In recent weeks, Sheldon Adelson, the CEO of the Las Vegas Sands and sugar daddy of Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich has complained that his treatment in the press is unfair. This is because Adelson pays scant attention and little money for his public relations advice. His casinos flourish despite the inattention thanks to people's greed and addictions, but his public persona needs some help.
I worked briefly in conjunction with his chief public relations adviser, Israeli Dan Raviv, to generate press coverage for the opening of Adelson's Singapore casino. My friend Gali Cohen, who previously worked for the Prime Minister's Office under Ehud Olmert, is his low paid employee. I arranged for Bloomberg, among others, to have a hard hat tour of the casino led by Adelson and his wife.
While Adelson is famous for making his own decisions, his wife Dr. Miriam Adelson, who knows nothing about marketing or public relations, picked her friend Raviv to manage his public relations strategy. Raviv has no website and does not seem to have any other clients.
Raviv, from Israel, was in charge of the public relations for the Singapore hotel. He was making frequent trips to Singapore but was not on site. The Singapore project was well under way when I came aboard. Obvious media outlets such as Bloomberg, Financial Times, CNBC, and CNN's Richard Quest had not been contacted yet.
Raviv also handles the publicity for Adelson within Israel and for his philanthropic activities. Although Adelson underwrites many humanitarian causes in Israel, his good work is always overshadowed by his spouting off of his radical political opinions. Admittedly, Adelson is not an easy man to control, but Raviv could still manage his public image better. Sources close to Adelson told me that Raviv keeps his job because he works cheap and does not reprimand Adelson for his political incorrect comments.
While Adelson loves to make outrageous political statements, he is strangely mum on his charitable donations. When the Adelsons gave a record breaking $25 million donation to the Holocaust Memorial Yad Vashem, Raviv denied all requests for interviews and did not issue a press release with any quotes from the Adelsons. The same thing happened when he came to Philadelphia to raise funds for Birthright, an organization that sponsors free trips to Israel for Jewish college students.
Adelson is certainly entitled to his privacy, but then he should not complain that he has been demonized.