It seems like everyone in New York has crossed paths with Scott Currie at some point. His fascinating career path has culminated in the birth of his creative marketing agency, Anchor Communications, which celebrates three years in business this month. The Daily recently checked in with him to find out how he went from TV to PR.
What was your background before opening your firm?
I’ve been producing my entire career. First, it was events for corporate and entertainment industry clients such as FOX Television, Marvel Comics, Crown Publishing and New Line Cinema. It was a short jump to television production when I went to work as an associate producer at the Joan Rivers Show. She always used to say, “I was smart enough to go through any door that opened.” I listened to her, think it’s a really admirable outlook to take in your professional life and took her advice. Believe me, public relations is just production with a different name.
What was the experience like working on Joan’s show?
Joan Rivers really knew how to keep her team on their toes. It was a blend of incredibly hard work coupled with never-ending laughter. Who wants to go to a job where there’s no fun? Joan deserved the best and knew how to get it from her staff. I was lucky enough to be a part of that amazing, rare ride.
What were the most memorable guests or segments you produced?
Every day was an adventure. It’s almost impossible to narrow down my favorites. We mixed wacky shows like Most Unusual Pageant Winners and I Married a Serial Killer with appearances from people like Howard Stern, Dolly Parton, Mary Tyler Moore, RuPaul, etc… The special thing was that Joan really invented the gossip show genre. She opened every show with top gossip columnists sharing their stories. It was always funny to see them behind the scenes duking it out about who could tell a celebrity story first, with the most juicy information.
You and Melissa released the book Joan Rivers Confidential shortly after Joan’s passing. Tell me about that and how that experience unfolded?
Joan Rivers was not just someone I worked with, but someone I saw as a mentor and mother figure. She was family; we celebrated every holiday together including Thanksgiving and Christmas. Consequently, creating her book was an immensely personal project for me. It was also a huge responsibility to craft her legacy and put it in historical perspective.
Logistically, it was a daunting project because Joan never threw anything out! I must have combed through a million boxes of joke cards, photos, interviews, transcripts, journal entries and slips of paper with jokes scribbled on them. I feel like we found the best material, while putting it all in chronological order and putting her decades long career in perspective. The book was and continues to be a huge success. Open it to any page and I guarantee you’ll find a laugh. I’m proud to have worked with Melissa on it.
How did you transition to PR?
Remember what I said about always being a producer? I was always promoting and garnering publicity for whatever project I was on. I enjoyed nurturing my relationships with members of the press. And I knew how to get things done. I put all these skills together and went to work for a PR company where I supervised all of the men’s clients, including Burberry, Alfred Dunhill and Brooks Brothers.
I jumped to another agency and earned the title senior vice president. I built PR strategies, implemented cross-promotional partnerships such as the bespoke Vespa’s done in Coach colors, and handled media relations as the social and digital age grew in importance. I recognized there were limitations at a large agency. The personal approach only went so far. Clients being passed around to junior level employees didn’t work for me. I took a seat on the other side of the table to get some perspective. I realized clients only wanted dedicated team members who understood the brand inside and out and who could successfully handle and grow the business. This mindset led me to launch my own agency — and Anchor Communications was born.
When did you start Anchor and what do you feel you bring to the table?
Anchor Communications turns three this year, which is a real pinch-me moment. We offer completely personalized service that extends far beyond traditional PR. We direct and lead influencer campaigns, dress and style celebrities, execute international media trips, produce store events and VIP functions — you name it, we can find a way to execute. We represent clients across the fields of travel, home, design, beauty, spirits and men’s and women’s fashion.
Believe me when I say there is never a dull moment. Andy Churchill, our VP and a fellow PR veteran, is integral to the growth of Anchor. His background is in niche luxury — Maserati, Louis Roederer, Thomas Keller, Assouline Publishing, and The Gramercy Park Hotel. He really gets what I set out to do and has full command of that landscape. Our success can be attributed to our stellar team and its ability to act nimbly with our clients.
Who are some of your clients?
The team at Anchor is able to maintain relationships with an incredibly wide range of international, national and regional press in all different sectors given our varied client base. Our clients come from a wide range of industries. A few of our clients include Dennis Basso, Elie Tahari, Richard James Savile Row, Harrys of London, INDOCHINO, Handvaerk, John Barrett Salon, Richard Mishaan, H.M.I. Hetrick Martin Institute’s “School’s Out” summer fundraiser, Gibson & Dehn Candlemakers, lighting designer Nathan Orsman, and Sandals Resorts.
What’s your PR philosophy?
See your work through the eyes of your clients and you will never falter.
What have been some of your best triumphs since starting the company?
There have been so many, big and small. Helping our clients tell their stories on the pages of The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and The New York Post is always exciting. Any time we can bring the stories of our clients and their brands to life, we know we are onto something good. We created a very special moment for Elie Tahari when the company was expanding internationally. We came up with the idea to design the uniforms the United Nations tour guides and held a fashion show to celebrate it. That was unforgettable. One of our biggest accomplishments was landing a book deal for a very talented design client of ours.
Dennis Basso is one of your clients now. How long have you known him and what is it like working with such a New York icon?
Mr. Basso embodies the New York success story. Believe it or not, I actually met him when I was 25 at a party in the city! Over the years, we have collaborated on special projects like his 25th anniversary when Dianna Ross closed his show and bought down the house. His understanding of the media and his customers is beyond compare. He’s an inspiration and he has you in stitches no matter what you’re doing.
Elie Tahari is also another longtime client. What are your favorite memories of working with him?
Mr. Tahari has had such a huge impact on both my life and career. I was fortunate to work with him when the company was really taking off. I worked to create an in-house marketing and PR team to support the business growth. I loved creating a celebration around Elie Tahari’s 40th anniversary — Elie Tahari Day on September 4th — where Mayor Bloomberg officiated and Elie was introduced by a high school marching band at his 5th Avenue flagship. Then that weekend there was a CBS Sunday Morning segment celebrating his life and the company’s 40th anniversary.
Why did you name the company Anchor?
I love the idea of being stable, reliable and ‘anchoring’ to my clients, so it felt like the natural choice. And growing up in New York and in the summers on Shelter Island I’ve always been drawn to anything nautical — I mean, my dog is named Harbor.
You have a great sense of humor. What are you like to work with every day?
You’ll have to ask Andy… We definitely have our comical moments and try to not let the ups and downs of PR stress us out… too much. Joan taught me to see the humor in everything, even if something is not going as planned. If you wait long enough, you can always find the humor. Tragedy + time = humor!