QUESTIONS & ANSWERS: David Gaier

He's a boot camp graduate who enjoys sky-diving and strives for Arnold Schwarzenegger's physique. But deep down, he just wants to be William Shakespeare. Meet David Gaier, VP, Golin/Harris San Francisco.

He's a boot camp graduate who enjoys sky-diving and strives for Arnold Schwarzenegger's physique. But deep down, he just wants to be William Shakespeare. Meet David Gaier, VP, Golin/Harris San Francisco.

He's a boot camp graduate who enjoys sky-diving and strives for Arnold Schwarzenegger's physique. But deep down, he just wants to be William Shakespeare. Meet David Gaier, VP, Golin/Harris San Francisco.



Describe the company you work for

Golin/Harris is HQ'd in Chicago with offices in 11 other US cities and a growing overseas network. Among the first clients of our founder, Al Golin, was Ray Kroc of McDonald's fame.



What do you do there?

I lead six accounts, head up media training for all our SFO clients and oversee the office (internal) IT function. More importantly, I am also the resident jokester/prankster/in-house entertainer.



Tell us something embarrassing about your agency

Our office missed a softball game against a team of reporters (unknowingly). They had fun announcing our error in the local paper. The quote: 'For once we were ready to take their pitches.'



What is your proudest moment?

The day I graduated from Marine Corps boot camp, December 8, 1976.



What is your most embarrassing moment?

I took US Secretary of State George Shultz off an elevator on the wrong floor at a hotel in Geneva. I kept going like I knew what I was doing.



How did you get into PR?

I was a special agent with the US Department of State, heading the protective detail for a Saudi Ambassador. In the Saudi Embassy I saw an American guy in a suit running around with story-boards. I asked him, 'Who the hell are you and why are you always here?' He was SVP at the Hannaford Company, heading a multi million-dollar cultural exhibition for the Saudi government. We began talking, which led to an interview, my resigning from the foreign service to join that firm, and my career in PR and marketing.



What would you like to change about the PR industry?

The absurd way it is perceived among some members of the public. People think that we try to sell the idea that 'toxic sludge is good for you.' We don't think that, and we don't try to sell it.



Who do you most look like?

Kevin Bacon, I am told. But I want to look like 'Ah-nold' (at least my physique).



What are your best and worst habits?

My worst habit is that I am addicted to caffeine. My best is that I am a voracious reader, everything from daily news to tech pubs to thrillers and history tomes. I deplore that kids read little anymore.



With which historical figure do you identify?

None. But I'd like to have been Shakespeare, whoever he was (probably the 17th Earl of Oxford, not the guy from Stratford-Upon-Avon, which is a myth).



What are your hobbies?

Reading history, occasionally sky-diving.



What is your best ability?

I have no idea. I could climb a rope pretty well when I was in the Corps.



What is your motto/philosophy?

It ain't a crisis unless somebody dies.





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