How to manage a celebrity brand

You just keep pushing on, just keep working. Persistence, enthusiasm, and focus are my three tips for advice – Max Markson

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In this episode of Brand Storytelling, Rakhal talks to PR identity and CEO of Markson Sparks, Max Markson about how the role of the public relations manager has become more demanding in recent times. We go in depth about how social and real-time media allow for personalities to be engaging audiences around the clock and how to maximise the value of a story as soon as it breaks. 

Max has been the CEO of Markson Sparks since 1982  and has gone on to manage and promote high profile celebrities such as Nelson Mandela, Mike Tyson, Arnold Schwarzenegger and President Bush Snr. 

5 lessons from Max Markson: 

1. Persistence, focus and enthusiasm are the keys to success.  

2. Learn to love working hard. For yourself and for those you work with. 

3. The five tips of advice Arnold Schwarzenegger says about being successful is, one, have a vision, two, think big, three, don’t listen to the naysayers, four, work your ass off, and, five, give back.

4. Always think big! You have to think bigger than you think you are. 

5. Content is always king. 

Download and listen to the full show and read below for a preview of Max’s insights. 


Rakhal Ebeli: I guess you’re not one to look at constraints. You remind me a bit of, I don’t know, someone like let’s say, Richard Branson. You don’t box yourself into what the opportunities are. You think outside of the square, and you’re pretty limitless with your targets. I’ve experienced it myself where you’ve really come to the party with some amazing ideas, and you really don’t hold back. What can you say to brands out there who are looking to not just create a stunt but create something meaningful for their audience, whether it be through content or in real life?

Max Markson: Two words: think big. You have to think big. Now, I’m going to come back to Schwarzenegger. When he said have a vision and then think big, for him, his vision was he wanted to be a bodybuilding champion and he wanted to be in the movies. His thinking big was he wanted to be the best bodybuilder in the world, which he went on to be, seven times world champion, and he wanted to be the leading man in movies. He didn’t just want to be a movie star. He wanted to be the leading man in movies. You’ve got to think big, and if you’ve got a brand, you’ve got to think big. You have to be bigger than you think you are, you just have to be. That way, everybody else will follow you.

Rakhal: Speaking of following, you do the announcement, you do the stunt, whatever it is. How do you then follow up on that? Do you use content? What is the longevity? Where is the long tail out of those announcements?

Max: Content is always king, so you want to have a followup story. With Michael Hill today, they listed on the stock exchange in Australia. They’ve already been on for thirty years in New Zealand. Now, they’re jewel listed in Australia and New Zealand. The followup which we’ll come up with next week is we’ll announce who the board is. We didn’t even use that. They’ve got an incredible board including Janine Allis, who’s founded Boost Juice in seventeen countries around the world. They’ve got Rob Fyfe, who’s the boss of the CEO of Air New Zealand, who’s again a superstar. They’ve got the chairman of Flight Center.


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Connect with Max Markson on social media and visit his website: 

Twitter: @maxmarkson