An unscripted plug by a celebrity of a product or service is one of PR's most coveted jewels.But when the son of Andy Plesser, of Plesser Associates, scored an Olympic name-drop from a surprise gold medallist, it was a unexpected bonus.
Plesser's son, Ben, goes to school with Sarah Hughes, who won the ladies figure skating gold medal at the just-completed Winter Olympics. On the evening of the short program, Plesser (the younger) hosted a party to celebrate Hughes' entry.
Daddy Plesser pitched the NBC affiliate, thinking the station might be interested in an angle on the Hughes story. A camera crew captured the event.
The following Thursday, when Hughes went to sit on the bench to get her marks after her medal-winning long program, she thanked Ben, in front of the global press, for the support.
The AP, New York Newsday (see right), and others have run stories featuring Ben, 17, and other local Hughes supporters.
Andy said his son doesn't want to exploit Hughes for personal gain, so his days of answering press questions may be over.
While Andy is glad his son better understands his job, he feels Ben still doesn't fully grasp the making of a newsworthy story.
Plesser jokes. "He asked if this would happen had I not been his dad. I almost gave him a good wallop."