QUESTIONS & ANSWERS: Michael Finnigan

He's a former rock star (well, sort of), avid snowboarder and his

biggest fear is forgetting his girlfriend's birthday. Meet Michael

Finnigan, director of PR at CosmoCom.

Describe the company you work for CosmoCom is a call center software

provider. We provide large enterprises and service providers with an

all-IP (Internet Protocol) communication services platform, which allows

customers to contact customer service agents through all points;

telephone and internet, live and message-based, fixed and wireless.

What do you do? As director of PR, I am the company's spokesperson. I

oversee CosmoCom's corporate PR strategy as well as manage the company's

relations with the analyst community.

What was your best stunt? An April fools joke that got out of hand. A

peer of mine and I once created a fictitious analyst report that stated

our company was being sold to one of our competitors and that the entire

management team would be relocated to the other company's headquarters

on the West Coast. We fabricated the e-mail address to appear that it

came from the analyst firm and sent it to our boss, the VP of marketing,

who forwarded it up the chain. It eventually reached the CEO, who

contacted the analyst firm to find our sources on the report. We were

nearly fired. It's now a legendary story at the company.

What's the most daring thing you've ever done - in or out of work?

That's tough. It could be physically daring: skydiving, mountain biking

in Moab, UT, forgetting my girlfriend's birthday. Or it could be

emotionally daring; quitting a very comfortable job a year ago to travel

or forgetting my girlfriend's birthday. I've done all of these and all

can be considered very daring by most.

What is the biggest item you've ever put on expenses? I'm pretty

careful, but I'd have to go with the red convertible mustang that was

rented while in LA. Hey, it was the last available midsize.

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

'President Bush's PR spokesperson quits after learning of Bush's drunken

night of partying with Vice President Cheney.'

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

formerly the lead singer of a rock band, one that gained some notoriety

in the New York area before we broke up in the mid '90s. Ripped jeans,

loud nights and an abundance of intoxicated audiences now paints a sharp

contrast to my day job. It's a lot easier to impress intoxicated


Which historical figure would you most like to represent? Gandhi. That

man certainly knew how to get press mentions. Though I wouldn't have

been around to partake in the hunger strikes. And also Walt Disney. A

big dreamer with the guts to back it all up and the energy that would

certainly be contagious.

What is the secret of your success? Work for something you believe in,

are passionate about, and above all, have fun with. All the money in the

world won't make you happy doing something you dislike. Most people who

truly excel at their work do things they love. This is the secret behind

my success. When I no longer have fun doing this, I'll move on to

something else. Maybe there's a trapeze somewhere under a big top with

my name written on it.

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