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What’s On My Desk: Karen Murphy O’Brien

Ever wonder what the most powerful leaders, business execs and celebrities keep on their desks? Well, we’re about to tell you. Our biweekly “What’s on My Desk” feature will take a look inside the offices and at the desks of the world’s most influential power players.

This week we’ve featured Karen Murphy O’Brien, the founder of Murphy O’Brien, an LA-based PR agency representing clients in travel, hospitality, real estate, food & beverage and lifestyle. Murphy O’Brien specializes in delivering high-caliber media coverage for clients and is one of the top independent PR agencies in the U.S., with 24 years of experience. Say Murphy O’Brien: “I love to surround myself with the people and places that matter the most and my desk reflects that notion.”

Here are a look at the items on this PR powerhouse’s desk:

  • New Murphy O’Brien website: We recently moved offices after 15 years and it was a wonderful opportunity to freshen things up a bit! I am reviewing the plans for our new website which will go live in a few weeks.
  • Current issues of a few of my favorite magazines – Conde Nast Traveler, Departures and Travel + Leisure: My life is all about travel, food and lifestyle.  I am constantly reading about our clients and where to go next in the pages of the top newspapers and magazines.
  • Family Photo: One of my favorite places to vacation with my husband and partner, Brett O’Brien, and our two children, is Hualalai Resort on the Big Island of Hawaii.  The photo on my desk is a constant reminder of the wonderful memories made there.
  • I love the smell of fresh flowers and candy. There is nothing better you can offer a visiting client or a fellow executive than a piece of See’s Nuts and Chews! See’s has been a client of ours for nearly 20 years.
  • Agency Awards: Our agency has won so many awards over the near 25 years we have been in business including an HSMAI Platinum award for our work on behalf of the Nicaraguan Tourism board and a Hermes Platinum award for our work on behalf of Hilton Hotels & Resorts. While they all mean so much, being named one of the “Best Places to Work” in Los Angeles by the Los Angeles Business Journal means the most.
  • The Baccarat glass butterfly was given to me from my 45-person staff recently.  It was so meaningful as it represents the 10-plus years I have devoted my time, resources and talents to Chrysalis, an organization that helps the economically disadvantaged find a pathway to self-sufficiency.  http://www.changelives.org/
  •   Lastly, a pair of Chinese lions have stood guard at my desk since we began working with The Peninsula Hotels over 20 years ago.  These decorative and symbolic creatures are believed to have powerful protective benefits.  So far, it has worked!

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New York February / March 2014
New York February / March 2014