The Today Show rocks!

Posted: August 25, 2007 by Nathan Kam in On The Job


The McNeil Wilson Communication (MWC) PR team at the Polynesian Cultural Center (PCC) after the live remote with clients and special guests. From left, me (Nathan), Jay Talwar (HVCB’s Sr. VP of Marketing), Rhegan Liwanag-Luat, Merrissa Uchimura, Laird Hamilton (professional surfer), Maria Quidez, Peter Alexander (NBC correspondent), Melissa Kim, Amy Hennessey, Sia (PCC client ), and Michael Ni.

There’s a number of reasons I love my job as a PR executive at Hawaii’s No. 1 PR agency. For one, I get to work with and learn from some of the most creative and talented colleagues anywhere in the industry. Two, I get to work on awesome accounts like the Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau (HVCB). And third, I get to work on some very cool projects. I guess it’s also why I’ve been at the agency for over seven years.

My latest project involved the NBC Today Show and its series “America the Beautiful,” which started counting down the nation’s top 10 most spectacular and stunning places on July 12. Yesterday was Hawaii’s turn to take center stage as NBC Correspondent Peter Alexander revealed the Aloha State as the fourth stop on the prestigious list live from the Polynesian Cultural Center. In short, it was an incredible piece about the state and specifically Kauai.

Anything I write about the segment here won’t do it justice, so I encourage you to take a look for yourself. It’s a seven minute piece that showcases Hawaii and Kauai at its best. If this doesn’t make someone want to visit, I’m not sure what will. To view the piece, click here.


My client, Jay Talwar (HVCB Sr. VP of Marketing), did an incredible job talking about the spirit of Aloha during the live interview with Peter Alexander. You only get one take during live TV and he nailed it! BTW, this was done at 2:20 a.m. HST. Click the image to check out the “America the Beautiful” segment.

In the world of public relations, we live and die by the kind of story placements we can get for our clients. The hit we obtained on the Today Show was HUGE…”the cream of the crop”…and not something that happens everyday. It’s the top rated national morning news program and reaches an audience of more than six million visitors (that’s a lot of eyeballs).

When I received a call from a the Today Show back in July letting me know that the Aloha State was on the list, the first thing out of my mouth was THAT’S AWESOME! And as they say, the rest is history. Working with NBC producers Richard Adams, Sandy Rivera, and Paul Nilson was extremely fun. National media can sometimes be difficult to deal with, but these three (and Peter Alexander) were true class acts and genuinely nice people. So how did we help you ask?

  • We recommended the use the Polynesian Cultural Center for the live remote. When you’re trying to make Hawaii look good in the middle of the night, this is just about your only option. And the team here at PCC is always willing to accommodate. After technical producer Paul Nilson saw the place, he agreed. Thanks to Ray Magalei and his team at PCC. LOCATION SECURED!
  • Our firm also represents the Kauai Visitors Bureau and Emele Freiberg and her team did a great job lining up the activities and guides you saw featured in the segment. They also provided some beautiful destination b-roll footage to supplement the stuff shot by the Today Show on island. End result, KILLER COVERAGE FOR KAUAI!
  • We provided some of the fun fact that Peter Alexander used to tease the destination.
  • And last but definitely not least, our awesome McNeil Wilson Communications team provided invaluable onsite support during the live remote on August 24. It was a shoot that started at 10 a.m. on Thursday and ended on Friday at 3:00 a.m. My team specifically (Michael Ni, Merrissa Uchimura, and Rhegan Liwanag-Luat) did an outstanding job getting the refreshments and lei for the production together, but most importantly were there to support our client and help out where necessary. Many thanks to Amy and her PCC team as well. It’s this is kind of dedication and effort that puts our firm on top of all others.

Here’s a few of “behind the scenes” photos and a video just in case you’re curious what it all looks like on the other side of the camera.


On set at the Polyesian Cultural Center. Amy Hennessey helps Laird Hamilton cover a cut on his face. Maria and Rhegan couldn’t pass up the opportunity to take a photo with Laird at the end.

Quite on the set! A rehearsal run of the reveal prior to going live.

So what’s next? You’ll have to stay tuned. If all goes well, there will be another exciting TV project that the team and I are working on now that will be in this blog in October.



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