He's gatecrashed Nixon's motorcade, hang-glided in Acapulco and
dined with Donald Trump. But he probably didn't order the pizza. Meet
Barry Epstein, owner of full-service PR, marketing and political
consulting firm, Barry R. Epstein Associates.
How did you get into PR? I was a Chamber of Commerce executive for 15
years in Orlando and Hollywood, FL, doing a lot of PR for a board of
directors. I decided to do it myself after Irv Cowan, owner of the then
Diplomat Hotel in Hollywood, FL offered to be my first client.
That's not all, Barry, is it ...? Um, no. My biggest screw-up was not
taking my friend Tom's offer (that's Thomas S. Monaghan - Ed) to go into
the pizza business with him back in 1967 when he opened his first store
in Ypsilanti, MI (that was Dominick's Pizza - Ed). Who would have known?
I was assistant manager of the Chamber of Commerce then and told him I
was a college graduate.
Why did I need the pizza business? (That pizza business became Domino's
Oh well, moving on. Tell us something interesting about your PR agency
Based in Boca Raton, FL, we handled the first law suit filed as a result
of the elections fiasco and called press conferences on 40 minutes'
notice every day for three weeks, getting our clients on Larry King
Live, Good Morning America, etc. We also are working with the roofer
(fisherman) who rescued Elian Gonzalez. He is writing a book on his
What is your greatest achievement? My son Jaret and holding a triple
designation: APR (Accredited Public Relations), CCE (Certified Chamber
Executive) and CED (Certified Economic Developer). And I was invited to
dinner at Mar-A-Lago with Donald Trump.
What was your best pitch/best stunt? Back in 1964, a friend who owned a
deli in New York won the jackpot at Yonkers Raceway. It was a big deal
back then and he was on the front page of the New York Daily News. We
rented a horse and buggy and went down Broadway with a sign "Eat at the
What's the most daring thing you've ever done - in or out of work? Cold
call on some of my biggest clients and get the account. Race a car at
Daytona Speedway. Hang glide in Acapulco. Hitchhike into Nixon's
motorcade when he was president. Get the Mayor's car in President Ford's
motorcade visiting Hollywood, FL.
What time do you get up? 4am and I go to bed around 1am.
What is the biggest item you've ever put on expenses? Chartering a Lear
jet. And yes, it was approved.
Who would you most like to work with? Moses, because when he was about
to part the Red Sea, I would say to him, "Mo, baby, if you can do this
I'll get you three pages in the old testament."