Behind the Headlines with…Jason Winocour

Published: Apr 14, 2014

My ideal day is… Any day that I don’t have to deal with a crisis or put out a brush fire.

What made me want to get into PR was... The thrill of pitching a great story and the magic of seeing it appear in print or on television.

Five words that describe me... Passionate, disciplined, detail-oriented, quirky, plus a healthy dose of irreverence.

The PR figure I most admire is... Ed Bernays. He pretty much founded modern day PR, and how could I not admire a person who lived to the age of 103? Fun fact: his uncle was Sigmund Freud.

I always thought I’d be… A policy analyst for the CIA.

I’m at my best when… I am surrounded by smart, intelligent and passionate people who take their work far more seriously than they take themselves. I’m very fortunate to work with many such people.

My most prized possession is… A Swiss Army Knife. I use it in the most unexpected ways, and it helps me tap into a vein of resourcefulness and creativity.

I’m a closet viewer of… R. Kelly’s rap opera Trapped in the Closet. A guilty pleasure to the 10th power.

You don’t want to be around me when... I find out someone I know is being deceitful.

The most interesting fact about me is... My parents’ names are Michael and Janet, but I don’t have an aunt La Toya or an uncle Jermaine.

If it wasn’t for… Social and digital media, the PR industry may still be playing second fiddle to advertising. How times have changed.

My favorite PR moments were... Given that I’m drafting this on April 1, I’ll go with the “Taco Bell Buys the Liberty Bell” April Fools’ Day stunt. My second favorite is a Hunter PR moment — Bill Cosby successfully lobbying the Utah State Legislature in 2001 to declare the second week of February as “Jell-O Week” in Utah into perpetuity, with the foresight that this timing would coincide with the Winter Olympic Games being held in Salt Lake City in mid-February the following year.

My relationship with journalists is... Collaborative. Journalists have a job to do and so do PR pros. It’s just a matter of finding common ground. It’s not that complicated.

My next vacation will be in... India and Sri Lanka with my dad, who has traveled extensively in both countries.

What would you like to do more of in PR? Carving out time to be a better mentor and role model for the many talented and passionate newcomers to our industry.

What one thing in your professional life do you want to accomplish by the end of 2014? To continue expanding the scope and reach of Hunter PR’s specialized services — Media, Entertainment, Social, Hispanic, and Design & Digital — to better service our clients and drive organic growth.

What do you hope will happen today? Someone will invent a safe wonder drug that will enable anyone who takes it to keep an open mind and focus more on solutions than problems.

We have an unusual name. What do you think Gorkana means? “Gorkana” is a cross between “Gorky” and “Anna.” Gorky is a nod to Maxim Gorky, the Russian author who penned My Recollections of Tolstoy. “Ana” is shorthand for Anna Karenina, Tolstoy’s classic novel of love and romance. As is so often the case, all roads lead back to Tolstoy.


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