Questions & Answers

A bad experience with underwear in the White House gets you into this column with no questions asked. But there's far more to E-centives director of corporate communications Carol Blymire than just a Marilyn moment.

Describe the company you work for. E-centives is a 100-person direct marketing technology company with offices in Bethesda, MD (a DC suburb), Los Angeles, San Francisco and New York. Some of our key clients include portals such as Excite, iVillage, ZDNet, and more than 150 marketers and merchants.

What do you do there? Heck, I run the place ... or at least that's what the little voices tell me. (I'm the PR diva ... I mean, director.)

How did you get into PR? I started my career in political speechwriting and fell into PR by accident and opportunity while at MCI (now WorldCom).

What is your most embarrassing moment/biggest failure? I worked in the Bush White House when I graduated from college. During the Gulf crisis, I was walking outside to the West Wing when the wind blew up my skirt and exposed my 'underthings' to some of the National Security Council staff, who hours later were going to launch the air attack over Baghdad.

Talk about a scud moment - but they were too polite to laugh in front of me. At least in that administration, people had a tasteful response to exposed underthings.

What would you do if you didn't do what you do? I'd be a gossip columnist.

What would you like to change about the PR industry? We need more people who can write and understand the concept of news value. I've had enough of applicants who want to work in PR because he/she 'wants to work with people.' Try the Clinique counter, honey. I hear Bloomie's is hiring.

Who will be the PR industry's next big hero and why? Whoever successfully convinces O.J. Simpson, Monica Lewinsky, Sean Combs and Darva Conger to quietly exit the limelight and at the same time teaches them the meaning of the word 'humility.'

What is the best invention of all time? Toilet paper.

What does 'a highly integrated communications and marketing strategy' REALLY mean? It means the people saying it have no confidence in themselves to come up with an original idea, so they cover up their insecurity by using outdated, overused jargon they read in some lame newsletter.

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