QUESTIONS & ANSWERS: John Frew

He'd have worked at The Frew Crew until friends talked him out of it.

He'd have worked at The Frew Crew until friends talked him out of it.

But now he runs the show - when the show isn't running him. Excuse The Hamilton Group's John Frew while he picks bits of racing car out of his hair.

Describe the company you work for The Hamilton Group is a small but growing full-service PR and marketing communications firm. We are located in the heart of New York City, just across the street from Madison Square Garden. Our clients run the gamut from technology to healthcare to nonprofit institutions, truly an eclectic mix and we love it that way.

What do you do? I like to think that I run the place, but with our small size - currently five people - sometimes I think the company runs me. A typical day runs the gamut from serious strategic discussions with clients to running out to Staples for more stationary and printer cartridges.

Tell us something interesting about your company: The name of the company is actually my middle name. A friend advised me not to use my last name for two reasons. First, he felt it didn't sound impressive. ("The Frew Crew

didn't work for him, I guess.) Second, if the business didn't make it, he asked, "What would happen to your name?"

How did you get into PR? I was a frustrated and injured jock at Hofstra University. I got hurt playing football, and got into sports information and PR. I've been in it ever since.

What is your greatest achievement? Taking Cohn & Wolfe New York from an also-ran office to one of the city's top ten firms in less than five years.

What was your best stunt? Turning our conference room into a locker room complete with lockers, posters, and chalkboard, and bringing in NBC sportscaster Jimmy Roberts to introduce our team, conducting a Step-Aerobics class in our lobby ... all to win the AOR assignment with Reebok.

What's the most daring thing you've ever done? Hanging out in the pits at such race tracks as Indy, Daytona, Sears Point, and Watkins Glen for such motor sports clients as BMW and Jaguar. I've dodged more crashes and debris than a New York traffic reporter.

What is the biggest item you've ever put on expenses? Was it approved? In the high-flying '80s my client and I commandeered one of the company jets for a minor interview in Memphis, TN. What a great day! Fly to Memphis, lunch with the reporter, limo to the runway, fly back to New York, home for dinner. That was truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience! Luckily, he was the one who got it approved.

If you were an animal, what would you be? I'd be a Guiding Eyes for the Blind guide dog. Yet another shameless plug for a client, although these dogs are truly remarkable. One GEB guide dog, Salty, led his partner, Omar Rivera, to safety from the 71st Floor of the World Trade Center on September 11.

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