We congratulate Doug Pinkham, president of the DC-based Public Affairs Council, on being the first PRWeek Q&A subject to submit photographic evidence of his dexterity. Just be sure not to bite if he gives you a chocolate telephone.
We congratulate Doug Pinkham, president of the DC-based Public
Affairs Council, on being the first PRWeek Q&A subject to submit
photographic evidence of his dexterity. Just be sure not to bite if he
gives you a chocolate telephone.
Describe the company you work for. The Public Affairs Council is a
professional association for public affairs executives. I like to tell
people that we’re the Yahoo! of public affairs. If you’ve got a bad case
of information overload or you don’t know who to call, you can start
your search with us. We’ll filter and summarize information, and then
hyperlink you to other reputable sources.
How did you get into PR? My first position after college was with a
small association, where I was expected to write/edit a magazine, handle
media relations, write speeches, take photographs, sell advertising and
develop image ads for placement in other publications. Everyone at the
association had three jobs. My boss was so impressed with the staff’s
versatility that he actually fired the janitor and made us clean the
Who will be the PR industry’s next big hero and why? Mike McCurry (if he
isn’t already), because he had one of the toughest jobs in Washington
and still emerged with a sense of humor and his reputation intact.
What was your most embarrassing moment? When I was with the American Gas
Association, we used to send out trinkets with our media kit to get
suppliers to advertise in our monthly magazine. Once, I had the bright
idea to buy 800 chocolate telephones. When advertisers received this
mysterious package, attached to the chocolate phone was the message,
’Munch Out and Reach Someone. Advertise in American Gas Magazine.’ I
really thought I was clever - until we discovered that the chocolate was
rancid and we had almost poisoned our 800 advertisers.
What is your favorite sport and whom do you support? Despite the fact
that I am now in my 40s, I still love to play pick-up basketball every
Wednesday night. I make a point of it to get seriously injured at least
once a year.
Who or what do you hate most? I don’t hate many things or many
I do have a low tolerance for arrogance and self-absorption, which is
why answering all these questions is beginning to give me an uneasy
Name one thing about your past that people would be surprised to
My great, great grandmother was the founder of a famous patent medicine
company in the 1800s. Hers was the first company to use testimonial ads
in a big way - even though many of the claims were, shall we say,