Questions & Answers: Phyllis Apple

She might be 78, but don't expect Phyllis Apple to head for the golf course yet. We like her tenacity but are a little scared by her 'never give up' pitch strategy.

Describe the company you work for. I am the founder and owner of The Apple Organization, located in North Miami Beach. We specialize in media placement, special events and sales promotions. My philosophy of doing business revolves around the premise that, in terms of press coverage, anything is possible. I never give up when targeting a specific print or broadcast media outlet and more often than not, I prevail.

How do you make a difference? I lead by example. Despite my 78 years, I have boundless energy and the same drive to succeed that I had when I founded the firm 20 years ago. I demand as much from myself as I do from my staff and believe me, that makes a difference.

How did you get into PR? When I launched my firm I was recently divorced and needed something into which I could throw myself wholeheartedly. Since I was on the board of numerous community organizations and was constantly chairing successful fund-raising events, a friend suggested I turn my vocation into a profession. I did and I'll never regret it. The 20 years of success this firm has enjoyed has been a great source of pride and satisfaction to me.

Who do you most look like? People have always said I resemble Linda Evans, to which I can only respond, 'I should be so lucky.'

What would you do on a desert island? I'd develop an exit strategy.

How many hours a day do you spend on the Internet? None. I get my news the old-fashioned way - by picking up the newspaper.

Name one thing about your past that people would be surprised to learn. I was a WAVE in the Navy during World War II.

What will you do when you retire? I'll spend more time with my children and hit the links more often. But I'm not ready for that yet, and I still intend to operate on all eight cylinders for quite some time.

What would you like to change about the PR industry? Far too many PR firms make promises they can't keep, and that only serves to undermine the image and credibility of the industry as a whole. I believe in shooting for the top, but I don't believe in giving clients wholly unrealistic expectations. In short, don't guarantee the cover of Time if you can't deliver.

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