AFTRA hires first national PR chief

NEW YORK: The American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA) has hired its first national communications director in a bid to raise its profile, and create better internal and external communications.

NEW YORK: The American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA) has hired its first national communications director in a bid to raise its profile, and create better internal and external communications.

Jayne Wallace will oversee all communications for the performers' union, which represents about 80,000 actors, singers, dancers, and other broadcast professionals.

"AFTRA is effectively taking the lead on the most critical issues in broadcasting, network news, sound recordings, and entertainment. But unions need to be just as creative with marketing strategies as the multi-corporations and conglomerates that sit across the negotiating table, said Wallace.

She was referring in part to AFTRA's lobbying efforts on issues such as payola in the music industry, and rules for equal-opportunity employment.

One of Wallace's goals will be to maximize AFTRA's organizing potential on such debates.

Over the past two decades, Wallace has held communications positions with USA Networks, American Movie Classics, Paramount Domestic Television, The Lippin Group, and Ruder Finn.

She also spent two years handling communications for SAG, but left that position in 2000 - a year in which SAG and AFTRA actors went on strike, and tensions rose between union management and members.

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