The Big Pitch - What public figure is overdue for an image revamp, and what would you do?

Peter Shankman

Peter Shankman

Peter Shankman

The Geek Factory

New York

If anyone needs a makeover, it’s Alan Greenspan, the Federal Reserve

chairman. Greenspan has the power to topple the world financial markets

simply by breathing wrong. However, for someone wielding that much

power, he’s totally under-represented. He comes across as an old man who

should be on oxygen half the time. If he really wants to make the US

economy soar, he should be looking at a total image revamp. First of

all, the clothes: the 1970s suit with the brown tie has to go. For a

start, let’s drop him into some dollars 1,600 Armani suits - I’m

thinking a dark grey/black, with a grey Armani tie. Add some Ray Bans

and some nice Kenneth Cole shoes.

Give him a Rolex, assuming he’s able to lift the weight on his arm. Then

we need to get him into Crunch Gym for some serious cardio and

weight-training. Nothing too heavy at first, but we’ve got to give the

man some pecs, some abs, some definition! This man can topple

governments, yet probably can’t do a single sit-up. Finally, the name -

I’m thinking:’The Span.’ Could you imagine introducing him at the next

meeting of the Federal Reserve like they do the NBA players at the start

of the finals? Lights going all over the place, lasers kicking up and 2

Unlimited’s ’Get Ready For This’ playing in the background? Ladies and

Gentlemen.... The Mover of the Markets.... The Father of Finance... The

Mack Daddy of the Dollar.....

it’s THE SPAN!!! We’d never have another recession again.

Keith Sherman

Keith Sherman & Associates

New York

The recent racist, homophobic and anti-New York statements made by

reliever John Rocker of the Atlanta Braves not only reflect badly on

him, but on his team and the sports industry as a whole. Although he

issued a swift apology, it lacked sincerity and conviction. If he is

truly sorry, Rocker and the Braves need to do more to get rid of the

gray cloud that still hangs over them. One way to start undoing the

damage is through volunteerism.

Let Rocker deliver meals for God’s Love We Deliver, or be the frontman

at a baseball benefit for GMHC, AmFAR or single mothers. The Braves

could also donate tickets to several charities the next time they play

in New York. Rocker’s message of hate is still ringing in peoples’

minds, but he could repair that damage if he were to appear in and help

the communities he offended.

Courtney Reynolds

Carter Ryley Thomas Public Relations

Richmond, VA

You see him in the newspaper, on the cover of People, on E! and on your

local TV news. Rap mogul Sean ’Puffy’ Combs is making headlines, but

he’s making no headway in creating a positive image for himself. Already

plagued with a bad-boy reputation and arrests in his past, Combs was

recently charged with criminal possession of a weapon in conjunction

with a December 27 New York-club shooting. While Combs may be found

innocent in a court of law, he is guilty by association in the court of

public opinion. As a PR counselor, I would first advise Combs to do the

obvious: stay away from potentially damaging situations. Regardless of

his lack of direct involvement in shootings or nightclub brawls, he

appears guilty simply by being present. Also, I would counsel him to

embrace a cause publicly.

Whether he uses his talents to start a music/rap camp for

underprivileged children or provides advice for people interested in

starting their own companies (like he has in the past), Combs needs to

start showing us that he’s a good guy instead of just telling us so.

John Hellerman

Levick Strategic Communications


Ken Starr is an excellent lawyer, as evidenced by his numerous victories

on behalf of private clients. He is also a faithful public servant, as

demonstrated by his tenure as both Solicitor General of the US and as an

independent prosecutor during the Clinton investigation. Unfortunately,

while he obviously took his job very seriously, he also seemed to take

himself too seriously - and the American people responded negatively to

his self-righteousness. To repair his image, people must be made to

think, ’You know, he wasn’t that bad a guy. What’s he doing now?’ My

advice for Starr: one, he must demonstrate the ability to laugh at

himself and have fun - maybe do Saturday Night Live or The Late Show

with David Letterman (heavily coached, of course). Two, he should offer

both his financial assistance and time to a ’hands-on,’ non-partisan,

pro-bono effort (a la Colin Powell). Third, he should go back to work

(litigating and teaching) and thus slowly recede from the public


Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Already registered?
Sign in