This week, The Manahan Group and its founder and CEO, George Manahan, were happy to celebrate fourteen years in business. Naturally, our office enjoyed some delicious cupcakes in honor of this great achievement, but we also wanted to ask our fearless leader and PR guru some questions about his time with TMG.
1. What is your favorite part about working in the public relations and advertising industry?
My favorite part about working in advertising and public relations is that we do something different every day. Whether it’s getting exposure for a great cause or creating a campaign from scratch, every day is different and exciting.
2. Do you have a favorite project that TMG has had the opportunity to work on over the last 14 years?
I can’t limit it to just one of my favorite projects over the past 14 years. My favorite campaigns are ones that make a difference in the community. Campaigns like the Raze Teen Anti-Tobacco effort, passing the Kanawha County Library Levy, the Fox Trot for Parkinson’s Research and Mountain Mission’s Circle of Hope would make my Top 10 list.
3. What do you wish the general public understood about public relations?
Public relations is all about listening and communicating – listening first to the needs of the people you are communicating with followed by a plan to address those needs.
4. If you could visit anywhere in the world you’ve never been, where would you go?
As some of my friends know, I often talk about getting an RV and traveling around the United States and Canada. While I would love to see Greece, Australia and Brazil, I really get excited about traveling around the U.S. in an RV with my wife and two dogs and visit the very cool and exciting attractions and people our great country has to offer.
5. What are you most proud of in terms of TMG’s success over the years?
That we live by our motto: Do Good Work, Make Money, Have Fun, and Give Back. I’ve added the “Give Back” part lately because I think for a company our size we “give back” quite a bit. I was taught by my mother and father to give back to those who have helped you and this community has certainly supported my efforts over the years.
6. Who or what inspires you?
People inspire me. All kinds of people. Every person on this earth has a challenge before them. Every person has a story to tell. We just have to listen to them and be inspired.
7. Do you have a favorite TMG memory?
Naming just one TMG memory is like asking a parent to name their favorite child. My favorite moments are when you have worked hard on a campaign and you realize it’s made a difference – from lowering teen tobacco rates or keeping the local library from closing or raising money for a very deserving charity.
8. What advice would you give young public relations professionals?
Listen to your mentors. Listen to the people you want to communicate with. We don’t do enough listening these days. Everyone wants to express their opinion before they have a chance to hear what the other side has to say.
9. What is your favorite place to visit in Charleston?
I have many favorite spots, but if you forced me to pick: Capitol Market. I don’t do it as often as I would like, but there’s nothing like hanging out at Capitol Market with time on your hands. I like sipping a glass of wine, eating a big fish sandwich, and enjoying the setting of all the outdoor vendors. Watching a baseball game at Power Park would also make that list.
10. Any advice for future entrepreneurs?
The Charleston area has more successful entrepreneurs than ever before. That’s good to see. They will tell you that owning your own business is hard work. There’s no guarantee that you will make money. So, love the work. If you don’t love the work, you probably won’t succeed. I have always said do what you love and pay someone else to do the stuff you don’t like doing.
More about George Manahan:
As founder and CEO, George brings tremendous advertising and public relations experience to the team. George’s work in advertising agency management combined with former jobs in journalism and as press secretary to Governor Caperton led him to establish The Manahan Group.
George has been in advertising, public relations and media for nearly thirty (30) years. He was only the fourth person in the 30-year history of the West Virginia Public Relations Society of America Chapter’s (PRSA-WV) to receive the Lifetime Achievement Award. He was also named PR Practitioner of the Year in 2010 and received the Silver Medal Award from the American Advertising Federation of West Virginia (AAF-WV) for his work on behalf of West Virginia’s advertising industry.
George is a graduate of Bethany College with a degree in Communications.
LISTEN: Here’s a playlist of some of George’s all-time favorite songs.