CAREERS: My Big Break - Deborah Schwartz, president of MediaRelations

I've been doing media placement and strategy for over 20 years,

working primarily with retail clients - shopping centers, restaurants

chains and legal clients. My big break came when I was pitching the

Texaco race discrimination lawsuit in 1996 for my long-time client,

Cohen, Milstein, Hausfeld & Toll.

In August, when Michael Hausfeld told me I would not believe what was on

some audiotapes he'd been given by a disgruntled executive, I knew I had

quite a story. (The infamous comments referred to black people being

"the black jelly beans stuck to the bottom of the bag" made by Texaco


When my media calls brought Time magazine, all the major wire services

and newspapers and Jesse Jackson to the settlement press conference at

the National Press Club, we had an event. The case, the media

surrounding it, and the respect it afforded me - a sole practitioner -

turned my working world around. Since that time, national and

international media sources have become more approachable. The media

exposure has helped me garner new clients and was most helpful in

cementing my relationship with The Wall Street Journal which, in early

2000, did a front page article about Hausfeld and the unusual work done

by his firm.

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