Publicist Pat Kingsley & The Story Of Her PR Company
The Hollywood who’s who when they needed a fix back in the 80s and 90s they called a wizard. Her name was Pat Kingsley and she is the driving force behind Rogers & Cowan PMK, Hollywood’s largest public relations firm. In place of the fixes that Pat did in the traditional PR world are now being transformed by the type of work the ORM industry is doing like The Reputation Management Companies’ ability to fix negative search results and come up with creative emergency crisis communications solutions to ease the pain or eliminate negative publicity.
Pat Kingsley’s clients read like a tabloid of who is who in Hollywood and the world of entertainment. Top names in her enviable client list include the legendary actor and Scientologist Tom Cruise, Courtney Love, Michelle Pfeiffer, Tom Hanks, and Hugh Grant. PMK is an offshoot of Kingsley’s earlier baby Pickwick Public Relations, which she founded 30 years ago before she merged the company with a rival company.
Having been born in North Carolina, the child of a military squad leader, Kingsley has been in the game for nearly four decades. Pat, the eldest daughter, idolized her dad and seems to have acquired a great deal of his work ethic. Speaking of his dad, she remembers him as a rather strong person, short-tempered, and always seemed to be in control of every situation, something which brought an aura of security in the family.
Not surprising that these attributes are a carbon copy of what Pat Kingsley’s clients think of her. While Pat was close to her mother, she can’t say the same for her father. Her father was rather isolated, and one of the ways she related with his father was through sports. Her mother? She seemed to be a friend of everybody. When she came of age, Kingsley left home in her teenage years to enroll at the all-girls Winthrop College. However, she didn’t last long there. She dropped out after merely two years into her studies and embarked on what seemed like a tour of America.
First on her destination list was getting a secretarial job in Atlanta for a plywood firm. Not long after, she crossed over to Reno, Nevada to live with her aunt and uncle. Finally, she joined the publicity department of the newly opened Fontainebleau hotel in Miami which today is owned by Jeffrey Soffer and hosts some of the hottest celebrities and events in South Beach.
She engaged in a bit of chicanery at the Fontainebleau that she still finds repulsive. She was in charge of the guests when there was a provision in the daily newsletter. Kingsley learned how to deal with the celebs who visited the Fontainebleau. Kingsley decided not to follow her newfound Hollywood connections and instead moved to New York.
In the Big Apple, Kingsley landed a gig at Ziv Television Programs Inc., a syndicated TV firm, which led to links at PR giant Rogers & Cowan. It was not until 1960 that Kingsley moved to Los Angeles as an employee of Warren Cowan, the chairman of Rogers & Cowan.
Cowan set her up in an office with publicist Dick Guttman and gave her first clients, among them Doris Day, Samantha Eggar, and Natalie Wood. Kingsley was surprised at how easy it was for her to handle them. When she went back to her New York base in 1966, she continued honing her skills even further.
This enabled her to create solid connections with publications such as Time, Newsweek, and television shows such as 60 Minutes, among other watershed media relations. In 1971, Pat Kingsley made a detour to Los Angeles, but this time as the co-founder of a PR company, Pickwick Public Relations. The company’s co-founders were Lois Smith and Gerri Johnson. Among Pickwick PR first clients were Robert Redford, Mary Tyler Moore, Candice Bergen, and Raquel Welch.
She was now at this point married to Walter Kingsley, an Amherst graduate who was her supervisor at Ziv TV, and nine years her senior. In a male dominated industry, she was a career lady, but Walt had quit the entertainment industry. He now preferred to go on vacations, but she preferred to stay at home. He yearned for a more conservative family life with his wife, but Kingsley was simply concerned with her business. The center could not hold for much longer and in 1978, Pat and Walt called it quits. Kingsley never engaged in another relationship afterward. Sadly, Walt passed on in 2010.
In 1980, there was a merger between Pickwick and Maslansky-Koenigsberg to form the new kid on the block PMK, which soon after took the market by storm, dominating even the old gamers. PMK was purchased by Interpublic Group in 1999. Pat announced in 2007 that she would be leaving the helm as CEO of PMK/HBH, with the corporation now under Simon Halls assisted by Cindi Berger. Kingsley’s growing influence allowed her to make previously unheard-of demands, such as pressing on magazine covers or no article at all, selecting specific scribes, and even securing multiple TV frames if a broadcaster sought access to a particular celebrity.
She went on to work as Tom Cruise’s publicity guru for fourteen years, and that was before Cruise’s couch-jumping and Scientology antics, and his marriage to Katie Holmes. In 2004, the actor unexpectedly split from Kingsley, having decided to be represented by his Scientologist sister, Lee Anne DeVette. In truth, Cruise’s PR nightmares got worse during this period and sooner than later, Cruise brought in Paul Bloch, another brilliant publicist.
Just before she hanged her boots, Kingsley gave an astonishingly honest interview in which she described her long-term relationship with Cruise and their subsequent parting. She earned a reputation for answering no, for acting as a ‘suppress’ rather than a press agent, for not picking up the phone, though she claims she did with the individuals who counted. Rogers & Cowan, With more than 50 years in business, Rogers & Cowan and PMK have a long and illustrious history. Rogers & Cowan PMK, which merged in July 2019, draws together a great client lineup of 500+ of the globe’s most eminent actors, singers, creators, filmmakers, and sportsmen.
On top of that, the company boasts 50+ massive brands in its roaster, forming the world\’s foremost integrated marketing and communications entity in global entertainment. R&C PMK is a subsidiary of the Octagon Sports and Entertainment Network, with operations in Los Angeles, New York, Nashville, Miami, and London.
The agency has differentiated practice clusters in:
- Brand building
- Corporate strategy
- Paid media
Regardless of the industry, Rogers & Cowan PMK excels in moving corporate narratives ahead. They employ a strategic and, on occasion, transformational approach to deliver creative thinking that defies trends and connects cultural drives to client needs. When Rogers & Cowan PMK combine their efforts across all of their practice groups, they get better results in every subject. They serve as holistic brand marketers, developing prize integrated campaigns and facilitating genuine collaborations that strengthen audience relationships. The firm uses the power of devotion to penetrate through and humanize a brand by tapping into consumers\’ passion points.
With the help of world-class sponsorship negotiators and a proprietary measuring toolkit, they design partnership strategies and engagement plans around consumer passions. Making data-driven decisions is part of Rogers & Cowan PMK’s strategy and transformative methodology. By using a variety of qualitative research methods and market outcomes to define baseline objectives, the firm applies its skills and ideas to a broad range of strategic difficulties.
By crafting the correct narrative for the digital environment, they also combine marketing tactics with cultural advocates to offer content at scale. The program, led by Stephen Macias, enables Rogers & Cowan PMK’s talent and brand customers to reach out to LGBTQ+ groups, communities of color, and women-led initiatives. Macias helps supervise the agency’s new communications activities and overarching strategy for a collection of R&C PMK’s talent and brand clients in his new job. Macias was formerly the senior vp diversity & inclusion practice lead at MWWPR, where he led a team that worked with Comcast, Amazon Studios, FX, United Artists Releasing, Focus Features, Kellogg’s, Netflix, Frito-Lay, and Hilton Worldwide.
Prior to that, he formed Macias Media Group LLP, which grew to become one of the leading LGBTQ+-focused boutique PR firms; served as executive vp and GM at Here Media Inc. (The Advocate, OUT); and worked for GLAAD as an entertainment media director. The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, the Los Angeles Gay, and Lesbian Film Festival, Outfest, Equality California, the United Nations, and the Global Equality Fund are among Macias’ nonprofit endeavors.
“Multicultural and LGBTQ+ consumers have been underrepresented in television, movies, and advertising for decades,” says Macias. Inclusive personalities in media and brand advertising deliver a message that they appreciate the value of all individuals. People are now choosing to patronize firms that use inclusive marketing and communications tactics when they see characters and images that look like them. Furthermore, research backs up the idea that varied populations’ friends and allies support enterprises that represent the diversity of their own different circles and family members.
In 2019, the agency participated in the marketing of 5B, the Cannes Lions award-winning film, which depicted the sacrifices of the nurses and caregivers who helped set up San Francisco General Hospital’s first AIDS unit. R&C PMK\’s diversity work extends over its typical brand roster, which includes representing the official agency of the Los Angeles Pride Festival. The agency has also participated in projects spearheaded by celebrities such as Elton John, Caitlyn Jenner, and Michael B. Jordan among many others.