Q&A With Edelman's Matthew Harrington

Over the past fiscal year, Edelman's U.S. operations grew 10 percent, grossing $320 million. The company's CEO talks about the challenges his firm has faced and how it hopes to remain on top.

The Wonder Years?

Within the next 20 years, 78 million baby boomers will be retiring. If you’re one of them, this phase in your life could be a time of renewed activity, the chance to shift gears to an entirely different type of pursuit.

Succeeding in the Local-Goods Market

“Locally made” is a popular term for budding entrepreneurs with romantic notions of taking a product in their community and turning it into a profitable business. But transforming a local gem into a cash cow takes more than a good idea.


So how was the flight? For a senior executive who recently flew on DaimlerChrysler's Airbus 319 from Pontiac, Mich., to Stuttgart, Germany, pretty good, thanks. He sailed through security to the company's jet, which has roomy leather seats for 48. He feasted on filet mignon with a port-wine reduction sauce, and a brownie topped with Michigan cherries. Flight attendants provided chenille blankets, fluffy pillows and slippers. DaimlerChrysler won't discuss the service for security reasons (or maybe it's worried about making other companies jealous).It's not just Chrysler--the skies are getting friendlier for lucky employees. Traveling coach on commercial airlines, after all, is getting tougher. The long security lines and cutbacks have made flying even more grueling, and trans-atlantic fares have jumped sharply (that Pontiac-to-Stuttgart flight can run as high as $8,000). So more companies are taking the private-plane route. Ed Bolen, CEO of the National Business Aviation Association,...

What Do Patients Want?

I was lying on a gurney, trying to prepare myself for a six-hour breast-reconstruction surgery. A few months earlier, I'd had a mastectomy for breast cancer. Because I'm small-boned, my doctor told me I needed to have a muscle sliced from my back and moved to my chest to create a proper foundation for an implant. I knew the operation would slow me down--bad news for someone who swims, runs and chases three young kids. But as the surgeon diagramed incision points on my chest with a felt-tip pen, my husband asked a question: "Is it really necessary to transfer this back muscle?"The doctor's answer shocked us. No, he said, he could simply operate on my chest. That would cut surgery and recovery time in half. He had planned the more complicated procedure because he thought it would have the best cosmetic result. "I assumed that's what you wanted," he said. It was not. After consulting with my husband for five minutes, I told the surgeon to do the less-invasive procedure.No one should...

Racial Politics

It's happy hour on the Jennifer Granholm campaign. At a hall in a blue-collar suburb of Detroit, wine is flowing, food is plentiful and a piano player is plunking out the disco chestnut "I'm So Excited."The button-bedecked members of the Michigan Education Association--the state's largest teachers union--do seem thrilled about Granholm's visit. As the Democratic gubernatorial candidate enters the hall, the roaring crowd welcomes her like a rock star. The candidate responds in kind. Waving to her fans, she takes her place behind the podium and immediately rejects its formality. "I feel like I'm in the dark," she says, "so I'm going to come out into the light." With that, she wades into her adoring audience, Oprah style.The festive mood was a sweet moment in an increasingly acrimonious race between Granholm and her Republican challenger, Lt. Gov. Dick Posthumus. Posthumus, a career politician who enjoys strong support from the religious conservatives in rural western Michigan, is...

Strapping Them In

Last February Christine Guarino drove to a car dealership in Germantown, Md., where a team of experts inspected the car seats holding her two sons. They found problems: Collin, 3, needed tighter straps, and Stephen, 5, should have been using a seat belt with his booster seat instead of its built-in harness. The dealership fixed those problems--and it paid off. The next day their Oldsmobile minivan was "split open like a sardine can" in an accident with a Mack truck. The kids suffered only minor injuries, Guarino says. They could have been killed if their seats hadn't been adjusted by a pro.Safety advocates estimate more than 85 percent of kids ride in improperly installed car seats, resulting in 68 deaths and 874 injuries a year. To help parents strap their kids in correctly, carmakers and government officials are beefing up the patchwork of state laws covering car seats, and offering roadside clinics and seat-checks to make sure parents haven't bungled the installation. New federal...