Rant of the Day: My Atlanta PR Experience at the Kevin Hart “What Now” Red Carpet After Party

Last night, I attended the Kevin Hart “What Now” Red Carpet After Party held at Suite Food Lounge in Downtown Atlanta.  I thought long and hard before writing this post… mainly because it’s a little humiliating for me.  But this is blog about MY life as a photographer… so here we go!

Disclaimer:  This has nothing to do with Kevin Hart & his camp.

Photo from KH Instagram
Photo from KH Instagram

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rant of the Day:  By now… I’ve covered over 100 red carpet events and THIS was the worst Atlanta PR experience of my career.  And why..??  Because I waited 4 hours “outside” for Kevin Hart and ended up with NOTHING.  He made an appearance “INSIDE” the venue and media had NO access.  Now don’t get me wrong… I spent 19 hours in Selma for the President but I got the PRIZE…  Obama!  THIS was a major sting because it was WAY past my bed time & time was wasted.  I don’t do the club scene well at all.

Boy have I learned a HUGE lesson & the best way to share my experience is to attach an email I sent to the particular PR team (will not name) 🙂

I hope this helps aspiring photographers, media outlets and anyone with a business. The key word is… RESPECT

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Hello
Please note this email is written with good intentions.  I couldn’t let the day go by without expressing my deepest disappoint with how media was treated last night by your team.  In Maya Angelou’s words… “People remember how you made them feel”.  My red carpet experience (and I’m pretty sure I speak for most of the media in attendance) was the worst in my history of red carpet photography.  Not because it was unorganized or unforeseen issues that normally occur at events… but I feel we were used a fillers/pawns for the filming of your PR show.
I’m not familiar with of 90% of the media you invited… but myself and a few other outlets do this for a living.  I am a professional photographer with a family at home & I feel my time was totally disrespected.  We spent 4 wasted hours wasted outside of the venue… only to come up empty handed.  We had no access inside or pictures of Kevin Hart which was promoted in your invitation/confirmation.  I even had to beg security to go inside and use the restroom.  How humiliating…
Don’t get me wrong… I’m MAINLY upset with myself because there were SO many red flags the minute I arrived.  But my friends convinced me to stay so I struggled for as long as I could (1:45 AM).  My issue with you & your team is the horrible treatment and misleading information.  There were plenty of opportunities for you to be considerate of our situation but you chose to “let the chips fall where they may” with us.  Ex. Your confirmation email stated we MUST check in before 9:45… but Kevin did not arrive until 1:30 AM.  We basically waited for 4 hours (through your filming) with nothing to show for it.  Why did you let this happen?
We are all trying to make a difference with our businesses & deserve respect.  You made a mockery of us and I’m totally outdone. All I can think about is my 6 year old’s “sad eyes” last night as he begged me not to leave and to stay for popcorn & a movie.  As I mentioned… I’m a professional photographer & blogger which keeps me out of the house a lot.  This is my career & how I make my living… but last night I lost valuable time with my son.
Yes, it’s a decision that I made for the evening but I do keep a balance.  #familyFirst.  But I’m partially grateful & have learned from this experience. THIS will NOT happen again.  Everything happens for a reason & I have been shown to have boundaries, choose events more wisely and LISTEN to the RED FLAGS.
Again, this is not written in hate… but as a major concern for how ATL media was treated.  I do wish you the best with your new PR reality show & other endeavors.

 

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8 thoughts on “Rant of the Day: My Atlanta PR Experience at the Kevin Hart “What Now” Red Carpet After Party

  1. So just so you know…. The Red Carpet and Media was handled Soley by Ms Aisha Albriton http://www.atlantamediapartners.com/ and her company Atlanta Media Partners… the rest of the Women in PR that you saw in attendance were invited as guests as well.
    We were invited to bring our clients to walk the red carpet “at the club” yes. And truth be told I was disappointed as well that Kevin Hart did not walk the contract. I was under the impression this was the plan…. Little did I know til the end of the night that it was not in his contract and he chose NO…. not to walk… so you already know I am “MEDIA” as well and had I been out there all that time and his little booty didn’t walk that carpet there had better been a Kevin Hart look a like or something that walked that carpet.
    I felt very bad for the media people on the carpet as many of them were my friends or should I say ARE my friends so please do not affiliate me with the misfortune that happened. I personally as a red carpet professional do NOT like out door red carpets..and it never ends up well. BUT you know we all should support each other’s endeavors.. but please only reference the PR person who was in charge of this event.
    Thanks in advance,
    Jonell PR

  2. I’ve experienced this same feeling many times. People don’t understand the things that media/bloggers go through. You have witnessed me losing it before recently “WE TV” event. Its sad we aren’t more respected because we make this industry revolve.

  3. ROBIN,

    First thank you for all of the great work you’ve done for us here at Suite Lounge over time. Now to address this particular issue. This was an event hosted by Kevin Hart exclusively at the venue. I understand your frustration and the time delay. However, Kevin did have 2 sold out shows at Phillips Arena, thus making his arrival time a little later than normal. From a venue standpoint we had no knowledge or control over which celebrities showed up or walked the red carpet. We sincerely apologize for your disappointment with respect to this event. Please be aware that when we, as Suite Food Lounge, put on an event we try our best to fulfill and make all media experience worth your while. We look forward to seeing you again soon.

    1. Thanks so much! I do understand this incident was totally separate from Suite Food Lounge, Kevin Hart and other PR representatives who attended. My issue with this particular PR firm is the lack of communication. I honestly believe we were used & taken advantage of for a show. Although it was a long wait… not being able to get the photo op was the MAJOR BLOW. Looking back at the situation… I suspect we NEVER had the clearance and that was a HUGE miscommunication.

      BTW, congrats to your team on a successful evening! The house was PACKED!! I always appreciate SFL and look forward to seeing you ALL again soon 🙂

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