The NY Times is running a profile of John Besh, a chef and restauranteur from New Orleans. The profile focuses on the growth of his businesses since Hurricane Katrina and how he used the disaster as an opportunity.
The nice little hug for PR comes right in the middle. I’ve pasted that section below. The complete article is here and it demonstrates the value PR can bring in building a business and building a brand. Great positioning also for his PR counsel, Simone Rathle.
“As he and his partner, Octavio Mantilla, began to rebuild, Simone Rathlé, a longtime friend in the public relations business Mr. Besh hired when he opened August six years ago, went to work.
“He was like numb and just freaked out,” she said. “He owned this restaurant and owed a lot of money. He was doing things for survival. He needed to pay his bills and I needed to promote him to get people to go to his restaurant to help him to pay his bills.”
She flew him to fund-raisers and put him in front of any journalist she could think of. Soon Mr. Besh was leaning into the role as spokesman for New Orleans like a politician with a cause. Even today, whether he’s cooking at a charity event, shooting a holiday magazine spread or appearing on television, he stays on message.”