Wednesday, April 27, 2005

by Famous Author Rob Byrnes

If I had a publicist, I would pay that publicist good money to garner positive publicity for me. I would pick my publicist carefully, and develop a close relationship. While the publicist would not run my life, I would rely on his or her expertise to reap good press and avoid public relations disasters. If I were to get a bit too egomaniacal (shut up), I would hope that my publicist -- using his or her best professional judgment -- would put me back in my place.

For example, here is one hypothetical situation illustrating how our relationship might work:
Famous Author Rob Byrnes: I think I will grab the nearest microphone and criticize the Justice Department for its job in controlling organized crime.

Publicist: I do not think you should do that, Famous Author Rob Byrnes, for although you are famous Famous, you really know nothing about organized crime.

Famous Author Rob Byrnes: I most certainly do, Publicist. I wrote about it in my award-winning novel The Night We Met.

Publicist: That was a book, you nitwit Famous Author. That was not reality.

Famous Author Rob Byrnes: Oh yes. That is correct. Good catch, Publicist.

Publicist: Just doing my job, sir.
And if I were to, oh, instruct my publicist to make a pronouncement on my behalf, our relationship might work like this:
Famous Author Rob Byrnes: I would like you to issue a statement in which I criticize the hypocrisy of a Right-Wing Senator who has had a homosexual encounter with a reporter from the Washington Post, Publicist.

Publicist: While I would love to do that on your behalf, I think you may be confusing reality with your short story in Strange Bedfellows, an award-winning anthology of political erotica. You nitwit Famous Author. As your publicist, who is responsible for obtaining good publicity, I would encourage you to think carefully before asking me to issue such a statement on your behalf.

Famous Author Rob Byrnes: Oh! Good catch, Publicist. Fortunately, you have again reminded me that, even though I have strong opinions, I must not confuse my art with reality. While it is true that members of the creative community have the right -- nay, the responsibility -- to speak on important issues of the day, you have been helpful in reminding me that I should expect negative publicity if I weigh in on controversial issues with which I have little or no expertise.

Publicist: Fuck you, windbag You are correct, Famous Author. Now... shall I draw your bath?
That is how things would work if I had a publicist. The End.

Now, do you think I should send this entry to Maggie Gyllenhaal?