In July of last year I hired Lawrence Helman to do PR on the novel I was writing. When I look back, it was too early to hire a PR person. I also commissioned a video at the same time. The man producing it and I had to get to know each other, but he wanted a good product in the end and I had fun working with him and he accepted my advice and we came up with a great video. I have never worked with a more difficult person than Lawrence. His first note to me had a tone of superiority, like he knew what I was selling better than I did. Getting photographs, updating my resume and other details look time, and while Lawrence kept complaining I wasn’t providing him what he needed, he must have assumed I read his original proposal and set out a timeline of what he needed, so his bitching came from out of the blue. Every time he made a specific request I got him what he wanted as soon as I could. When I work work with someone that’s providing me with something I encourage them and keep repeating what I need. Lawrence’s second message says he doesn’t like the cover. Period. No alternative and no reason why he doesn’t like it; he just doesn’t like it. I was already on a bad track with him, but after that I had a hard time working with him. The cover, by the way, is a photo of my partner of 18 years who died of AIDS and is the inspiration of the novel. So far, it’s generation interest in the novel.
Last week Lawrence quit in a snit leaving me with a complete press release but no way of releasing it. As I’ve told my story to others, their opinion of PR folk isn’t high, so I’m not alone.
Lawrence gets no stars on my Yelp review, if they did that. I would also urge any of you who are thinking of promoting your work think twice about hiring a PR firm and if you do, avoid Lawrence Helman.