by Allen J. Sheinman | August 01, 2007

Ben ZeitlinNo one knows the event like you do.
Don’t hand it all off to a PR company
and walk away.”

Ben Zeitlin is senior account director at WestGlen Communications (www.westglen.com), a multimedia marketing firm based in New York City, where he has worked since 1999. Previously, Zeitlin worked as account director for a FOX-TV affiliate in Albany, N.Y.

How do meeting clients use your services? A lot of newsworthy information can come out of meetings, conventions and trade shows, such as a product launch or new research findings. A health-care client, for example, might want to promote the fact that FDA approval of a major new drug will be announced at an upcoming industry show. That’s where we come in. We use what we call blended media. We have set up closed-circuit TV systems in host hotels, satellite uplinks, Internet connections...We use print, radio, blogs -- all this and more, which we selectively pitch to myriad local and national news outlets.

From your professional vantage point, what advice would you give planners seeking publicity? You have to be hands-on. No one knows the event like you do. Don’t hand it all off to a PR company and walk away; forge a strategic partnership and be involved. Make it clear that’s how you prefer to work.

What do you like best about your job? We do lots of work with not-for-profit organizations. In fact, our company is the largest distributor of public-service announcements in the country, whether seeking relief for victims of Hurricane Katrina or soliciting funds for AIDS research. I’m very proud of that.