She's a real broadcast expert, she does a mean Froggy, and she's ... oh, there she goes, she's fallen over again. Meet the occasionally upright Lynn Medcalf, cofounder of News Generation.Describe your company
News Generation is a public relations services company specializing in radio. We have two offices, 12 employees, and a great list of clients, from The Discovery Networks to PBS, and AARP to the American Psychological Association.
What do you do?
As EVP and cofounder, I head up operations - pitching, producing, writing releases, targeting projects, reporting, and database management. Some consider it the unglamorous part of media relations work, but it's really the backbone of PR - keeping great relationships and data to make our clients' projects get the bang they deserve.
Tell us an embarrassing story
On nearly every business trip, I either injure myself, fall down or spill something publicly. The best example was when I was in New York on one of our first business trips soon after starting the company. I was in Penn Station. I went to pick up my cup of coffee that I set on the ground, and as I bent down, my laptop case and bags on each shoulder threw me completely off balance. I slowly fell backward on my bum, spread-eagled for about 300 people to see. My business partner Susan led the charge in hysterical laughter, and the crowd followed soon after.
How did you get into PR?
I worked in non-commercial and commercial radio, and have always had a love for the medium. When given the opportunity to do radio PR, I jumped at it. Having been on the other side of the microphone allows me insight into what works on radio, and more importantly, what doesn't.
What was your best pitch?
Scheduling interviews from a ship in the middle of the Pacific Ocean for Shark Week was one of our best pitches, although technically, not the easiest thing in the world to pull off!
What are you working on this week?
A child-safety seat campaign, a documentary about the world of competitive eating, a study on the crisis of the uninsured, and a client testifying in front of Congress on the Enron debacle.
What is the biggest item you've ever put on expenses?
At a previous job, I expensed five bottles of wine between three people in three hours. The receipt had a complimentary cigarette burn on it from my client. It was approved.
What's your party trick?
I do a terrific impersonation of Froggy from The Little Rascals. And one time for Halloween, I dressed up as a vacuum cleaner salesperson. When the host of the party opened the door, I threw a bag of dirt on his carpet and then vacuumed it up in front of 40 guests.
I won best costume, and I think it was because of the accompanying demonstration.
Or maybe they felt bad, seeing me drag around a vacuum cleaner all night.