By: Kristen Paquet, Account Executive, Leonard & Finco Public Relations, Inc.

The world seems to stop for a moment to see the Oscars. I know I watched last Sunday night even though I only saw two of the ten nominated films. But I wanted to see what stars were there, what they were wearing, what people would say on stage and how this year’s hosts (Alec Baldwin and Steve Martin) would rate.

But really, the Oscars started way before March 7. The Oscars are, in fact, a great PR window for celebrities and nominated films to get their “face” and name out there. And do they ever. Once the nominations were out, the talk shows and late night shows paraded one nominated performer after the other on their stage. This was their opportunity to say “Hi there – I’m nominated for an Academy Award! This is who I am!” After all, this is the rare moment when all eyes are on them and they better make the most of it in case they don’t win come Oscar night.

Then it all comes together for Oscar night, an event that has a five-hour pre-show and just about as long of an awards ceremony. Celebrities walk the red carpet stopping for quick interviews and photo opps. Designers are thrilled that popular stars are wearing their fashions. Each year, try as I might, I can never make it to the end. Sleep always wins and this year was no different. But, not to worry, I heard all about what I missed the next morning as I went though major news web sites. The Oscar winners, best dressed and memorable moments dominated every page.

And these great PR moments keep going long after the red carpet has been rolled away. The celebrity dresses donned on the red carpet, in some altered form, will end up as hot sellers in area department stores, the major flubs or greatest moments will be tomorrow’s water cooler conversations and those who haven’t seen The Hurt Locker will be heading out in droves to watch it because it won best picture.

So did you watch the Oscars? If you did, what was your favorite moment of the night?