By Dick Grove

I’ve been in this PR business a long time, fifty years and counting. But every once in a while I’m reminded of the greats in my profession who have gone before me…Harold Burson for example, who I had the privilege to work for; and who pioneered modern business public relations. Then there’s a gentleman by the name of Jim Mahoney, who recently celebrated his 96th birthday by attending a book signing of just published memoir, “Get Mahoney!

Jim didn’t make a career of corporate press releases or annual reports. Rather he built his decades long PR reputation as a “fixer” and publicist to most of Hollywood’s greatest stars beginning with Clark Gable through Frank Sinatra, Bob Hope, Johnny Carson, and even the Rolling Stones, and hundreds in between. When a big studio needed to publicize a new science fiction movie like Star Wars, or a global movie star needed someone to bury an indiscretion, they called Jim Mahoney. He knew the phone numbers of all the gossip columnists and practically any one and everyone with media influence in the entertainment industry. This was Jim’s turf and he worked it like a master craftsman and storyteller for over sixty years. Mahoney was old school PR in a simpler time long before the internet, streaming, or Ai. When Hollywood was truly golden and the gods and goddesses therein relied on a guy like Mahoney to maintain the illusion of perfection.

I’m old enough to remember those simpler old school times – both in the entertainment world as well as in PR. And while I enjoy and utilize all the technological conveniences now available, I still adhere to one of Mahoney’s PR dictums…”It’s all in the story, how it’s told, to whom, and when.”

Thank you, Jim Mahoney, for sharing your stories and reminding me that your philosophy may be old school, but it still works today.

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