Larry King salutes PR in PRSA keynote address

Venerable CNN talk show host Larry King regaled the PRSA conference in his keynote address with anecdotes of his speaking engagements, and reinforced the important relationship between broadcasters and PR professionals.

Venerable CNN talk show host Larry King regaled the PRSA conference in his keynote address with anecdotes of his speaking engagements, and reinforced the important relationship between broadcasters and PR professionals.

King's friend, PR legend Howard Rubenstein, introduced the broadcaster, saluting his longevity in the industry and the multitude of guests - some famous and some infamous - that have spoken to King. "Some may have [been infamous] for going to jail," Rubenstein said, pausing, before joking that some might have been his clients. After walking gingerly onto the stage, King removed his suit jacket to reveal his trademark suspenders, which he said was done to prove it was, in fact, him. King said he always gives speech extemporaneously, and spent a good portion of the speech relaying his funniest public speaking gigs. Once he spoke at an event that was run by an organized crime boss, who wanted to thank King for his participation in asking five words: "Got anybody you don't like?" King dismissed the notion that PR people are bothersome to or unwelcome by journalists. "I think they're valuable to broadcasters," King said, to an applauding audience. "Some of my best moments have come from a guest pitched by a PR person." He added: "Everyone is 'selling' something." Guests are booked for the Larry King Live show in a variety of ways, either from incoming PR pitches or from the producers finding guests. King said the best way for a PR person to get on the show was a good sell. "Tell the [journalist or producer] why they'll be the best guest," King said. In a brief interview with PRWeek after the event, King admitted that spin had reached heretofore-unknown levels during this campaign. He said that the public was dying for honesty and a publicist or handler would benefit his candidate by offering it up. He said he deals with spin in a calm manner. "You never want to yell at someone," he said. King, who will be co-anchoring during CNN's election night coverage, says getting it right is much more important than getting it first. He said: "If CBS got it first, I can't imagine someone would walk down the street, [saying], 'CBS got it first!'" Other PRSA stories: New Yorker's Auletta questions ties between business and journalism.

Trump's advice for bad PR: fight harder.

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