),  Folha de S.Paulo (Brazil), San Francisco Chronicle and Mashable.com.

The Guardian’s photo spread (“Overpopulation, overconsumption – in pictures“) resulted in over 3 million page views, 650,000+ Facebook shares, and over 8,700 Tweets and re-Tweets.

Ashton Kutcher, actor, producer and investor posted Speak Out content on his Facebook page which resulted in over 31,000 likes, 8,000+ shares and 1,300 comments.

Hill-side slum:
Slum-dwelling residents of Port-au-Prince, Haiti, face bleak living conditions in the western hemisphere’s poorest country
‘Squatters trade physical safety and public health for a few square meters of land and some security against eviction. They are the pioneer settlers of swamps, floodplains, volcano slopes, unstable hillsides, rubbish mountains, chemical dumps, railroad sidings, and desert fringes … such sites are poverty’s niche in the ecology of the city, and very poor people have little choice but to live with disaster.’ Mike Davis
Photograph: Google Earth/2014 Digital Globe

While the media attention was robust, Speak Out organizers believed OVER could really effect change with the citizens and organizations speaking out and sharing their passions for saving the planet and creating a better world for all.

In Europe, ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability displayed OVER at an annual congress on climate change adaptation and resilience, thereby “allowing congress participants to peruse the magnificent photos during breaks and have the photos spur thoughts and conversations.”

A library consultant at a prominent international health organization reported that “Word is getting around!” The group was sharing OVER in their campus library, which resulted in requests for copies to be taken to country offices in Bangladesh, India, Kenya, Tanzania, Ghana, and Uganda.

An activist in Mexico told how he shared the message from OVER: “The book has a permanent place on the counter in our restaurant and many friends/customers/associates have already entered and began to read with awe.”

Down in New Zealand, a conservationist shared that “This will be a great opportunity for us to further promote the impact of increasing human populations on our fragile ecosystems and on the future of the planet’s biodiversity.”

Many of those who requested free copies of OVER were high school teachers and college professors. One teacher from the UK said “It is a really exciting and inspiring resource for future planning of activities within the Department, and in doing so, raising awareness with young people.”

Global Population Speak Out (Speak Out) united world-class scientists, academicians, opinion-leaders – and thousands of lay environmentalists and concerned citizens – to help bring international attention to the crises posed by overdevelopment and human population size and growth. Speak Out was jointly administered by Population Media Center and Population Institute.

To view more of our media coverage for this campaign, please go here. To find out how our publicity services can help spread the word of your book, event or organization, please contact Kathlene Carney at Carney & Associates.

The Atlantic Features “Fake Silk”

In The Atlantic, James Hamblin recently wrote a fascinating feature about FAKE SILK: The Lethal History of Viscose Rayon by Paul David Blanc, M.D.

Here’s an excerpt from “The Buried Story of Male Hysteria: When men actually began to be diagnosed as ‘hysterics,’ doctors searched for a cause. They found a chemical that may be on the rise again today.”

When a raving 27-year-old man was committed to Hudson River State Hospital for the Insane in April of 1887, no one thought much of it.

But 12 days later, another man arrived at the door in much the same incoherent condition. When the men regained awareness and could be interrogated, it turned out that they worked in the same nearby rubber factory.

That summer, a third man was brought to the hospital, where he was described as “in a condition of great mental excitement, disturbing the neighborhood by loud noises and violent praying.” He, too, turned out to be a co-worker.

The chief of the Nervous Department at New York’s College of Physicians and Surgeons at the time was Frederick Peterson. He knew these three cases couldn’t be a coincidence, so he set out interrogating the workers on the nature of their jobs. As he suspected, the men had all inhaled a chemical in the factory’s air: carbon disulfide.

Peterson had heard of carbon-disulfide insanity in Europe, so he alerted his colleagues in The Boston Medical and Surgical Journal (now known as The New England Journal of Medicine) that the problem had come to America. In England, the new term “gassed” had arisen, defined in the Liverpool Daily Post as “the term used in the India rubber business, and it meant dazed.” The British physician Thomas Oliver had recalled watching as people working in rubber factories left after their shifts and “simply staggered home,” apart from themselves. The effect could be deadly. “Some of them have become the victims of acute insanity,” Oliver wrote, “and in their frenzy have precipitated themselves from the top rooms of the factory to the ground.”

This article is part of our comprehensive publicity campaign for Fake Silk. Are you looking for a publicist, a publicity firm for nonprofits, a PR firm for small business, or an independent book publicist? Carney & Associates specializes in science pr and sustainability topics. Please contact Kathlene Carney for a free consultation to find out how our publicity services can contribute to your success.

Greenwashed products exposed on Groks Science Radio Show

The current “greenwashing” of viscose products as being eco-friendly (rayon fabrics, sponges, cellophane products) is exposed in FAKE SILK: The Lethal History of Viscose Rayon by Paul D. Blanc, M.D. (Yale University Press).

A highly toxic chemical, carbon disulfide, has been the life blood of this industry from the start. It also has meant a death sentence for many of its workers. For a more than a century, making viscose has been linked to severe illness, including mental derangement, heart attack, and stroke.

Dr. Blanc discusses the history of the industry and its current rebirth in greenwashed eco-friendly products on the Groks Science Show. He emphasizes the importance of skepticism about “green” products on the market, not just in terms of potential hazards for consumers, but also up the chain in its manufacturing, and where it goes after the consumer is finished with it.

This interview is part of our comprehensive publicity campaign for Fake Silk. Are you looking for a publicist, a publicity firm for nonprofits, a PR firm for small business, or an independent book publicist? Please contact Kathlene Carney for a free consultation to find out how our publicity services can contribute to your success.

 

Infographic-The Clean Energy Revolution is Happening Now

Despite political resistance, climate denial, and outdated misinformation, the clean energy revolution really is happening now.  

Fossil fuels will become a thing of the past just like oil from whale blubber, according to energy expert Leah Y. Parks. “Disruptive technologies are changing business models and clean technologies are on track to completely disrupt the fossil fuel industry. We can either embrace this future, become the leader in the ‘clean energy’ revolution, and reap the benefits or we can fall behind and risk obsolescence like Kodak and Blockbuster.”
The following infographic illustrates that a 21st century energy transformation is already underway:

Clean Energy Revolution infographic made by Carney & Associates as part of our national book publicity campaign for All-Electric America, by Leah Y. Parks and S. Davis Freeman. To find out how our publicity services can help spread the word of your book, product or organization, please contact Kathlene Carney.

Coast to Coast AM Examines Grid Threats with Benjamin Dancer

Hurricane Matthew recently forced millions of people to survive without power. Although these power outages were temporary, they served as a powerful reminder of a much larger threat: there are several mechanisms of destruction that could bring down the entire grid, leaving no one in America capable of coming to any one else’s aid.

Accordpatriarchruning to journalist Benjamin Dancer, that scenario is not far-fetched, and he says there’s a direct connection between national security and sustainability.

Dancer works for The Colorado EMP Task Force On National and Homeland Security. He is also the author of PATRIARCH RUN, an eco-thriller premised on the threat posed by our reliance on the grid. The book has been endorsed for its realism by environmental leaders such as Paul Ehrlich and Alan Weisman on the left, and Dr. Peter Pry, who served in the Congressional EMP Commission, and Lt. Col. Dave Grossman, author of ON KILLING, on the right.

Dancer will be a guest on the national radio show Coast to Coast AM on Tuesday, November 1, 2016 10:00  p.m. –12:00 a.m. PDT, prepared to discuss the following:

National Security
• Underreported threats to the grid including EMP (electromagnetic pulse) attack, cyberattack, physical sabotage, and a coronal mass ejection.

Sustainability
• The larger the human population becomes, the more difficult it is to manage it sustainably. 
• Renewable energy is a critical component of any plan for a secure infrastructure.
• The loss of the grid would not have been a threat 100 years ago because the population of the country was only about 76 million people. At that time, food was produced outside the urban centers, and the production of food was not yet dependent on electrical power. Today the population of the United States is about 325 million people, and most foods are produced by technologies that rely on electrical power.  Technologies include fertilizers, pesticides, mechanical irrigation, refined fuel for farm machinery and transportation, food processing facilities, infrastructure for clean drinking water.
• Many of our urban centers have outstripped the carrying capacity of their surrounding landscapes so food and basic supplies are shipped over long supply lines, which are often global, and the production of the fuel that drives those supply lines is also dependent on electricity. 

In a worst-case scenario, large urban centers denied of critical resources such as food, safe drinking water, transportation, sanitation, and medical care could experience widespread starvation, the reintroduction of diseases vanquished by modern sanitation, unprecedented social unrest, and a skyrocketing mortality rate.

Therefore, renewable energy transmitted through a secure grid makes for a more sustainable and more secure future.

Coast to Coast AM airs on more than 600 stations in the U.S., as well as Canada, Mexico and Guam, and is heard by nearly three million weekly listeners. With hosts  George Noory,  George Knapp (weekend), it is the most listened to overnight radio program in North America.

This placement is one of many in our national book publicity campaign for this title. To find out how our publicity services can help spread the word of your book, product or organization, please contact Kathlene Carney at Carney & Associates.

Bizarre Rules that Threaten Our Food Systems

Food lawyer and scholar Baylen Linnekin appeared recently on the renowned Leonard Lopate Show in New York City to discuss his popular new book Biting the Hand that Feeds Us: How Fewer, Smarter Laws Would Make Our Food System More Sustainable (Island Press).

The Peabody Award-winning program airs on WNYC-FM, local NPR for the New York City market.

baylenlinnekinLeonard and Baylen discussed food policy, the unintended consequences of many rules and regulations, and ridiculous food laws that defy common sense, including those in his book:

  • Constraints on the sale of “ugly” fruits and vegetables
  • Preventing sharing food with the homeless and others in need
  • Threatening to treat manure-the lifeblood of organic fertilization-as a toxin
  • Mandating food preparers wear latex gloves which actually makes food less safe
  • Prohibiting people from growing fruits and vegetables in their own yards

Baylen also dished up solutions, explaining how better regulations could enable sustainable practices for the future and enhance what lands on our plates.

The long-running Lopate show airs weekdays 12:00pm to 2:00pm, exploring literature, art, culture, food, and life. Heavy-hitting writers, actors, ex-presidents, political figures, economists, scientists, comedians, dancers, chefs, historians, filmmakers and do-it-yourself experts have all sat down with Leonard. Prominent guests include Barack Obama, Joe Biden, John McCain, Henry Kissinger, Ang Lee, Anne Hathaway, Francis Ford Coppola, Sarah Jessica Parker, Alice Munro, Robert Altman, Mel Brooks and many more.

This placement is one of many in our national book publicity campaign for this title. To find out how our publicity services can help spread the word of your book, product or organization, please contact Kathlene Carney at Carney & Associates.

Daily Beast Features Candid Creatures

The Daily Beast featured an entertaining gallery of funny camera trap photos from our client’s blockbuster book Candid Creatures last week:

“Humans aren’t the only narcissistic selfie-loving animals, turns out much of the animal kingdom enjoys a good portrait. Biologist Roland Kays assembled hundreds of candid photographs of animals from across in the globe in the wild from scientists and conservation projects in a new book, Candid Creatures: How Camera Traps Reveal the Mysteries of Nature. “Kays reveals how scientists have used camera traps to indentify problems, as well as solutions, so that humans and wild animals can coexsist,” the book states. Aside from its conservation usefulness, the photos have undeniable humor and interspecies friendships.”

Credit: BENOIT GOOSSENS
Credit: BENOIT GOOSSENS

 

 

 

 

 

 

Candid Creatures: How Camera Traps Reveal the Mysteries of Nature by Roland Kays is published by Johns Hopkins University Press.

This placement is one of many in our national book publicity campaign for this title. To find out how our publicity services can help spread the word of your book, product or organization, please contact Kathlene Carney at Carney & Associates.