About EPM Communications, Inc.
EPM publishes newsletters, research studies and directories which focus on marketing, consumer and retail trends. The company also produces conferences and seminars; offers telephone-based short-term consulting as well as in-depth competitive analysis; and provides speakers for in-house presentations, workshops and conferences.
The EPM staff has a collective 100-plus years of expertise across key subject areas critical to the media, marketing and advertising communities: Entertainment Marketing, Licensing & Merchandising, Targeted Marketing and Consumer Trends.
A Personal History of EPM
EPM was founded in 1988 by Ira Mayer and his wife and partner, Riva Bennett.
For 20 years prior to founding the company, Ira's night job was as a rock critic. By day, he wrote about the business of entertainment for newspapers, magazines and research organizations. Beginning in the 1980s, he established a prominent reputation as an entertainment industry and media analyst. Riva, who at the time sold research services for LINK Resources, a new media think tank, was selling some of the research Ira was writing.
After attending several sports and event marketing conferences, Ira and Riva realized no one was covering the entertainment industry purely from the marketing perspective, and that if he could write it and she could sell it well, that's what they should do!
Armed with a Rolodex of about 2000 fax numbers, Riva and Ira took two hour shifts starting at 7 p.m. on a Friday night, and throughout the weekend when the rates were low, they faxed a one-page letter describing a new newsletter they were launching -- EPM Report (for Entertainment, Promotion & Marketing).
Monday morning they had three orders in the fax machine in their then-home office. They looked at each other and, like Judy Garland and Mickey Rooney (they wish), decided they better launch a newsletter!
While the company retained the EPM monicker, EPM Report morphed into Entertainment Marketing Letter, the better for people to know what the newsletter was about.
After a year publishing Entertainment Marketing Letter, one subscriber asked Ira to gather all those contacts and put them in alphabetical order, which he did. Realizing there were plenty of other great entertainment marketing contacts beyond those that could be reported, the fledgling company compiled the first "Entertainment Marketing Sourcebook" -- an ambitious directory for a business that until then didn't know it was a community.
Another subscriber said, "It's great that you list all those contacts -- but I need to MEET those people." And so the EPM Entertainment Marketing Conference was born. As the company expanded, and its reputation grew, EPM was approached about acquiring other publications, and added a number of them to its product catalog.
Slowly, Riva and Ira added staff in their Brooklyn home office until, with six people -- one on the landing between the first and second floors -- they realized they needed to move to a "real" office. (Besides, the kids were growing up and bringing friends home after school. "Shhhh!" they would say as they ascended the steps. "There are people working.")
Today, many of EPM's editors are experts in their fields and are often quoted in the general and business media on marketing practices and entertainment, consumer, and retail trends.