Russell Sherman is a partner at Prosek Partners, where he specializes in media strategy, financial communications, crisis management and branding. Prior to joining Prosek, he founded Sherman Strategic Communications LLC, a public relations, marketing and communications consulting firm.
From 1999-2008 Russell worked at The Bear Stearns Companies Inc. where he served as head of Corporate Public Relations. Working closely with Bear Stearns’ executive team, Russell helped develop the firm’s brand strategy and coordinate its media relations and crisis communications activities. In addition, he oversaw the communications efforts for Bear Stearns’ numerous business units.
Prior to joining Bear Stearns, Russell was a reporter and anchor for New York 1 News in New York City. He holds a BA from Colgate University.
Q & A
What are you most proud of in your public relations career?
It has to be while at Bear Stearns in the mid-2000's when we were twice named Fortune's Most Admired Securities Firm, at about the same time we had a great Barrons cover story trumpeting the firm and then, we had glowing front page profiles in both the NY Times and the Wall Street Journal on the same day. It signaled we had really turned the corner as a leading invesment bank. (Unfortunately, several years later we turned another corner, but that's a story for another time.)
Name one thing most people don’t know about you?
Here are two good bucket list items I have crossed off in my life:
In 1994, while working at NY 1, I not only got the opportunity to cover the NY Rangers championship run but in the locker room after Game 7 I even snuck a drink out of the Stanley Cup. I’m still not sure what was in there… I think it was a mixture of warm champagne and beer but it was equally great and disgusting all at the same time. Not a bad accomplishment for someone with a lousy slap shot.
The second one took place in 1992 when I biked cross country with my siblings and a friend. It was a pretty amazing adventure. Here's the full story.
How would your mother describe you?
Oh, she would describe me as her favorite... just don't tell my siblings.
What are your greatest strengths as a public relations practitioner?
I think the time I spent as a reporter has been extremely valuable in my second life as a PR practitioner, Working at NY1 gave me a real sense of what's newsworthy and what's not. Having that understanding has been very helpful when pitching a positive story to a reporter or on the flip side, understanding the depth of a potential crisis situation.
What is your favorite food?
I'm pretty easy. I like to eat. Here are a few favorites.
The Art's Combo at Art's Deli in Westport, CT
Buffalo Wings at The Pizza Pub in Hamilton, New York
The Lobsters at the annual Prosek Summer offsite
Thanksgiving Dinner at any of the Sherman family homes
Describe your perfect client.
The best clients, and the best agency/company relationships are those in which you become an integrated member of the internal team. I have a bit of a mantra when it comes to developing a successful PR relationship - integrate, anticipate and initiate. The best clients are the ones that embrace that process and integrate you in a way that you can truly add value.
What three hobbies or activities do you enjoy most?
I have a number of very diverse interests.... football, hockey and softball.
What’s your favorite part of the workday?
I like working at home late at night. I find that is the one time I can get a lot done without many distractions.
Who would play you in the movie version of your life?
Tom Cruise, only because we’re the same height.
What is your favorite quote?
Here’s two that we use in media training that I like a lot . . .
“Nerves and butterflies are fine - they're a physical sign that you're mentally ready and eager. You have to get the butterflies to fly in formation, that's the trick.” ~Steve Bull, former English soccer player.
“Does anyone have any questions for my answers?” – Henry Kissinger