Nancy Behrman is so much more than just the founder of an immensely successful brand-building firm, as she is widely regarded as one of the most critical pioneers in an industry now synonymous with beauty and lifestyle brand publicity. As the founder of Behrman Communications, Ms. Behrman has worked with a whole host of clients that are immediately recognizable as some of the most oft-cited examples of a small idea exploding into a multi-million dollar venture. Of course, this is no coincidence, as Behrman Communications has long specialized in delivering these precise kinds of results, beginning with the firm’s very first client, Kiehl’s Since 1851, and continually yielding similarly exceptional results over the last 30-plus years.
Ms. Behrman founded the company in 1985 while still operating out of her studio apartment. Focusing on one “supercool” brand and forgoing all of the stale and largely ineffective PR tactics commonly utilized in the industry at the time, Ms. Behrman was able to help her first clients transform a simple concept or idea into some of the most successful and recognizable brands in the world. As a result, Behrman Communications became and has since remained one of the strongest and most innovative forces in the public relations industry, and many of the industry’s most successful PR specialists have directly benefited from Ms. Behrman’s tutelage at some point or another.
Specializing in beauty, health, accessories and fashion, Ms. Behrman’s company continues to lead the industry in terms of its creativity and its strategic approach to the marketing campaigns it develops for clients, which includes a unique blend of traditional strategies along with advanced practices that include thematic special events, multimedia new releases and local market media tours. With over 30 years of experience in pubic relations, Ms. Behrman is rightly regarded as one of the industry’s most important and revered figures, and her work continues to reflect her flair for originality in every possible sense.
What was your best/favorite subject in school?
English and create writing.
What was your first job?
Cocktail waitressing at the Red Lion Inn in Stockbridge, Mass when I was 18 years old.
Where and how did you first get into the industry you currently work in?
Through a family friend who was in need of an assistant for her small, boutique public relations firm.
How have those jobs prepared you for what you do now?
Just that one. After working as an assistant, I opened up my own shop.
Describe the best day of work you’ve ever had.
The day I received the call that eos Products would be taking out a full ad in WWD to thank the agency for our hard work and vision.
How do you keep yourself motivated?
Never stopping and always having a creative idea that is out of the box.
What kind of business ideas excite you most?
Ones that have never been tried before. I like to play in the white space.
Have you ever tried any unorthodox techniques to attract attention to your business?
I certainly have tried unorthodox business techniques throughout my career, but never to attract attention to my agency, always for the client’s benefit and growth.
What personal achievement are you most proud of?
My daughters are my greatest achievement. Selling Clarisonic was also a home run.
What wisdom you would have liked to share with yourself when you first started out?
Be strong, be committed, and be humble. Don’t give up.