At the Sunshine & Sachs Party: Bowling, Booze, and Some Business

Eyes weren’t the only things rolling last night at the Sunshine & Sachs holiday party in New York. Held at the posh Lucky Strike Lanes on Manhattan’s West side, the large crowd enjoyed an open bar, food and of course, bowling. In fact, rumor had it agency namesake Ken Sunshine hit a 7-10 split. We spoke with Sunshine upon entering the party, as he gave a warm welcome and encouraged having “a few drinks.” “Maybe it’ll make me bowl better,” this PRNewser remarked. It didn’t.

While many may be familiar with the agency because of their celebrity work – Barbra Streisand, Leonardo DiCaprio, Michael Moore, are among the well known clientele, in fact a diverse group was on hand last night. Ranging from non-profits Feed America and The Organ Donor Network to and Daily Candy, College Humor’s Ricky Van Veen and Al Sharpton, there was also a diverse group of media. Those you would expect were there – reporters and producers from GMA, US Weekly, Access Hollywood, Associated Press and NY Daily News, but also trade media and bloggers.

The crowd aimed to keep things festive despite much of the doom and gloom that has been enveloping the media and PR industries as of late. That being said we caught up with partner Shawn Sachs to get his take on the market. “We [PR] can give the best bang for the buck,” he said. “In some ways, a lot of people are going to look for ways to focus on PR to pick up some of the slack. With agencies there are opportunities as companies let people go. A lot of organizations have to look to outside consultants.”

Sachs also acknowledged that pressure on PR to produce has been heightened.

“People are looking at PR to do more, which is a new set of challenges,” he said. “The environment is tough and a lot of people are cutting back across board. The need and demands on PR are as big as they ever were. That is before you even get into the financial crisis side, such as releasing numbers and handling layoffs. Obviously PR is important there.”

Especially among those that will be hit hard are non-profits. “Unfortunately, the irony is that non-profits are now called on to do more. City, state, federal budgets are all being cut. Donations from corporations are being cut. Imagine if you were non-profit getting big checks from financial word. That is gone. The pressure on non-profits is extreme,” Sachs explained.

Staying true to his PR fundamentals, Sachs wouldn’t comment on anything he’s heard in regards to other agencies or the current climate at S&S. However, he does believe PR overall is positioned well in comparison to other marketing disciplines. “Take a marketing, PR, or ad budget, and throw them up against each other. The PR budget is small,” he said. “A couple hundred thousand [could] go to PR. That is small in the advertising world.”

Back to the party, Sachs stated, “The whole idea is that everyone in the office gets to invite who they want. So they invite clients, media contacts. It’s a good opportunity to bring media they work with every day, clients that they work with every day into a fun place. Everyone is working extremely hard these days and everyone can use a night to go and have a drink.” This PRNewser certainly won’t argue with that point.

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