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On Alternate PR Strategies: What $1000 to Page Six Got Nello

This past Sunday's Times Style section has an article on UES see-and-be-seen restaurant Nello and a $1,000 payout Nello owner Nello Balan made to Richard Johnson, earmarked as debit points for future in-print Page Six name drops. Putting one of the city top PR firms on retainer to get ink will set you back roughly $10K a month. So why not cut out the middle man?

To date Mr. Balan and his various establishments — besides Nello, he operates Nello Hotel Summertimes, in the Hamptons, and he used to run a SoHo restaurant — have received around 200 mentions in The Post since 1997.

To those in the business of luring boldface names to New York eateries — both publicists and restaurateurs— the cash gift, if it did sway coverage, represented a screaming bargain.

“Page Six, you can’t really determine the value of that,” said Julian Niccolini, a partner in the Four Seasons restaurant.

Comments from Karine Bakhoum, the suggestion that payola is perhaps the best PR strategy of all and more is at the source.
· On Page Six, Nello's Usual Table [NYT]