Lunch with a Legend (Saturday, December 9th at 1:00pm)

Legendary Hollywood Publicist – Michael Levine

Michael Levine

Michael Levine has been widely regarded as one of “America’s premier branding experts” (The Wall Street Journal) for the last thirty years. During his illustrious career handling media and branding for clients worldwide, he’s represented a record-breaking fifty-eight Academy Award winners, thirty-four Grammy Award winners, and forty-three New York Times bestsellers. He has worked with legends such as Barbara Streisand, Michael Jackson, George Carlin, and Charlton Heston, among many other performers and artists who have achieved the highest levels of success and acclaim. For the last 20 years, he has been a frequent and sought-after contributor with regular commentary slots on Good Morning America and the Today show. Levine has also authored 19 books, including five bestsellers, most notably Guerrilla P.R., the world’s most widely used introduction to public relations, and Broken Windows, Broken Business, considered a classic in management theory and used as a seminal text for the last 15 years, with a revised and updated version published this year. Levine is also a frequent speaker on the lecture circuit.

A college dropout from a troubled home, Levine has suffered from dyslexia from an early age. Despite a challenging upbringing, he credits his family with instilling in him an incredible will to succeed. Levine started his own PR firm, LCO (Levine Communications Office), after a move to Los Angeles. From humble beginnings, he quickly grew his business and was soon representing megastars like Joan Rivers, David Bowie, Michael J. Fox, and Rodney Dangerfield. One of the most challenging, and controversial, periods of his career was during his time as Michael Jackson’s publicist in 1993-1994 when Jackson was accused of child molestation. Levine describes this period as one of the toughest public relations challenges he’s ever faced. In addition, he has given non-paid media counsel to three United States Presidents.

Born out of his experiences advising the biggest names in Hollywood and government, Levine developed his own management theory in his breakthrough book, Broken Windows, Broken Business: How the Smallest Remedies Reap the Biggest Rewards. Originally published in 2006 and updated in 2021 to include important implications for our new and ever-changing digital world, Levine’s vital handbook has been called “inspired, impactful, and important” by Stephen R. Covey, business educator and author of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. In it, Levine offers compelling evidence that problems in business, large and small, typically stem from inattention to tiny details. Social psychologists and criminologists agree that if a window in a building is broken and left unrepaired, soon thereafter the rest of the windows will be broken—and the perception will build that crime in that neighborhood is out of control. Levine deftly explains how the same principle applies to any organization with stakeholders and that leadership’s decision to prioritize the little things can be the determining factor in whether a business dies or thrives. Over the last decade, Levine has shared lessons from Broken Windows, Broken Business with audiences worldwide. A popular speaker with non-profits, corporations, and associations, he has given talks at Harvard University, Oxford University, UCLA, Bill Gates Leadership Group, Nordstrom, Readers Digest, and the Manhattan Beach Chamber of Commerce, among many others.