Abbe Aronson: Publicist, High Priestess of Marketing, Events & Artful Schmoozing
The Hudson Valley boasts a wealth of creative talent, and when it comes to PR + Marketing, Event Planning, Image/Design Consulting and Fundraising – Abbe Does It all. Based out of Woodstock, New York, Abbe Aronson has a background in magazine publishing and a gift for “artful schmoozing”. She is a well-known PR maven who leverages her lengthy list of media connections to get the word out about a new business, launch event or newsworthy cause. Aesthetically-minded and with an eye for design, Abbe has produced a variety of stylish events for global companies as well as local Hudson Valley businesses and non-profits. She has built a reputation as a woman in the know, connecting and collaborating within her ever-expanding circle of creatives and change-makers to help bring their ideas and goals to life.
We spent some time with Abbe to find out how she does it.
You’re one of the leading PR firms in the Hudson Valley. Do you specialize in specific business verticals?
I don’t specialize in any one area of business, but I DO specialize in what some call “dream making” or what ends up being the realization or actualization of goals and desires and how to manifest them. Those are often the most satisfying parts of my job — working with a client to see something to full fruition. Or working with them to morph and change the strategy to achieve the goal.
How is the PR industry changing and how are you adapting?
So much has happened in the way of deadlines — when magazines or newspapers had print-specific deadlines, you knew, far in advance of anything else, that you’d have to get “holiday gift guide” items into various publications well in advance of October 1st, for example. Now with nearly everything being online/digital, deadlines are more rolling, which is both a great thing (more opportunities to place a story) and sometimes not so great (what used to be a BIG story now might get broken down into several segments).
What’s the biggest misconception about your business or services?
That I will or can promote anything — it’s really important to believe in what you’re pitching, and, for me, to know that it has what I’ll call “editorial value” — it’s hard to pitch an idea that seems hollow, no matter how much of a budget someone has to throw at a project. Now, I pride myself in that I usually can find something that “stands out” in any client’s idea, but it’s important to make sure the base of any idea has editorial “legs.”
What’s one of the most unique projects that you’ve worked on?
Besides my own launch event that I did in conjunction with the ACLU in 2010, which was called “All Love, All Woodstock ” and was done in support of a brave young woman from Mississippi who made national headlines with her court case against discrimination, I’ve been involved in so many fantastic projects! Last year, in conjunction with one of my favorite clients and pals, “caterer to the stars” Mary Giuliani, I helped her realize a long-time dream and launch her frozen food line of deluxe hors d’oeuvres, which made Oprah’s “O List” and of course, I’m very proud of the fact that I did the last interview with Joan Rivers before she died, as part of including her in Aaron Rezny’s book, “Eating Delancey.” The interview with Joan was so good, we made it into the intro of the book.
Rockstar clientele – lucky you! Your job is to promote others, so how do you grow and promote your own business? Is it advertising, word of mouth, social media, events?
Oh, All of those things — and client referrals. Happily, I am very very busy! And I’m not shy about sharing my clients’ triumphs and my joy in assisting them.
What do you love most about your job?
The variety of the projects, the different kinds of people and organizations that I work with, including the not-for-profit sector, and of course, the flexibility of running my own business and making my time my own (although I have very little free time because of it, so good thing that I love it!)
Funny how that works right! How did you end up in the Hudson Valley?
It was where I had a vacation home when my son was very young and it was very easy to move here full time and connect with the community.
What makes it unique to live + work here?
It’s a place that is full of curious intellectuals, dreamers, artists, writers and iconoclastic people who want to live in or near nature, with close proximity to the city. To me, it’s the perfect blend of peace and quiet and cosmopolitan surroundings.
What impact does your business have on your community?
I volunteer a significant amount of my time to causes or organizations that I feel better our lives here, most of which are based around social or political causes that I hold very dear. And since there are so many other like-minded people doing the same, it’s truly a group effort and one that gives me great personal and professional satisfaction.
What local business do you rely on to be successful?
So many! If I had to name a specific one, Catskill Art Supply for printing posters and invitations; but in my work, I also get to showcase lots of the amazing restaurants, hotels and shops to the attention of national media when they are doing stories on the region and every one of those connections is a real champ!
What is missing in the area that you wish we had?
Well, in Woodstock proper, I wish we had a really great Thai or Japanese place. However, the new restaurant from the team at SILVIA, Good Night, is spectacular and definitely reminds me of the “good old days” at Indochine in NYC. And naturally, we need a Jewish deli (who hasn’t said THAT before?!?!)
What does your typical day look like?
Up and out for a walk in Wilson State Park before 8 am., if possible, a few hours at the desk, a few in-person meetings, more desk time, hopefully, a delicious meal cooked here by me or my guy, or dinner out and an early bedtime. Early bedtime is my newest luxury.
Who or what inspires you professionally? Personally?
Professionally, wow….I mean, the list of successful, ballsy women is pretty endless but I’m currently still wowed by icons like Nancy Pelosi, RBG, obviously Madame Vice President. These women take no crap and get it done and I model my own best foot forward on them. Personally, my very tight circle of middle-aged friends. They are kind, conscientious, unafraid of raw emotion and hold me up to high standards. I also have to shout out how inspired I am by my 22-year-old son, Alexander, who is a successful professional musician, living his dream. He literally rocks my world. And I feel like I have a “fairy godmother” watching over me in the form of my beloved Sweetbryar Ludwig, who is gone a year now and missed every day by me (and others) for her wisdom and strength.
What would be your dream job or project?
I’m currently working on a few big things that are “pinch me” worthy, and on those, I can’t say too much more, but in general, anything that relates to furthering women’s rights or human rights. Any involvement there — and I’ve worked on some great projects for national abortion rights and funding, for Planned Parenthood, etc. — they are always “dream assignments.”.
What’s next for you? Sneak peek of new direction or product?
Working on two new book projects, one in food/hospitality, one in memoir (I’ve done several books and love that kind of collaboration). Working on a rebrand of a huge parcel of property in the Hudson Valley that will be slanted/geared to the film/entertainment industry. And, a client’s new record label.
Pretty great lineup. Thank you, Abbe, we look forward to hearing more about your projects as they launch.
And, by the way, that is an absolutely fab photo of you taken by local photographer Franco Vogt. He perfectly captured your essence!
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Contact Abbe for your next project
Marketing + PR
Image + Design Consulting
845.481.0751 – office
845.399.3596 – mobile
“Abbe-cadabra…and it’s done!”