QUESTIONS & ANSWERS: Frank Chiarivalloti

He steals fish, knows more than most about laundry and wants to

take over the world with his merry little threesome. Meet the

Massachusetts Mugwump, Frank Chiarivalloti.

Describe your agency

Public Image is a boutique PR and corporate communications agency in

Newburyport, MA. We are an international company; three professionals

(me, my wife Deborah and Karen Cacciola) striving to turn PR on its head

and provide world-class service to our clients while maintaining

high-quality personal lives.

What is your job title?

I decided to call myself the Supreme Mugwump after reading the Harry

Potter books. Anyone can be called president/CEO, but it takes a special

courage to call yourself a Mugwump. Hell if I know what it means, but

I'm going to be the best.

What is your greatest achievement?

Keeping Public Image alive after our two largest clients, which

represented 65% of our annual revenue, were acquired and their business

went away, seemingly overnight. We have recovered that lost revenue and


What is the secret of your success?

My father and mother. I watched them work side-by-side seven days a

week, running a small grocery store and laundromat. They funded college

educations for my sister and me and built houses for my two oldest

sisters, all from that business. It's the memories of their hard work

that keep me focused.

Write the headline for the story you would most like to read in


'Weber Shandwick, Fleishman-Hillard, Edelman merge, fail and declare

bankruptcy. Public Image acquires remains.'

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

I am a fish felon. I once kept a striped bass just to show my sons how

big a fish it was. I swear to God no one was watching me, but apparently

two game wardens were standing on the riverbank. I probably should have

had a clue when I heard someone yell, 'Hey!' Figuring hey is for horses,

I took the fish. Well, I was met at the boat launch with a smile and a


I paid my fine and learned my lesson, but to this day I'd like to know

what the warden did with that fish.

What do you wish you hadn't said to the media?

I represented a Maine utility which was actually seeking a rate decrease

in a rate case. We were holding a public hearing and no customers showed

up. A reporter with the Portland Press Herald smiled and asked, 'To what

do you attribute this outpouring of public support?' I said, 'We have

finally achieved our ultimate goal: customer indifference.' Guess what

made the front page the next day?

Who would you most like to work with?

I want to work with the next unknown American who wishes to become

President of the United States. I want to advise and develop the

campaign that will propel this person to the national stage without

benefit of soft money or birthright. It's time a citizen became


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