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The Big Apple Awards: Fox news’ Arthel Neville and NY1’s Cheryl Wills on Why They Love Good PR People

Do we have a scoop? Will Cheryl Wills and Arthel Neville be hosting the Big Apple Awards next year? Watch the video to find out.

Doug Simon caught up with the two hosts of this year’s PRSA New York Big Apple Awards Arthel Neville, anchor for Fox News, and Cheryl Wills, anchor for NY1 News. They spoke about their experiences hosting the awards and on how public relations professionals are valuable resources to journalists.



DOUG SIMON: Now this is cool. I’m Doug Simon of D S Simon Media, turning around the microphone on two of New York’s finest, Cheryl Wills and Arthel Neville from NY1 and Fox New York. They recently hosted the Big Apple Awards, great presenters. And I just want to thank you for doing such an awesome job, first of all.

CHERYL WILLS: Thank you, Doug.

ARTHEL NEVILLE: It was a great event. I mean, I thought PRSA did a fantastic job. The program was so well-run. And it’s nice to be here with all the folks in the publicity world, because guess what, without them– it’s a kind of a nice symbiotic relationship, I believe, that you have the publicist, because you could have a great restaurant, a great company, a great new next best thing. But without them and their voices getting your products out there, then we don’t know about it.

CHERYL WILLS: That’s right. And one of the things I noticed, Doug, is that a lot of the awards that we presented, I remember them being in the news.


CHERYL WILLS: And when you hear about this, when you’re reading it on the teleprompter, like Arthel and I do, you don’t think really about the team that actually made it happen. But while I was reading it, I said, oh, my gosh, I remember this. So it was very, very nice to see them get their just due tonight.

DOUG SIMON: Now I really have to have my best game on, ’cause being the journalists they are, of course, they just jumped in and stole my questions.

DOUG SIMON: And I had no hope on that. But people do sometimes feel it’s adversarial. But when PR is practiced well, it doesn’t have to be that.

CHERYL WILLS: Oh, no. We have to work together. They need us and we need them. PR folks give us some great leads and stories that can become front page news, in some cases.

So the adversarial, I know some people think that, but I think they are misinformed. I think there is, like she said, a symbiotic relationship that has to take place. And it’s a beautiful symphony when it works well.

ARTHEL NEVILLE: And I’ve been very complimentary of publicists, I mean, especially since my days in the entertainment space, when I launched Extra and had my own show on E! And even now in doing hard news, we definitely still work with publicists in getting various very important topics that really need to be covered there in the headlines. So I think it’s fine. I have no complaints, do you?

CHERYL WILLS: Oh, not at all. If I had a complaint, I wouldn’t be here. [CHUCKLES] I wouldn’t be co-hosting their event.

ARTHEL NEVILLE: That’s for sure.

CHERYL WILLS: Yeah, no, PR is very important. And in fact, most journalists, when they’re no longer on the air, what do they go into? PR. I like to think that the best PR people are former journalists, because they understand what journalists need better than anyone else, right?

DOUG SIMON: Cool. And now you guys are inspiring me to see if I can get a journalistic scoop. Any hope PRSA Big Apple might have you back next year?

CHERYL WILLS: Let’s see. Let’s have a wait and see approach. [LAUGHING]

ARTHEL NEVILLE: What she said, but we enjoyed it. Thank you, Doug.

CHERYL WILLS: We enjoyed it.

DOUG SIMON: So journalists can be politicians too.

DOUG SIMON: Thanks so much, guys.

ARTHEL NEVILLE: Bye, Doug. Thank you.