The History of Straight Arrow PR 2006-2019
By Bill Hawkins 1.7.20
Fifteen years ago, Bonnie Lennon and I thought it would be worthwhile to assist highly qualified authors who were focused on national and international problems. We felt it would be in the public interest to help these professionals increase their influence via media coverage and public speaking.
At that time, we believed there was an opportunity in the marketplace for a second wave media and public speaking promotion service. Since this concept was never designed to be a money-maker for us, we offered low rates to cover the costs of assistants and expenses. The plan was for each of us to allocate 5-10 hours per week on the project.
Onw of our early clients was Chris Mooney (The Republican War on Science) who is now with the Washington Post. Since Chris was interested in public speaking, we were able to get him established with the 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) which was 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 author we enjoyed promoting. His appearance on the Daily Show with Jon Stewart demonstrated extraordinary brilliance and charm. In response to his request to find him an appropriate speakers bureau, we recommended him to the Lyceum Agency in Portland, Oregon. Brian, who is now 84, continues to be represented by this fine firm.
As time passed, we promoted many other impressive clients including the controversial anthropologist Lionel Tiger author of the early books on the decline of males. We helped him promote God’s Brain. We also promoted Swarthmore College Professor Dominic Tierney’s books 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.
Seven years ago, we began inviting authors to consider our services who were published by academic presses. These were mostly professors from prestigious colleges with PhD’s from elite schools. Since some of these individuals were interested in public speaking, we established relationships with the leading city forums, colleges, law schools, business schools, think tanks, and other organizations in the U.S.
During President Trump’s 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 Republicans. Consequently, it became more difficult to promote authors, educators, and attorneys who were focused on national and international problems.
Despite the competition in the media from political partisans, we continued to recruit and represent a smaller number of outstanding clients. For example, we promoted Jonathan J.T. Ward Ph.D., who was one of the first scholars to warn the world about the growing economic and military threats from China. 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 environmental protection. During this period, our clients appeared at several of America’s most prestigious public speaking venues including the Cambridge Forum in Boston.
Straight Arrow PR/Tampa Bay, Florida/StraightArrowPR1@gmail.com/727-647-8453