Coffee Break with French/West/Vaughan’s Rick French

PRWeek chats to the Raleigh-based PR agency leader who doubles as a Hollywood film producer and minor league baseball owner and is thriving during the COVID-19 lockdown.

Rick French’s eponymous agency has weathered the COVID-19 storm by balancing client reductions in the consumer space with work in manufacturing, healthcare and transportation.

French/West/Vaughan’s hospitality, apparel and travel and tourism clients have faced particular challenges, but the firm’s Prix Productions film company has thrived during lockdown, which helps FWV as it picks up the promotional PR work for the projects.

Current projects include a Buddy Holly-inspired rock’n’roll biopic directed by Bruce Beresford and Not Without Hope starring Miles Teller, which goes into production in August in the Dominican Republic, with Russell Wilson and Ciara as executive producers.

“All the above- and below-the line talent has been at home for months and is eager to get back to work,” explained French. “Actors are more agreeable than normal to doing a read without an offer.”

The CEO described how his agency has been operating with a skeleton staff during lockdown, conducting new-business pitches via video conference. The office was damaged during the recent protests in Raleigh and many windows were smashed.

Coffee Break is a weekly 15-minute intermission in your working day to discover more about PR pros occupying interesting roles across the industry, live each Wednesday morning by 11:00am ET.

To suggest a guest for Coffee Break, pitch steve.barrett@prweek.com.

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