Former Michael’s Publicist Responds to Lunch at Michael’s

October 30, 2007

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Photo: Andy Plesser interviewing Robert Scoble

Sadly, PRNewser’s series on Gawker’s Conquering All Media is coming to a close this week. Caught up in the melee of the FEMA scandal we neglected to write up another key response from an agency head to Choire Sicha’s thoughts on Michael’s restaurant.

Andy Plesser, founder of Plesser Holland, placed gossip items and feature stories on behalf of the restaurant in the 90s prior to transitioning away from lifestyle clients in 1999. To summarize his thoughts: go to lunch to gawk, go to breakfast to cut your deals.

Plesser understands both the need for some offline gawking as well as the new rules of the self-referential blogodome. His Beet.tv is a mostly serious, and well-trafficked (Technorati top 10,000) vlog covering the online video revolution. See him commenting on Beet.tv v. Scoble here, and a vlog-within-a-vlog on Kara Swisher’s AllThingsD. Vlogodome? Copyright pending.

Like other influencers featured on PRNewser, Plesser graciously denied his impact on his former client. Before getting to his comments, I disclose that I worked for his firm from 2000 to 2006:

Jason, you flatter me that I’m the “guru,” it’s Michael and his staff who have brilliantly created an enduring scene and brand by knowing “who is important” in building the electricity in the room. The other cool thing is that Michael is very loyal to customers who are seen as important, even it they are not in the spotlight or employed. There’s a lot of buzz in the room, but goodwill, which makes the scene so enduring.


Michaels a lunch is probably too distracting to get much work done over lunch. People are constantly scoping each other out and table hopping. That much said, there is value in going to Michael’s as client development effort. Particularly out of town clients are often impressed with the high powered crowd chowing down. If a PR person, like me, gets an good table, it’s impressive, it’s actually helped close the deal on new business. One longtime client still talks about sitting with me next to Vanessa Redgrave!

For serious business discussions and getting work done, breakfast at Micheal’s is much better.

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