Laermer, Richard 1960-
LAERMER, Richard 1960-
PERSONAL: Born September 16, 1960 in Queens, NY. Education: Pace University.
CAREER: RLM Public Relations, Inc., New York, NY, founder and CEO, 1991—. Reporter for periodicals, including the New York Times, Daily News, USA Today, Us, Newsday, People, and the New York Post. Commentator for National Public Radio's Marketplace. Freelance writer.
Native's Guide to New York: 750 Ways to Have theTime of Your Life in the City, Prima Publishing (Rocklin, CA), 1989, revised fourth edition published as Native's Guide to New York: Advice with Attitude for People Who Live Here—and Visitors We Like, 1998.
Bargain Hunting in Greater New York, Prima Publishing (Rocklin, CA), 1990.
The Gay and Lesbian Handbook to New York City, Plume (New York, NY), 1994.
Get on with It: The Gay and Lesbian Guide to GettingOnline, Broadway Books (New York, NY), 1997.
trendspotting: Think Forward, Get Ahead, and Cash in on the Future, Berkeley Publishing Group (New York, NY), 2002.
(With Michael Prichinello) Full Frontal PR: GettingPeople Talking about You, Your Business, or Your Product, Bloomberg Press (New York, NY), 2002.
SIDELIGHTS: Richard Laermer is a self-described "media guy," who has also been a reporter, freelance writer, and radio and television personality. He has also written a number of books on his favorite subject—all things media—and his favorite city—New York. As founder of RLM Public Relations, Inc., he has represented clients that include Barnes & Noble, Allergan, Mandalay Pictures, E*TRADE Financial, and others. Laermer's specialty is getting coverage for a wide array of enterprises, and he has launched a long list of Web sites, such as HBO.com (and the site for The Sopranos), Politics.com, SonicNet, Sesame Street Online, Space.com, FuckedCompany, Nerve, FeedRoom, GirlsonFilm, Bolt, and many more.
Laermer's first books focus on New York City. According to Library Journal's Paula M. Zieselman, the first edition of his Native's Guide to New York: 750 Ways to Have the Time of Your Life in the City concentrates "almost solely on Greenwich Village and Soho." The guide has been revised several times and is now published as Native's Guide to New York: Advice with Attitude for People Who Live Here—and Visitors We Like. It now includes all five boroughs and the place Laermer describes as the "inner borough of Manhattan."
Laermer has written two guides for gays and lesbians, The Gay and Lesbian Handbook to New York City and Get on with It: The Gay and Lesbian Guide to GettingOnline. Quill & Quire's Gerald Hannon felt the former "has a nice community spirit to it." Get on with It offers advice on keeping up with issues and the news, travel tips, and a roadmap to queer cyberspace. Discussed is how to personalize e-mail, use newsgroups and chat rooms, and how to find the more outrageous sites online. Laermer explains the workings of the provider systems and notes many of the banned words of each. He also writes about privacy, censorship, and pornography on the Net and lists sites that focus on AIDS, HIV, mental health, addiction, women's health, and alternative medicine. In a Library Journal review, Jerilyn Veldof noted that this book "helps the socially as well as technologically shy with directions on how to flirt online and how to meet and mingle." Krissy Harris wrote in the Los Angeles Times that Get on with It "is a chatty, frank guide (often too frank, frankly)," but said that "Laermer's conversational writing style makes it fun to read and easy to understand."
trendspotting: Think Forward, Get Ahead, and Cash in on the Future is Laermer's vision of things to come and the visions of more than 100 people who include experts in the forecasting field, such as Jeffrey Zucker, Christopher Buckley, Robert Thurman, Edwin Schlossberg, and Kurt Andersen. Some of the trends they've spotted are the future communication between people via microchips implanted under the skin, a new definition of family, the elimination of textbooks and manuals as a result of the refinement of artificial intelligence, and the end of leaving our houses to be entertained as home theaters offer us everything but the popcorn.
A Publishers Weekly contributor felt that Laermer's observations reflect "an appealing enthusiasm and wit. But despite Laermer's undeniable charm and childlike sweetness, the future his experienced Manhattanite eyes see is eerily dark in its cynicism." Many of the trends noted are of technological advances that will often be implemented only for profit, and which will in many cases increase social isolation. Laermer provides tips that will enable individuals to spot these trends and adjust their own lives and decisions in order to take the best advantage of them. Laermer's wiles as a PR practitioner meant that trendspotting appeared on both the Today show and on CBS Sunday Morning.
Erin Joyce interviewed Laermer for atnewyork.com online and asked him what he discovered as he conducted his research for Trendspotting. He replied that one thing he found most surprising "was how people feel about technology in the workplace. All the people we talked to, you name it, journalists, venture capitalists, all they talked about was how everybody's now connected, and now everyone's going to know you, how you'll be able to work 24/7. Now, everybody's saying: how can we use this to help each other in our lives. I heard so much of this from so many people."
Full Frontal PR: Getting People Talking about You, Your Business, or Your Product, which Laermer wrote with RLM vice president Michael Prichinello, is a guide and a look at the science of public relations. Using entertaining case studies, Full Frontal PR breaks down the publicity process and demonstrates how you can use the press productively. Written for newcomers and PR veterans alike, PR News noted that it is "a great PR overview. . . . The book would make an effective training manual to provide to you junior team members, or a powerful tool for reaching execs who might not understand or value PR as the should." Lewis Lazare of the Chicago Sun Times noted "It's clear that Richard Laermer knows at least a thing or two about the business of public relations."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Adweek, February 25, 2002, Tim Nudd, "Those Evil CEOs," p. 34.
Chicago Sun Times, February 19, 2003, Lewis Lazare.
Library Journal, December, 1989, Paula M. Zieselman, review of Native's Guide to New York: 750 Ways to Have the Time of Your Life in the City, p. 153; August, 1997, Jerilyn Veldof, review of Get on with It: The Gay and Lesbian Guide to Getting Online, p. 117.
Los Angeles Times, June 2, 1997, Krissy Harris, review of Get on with It, p. D8.
PR News, January 6, 2003, Peggy Stuntz, review of Full Frontal PR: Getting People Talking about You, Your Business, or Your Product.
Publishers Weekly, February 25, 2002, review of Trendspotting: Think Forward, Get Ahead, and Cash in on the Future, p. 51.
Quill & Quire, September, 1996, Gerald Hannon, review of The Gay and Lesbian Handbook to New York City, p. 24.
RLM Public Relations Web site,http://www.rlmpr.com/ (July 8, 2003).
Trend Spotting,http://www.thetrender.com/ (July 1, 2003).*