March Newsstand Issue of Fortune Magazine – Catherine Hooper
Did you happen to read the March 19th, newsstand issue of Fortune magazine?? Fortune always has great articles. I really enjoy the magazine. One of my hobbies is small business and they seem to have a steady dose of small business type articles (Is it me or are they morphing into a Entrepreneur type magazine?). Anyway, there are plenty of good articles in the March including an article on Facebook. But the “featured story” that caught my attention was the story on Catherine Hooper entitled “Stand By Your Madoff.” Ms. Hooper is the woman who moved in with Bernie Madoff’s son, Andrew, just days before Bernie was arrested for his ponzi scheme.
I have nothing bad to say about Catherine Hooper or Andrew Madoff. I believe Andrew was caught in something I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy. I also believe its completely possible that he didn’t know anything about what was going on with his father. I only say “completely possible” because I haven’t followed the story close enough and cannot get inside the brain of Andrew Madoff. At this point, maybe only he knows for sure. Until he is proven guilty, we do live in a society where you are presumed innocent until proven guilty…right?? I’m not even sure he’s been accused of anything.
Opinions aside, more than anything else, I’d love to know how a small business of close to $500,000 in annual revenue gets a featured story in Fortune magazine for crying out loud. The story mentions a business her and Andrew Madoff have started. It involves disaster preparedness products and services. Do you know how many businesses would KILL to get this kind of FREE publicity?! Yes I realize the press is trying to use the Madoff name to lure people to read the magazine. Yes, I realize the people at Fortune know that using a title like “Stand By Your Madoff” is intended to bring all those people in who might think it’s more connected to Bernie Madoff that it actually is. Either way, it’s a ton of free pub.
All that being said, do we really believe it’s fair for a company of less than $500,000 to be taking up the space of such prime reader real estate? While this was a complete and mutually driven publicity sucking exercise on both sides (Fortune used the Madoff name for eyeballs and Catherine Hooper used Fortune for free publicity), It still leaves me wondering what the small business guy with sales of under $500,000 (I think there are like 12,000,000 of these) has to do to get noticed. Do small businesses have to be tied to something sensational to get publicity? If you’re Catherine Hooper, and fortune calls you to do a story, what do you do? Is that what happened? Did Catherine know someone at Fortune who got her the opening? Did Catherine approach Fortune? I will say I hope Catherine did not approach Fortune. If she did, I hope it wasn’t with the hope of the kind of story that was actually printed.
At the end of the day, it’s more to do with jealousy than anything else. I ‘m jealous! There, I said it. I’m jealous that Catherine Hooper gets her free pub and all us small business owners get to be jealous.
Certainly Catherine Hooper did little to deserve the stress she’s had to endure over the last several years. This isn’t about her (unless she framed the story with fortune purposefully which I hope and don’t believe she did) as much as it is about the never ending fight for a morsel of exposure for all of us business owners who struggle to get noticed.
How do the rest of us get noticed? Good question. Ask Catherine Hooper (@goblackumbrella) since now I’ve given her BobandScott.com publicity!