The History of Straight Arrow PR 2005-2022
By Bill Hawkins
Seventeen years ago, Bonnie Lennon and I thought it would be worthwhile to assist authors and other experts who were focused on national and international problems. We felt we could help qualified professionals increase their influence via media coverage and public speaking.
Our initial group of clients included Chris Mooney (The Republican War on Science) who is now with the Washington Post. Since Chris was interested in public speaking back then, we were able to get him established with the highly regarded Keppler Speakers Agency.
We also had the pleasure of promoting University of Virginia Professor (now at Stanford) Jennifer Burns (Goddess of the Market: Ayn Rand and the American Right). Her appearance on The Factor with Bill O’Reilly (Fox), the #1 show on cable TV at the time, revealed her extraordinary charisma.
Legendary archeologist and UC Santa Barbara professor Brian Fagan (The Great Warming) was another distinguished author we enjoyed promoting. An appearance on the Daily Show with Jon Stewart demonstrated his brilliance and charm. In response to his request to find an appropriate speakers bureau, we recommended him to the Lyceum Agency. Brian, who is now 85, continues to be represented by this fine firm.
As time passed, we promoted many other impressive clients including the controversial anthropologist Lionel Tiger who authored the early books on the decline of males. We also promoted Swarthmore College Professor Dominic Tierney (How We Fight and The Right Way to Lose a War), as well as former Washington Post Middle East Bureau Chief Tom Lippman an expert on Saudi Arabia.
Ten years ago, we began inviting more authors who were published by academic presses to consider our services. These were mostly lesser known professors; however, they were superb communicators who taught at prestigious colleges. Since many of these individuals were interested in public speaking, we established direct relationships with the leading city forums, colleges, law schools, business schools, think tanks, and other organizations in the U.S.
During the Trump administration, many of our national and major market media contacts who previously interviewed our clients became more interested in political activists – especially those who attacked Trump and other Republicans. Consequently, it became more difficult to promote non-partisan authors, educators, and attorneys.
Despite the competition from political players, we continued to recruit and represent a smaller number of outstanding clients. For example, we promoted Jonathan J.T. Ward Ph.D. (China’s Vision of Victory), who was one of the first scholars to warn American citizens about the growing economic and military threats from the Chinese Communist Party. We were also pleased to promote Skidmore College Professor Robert Boyers – an early advocate for more intellectual diversity on college campuses, and University of Richmond scholar Stephen Nash who focused on protecting our national parks.
Note: Due to Covid-19, our public speaking promotion program was temporarily suspended early in 2020. In 2022, our media and public speaking promotion programs were reactivated.
Straight Arrow PR/Tampa Bay, Florida/StraightArrowPR1@gmail.com/727-647-8453