He was one half of top '80s pop group Wham!, and is now enjoying a
successful solo career (wrong George Michael! - Ed). Oh, sorry. He
believes small is beautiful, and that if a job's worth doing, it's worth
doing yourself. Ladies and gentlemen, meet the other George Michael.
Describe the company you work for: Michael & Partners started in 1998.
We now have ten full-time employees, a couple of part-time employees and
11 ongoing accounts. Since we started so recently, our accounts tend to
be heavily involved in the "new economy."
Why did you start your own agency? I sold my previous ad/
PR firm, MBRK, in 1997 and had a four-and-a-half year employment
agreement. I assured everyone - clients, employees, myself - I would be
there for five years. After nine months, I was told, "You don't have to
come in any longer." (My investment banker friends knew it would happen;
"It always does.") I then officed with a friend who was starting a
dot-com, so I got to play with all the Internet toys. I realized the
Internet was an information medium. Since PR is based on information, I
started a PR agency!
What do you do there? What everyone else doesn't do.
Tell us something interesting about your company: My employees host a
semi-annual, office "Pet Day." So far, the guests of honor have been
several cats, a bulldog and a flying squirrel.
What was your best pitch? The best pitch is always "the next one."
What was your biggest screw-up? I screw up everyday, but as a boss told
me once, "You don't embarrass easy, do you?"
If you could work for one company or one account, what would it be? I
get bored if I only work on one thing.
What is the biggest item you've ever put on expenses? Dinner at the
Mansion for clients from outside the US. I charged it; I approved
Write the headline for the story you would most like to read in PRWeek:
"Research study reveals small agencies do better PR than big, expensive
What do you wish you hadn't said to the media? I've always had a good PR
agency represent me (mine) so there have been no goof-ups in the media.
(Yet - Ed.)
If you were an animal, what would you be? What's better than being a
Name one thing about your past people would be surprised to learn I have
a BS in engineering and a Ph.D. in marketing.
Which historical figure would you most like to represent? John F.
What is the secret of your success? Having great "bosses" and great
employees - from whom I learn something everyday.