Questions & Answers: David Eng

His proudest moment turned into a washout, which is presumably why his motto is to get others to do your dirty work. Meet David Eng, and his eponymous New York agency.

His proudest moment turned into a washout, which is presumably why his motto is to get others to do your dirty work. Meet David Eng, and his eponymous New York agency.

His proudest moment turned into a washout, which is presumably why his motto is to get others to do your dirty work. Meet David Eng, and his eponymous New York agency.

Describe the company you work for David Eng Communications is a full-service PR, communications and marketing agency established in 1994 to provide consultation to not-for-profit organizations. We now work with for-profit corporations and organizations as well, combining corporate business interests strategically matched with public interest and community needs.

What do you do there? I'm the president and founder. Since I sign the checks, most of them listen to what I have to say.

What is your most embarrassing moment? We did the PR for one of the largest public outdoor fund-raising events in Central Park. On that day, we had one of the biggest rain, thunder and lightning storms in the city's history. People were up to their knees in mud and water. No one was allowed near the stage set up for performances because of the danger of being struck by lightning.

Money and checks that were collected got so wet that on some, the ink bled off, leaving blank checks. To add insult to injury, one of the stars we recruited for the event made a derogatory remark that referred to the very people the organization benefiting from the event served, and it made the front page of all the tabloids.

How did you get into PR? I started out in advertising and realized that I didn't like it enough to stay. However, the one aspect I did like about it was the variety of people that I came into contact with daily. So I thought, hmmm, I like people, let's try PR.

How did you get where you are today? Due to cutbacks, my department was eliminated at my last job, so I started my own agency. If I hadn't been laid off, I probably would have agonized over starting my own agency for much longer than I did.

What would you do if you didn't do what you do? Anything that dealt with people and changing their perceptions. Probably politics.

What would you like to change about the PR industry? I'd like us to be taken more seriously, particularly by clients. What we do is perceived as easy and requiring very little skill. However, those of us who do it know the complexity of knowing what changes people's perceptions. It's a combination of teacher and psychiatrist all at the same time.

What is your motto? Never do yourself what you can get someone else to do for you.

What is the secret of your success? Always look and move straight ahead.



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