Humanitarian and media mogul Oprah Winfrey is a magnanimous human being. Her endorsement of individuals and products she likes is well documented. Oprah’s stamp of approval is said to change the fortunes of millions of individuals all over the world. There are over 100 companies who have become instantly famous and financially successful after appearing on her television shows, either as a guest or as one of “Oprah’s Favorite Things.” Namely, her book club has had a positive effect on reading in America: a plethora of book clubs have been launched because of Oprah’s Book Club. Her magazine, “O,” was an instant success with the launch of its first issue; this is unheard of in the publishing industry. The list of Oprah’s effect on individuals and products she champions goes on and on.
I had the opportunity to experience Oprah’s effect twice. Once while I was working for PolyGram Records as a Publicist for singer/songwriter Oleta Adams and then again when I was Senior Director of Media Relations for legendary icon Mr. Quincy Jones’ Qwest Records. In the former scenario, Oleta was booked on Oprah’s show to sing her hit single, “Get Here.” The next day after Oleta’s appearance on The Oprah Show, PolyGram Records sold almost 100,000 Oleta Adams CDs. This sale boost propelled Oleta to her first Gold Album; an occasion our PolyGram staff thankfully celebrated. In the latter scenario, I was on a historic tour with Mr. Jones – after 23 years of not touring he had consented to a promotional tour in support of his “Q’s Jook Joint” CD. One morning while on the promotional tour, Mr. Jones called me to his suite and instructed that I send some flowers to Oprah at her office in Chicago. He then dictated a note to me that was to accompany the flowers. I remember the feeling today like it was yesterday. I felt elated – goose bumps et al – calling a Chicago florist to order flowers for Oprah and dictate a note to her from Mr. Jones. If you are not familiar with Mr. Jones’ writing, let me say he is a MASTER of the spoken word. The note was beautiful. I’ll never forget the opportunity Mr. Jones gave me to communicate with Oprah. It feels like yesterday (I believe I said that already)….excuse me.
As I witnessed what Oprah’s endorsements have done for Lisa Price, CEO of Carol’s Daughter; Lori Karmel, Owner of We Take The Cake and Jon Bresler, Owner of Lafco Enterprises among others, I am reminded of how her generous behavior – building an extraordinary relationship with her audience – has resulted in a force for good for many. Oprah calls it “Living Your Best Life.”
Of course Oprah has detractors, but at the end of the day, in my humble opinion, she is doing more good in this world than many of the people who dislike her. Keep On Rising Miss Oprah Winfrey; your star continues to shine.