Steve Haweeli, a bartender turned PR pro, describes his agency, WordHampton Public Relations, as ’the largest restaurant PR firm on Long Island.’ Here, he waxes philosophic on testosterone, spirituality and gravedigging hijinks.
Steve Haweeli, a bartender turned PR pro, describes his agency,
WordHampton Public Relations, as ’the largest restaurant PR firm on Long
Island.’ Here, he waxes philosophic on testosterone, spirituality and
What is the secret of your success? 17 years of bartending.
How do you make a difference? I bring testosterone - and the tension
that comes with it - to an otherwise female office.
Tell us something interesting about your agency In the summer, I’ve been
known to leave the office for a half hour in the middle of the day to
hit the beach for a dip.
What was your proudest moment? Doing the PR for adman Jerry Della
Femina’s restaurants in Manhattan and East Hampton.
What was your most embarrassing moment? Charging dollars 50 for my first
press release, and having no idea what my hourly rate was.
How did you get into PR? I started the company with no PR training and
no agency experience, and I never took a PR class in college. Ten years
ago, I was bartending in NYC and I sent out a letter out to my bar
patrons that described my honeymoon. That letter turned into a direct
mail piece which led to me writing direct mail for downtown restaurants.
When someone asked me if I had ever written a press release, my answer
was, ’What’s a press release?’
Who do you most look like? A cross between Babe Ruth and Marlon
What would you do on a desert island? I’d eat vanilla almond ice cream
for breakfast, coconut pie for lunch and lemon tarts for dinner. Then
I’d proceed to the Viennese table ... you said dessert island,
Name one thing about your past that people would be surprised to
That I was a gravedigger and once buried a man upside down. True
What would you do if you didn’t do what you do? Be a Benedictine
With which historical figure do you identify? St. Paul, the patron saint
What are your hobbies? Lure-making, surfcasting and breaking chops.
What will be the next big thing to hit PR and why? Publicists will
become celebrities in the same manner that chefs have.