April 23, 2009

Childhood can prepare you for anything

"In the future, everyone will be world-famous for 15 minutes."
- Andy Warhol, 1968
Some answers are unexpected. The question was why is Howard Bragman so good at crisis management and helping people become famous. The answer:
"I grew up fat, Jewish and gay in Flint, Mich. It made me a very empathetic guy."
Who knew that was a career preparation path?

But that childhood sent Bragman into a successful career as a publicist and author, according to an article in JewishJournal.com.

And, since the world has changed so that anyone can be famous for 15 minutes, the man whose clientele includes Stevie Wonder and Ed McMahon is working to ensure people know how to build the right image.
"If you do something stupid in public, somebody’s going to capture it on their phone and it’s going to get out there."
That's just one of the reasons why Bragman cautions folks to learn to whisper before shouting out on Twitter or Facebook.

He's learned:
"A publicist no longer has the luxury of control; what a publicist can do is manage."
And, if you can't afford a publicist at least buy his new book, "Where’s My Fifteen Minutes?" It isdesigned to help everyone build their own images - in Hollywood or out.

"I have lots of examples for people who might be a lawyer, or a community activist, or own a small business. You still need to get your message out. It doesn’t matter if it’s in the Flint Journal or you do it on Twitter."

Read the Jewish Journal article for more background and advice from the Flint native who founded Fifteen Minutes, where he specializes in entertainment, crisis management and the gay/lesbian market. Here's another bio and a link to a Flint Expatriates post on him.

That post also has a Flint Journal story you'll like, especially if you've ever tried to tell your grandmother what you do for a living.

And that unexpected answer? A search of the Internet shows it is a line that Bragman has used countless times. Still, now I know a little bit more about Flint.


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