Author | Oscar-Winning Screenwriter | Political Commentator
What We Did:
Communication Strategy, Public & Media Relations, Reputation Building, Speaking Engagements, Website
When John Ridley first came to The Busby Group in 2008, he was already an A-List screenwriter (Three Kings, U-Turn, Undercover Brother), published author and budding media personality. He had begun doing occasional political commentaries for National Public Radio and was on the brink of publishing an insightful and controversial essay on race relations in Esquire. He also was simultaneously publishing his first graphic novel, The American Way, a politicized look at a black superhero in the 1960s. John challenged us to create a publicity campaign around the Esquire piece and his graphic novel that would move him up the media ladder as a national political commentator.
The Busby Group’s first step was to establish an online presence and build buzz surrounding John’s writing/commentary. We secured a spot for him as a featured blogger on The Huffington Post and went on to feed his first few posts, as well as the essay, to sites like Gawker. John and his sharp, opinionated, often humorous writing caught fire on the Internet and this growing “electronic footprint” immediately opened doors at national media outlets.
We landed an Op-Ed piece for John in the Los Angeles Times as well as a first-person essay in Time Magazine. This led to more than a dozen media appearances, including on CNN, “The O’Reilly Factor” on Fox, “Real Time with Bill Maher,” MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” and NPR’s “Fresh Air.” When the WGA writers strike hit, we secured interviews for John with the Associated Press, The New York Times, KCRW’s “Which Way LA” and “To the Point,” and “CBS Evening News.” The Busby Group also helped John develop, launch and create content for a non-partisan website called That Minority Thing, which provides news, opinions and a forum for expression for underrepresented minority voices on the Internet.
“The Busby Group has done far more for me than merely get out press releases and plant stories in the trades. In short order they have helped me build a platform from which I can voice ideas and opinions I wish to express. More than ‘press agents,’ they have been agents and partners in my career.”
- John Ridley