• The Art of Listening Taught by an Expert

    by  • October 16, 2012

    The greatest speaker on the subject of public relations I have ever seen was Pat Jackson. No one else has even come close. If Jackson, principal of his own PR firm and former president of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA), was in the lineup at a conference sponsored by PRSA or the Council [...]

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    Applying Old Theories to New PR Practice

    by  • September 6, 2012

    One of the theoretical underpinnings of behavioral public relations has long been the well established diffusion process of decision-making. Diffusion process, introduced in 1960 by Iowa State sociologists and economists George Beal and Joe Bohlen of Iowa State University , demonstrated how media and mass communication built awareness and interest in a subject or proposed [...]

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    A Legendary Scientist Makes the Case for PR

    by  • August 8, 2012

    One of the most brilliant, thoughtful and personable scientists I met in my many years in the higher education public relations business was Allen Newell, one of the fathers of the field of artificial intelligence. With long-time collaborator and Nobel Laureate Herbert Simon, Newell built the foundation of modern computer science research and was at [...]

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    Advertising and the Decline and Fall of Western Civilization

    by  • June 30, 2012

    The printing press is unquestionably the most important invention in modern human history, but can the television remote control be far behind? It seems we have long taken the remote for granted, but take a minute to think about its liberating qualities. We’re now a heartbeat away from a channel change when years ago we [...]

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    The Unwinnable Game of Media Relations

    by  • June 11, 2012

    Those of you who have labored long and hard in the minefield of media relations know it is a thankless endeavor. You can never generate enough news media coverage to satisfy the leadership of your institution. And even when you score a big hit in the media the story can contain errors or misrepresent some [...]

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    Some Thoughtful Perspectives on PR Practice

    by  • May 10, 2012

    Many years ago when I told my mother I was working for UPI in my first job out of college she figured I was delivering packages door to door. I decided explaining the work of a wire service journalist and how it differs from what your friendly neighborhood UPS does was too confusing and complex [...]

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    The Seven C’s of Presidential Leadership

    by  • April 5, 2012

    In my many years of counseling presidents and engaging with top management at major universities I have been fortunate to watch outstanding leadership in action. Though higher education has not been generally blessed with great leaders, I have seen some truly remarkable ones. A close friend once told me, “You could put a grapefruit in [...]

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    The Seven Deadly Sins of PR Job Applicants

    by  • January 19, 2012

    Throughout my career I have had the opportunity to scan hundreds, probably thousands, of cover letters and resumes. I got even broader exposure to letters and resumes when I handled the Job Placement Service for the Pittsburgh chapter of the Public Relations Society for a number of years while vice president for university relations at Carnegie [...]

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    The Strategic Planning Top 10

    by  • January 11, 2012 • 0 Comments

    Strategic planning for public relations can be a tough, time-consuming and politically challenging assignment, particularly at a college or university. Because public relations, unlike most other administrative functions, involves itself with almost every aspect of an institution and addresses (when it is done correctly) all of that institution’s key constituencies, development of a viable and [...]

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    Lincoln a Role Model for Public and Human Relations

    by  • December 21, 2011 • 0 Comments

    If there was ever any doubt in your mind that Abraham Lincoln was the greatest of American presidents I suggest you read Doris Kearns Goodwin’s book, “Team of Rivals.” There are lessons in there for all us, especially public relations professionals. This wonderful and engaging work draws a compelling picture of a brilliant leader who [...]

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