A-list Hollywood publicist Howard Bragman makes sure celebrity clients like Mario Lopez stay in the limelight, but he’s also known as a crisis counselor, particularly in the LGBT community. Bragman, who is gay, has helped everyone from Joseph Steffan (the Navy solider who sued the US Department of Defense after being expelled from Annapolis for disclosing his homosexuality in 1987–he eventually won) to John Amaechi (the first NBA player to come out, in 2007). He also guides media personalities like Chaz Bono and Meredith Baxter during the complex process of coming out in the public eye, protecting their images, reputations and careers.
When not playing consigliere to the famous at his own agency, Fifteen Minutes PR, (Bragman wrote the book “Where’s My Fifteen Minutes?”), Bragman works to help everyday people manage (and sometimes regain) control of their online images–as vice-chairman of Reputation.com. An expert on dealing with trolls and various besmirchers, Bragman says, “the ability to manage your online reputation is not just appealing, it’s a necessity.” Doctors, lawyers, chefs, small business-owners, corporations, coaches, counselors, and professors all agree. Reputation.com has over a million users, and has attracted $67 million in venture capital. And Bragman is so good at his job that even if the company fails, you won’t find out.