You would think Charlie Rose could get just about anyone he wants to interview. But even this very high-class TV man has his dream list. It includes:
- The Pope
- Dick Cheney (now that would be interesting!)
- Artist Jasper Johns
- Author Phillip Roth
- Actors Jack Nicholson and Johnny Depp.
Rose was interviewed by legendary PR man Howard Rubenstein at the opening of the two day Bulldog Media Relations Summit at the St. Francis Hotel in San Francisco this morning. He talked about his interview style (no pre-interviews, by his show, maybe some for 60 Minutes), some of his most memorable interviews (Sophia Loren, Rudolph Murdoch, Bruce Springsteen and the total 10 hours he's spent interviewing architect Frank Gehry), and of course since that was the audience, Public Relations.
He says his show isn't about his opinion, it is about the most interesting people in the world. And if you want to pitch a technology story, it had better be a technology so great that it dramatically makes possible something that was not popular before. He advises our clients not to sell a product, instead sell authenticity. Our job is to help them understand what makes a good story, and if it's for him, that we understand the long-form interview. Also help them comprehend it's not a spin me (us) screw you (him).
He does worry about the ethics of our industry lately, and suspects sometimes when he's turned down, that we are not communicating directly with the principal involved. In other words, the
"Yes" men and women say "No" often without checking with the boss.
The numbers are impressive. 17 years, some 20,000 interviews. He's very happy with the new digital world and the legacy it leaves putting television network content online.
Rubenstein, who's certainly had many of his clients on "Charlie Rose" conducted a somewhat self-congratulatory interview, but it was still a delight to see.