QUESTIONS & ANSWERS: Ian Lipner, Ian Lipner, account manager atWashington, DC's Stanton Communications

He's the daddy to hundreds of young PR people (what, literally? -

Ed), he's no slouch when it comes to stripping off, and if you want him

to listen to you, try barking. Meet Ian Lipner, account manager at

Washington, DC's Stanton Communications.

Tell us something interesting about yourself: I moderate an online PR

forum aimed at people in the first 10 years of their PR careers

( Discussion includes career

advice, media relations strategies, and your standard over-caffeinated

internet rants.

What was your best pitch? Immediately upon taking Homer (my Labrador

mix) home as a puppy, I constructed a website detailing his development

for friends and family, complete with weekly growth photos.

I realized that I truly needed to justify my efforts among friends who

were concerned about my apparent surplus of free time. So I called up

several pet food companies and pitched them on the concept of including

Homer's website among their online content as a testimonial to their


A marketing manager at Natura Pet Company thought it was a great idea,

and Homer ended up eating free food and treats for his entire


What was your biggest screw-up? Referring to Forbes as the

industry-leading weekly business magazine in an e-mail pitch to


What's the most daring thing you've ever done? In college I slid into a

way-too-stuffy study hall right before finals, wearing nothing but a

dress shirt, boxers and black socks, ran up to a piano, and pounded out

Old Time Rock and Roll, wailing a la Tom Cruise in Risky Business. This

obviously foreshadowed a career to be characterized by the

overenthusiastic, attention-seeking behavior that makes each one of us

in this field so valuable.

If you could work for one company, what would it be? I would work for

the Chicago Cubs as media relations director the year they win the World

Series. That should give me about 25-30 years - at least - to bone up on

sports marketing.

Who would you most like to work with? Cleveland State Law professor

Daniel Forte, whose words regarding the "hijacking of Islam," according

to a September 25 Washington Post article, formed a rhetorical basis for

President Bush's special address to Congress. Regardless of my own

political viewpoints, I thought President Bush's speech was among the

most stirring and inspiring I've ever seen from an American president.

Forte's contribution helped Bush's speechwriters attain a rare

combination of forcefulness and grace, and renewed my belief in the

power of words, and the value of being a communicator.

Name one thing about your past people would be surprised to learn: I was

once a purveyor of cased-meat products. I spent my college summers

selling jumbo hot dogs at Wrigley Field, and was well-known among

season-ticket holders for my obnoxious, but effective pitch, "Who wants

my wiener?"

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