PR People Awards

Sam Singer, President, Singer Associates Inc.

November 2008

When things look bleak, Sam Singer’s the guy to call. He’s been dubbed “The Fixer” by the San Jose Mercury News and “Top Gun for Hire” by the San Francisco Chronicle for his talent to turn the news around when times look tough for clients. He acquired these nicknames after a string of campaign strategies hatched to deal with the fallout of the largest sex scandal in history at San Francisco City Hall as well as a tiger escape at the San Francisco Zoo. Under his guidance, Singer Associates Inc. enjoyed a 20% growth rate in 2007 and generated nearly $6 million in revenue.

Definition of Success
“The best professionals in any business possess three attributes: an excellent education, the ability to listen carefully to the smallest of details, and strong writing and communications skills,” Singer says. “Common sense and a dash of panache [also] round out a skilled professional.”

Strategic thinking also helps. As president of Singer Associates, he makes sure his 15-person agency implements innovative methods, including the creation of the agency’s own news service, to help clients tell their stories. He also plays a critical role in measuring the success of his efforts through daily analysis of news coverage and political events. His success, Singers says, should also be attributed to “two great parents, [who both were] professors at UC Berkeley, a very smart wife and good mentors in the public affairs business that taught me the ropes.”

Dispenser of Wisdom
A tireless teacher of public affairs, Singer frequently lectures at colleges, professional seminars and international public relations groups to spread the word about successful spokesperson strategies and tactics.

Lessons Learned
Singer says the best practices he has formulated in his career are two-pronged:

“Learn from others who are wiser and more experienced,” yet “learn from making your own mistakes.”

“Be a good listener,” and “never underestimate the power of relationships and respect and courtesy for others.”