Kenneth D. Makovsky is President of Makovsky, an integrated communications firm, and one of the top 30 independent public relations firms in the United States. The company, founded in 1979, is headquartered in New York City, with divisions in financial +professional services, health, technology, energy, and digital and innovation services. Makovsky is also a founder and past president of IPREX, the second largest global corporation of independent public relations firms, with a presence in 56 cities and 30 countries – and $300 million in revenues. Makovsky has its own office in Washington, D.C. The firm has been engaged by such clients as Charles Schwab, New York Life Investment Management, Trinseo, A.T. Kearney, Russell Reynolds, GlaxoSmithKline, Abbott, Becton Dickinson, and many more.
Ken was selected as one of four people in the public relations industry to receive the Sabre Individual Achievement Award, and was named “Communications Executive of the Year” by the American Business Awards. Makovsky received the PRSA-NY John W. Hill Award for outstanding achievement. Makovsky was selected to the PR News Hall of Fame, and also was named to the New York Observer’s “PR Power 50 List,” among the most influential PR firms in New York City. Ken’s blog, “My Three Cents,” is among the leading blogs in the PR industry; it appeared weekly in Forbes.com for five years. Ken’s articles have been published by leading magazines, and he has addressed business organizations and universities.
In 2014-2018, the company won over 70 firm, individual and campaign awards. Makovsky has been named “Agency of the Year” by four different organizations over the past several years. Makovsky is a recent former Co-Chairman of the Board of the Institute for Public Relations and also a member of the College of Fellows, the honorary organization of the Public Relations Society of America, and the Arthur W. Page Society. Makovsky holds a Juris Doctor degree from Washington University School of Law as well as a Bachelor of Arts from the University.
What do you love most about Your City?
I’m charged! Daily I’m charged! As I enter Grand Central Station following my train ride from Connecticut, where I live, you can’t help but feel the electricity in the air. The speed of people moving in every direction, even if I could use 10 more minutes of sleep, buoys me. What a contrast from St. Louis where I grew up. Really, the pace and culture of New York awoke my global and entrepreneurial instincts. Finance, which is at the heart and soul of New York City, became the firm’s first focal point. I’ll never forget picking up Merrill Lynch as a client very early on. And then we really did go global at a young age. I founded IPREX, a worldwide partnership of independent agencies, giving us a footprint today in 30 countries and 40 U.S. cities! Technology became our next focal point (we picked up IBM as a client), then healthcare, where we represented industry giants, and finally energy, indicative of the city itself!
Favorite breakfast meal & restaurant?
My favorite breakfast is a fluffy egg white omelet with mushrooms, tomatoes and spinach plus a Harvard popover and a decaf cappuccino. Yep! That’s right, a Harvard popover! The Harvard Club is my favorite place for breakfast and no one does popovers like they do. I’m a member of the Harvard Club, as my wife went to Harvard.
What are you doing at:
6:00 AM – Alexa is waking me up! I get about 61/2 hours of sleep every night and do about 5 hours of exercise every week from weightlifting to cardio and Pilates, mostly in the mornings. Nothing beats exercise for getting you going in the morning. Traditionally, I read the New York Times on the train, sometimes the newspaper itself and sometimes electronically. The exception was when I was studying Swedish, and my instructor rode the train in with me, and that enabled me to win major corporate business in Sweden. Giving presentations in Swedish helped! Why Swedish? I developed a penchant for the country years earlier in college when I was on an international business student exchange program there.
10:00 AM - Totally immersed in a sea of client or other business opportunities! I could be meeting with staff, still in a breakfast meeting, on a sales call or involved in planning for an important event.
12:00 PM - Favorite Power Lunch spot/meal?
The Morgan Dining Room at the JP Morgan Library and Museum. Quality food across the board! And an excellent business atmosphere. It is also one of New York City’s best kept secrets - - almost no one has heard of it and everyone loves it. From the entrance to the museum to the “hideaway dining room” and its “less noisy than any other” environment. It is cool!
7:00 PM - I’m on the train on the way back to Connecticut; in fact, I’m writing the answers to these questions on the train. I do some of my best writing on trains because it is perfectly quiet, and no one interrupts me. Blogs, some strategic client memos, occasional program editing - - all on the train. Often, I’m doing e-mails and preparing for tomorrow’s meetings. Unlike many, I rarely snooze! Once I did and missed my stop. I get home about 8:00 PM and am greeted with a hot, nutritional dinner made by favorite woman in the world, my wife!
11:00 PM – I do about an hour of work after dinner - - reading documents, answering e-mails, or editing programs. At 11:00, I start watching the news and selecting clothes for tomorrow to save time in the morning.
What drink do you need to get through the day and at the end (and how many)?
Two bottles of water!
Most used App/Favorite Instagram Account?
My favorite app is “At Bat,” the major league baseball app on which you get scores and play by play. My favorite team is the New York Mets, through thick and through thin. More thin… Second favorite is my hometown team, St. Louis Cardinals. But my passion today is the Mets, and I follow the team and its players closely.
What should everyone try at least once?
A hot stone massage!
Where do you enjoy getting lost?
Essentially getting out from my daily schedule. I’m a big believer in taking vacations - - and really vacating! I lock up my iPhone in the hotel room handsafe whereever we are and cut off contact with the office, unless there is an emergency. I encourage everyone to do this, but many have a hard time doing it. I like doing real getaways - - doing something completely different, so I can return raring to go! For example, on our trip to Morocco, we did a sunset camel ride in the Sahara Desert followed by a good night sleep in a deluxe tent! We drove through the country stopping in small towns and big cities. Exotic. Nevertheless, Turks and Caicos in February does the trick for me as well.