Margery Newman Publicity & Communications
Margery Newman is based in New York, NY, USA
Facebook: Margery Newman Publicity & Communications
Work with Nicole Straus Public Relations: www.nicolestrauspr.com
- How did you get started in PR?
I was working for Paper magazine in the mid to late 1980s. I was selling ads (badly) and typesetting (well). I always wanted to be a writer (I was an English major), and the editors and publishers Kim Hastreiter and David Hershkovits finally let me start writing. I was writing personal essays and writing about food and restaurants, shopping, and pretty much anything that interested me.
I always juggled multiple jobs, and a lot of different things happened somewhat at once. I started writing press releases for Maria Benvenuti Public Relations (she specializes in restaurants) and for Robin Rice Gallery (she shows photography). At Paper, where contributors made little to no money at the time, Kim and David would often refer opportunities for paying work that dovetailed with individual talents. In 1988, they met a woman who knew the principals of a company called Cicena that was starting up a company selling neon clocks, telephones and radios. They were looking for someone to do publicity for them. Kim and David thought it might be up my alley. And it was.
- How did you find yourself where you are now?
I worked for Cicena on a part-time basis for quite a number of years. Not only did I go to newsstands to research magazine mastheads and libraries to find out about publications all over the U.S., I called movie studios to look for propping opportunities, taught myself how to write press releases, and developed a mailing list one by one (using a contact management database program I still use today). Cicena products were featured regularly in the electronics and home furnishing trades, and in the consumer press from everything from the New York Times to Cosmopolitan magazine. We started a retro line of products, then an ergonomic line (for which I even wrote the operating manuals!). One of those phones was propped in the Seinfeld episode where George eats the éclair out of the garbage. I wrote brochures, and packaging materials, and identified designers for new products and marketing materials.
During that time, I had other clients and took on other part time jobs. My contact at Cosmopolitan, introduced me to Jackie Burton of Burton Luch Public relations and I became more steeped in home furnishings and design which was her specialty. She called me a “hit woman,” because I could get all kinds of items placed in all kinds of places. Those were the days when we sent out slides and transparencies to the press. Or pasted color photos on the press release so the publications could shoot directly from them. No internet, no image files, no email. Just the phone and paper and film. Spit and glue! I began working with Shannon Wilkinson at Cultural Communications, a firm that specialized in art and art books including photography.
Over the years I’ve promoted real estate projects, doctors, safaris, Aerobeds, Biomorph ergonomic desks, retro bicycles, yoga studios, a personal trainer, beauty products, and restaurants. In 2000, Shannon introduced me to Nicole Straus of Nicole Straus PublicRelations with whom I’ve been working on larger projects ever since.
- What does your agency do?
Nicole Straus Public Relations specializes in cultural PR. We work with cultural institutions, galleries, museums, art fairs, foundations, architects and more. I also take on individual clients – photographers with shows and/or books coming out and have had the great honor of working one-on-one with some wonderful photographers including David Maisel, Jim Goldberg, Marc Yankus, Jona Frank, Steven Hirsch, and so many others.
- What are you currently working on?
Since 2007, Nicole and I have work for AIPAD, the Association of International Photography Art Dealers on The Photography Show which happens annually in the spring. With Nicole I’m also working on fantastic meaty accounts including Howard Greenberg Gallery, the National Museum of Women in the Arts, and China Institute Gallery.
- What is a recent success you're particularly proud of?
I’m in between major successes right now, but there have been highlights for sure. My absolute favorite thing is to get my clients into print in the New York Times, which has happened often. Also, the clip book for The Photography Show passes the plop test year after year. Big, heavy, and something to be proud of.
- What is most important in your work?
I like variety. I like that my job entails writing, editing, pitching, working with images. PR has been a great career for that.
- How would you say the media landscape has changed since you started in PR?
There was no Internet to speak of when I started PR! And early on when there was the Internet, I remember a client complaining that I wasn’t getting enough print. That the Internet press I was getting was meaningless. How things have changed!
- Where are your favorite places for business meetings or drinks with writers/clients?
- PR/Communications can be fast-paced and stressful, what is your favorite way of relaxing?
So many ways… Pilates, dancing, singing, going to hear live music, going to the movies, making pottery, spending time outdoors…
- What are you reading these days?
The Universe Has Your Back by Gabrielle Bernstein, Word by Word by Kory Stamper, and a stack of old New Yorkers.
- What is the next art event you're the most looking forward in the next months?
Joel Meyerowitz has a show opening at Howard Greenberg Gallery in September. It’s called “Between the Dog and the Wolf.” The photographs he’s taken at dusk and they’re hauntingly beautiful. I’m so lucky to work with some of the greats!