Questions & Answers - Michael Garfinkel

This week, we bring you Michael Garfinkel, the PR industry's only collector of old lunch boxes. Yes, you did read that right. And if there's another PR tradesman collecting lunch boxes in this country, PRWeek will eat the contents.

Describe the company you work for: The Terpin Group is a hi-tech, new-media, dot-com PR firm with offices in LA, SF and NY. I am the General Manager/EVP of The Terpin Group/LA, located in beautiful Marina del Rey.

Our philosophy is, 'We let the world know you exist.'

What would you like to change about the PR industry? Some of the formalities.

There are way too many 'institutional' practices and procedures. I go out to meetings and I am myself. The person everyone sees in the office or at a new business meeting is the same person they would see if they came to my house on the weekend.

What would you do if you didn't do what you do? I would be working with a TV production company or TV studio, producing one of the game shows I created. Though not in production yet, I co-created a game show with the gossip editor of The National Enquirer, Mike Walker.

Who do you most look like? A cross between Charlie Callas and Mickey Rourke. Ed: We think Matt LeBlanc

What is the best invention of all time? The airplane. I am still in awe of watching such a heavy vehicle raise itself from the Earth.

Who put the 'bomp' in the 'bomp shoo bomp shoo bomp'? Mama Cass. She could bomp with the best of them. This was a woman who shouldn't have left the planet so early. She's actually the only celeb I've ever had a crush on.

What are your hobbies? I collect old metal lunch boxes from the '60's and '70's. I currently have a collection of over 120, including my two prized possessions: The Beatles Yellow Submarine ('69) and The Munsters ('65). It's very difficult to find them in good condition, but most of mine are seven or eight out of 10.

Do you have a secret daily pleasure? Once a day I log onto eBay to search for good deals on old lunch boxes. My entire collection sits in my office, and I am always looking to add a hard-to-find box.

How do you make a difference? I know how to manage. I can always be found walking the halls trying to make life easier for my staff, while they're helping to make life easier for our clients by providing roll-up-your-sleeves-and-get-down-to-business PR. I'm visible. You don't manage a company by absenteeism.





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