There were no famous people at a book party held for Marco Larsen, principal of PUBLIC PR on Thursday, July 30. His book is titled Don’t: The Essential Guide to Publicity in New York City & Any Other City That Matters. Luckily, the Transom wasn’t at the penthouse at the Hotel on Rivington, where it was held, to shmooze. We were there to learn.
Don’t be shy. Don’t write like a PR intern. Don’t wear nude pantyhose. Mr. Larsen’s book, which is printed in a font appropriate for a far-sighted geriatric patient, is full of such sage advice. We found the author on the swanky hotel’s roof, which offered a stunning view of Manhattan. Mr. Larsen, who represents Osmotics Cosmeceuticals and Zurich Financial Services, among many other clients, wore a black bowtie with white skulls and had clearly adhered to one of his top don’ts: Don’t forget to comb your hair.
Mr. Larsen was inspired to pen Don’t by a pamphlet from the 19th century he had seen in which “the British instructed Yankees on how to behave. It was on sale for a shilling!” Mr. Larsen said. He pointed to the last chapter of his book, which focuses on cultural literacy. “If you want to succeed here, you have to understand the cultural vocabulary,” he explained, “and that means going to the Met, and taking in an excellent movie from time to time.” Mr. Larsen’s No. 1 don’t? “Don’t be a pretentious twit.”
Not surprisingly, the place was filled with publicists.There were representatives from Ann Taylor, Hickey and Kate’s Paperie, there to show (presumably already in-the-know) guests how to wear sensible slacks, get measured properly for a suit and advance the “custom carding mission,” respectively. Andrew Taylor, director of PR for Ann Taylor, was quick to show off the new, wittier Ann Taylor: “We’re calling accessories ‘covetables,’” he said. “Like things you covet.”
Topher Burns, PUBLIC account executive, related his favorite don’t: “Don’t order vile hooch,” he said. “But only because I’m a big drinker. I also like the one about women showing off their assets, so to speak. I’m all for women projecting power and using every tool in their vocabulary, but I think it puts them at an unfair advantage, frankly.”