RNC coverage: Performers given chance to reach broad listener base

Everyone at the Republican National Convention has a message. While the politicians will be stressing why the nation should vote for four more years of George W. Bush, a group of performers will be more focused on demonstrating why the world should buy their CDs.

Everyone at the Republican National Convention has a message. While the politicians will be stressing why the nation should vote for four more years of George W. Bush, a group of performers will be more focused on demonstrating why the world should buy their CDs.

Country performers Brooks and Dunn and Lee Ann Womack are the biggest acts booked to perform at the RNC, with a diverse number of Christian, mainstream, country, and Latino performers also entertaining delegates and reporters. For the newer acts or those with a smaller fan base, it's a good opportunity for publicists to get their acts out there to a broader audience.

Champion surfer turned singer Daize Shayne will be performing, as will rock group Third Day and singer Michael L. Smith, both from Christian label Provident Music Group.

"When you have a convention of this magnitude, it attracts all sorts of demographics, ages, and ethnicities," said Cheryl Kagan, Shayne's publicist.

Kagan, owner of an independent firm and formerly EVP at Rogers & Cowan, said that the appearance came through the government contacts of Shayne's manager, Ken Tamplin.

Shayne's new album won't be out until late this year or February. Her first album, The Way I Do, is available through CD Baby.

Kagan sees this as an opportunity for Shayne to show the world, who know her more as a surfing champion, her other career.

As such, Kagan has booked Shayne for a number of interviews. Last week, she appeared on Fox News' Hannity & Colmes and taped an appearance on Inside Edition. She is scheduled to appear on Fox and Friends on Tuesday.

"Anytime an artist has an opportunity to get in front of a set in a new audience, that's a benefit," said Jacquelyn Marushka-Smith, VP of PR at Provident Music Group.

Marushka-Smith said she had been inundated with press inquires last week. Some of the requests came from talk radio, which was a departure from the traditional music and entertainment requests she normally receives.

Smith's new album drops on October 26. Third Day has a live DVD coming up on November 23. Additionally, Third Day has a track on the album, Passion of the Christ: Songs, being released on Tuesday.

Even in such a politically divisive environment, Marushka-Smith doesn't think the acts would lose support amongst Democrats for appearing at the convention.

"If there was [that] worry, they probably wouldn't have chosen to perform," she said.

Both PR professionals said their acts' focus was on the voting process and humanitarian endeavors, not particularly on a political message. Kagan cites as an example Shayne's involvement in a music PR campaign surrounding the Sudan Peace Act.

Shayne, who has not publicly aired a political affiliation, doesn't view it as a political gesture, Kagan said.

"She's a musician that has been invited to attend," Kagan said. "As far as we're concerned, music is the universal language."

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