Colleagues and friends have often said that I should write a book or at least a blog about my life and my career in public relations.  After some resistance, I was finally convinced to launch my blog—Personally Lou. It is not a memoir or a history of the firm.  It is, in fact, a little bit of both. It’s a personal story, as well as a professional one about my experiences and some of the challenges encountered along the way.  

After more than three decades at the helm of The Lou Hammond Group (LHG), I decided it was time to offer my perspective and some insights on how our company has evolved and how our business has changed…the trends and the transformations that have taken place.  In so doing, my hope is that I can offer some helpful advice — and perhaps some inspiration— to those who are considering a career in public relations and building an entrepreneurial business.

People often ask what made me decide to start my own firm. The answer is that ‘life happens’ and sometimes you just have to chart a new route. I didn’t set out to be an entrepreneur. I spent 12 years with Pan American World Airways in promotion, publicity and public affairs. I also served as the airline’s lobbyist for the state and city of New York. Working in a corporation for all those years made it easier to start my own business. I learned the importance of discipline and doing things right. I also learned how to build client relationships and trust. I made many friends along the way…friends who were there, asking how they could help when I decided to take the leap and head out on my own.

In 1984, I launched Lou Hammond & Associates with three clients and three employees in a small office in mid-town Manhattan.  What was my business plan? I didn’t really have one…except to make enough money to pay the bills. But I sensed a need out there for a firm that was independent, experienced, with a global perspective, and dedicated to delivering results. I decided to start with the industry I knew best – travel, tourism and hospitality.

Leaving the corporate world meant giving up some things – like security and a paycheck. There is no one to delegate to and you don’t leave your work behind at night or on weekends. It’s hard work—24/7 – and you need true devotion if you are going to succeed. But if you are willing to take risks and ready to learn from your mistakes, my advice is go out and do it.


Lou logo