Monthly Archives: August 2011


It may sound like we’re joining the game late, but our agency has committed itself to blogging. We’re a hybrid outfit, a melding of an advertising agency and public relations firm. In other words, Carson Dunn Media is the spoon of peanut butter that fell into the vat of chocolate. The taste is different, but it’s damn good. On the most basic level it really doesn’t matter because our purpose is to promote a client’s product. We’re in the game of communications. We want our client’s message to resonate with consumers and increase their bottom line.

Although everyone at CDM is encouraged to put their words to paper, it not something that is subject to mandate. I’ve decided to be an occasional contributor. I’m going to offer views on everything from why the hell hot coffee scalds your groin, to opinions on advertising and PR, and weighing options to improve whatever.

Anyway, in this particular column I decided to give credit to a fantastic contributor to whatever success we’ve had.  This person may not like being singled out, but it’s my column.

Sherman Martin, my late grandfather told me something I can’t forget. He said: “A man may live a long life. It might be confused and troubled. But keep waiting. Before your time’s up, God will place you with one person that is so substantial, their presence erases all the mess you’ve endured. It will happen once before you pass on, and you’ll be blessed. Always appreciate them.”

(Understand this applies to my professional life as head of CDM.)

Running an agency can be messy. It’s confusing when clients are demanding, employees get filled with discord, vendors are late and invoices get lost.  There’s always a weird coincidence that when invoices goes AWOL, client rosters shrink. Regardless, Sherman was clairvoyant. Someone came into the vortex of CDM and suddenly, all was right with the world.

Several months back an intern named Kimberly Bautista made a long trek to the agency and was so exemplary in her work, I was amazed. Thorough and thoughtful, Kim quickly gained my trust.  At the risk of sounding sexist, Kim is also Halle Berry/Salma Hayek cute. But it was her integrity that allowed me to hire and then eventually promote her to assistant creative and art director.  (Incidentally, among agencies, only 3% can claim a woman as creative and art directors.)

At our best we work together using “creative telepathy.” It works like this: I give her a concept; she produces amazing graphics. Together, we produce advertisements  that rival any small agency’s work.

Not slighting anyone that’s graced CDM, Kimberly Bautista is that one person who has helped me see silver linings in dark clouds. Because of her, all is right with Carson Dunn Media. I can’t thank you enough, Kim.

Bernard A. McNealy, President

One of Our Best

Keepers: Clients We Admire

 The other day we discussed what kinds of clients we craved: driven, creative people or businesses with a good head on their shoulders. Today, we at Carson Dunn Media want to tell you about one of our clients we consider a keeper, Johnny Bahar. In our opinion, Johnny is everything an agency could possibly want in a client, and here is why:


 Johnny Bahar has overcome many obstacles to become the freewheeling, hilarious comic he is today, beginning with his birth. Born in Afghanistan when it was fighting off Soviet Russia’s invasion, Johnny had to flee his homeland with his family for America. Despite having to run from their country the Bahars made the best of the situation and strived to make a better life for their family in America.

 Civil unrest is not the only hardship Johnny has faced. As a 7 year old in America Bahar was found to be suffering from Tourette’s syndrome. Rather than being crushed by this setback, Johnny decided to take lemons and make lemonade, using his disorder to his advantage when crafting his stand up comedy as he grew older.

 His background as a refugee with a disorder has bee a huge factor in motivating Johnny to achieve his dream of being a prime stand up comic, because knowing what he has already undergone in his life, wowing crowds at his favorite stand up venues seem like a walk in the park.


 Using his noggin, Bahar realized that with a wife and four daughters, having a day job as General Sales Manager for Ideal Car Sales in Sacramento, California isn’t the worst thing, especially in this economy. But that doesn’t make Johnny any less devoted to perfecting his act every day. Juggling a job, family, and passion simultaneously is no easy task, but somehow, with his dedication, Johnny makes it all work, showing a commitment to all the things he loves in life that is truly impressive.


 Johnny’s hard work has paid off! He is about to embark on his first ever tour of comedy venues, making Carson Dunn Media very proud. Stay tuned for more details on how you can see Johnny Bahar live!

 Cecilia Geers, Advertising


As much as we agree that social media tools such as Facebook, Twitter, or even this blog can help promote businesses and establish relationships, face to face contact is never to be underestimated. After all, the entire advertising and public relations industry is about communication. Whether or not your goal is simply to communicate that a product exists, or why is it better than another, communication is key.

Yes, utilizing social media today is cost effective, omnipresent, and simply imperative in today’s market, but so are more traditional means of media such as television and radio advertisements, product placements, and spokespersons. All of these older forms of sending a message are more tangible in a way, simply because you can see or hear it, as opposed to reading it on the web.

Our office was debating which advertising and PR techniques were more effective: behind the scenes promotion via social media or up front, what you see is what you get commercials and the like. We came to the conclusion that both are necessary in today’s market and are here to stay. However, we also decided we could have a real old fashioned event in order to better understand our current and potential clients’ needs.


On that note, we would like to invite everyone considering using marketing to raise their or their company’s profile, to an open house at Carson Dunn Media! Friday, September 23, we will be opening our offices to you, the public, for appetizers and drinks to learn more about the benefits of advertising and PR, see our past work, and come to us with any concerns you may have about your company’s ability to raise awareness.


This open house is completely free with absolutely no strings attached. This is simply an opportunity for our clients to learn more about what they can do to increase awareness, as well as other businesses to see what the world of marketing in general and Carson Dunn Media specifically has to offer.


Our open house will be held at 6 P.M. on Sept. 23, 2011. Please R.S.V.P if you can make it!


7065 Hayvenhurst Ave

Suite 12

Van Nuys, CA 91406


HITTING THE STRIDE: Thoughts from a Multi-Cultural Agency

A popular 70’s song has a lyric refrain…”What you need…baby I’ve got…What I want…baby you’ll give it…” We realize Carson Dunn Media Public Relations & Advertising has something to offer our clients, but the flip side is that we want something in return.  A client and an agency is in a relationship. Relationships are successful when there is a balance of give and take.  Here’s how it works. 

Our Mission: Quality Clients

 As a small agency sometimes it feels we are beholden to take on anyone as clients with no discrimination. This is untrue. At Carson Dunn Media we seek clients and businesses that we truly believe in, enjoy, and respect, especially when run by people with innovative ideas and smart business sense. Wonder what kinds of clients are truly appreciated? Well…


A business cannot succeed if it isn’t a sound, good idea. Anyone remember the Kardashian credit “kard”? The credit card embossed with images of the famous reality show family was an utter failure, probably because over the course of a year the Kard contained over $100 in hidden service fees. In other words, this business venture was a bomb and quite a horrible idea.

We want to endorse companies that have successful, or to quote Charlie Sheen, “winning” ideas. Our dream? Businesses like or (okay, this may be my personal dream as I am in love with the all of the clothes on these sites). The point is, these sites are great business ideas because I can think of more than a few of my friends and family members that find internet shopping addictive and enjoyable. These sites in particular also have a strong following with an active consumer base, factors that are key to the success of businesses.


It goes hand in hand that if a business is a popular, money-making venture, it must be run by a sensible, ethical person, right? Unfortunately this is not always the case as anyone following Rupert Murdoch’s News of the World scandal can tell you.

However, there are still some people out there who manage to combine good business sense with ethics. Blake Mycoskie, founder of TOMS shoes is one of these people. Mycoskie created a for-profit shoe line with the idea that for every pair of shoes that is sold, another pair will be donated to a person in need. TOMS shoes is unsurprisingly a very thriving business and in 2010 was able to donate their 1,000,000th pair of shoes. It is people like Blake Mycoskie that we admire, appreciate, and would absolutely love to promote his, and other like minded individuals’ efforts.


We realize these examples run in the range of horrible to exemplary and do not represent business people and their companies as a whole. We at Carson Dunn Media believe in our abilities to bring you and your business to new heights in increased revenue, but also in the sense that we are honest, philanthropic people and would love to share that with you.

Cecilia Geers, Advertising

Check Out How Carson Dunn Media has Helped a Few Small Businesses!

Here at Carson Dunn Media, our portfolio includes a very diverse array of clients. We have decided to share how we helped two of our clients meet their goals, and what unique marketing/advertising/pr techniques (which we call ’triplication’ we used in their campaigns.

Marlene Jones Books and Products:

This prominent book publishing company in the American South is known for its uplifting fiction and self-help. The company needed to bridge a perceived sales gulf in the American South, and hit a target sales goal of several hundred thousand in sales per year. Traditionally, Marlene Jones Books achieved this goal through bookstore sales and the sales of merchandise. Unfortunately, many of the bookstores heightened the prices of these items for their own profit, which had a negative affect on the sales of these products.

Carson Dunn Media decided to implement a series of public relations tools to help them achieve their sales goals. Through press and media kits, events, direct mail and e-mail, we were able to help get Marlene Jones Books and Products name into the world! We researched a very direct target audience, which consisted of online book clubs, college students and student campus organizations.

Marlene Jones Books and Products investment in triplication helped to achieve their sales goals, and brought new business to Carson Dunn Media as the owner of Marlene Jones Books and Products approached us with new ventures.

Shooting Stars Foundation:

Shooting Stars Foundation has a for profit component of their organization–they wanted to sell instructional DVD’s on basketball fundamentals and sports equipment on discount; of which the sales of these items would be put back into the non-profit portion of the organization. However, Shooting Stars had one major obstacle in their path: a former well-known NBA player had a monopoly on this market in retail outlets, and a budget that was twenty times the size of Shooting Stars.

Carson Dunn Media came into the picture with a blended marketing campaign of public relations and advertising. Our public relations campaign combined Internet blogs, tie-ins to sports clinics, promotional DVD’s and raising money through charitable community events that were devoted to improving health and fitness through the act of sports. In addition, we implemented mass direct mail campaigns, fliers to merchants and newsletters.

Carson Dunn Media’s triplication efforts were met with great success! It is estimated that 50,000 was raised for Shooting Stars, and that they soon became a more well-known name in the business.