QUESTIONS & ANSWERS: Chuck Beeler

He's the eager beaver who had his PR epiphany while being a ski

bum. Pop into Chuck Beeler's office and share some goodies from the beer

fridge with him. Just watch out for low-flying golf balls while you're

there.



Describe your company: MRA is a mid-sized integrated shop, specializing

in advertising, PR, and interactive services.



We've got about 100 employees in offices in Syracuse, NY and Atlanta.

We're best known for our work in telecommunications, technology, and

philanthropy.



What do you do? I manage the PR practice at our company, which I started

a little over 10 years ago.



Tell us something amusing about the company? We have a Holf (Hallway

Golf) League at our office. Last season I tied the record on the

upstairs course with a birdie 5.



How did you get into PR? Back in college, people who had no idea what

the hell PR was, used to say, "Hey, you should be in PR." I think the

counsel was based on my chatty personality after 10 beers or so more

than anything else. Based on that wisdom, I hooked up with a couple of

seasonal gigs to give it a try. First, I tried my hand as a publicist at

an entertainment venue.



That was followed by some time as a ski resort PR guy/ski bum. It's the

only thing I've ever done since.



What was your biggest screw-up? Investing in my dot-com clients as a

"show of faith."



If you could work for any client, what would it be? I've always said

that I can retire a happy man once I get a beer account and the New York

Giants on my resume.



What's the biggest item you've ever expensed? The most expensive was

dinner for 12 at Alex Patouts in New Orleans. It was supposed to be for

three, but there are no freeloaders among new clients ... The most

satisfying expense came after working for 16 years, when I finally

discovered a way to write off baseball opening day as a business

expense.



Who would you like to work with? Bill Gates. He is visionary,

opportunistic, and has developed a keen understanding for the value of

public relations. It would be cool to have a role in the communications

challenges that lie ahead for Microsoft.



If you were an animal, what would you be? I'm often told by my coworkers

that I would be a beaver, because I cannot sit still for a second. I'm

always beavering away on something, in or out of work.



Name one thing about your past that people would be surprised to learn:

I didn't always have a beer refrigerator in my office.



What skill would you like to have? A better shot off the tee. I can't

drive for shit.



What historical figure would you like to represent? Christopher

Columbus.



What a terrific PR campaign to work on: An outreach and education

program to teach people that the world was round.



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