Sal Cataldi of NYC’s Cataldi PR is a musician, a father, an agency chief, a cyclist ... well, you get the picture. But his creative, near-manic take on PR has won him clients ranging from American Movie Classics to the Dewar’s Bagpipe Festival.
Sal Cataldi of NYC’s Cataldi PR is a musician, a father, an agency
chief, a cyclist ... well, you get the picture. But his creative,
near-manic take on PR has won him clients ranging from American Movie
Classics to the Dewar’s Bagpipe Festival.
How did you get into PR? Out of sheer desperation. I was 27 and had met
a woman whose idea of a date wasn’t two-day-old pizza and amour by the
light of an old black-and-white TV, so I took ’What Color Is Your
Parachute?’ out of the library and found that my experience with words,
selling and rejection made me a perfect candidate for a career in
So I wrote a funny letter, got a call for an interview and entertained
the agency prez with my pitiful tales of beatnik glory. She hired me on
the spot for the godly sum of dollars 17k per year.
Who will be the PR industry’s next big hero and why? No one you
If they’re really doing their job correctly, you will have no idea they
exist. Take that, Howard Rubenstein!
What would you like to change about the PR industry? The undeniable urge
to use research to validate safe, run-of-the-mill thinking - the kind of
old-school flackery that even a seven-year old can see through. I love
research as a way to get into the minds of my targets, but not when you
let tipsy folks seeking a free meal and dollars 50 bucks dictate your
Tell us something interesting about your agency. Nobody wears pants
between March and October. Some, like me, opt for gym shorts or grungy
baggies, while others favor hot pants that would make Mariah Carey
blush. We also have an office cat - Shemp - in violation of our lease
and an iguana named Herbert, who’s terrific at brainstorming. He just
seems to nod his head when we come up with the right idea.
Who do you most look like? With my oversized beret and shoulder-length
ringlets, I sort of look like the painter Rafael. My employees say I
resemble a ’better-looking’ Howard Stern, one with a normally
functioning thyroid and average American member.
What is your idea of perfect bliss? The mind orgasm you have when you
hatch a good idea. As a musician, it’s very much the same feeling you
get when the playing is good, when the band is cooking on all cylinders
and you can do no wrong.
How many hours a day do you spend on the Internet? Maybe two. Have not
been doing it at home lately, not since the wife caught me on