Paula Abdul, Monica Lewinsky and Isaiah Washington.
These are just three of the celebrities über-publicist Howard Bragman has represented in his more than 20 years in the PR biz (after cofounding powerhouse firm Bragman Nyman Cafarelli, he went on to start his current outfit, Fifteen Minutes.) Now he’s telling all and handing out his expertise in a new book, Where’s My Fifteen Minutes? Get Your Company, Your Cause, or Yourself the Recognition You Deserve.
Enjoy some free pearls of PR wisdom from him on the jump:
What’s the oddest request a client has ever made?
An Academy Award winner wanted fine wine at a coffee shop in Fort Worth, Texas, at 11 p.m.—on a Sunday night.
Most memorable middle-of-the-night phone call?
“Armand Hammer has died.” We were honoring him the next day. I turned it into a memorial service, sold $50,000 worth of tickets and got 15 television crews there.
Who’s the one person you refused to sign and why?
The lady who wanted publicity for her grotesquely long toenails.
What’s the most uncomfortable thing you ever had to ask a client?
“Is it true?”
Worst thing someone in the media has ever called you?
Your biggest PR blunder?
The statement “I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it” issued by Isaiah Washington (during the F-word scandal). Today I wish I had said, “They pulled the plug while the patient was still alive.” (In the book, Bragman admits that Washington approved the quote but later realized that it reinforced the stereotype of “the angry black man.”)
Your biggest success?
Be outrageous—it’s the only place that isn’t crowded.