• “Alternative Facts” an Insult to Public Relations

    by  • January 23, 2017

    Donald Trump grew up on the rough streets of Chicago. His father left home when he was only six years old, leaving his mother to raise Donald and his eight brothers and sisters. His mother worked two jobs every day to support the family, and she taught him the work ethic that has been central [...]

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    How Propaganda Elected a President

    by  • November 23, 2016

    America died on Nov. 8, 2016. In electing the nation’s first sociopathic game show host as president of the most important and powerful nation on Earth, voters demonstrated they no longer ascribe to the principles and values that have made America a beacon of democracy. Like so many, I was shocked by the election’s outcome, [...]

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    Thank You, Donald Trump

    by  • October 27, 2016

    It has been a horrendous presidential campaign, the most horrific of my lifetime. I am appalled and saddened that a thoughtless, narcissistic clown like Donald Trump is a candidate for the most powerful position on Earth. His candidacy is an indictment of the political process today, the Republican Party and the vacuity of some of [...]

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    The Sole of a Shoestring Budget

    by  • May 11, 2016

    (I was honored to be part of a panel on “Shoestring Budgets That Deliver Phenomenal PR Results” on April 29 at PRSA Georgia’s annual professional development conference. Fortunately, I had two outstanding, energetic and highly entertaining professionals on the panel with me: Manu Muraro, marketing director at King of Pops, and Elyse Hammett, vice president [...]

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    Is Your Identity a Declaration of Independence?

    by  • April 19, 2016

    (Here is an abridged version of a speech I delivered at the annual conference of the Counselors to Higher Education Section of the Public Relations Society of America on April 14, 2016 at the Royal Sonesta Hotel in New Orleans.) Back when our founding fathers, those seemingly omniscient wealthy white guys who articulated the principles [...]

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    Super Bowl Ads Show Why PR is Needed in Marketing Mix

    by  • March 2, 2016

    Haven’t watched the Super Bowl in years. Too much hype prior to the game. No rooting interest in the two teams. Interminable game with far too many long commercial breaks. An over-produced, comical halftime show. For some reason I turned it on this year. I found the game strangely compelling. As for the rest of [...]

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    PR and the Myths of Marketing

    by  • August 10, 2015

    I was honored to receive an invitation from the Richmond, Va., chapter of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) to deliver a speech on the relationship between public relations and marketing. The invitation stemmed from my blog on this topic that first appeared here, then was picked up by PRSA and mounted on the [...]

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    Promoting PR’s Value in Colleges and Universities

    by  • April 22, 2015

    Promoting PR’s Value in Colleges and Universities (Abridged and adapted from a speech made on March 14, 2012 at the College and University Public Relations Association of Pennsylvania annual conference at the Hotel Hershey in Hershey, Pa.) I’ve been asked to talk about how we public relations professionals navigate through these troubling times in American [...]

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    Strategic Design: The Book on How To Do It

    by  • February 16, 2015

    Almost everything I know about design and the management of creative people and processes I learned from Dave Holston. He and I first teamed up at the University of Texas at Austin back in the early 2000s. He was part of the Development Division there when I showed up, but I knew as soon as [...]

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    One More Time: It’s PR, Not Marketing

    by  • November 20, 2014

    I have long been troubled by the misuse of the term “marketing” in higher education and its seeming predominance over public relations in the industry’s lexicon. Some colleagues have told me repeatedly to shut up and move on. It’s just a problem of semantics, they say. Properly chastened, I have gone dark on this topic [...]

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    Most Alumni Magazines Are a Waste of Money

    by  • September 12, 2014

    The old joke about college and university alumni magazines is that everyone browses through the class notes to find ex-classmates, then dumps the magazine in the recycle bin or the trash can. I have to admit that when I do open my alma mater’s alumni magazine that is precisely what I do. In all the [...]

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    Courage is an Essential Public Relations Virtue

    by  • May 22, 2014

    At its highest level, public relations is a counseling function that requires practitioners to give sound and thoughtful advice to the leadership of an organization. Having served a good number of university presidents in this role during my career, I have come to the conclusion that courage is right at the top on the list [...]

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