Travels in PR

When I first started in the business, fresh out of college, my friend David Friendly, a writer for Newsweek, was working on a piece about college grads who “go back to the nest,” i.e., to live with their parents. Since I sadly fell into that category, David asked if he could interview me. I naively agreed.

The only quote that survived the editing process had me grousing about the drudgery of “having to make my bed again.” I swore I’d never do another purposeless interview. Why give the journalist what he or she wants without getting something, anything in return?

In fact, the whole point of professionally engaging the media revolves around advancing an agenda, e.g., new product exposure, issues advocacy, business building, crisis diffusion, etc. This is in spite of a media culture that thrives on showcasing the “famous for being famous” crowd (or more likely, infamous .)

Selective and strategic media exposure with a purpose usually prevails over gratuitous publicity, Donald Trump notwithstanding. It was therefore with some trepidation that I agreed to this.

Perhaps I’ll suffer Bob Feldman’s fate? Two weeks after The Times ran a large feature story showcasing the then GCI CEO’s NYC apartment, he landed the top PR job at Dreamworks Animation. (I bet he got a handsome premium when he sold.) As for me, I’m just pleased my boys liked today’s piece (and that my media consultancy was mentioned).