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CEO Thought Leadership Series from Trade Show

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The Big Apple Awards: Honoring Al Golin, A PR Legend with Matt Neale of Golin

Matt Neale, CEO of Golin spoke with Doug Simon, CEO of D S Simon Media about honoring Golin‘s founder and PR industry legend, Al Golin at The PRSA NY Big Apple Awards. Matt had the distinction of accepting the John W. Hill Award in Al Golin’s honor. Matt discusses his legacy and his numerous contributions to the public relations industry.

Matt Neale’s VlogViews: 

“He (Al Golin) wrote the book on trust…he was in many ways a pioneer and a founding father of our industry. Al instructed and told businesses that really it was more effective to build your businesses when you had the trust of the communities in which they were based.”




DOUG SIMON: I’m Doug Simon of D S Simon Media. I’m here with Matt Neale, CEO of Golin, New York, who’s going to be speaking on behalf of Al Golin, who’s been honored with a tremendous award tonight. Thanks so much for being with us.

MATT NEALE: My pleasure. Lovely to be here.

DOUG SIMON: Now as the crowd files in, Al Golin, tremendous person and really believed in doing PR the right way. Can you maybe share some of the things you’re going to talk about tonight?

MATT NEALE: Well, we’re going to show a film which tells many of the famous stories about his life, the cold call that he made to Ray Kroc about 61 years ago and famously got a $500 a month contract and is now our oldest client, McDonald’s, 61 years later. But I’m hoping to also bring some of the human side based on some of the interactions that I’ve had with him in the last 12 years and also give a sense of what he meant to us in our agency.

DOUG SIMON: Yeah, and I’m sure that was quite a lot. I had a chance to meet with him once. He was extremely generous with his time and with his thoughts and idea and really wanted to be building up trust in our industry and among those that we worked with. What are some key thoughts on going about that?

MATT NEALE: Well, he wrote the book on trust many, many years ago. McDonald’s was a company that was looking to build its business through franchises. And in many ways, a pioneer and a founding father of our industry, Al instructed and told businesses that, really, it was more effective to build your businesses when you had the trust of the communities in which they were based. That earned first approach, which is now– I think the advertising industry has caught on generations later. So it’s wonderful to be here to celebrate that thinking and the legacy that he’s left everyone.

DOUG SIMON: He was definitely a true industry pioneer. And congratulations to you for being thought of highly enough to try and even bring to this group of people what he was about.

MATT NEALE: You can’t believe what an honor it is. There are 1,700 people that work for our agency nowadays. And when he passed a few weeks ago, it was a very emotional moment for all of us. I really hope that we just have a happy moment and celebrating him here tonight.

DOUG SIMON: That’s wonderful. Thanks again for being with us.

MATT NEALE: My pleasure. Thank you.