QUESTIONS & ANSWERS: Dan Savio

He's survived a spell with the Mafia and, even more impressively, a

gang of errant Cabbage Patch Kids. Meet Dan Savio, PR manager of

Business Wire and Julia Roberts' biggest fan.



Sell your company to us Business Wire is the world's leading newswire,

with 26 domestic offices, five international offices, distribution

agreements with more than 60 international news agencies and more than

16,000 online news sites. We also have comprehensive coverage with

traditional print and broadcast media throughout the US.



How did you get into PR? I spent ten years in advertising before moving

over because I assumed PR offered more stability. You know what they say

about "never assume ..."



What was your best stunt? For the world premiere of BMG's new videos for

the Cabbage Patch Kids, I escorted life-size Cabbage Patch Kids down to

the Today show, which ended in an on-camera interview with Al Roker. The

trouble was walking to and from the show. My three life-size Cabbage

Patch Kids were unable to see through their headgear, so we bumped into

quite a few people.



What was your biggest screw-up? I did not check a speech that I wrote

for an Asian executive who had a distinct accent. Certain words did not

translate well. Let's leave it at that.



If you could work on one account, what would it be? I would work as PR

advisor to Julia Roberts. Not because of the challenge, but because I

think she's one of the most-grounded and talented actresses today.



What is the biggest item you've ever put on expenses? (And was it

approved?) I hosted a dinner for 14 at Spago in Las Vegas. Yes, it was

approved.



Write the headline for the story you would most like to read in

PRWeek."Webster's Dictionary rejects 'flak' as an appropriate reference

to PR practitioners."



What do you wish you hadn't said to the media? "Is this off the record?"

You can bet that it will be on the record after saying this magic

phrase. When speaking with the media, everything is on the record.



Who (alive or dead, industry or non-industry) would you most like to

work with? John Lennon. Such great social and creative potential that

was taken away much too soon.



If you were an animal, what would you be? A dog (any breed) because they

are loyal and honest - our best friends.



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

appeared in the original Godfather film. I also spent a year at a Jesuit

seminary. Take your pick.



What skill would you most like to have? I wish that I could speak all

languages. No activity demonstrates more respect than the ability to

speak to a person in his/her own language.



What is the secret of your success? It's more than business. It's

personal. You need dedication to succeed.



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