QUESTIONS & ANSWERS: Susan Tellem

She's a hip-hopping, wine-slurping, turtle-saving bossyboots who knows more than any person should about how 3,000 dead worms smell. Meet PR's most appropriately-named exec, Susan Tellem, president and CEO of Tellem Worldwide.

She's a hip-hopping, wine-slurping, turtle-saving bossyboots who knows more than any person should about how 3,000 dead worms smell. Meet PR's most appropriately-named exec, Susan Tellem, president and CEO of Tellem Worldwide.

She's a hip-hopping, wine-slurping, turtle-saving bossyboots who knows more than any person should about how 3,000 dead worms smell. Meet PR's most appropriately-named exec, Susan Tellem, president and CEO of Tellem Worldwide.

Describe the company you work for Tellem Worldwide is a boutique agency in beautiful Malibu. We are full-service, with 20 years' experience in healthcare and biotech. My son, John Tellem, is opening an entertainment division on January 1, launching with the Blue's Clues Live! tour. Our parent company, MTA Films Entertainment, has one of the busiest health care video production facilities on the West Coast.

What do you do there? Tell the staff and the clients what to do.

How do you make a difference? Experience. There is nothing like it.

Tell us something interesting about your agency. My husband and I founded a national nonprofit turtle and tortoise rescue. People wander in and out of the office at all hours dropping off lost or abandoned turtles and we are often found shipping them out with our office UPS guy overnight to new homes. The worst thing that happened was when 3000 worms for the turtles were delivered dead - phew!

What is your proudest moment/greatest achievement? Seeing 300 media people stacked up for our 'first baby by in vivo technology' press conference.

What is your most embarrassing moment? When a patient threw up on a reporter's microphone.

How did you get into PR? Complete serendipity. A doctor called the physician's office where I worked and asked if I knew anyone who could do PR. I said I could.

How did you get where you are today? Hard work, great clients, an adorable husband and lots of wine.

What would you like to change about the PR industry? The PRSA. It doesn't do enough PR for PR.

Who will be the PR industry's next big hero and why? My son John Tellem.

He is the world's best live tour promoter and he has tickets to Blue's Clues Live!, which every parent wants.

What is your favorite magazine? People - hands down. Keeps me up on all the dirt.

What is the best invention of all time? A tortoise.

With which historical figure do you identify? St. Francis of Assisi - saving the animals.

What are your hobbies? Dancing (I do hip hop/jazz classes with my husband four to five days a week) and taking care of turtles.

What will you do when you retire? I will never retire.

What is your motto? We only have one planet and one set of teeth - take care of them both.



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