Monroe County Commission Proclaims Oct. 27, 2018, ‘Lieutenant Stuart G. Newman Day’

The founder of the Florida Keys’ longtime tourism public relations agency has been honored by the Monroe County Commission.

At its most recent meeting, the commission passed a unanimous resolution decreeing that Saturday, Oct. 27, be proclaimed “Lieutenant Stuart G. Newman Day” in the Florida Keys.

Newman, 96, served in World War II as a navigator aboard a B-17 Flying Fortress, completing 35 missions.

He and 72 other veterans of World War II, Korea and Vietnam are to travel to … Read the rest

Stuart Newman: 70 years representing Miami’s tourism industry giants

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The Miami Herald ran a lengthy profile of our eponymous agency founder in the “Business Monday” section April 4.

Stuart Newman has been at the helm of one of Miami’s longest-running public relations agencies for 70 years, but he could have been in the industry longer — if it weren’t for one regret.

The memory of it hangs by his desk: Two primary colored circus posters depicting horses, elephants and clowns.

At 15 and living … Read the rest

Cuba Tourism Returns to the Spotlight

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With the recent historic meeting of presidents Barrack Obama and Raul Castro as a catalyst, the escalation of U.S. visitors to Cuba seems like it will happen sooner rather than later. That, in turn, could preface the possible return to the island of American resort operators retracing the footsteps of those who thrived there in the pre-Castro days.

In that era, a trip to Havana could be as casual as an overnight excursion on a 50-minute flight departing Miami International … Read the rest

When It Comes to Clients, There’s Cheap … and Cheaper

Piggy Bank Recession.
During our early agency years in the post-war 1940s and ’50s, among the most sought-after South Florida clients were Miami Beach hotels.

The Ritz Carltons, Hyatts and Hiltons were decades in the future, rather, the resorts were operated by investors who had acquired their capital in other fields, but were drawn to the glamor of oceanfront hotels.

One of the most colorful of these was the late Sam E. Cohen, who, with his family, built and operated the oceanfront Sherry … Read the rest

No Aspirin for PR Headaches

Pill.
At one point in an old Bob Newhart comedy bit on “Abraham Lincoln and his Press Agent,” the publicist, upon learning that Lincoln had conducted a press conference without consulting him, groaned “Abe, how many times must I remind you, don’t talk to those newspaper guys when I’m not along.”

Sometimes it does not matter even if the PR consultant is in attendance.

After finishing my Air Force navigator missions in World War II, I was assigned as public relations … Read the rest

The Politics of Political PR

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Barack Obama’s deployment of social media charted a sea change for political campaigns in its departure from the past half-century’s preoccupation with television and radio and the even earlier candidates’ dependency upon print advertising and direct mail.

Today NewmanPR clients are almost exclusively within the hospitality arena — mainly destination and maritime industries. However, in prior years local, state and even national political candidates were a significant factor in our business model.

In my third year I set a record … Read the rest

Sometimes the Clowns Indeed Are Already Here

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In Sondheim’s signature song from “A Little Night Music,” the singer reflectively adds to the lyrics “Send in the clowns … don’t bother they’re here.” I can identify with that each time I glance at the vintage Russell Brothers Circus poster on my wall.

It’s a reminder of one of the missed opportunities of earlier years in Fort Lauderdale where, for a time, my father operated the only shoe store. In the pre–World War II days, before air conditioning, Fort … Read the rest

PR Can Become a Zoo

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Creative public relations can draw upon many resources and I can recall at least two instances when a bear and an elephant generated headlines in publicizing an event.

At a Miami Beach sports and travel show in the late 1960s, in addition to golf and fly-casting demonstrations, and personal appearances by former Cleveland Indians star pitcher Bob Feller, a dancing bear named Rosie attracted considerable attention with her terpsichorean talents.

A Miami Herald city editor accepted my suggestion for an … Read the rest

From Rags to Riches — Florida Keys Style

Money.
For almost two centuries the economy of Key West and the Florida Keys seesawed between prosperity and depression.

In the early 19th century, Key West was one of the nation’s richest cities from its sponge industry and salvaging cargos from ships wrecked on its treacherous reefs. But in the Great Depression years it dropped to one of the poorest.

Construction of the Overseas Highway in 1938 began a tourism flow that was interrupted in 1980 by the flood of Cuban … Read the rest

Remembering Flo

When Marco Polo and Society of American Travel Writers chapter member Beach, sunset, wood. — who died in her 90s in mid-October — made her usual dramatic entrance into an SATW gathering there was no need for a flare of trumpets or a butler’s announcement.

Her flamboyance in apparel, jewelry and commentary left no doubt about the new arrival’s identity.

Flo’s buoyant spirits and pithy remarks always enlivened any occasion and there are few SATW old timers without their favorite chapter of the … Read the rest