Hollywood publicity agent earning "15 minutes"

Wed Dec 31, 2008 1:57pm EST
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By Bob Tourtellotte

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Howard Bragman is a Hollywood spin doctor with a message for everyday Joes and Josephines -- shape your public image.

Bragman has spent more than three decades in public relations, much of it in Hollywood. In his new book, "Where's My Fifteen Minutes," he talks about image sculpting by celebrities ranging from Angelina Jolie to tabloid headliner Larry Birkhead.

Bragman says that whether somebody owns a small business, is a professional like a doctor or lawyer, wants to be a community activist or head of a local organization, they need to communicate who they are before someone else does.

"It's the same as in Hollywood or Washington. If you don't define yourself, someone else is going to define you. And you're not going to be as happy with the way they do it," he said, when speaking to Reuters about his new book:

Q: This is not a tell-all about your days in Hollywood, but is really sort of a "how-to" type of book. Who is it for?

A: "Anybody who wants to go to the next level, which is a huge group of people -- people who want to keep their jobs, people who want a new job, people who have a business and feel the tightening of the economy and want to maximize their money, people who want to be an activist of some kind, cleaning up the environment or affecting change."

Q: The book isn't about how to write press releases, but about how people think of society at large and, by extension, their place in it. Why did you take that broad approach?

A: "First of all, there are a lot of good books about how to write a press release and how to do the specifics.   Continued...