Posted by an Honored Guest
Ya know... we loooove controversy. Better yet, we're totally bowled over when one of our illustrious PR leaders demonstrates the right stuff and takes a stand. And you know we're especially fond of the potential of generating a little heat. Well, here's alotta heat.
It is our distinct pleasure today to have with us Dr. Donald K. Wright, Professor of Public Relations in the College of Communication at Boston University. Don recently made a few comments that have raised more than a few ears and eyebrows.
By way of background, Dr. Wright was recently given the 2007 Distinguished Service Award by the elite Arthur W. Page Society. BIG STUFF! Professor Wright is one of a small number of full-time educators who hold membership in the Page Society. Dr. Wright is the first full-time educator to receive the Award and only the second to become an honorary member.
Here's where it gets interesting. While accepting the award, Dr. Wright made a few remarks specifically about the awful state of PR education today. Yikes! Gutzy! And now it's got everybody buzzin'.
Anyway, we got the chance to sit down with Professor Wright. Without further ado...
CHAPEL: “First, thanks for taking the time to talk with us today. Congratulations on your award.
Let me get right to it: word is you were somewhat critical of PR practitioners in your acceptance remarks. One online report claims you, 'rapped the PR industry for failure to provide support for PR education.' Care to comment?”
WRIGHT: “Thanks for the kind words. This is a huge honor and I’m still trying to figure out how to react to it.
With regard to the quote, as sometimes happens in the news business, I don’t think the article you reference does justice to what I said. Although I mentioned it’s unfortunate many practitioners couldn’t care less about public relations research or education, I did praise those who do support us and also acknowledged support from organizations such as the Page Society, the Institute for Public Relations and PRSA.”
CHAPEL: “You did assert that there are serious problems in public relations education. What exactly and who's at fault?”
Posted by an Honored Guest
A few weeks ago we covered the Fleishman-Hillard announcement about their new Animal Care practice. "One of the world's premier PR firms is going to the dogs," is how we put it. Bottom line: With F-H is all about the bottom line. First a Gay Practice, then a Boomer Group, and now they've got a Pampered Pooch Pack. According to F-H: "Some 63 percent of the U.S. population owns an animal of some kind and per-household spending on pets is at record highs with no signs of stopping. In fact, animal health, a $40.8 billion global industry, is growing at a rate of five percent a year, faster than the general economy and faster than many other industries."
Now certainly F-H is known for its exrtraordinary ability to sit, beg and give a paw; but then again, there's a HUGE difference between an obese city wolf and the genuine alpha dog.
Meet Susan Hartzler. Hartzler is a veteran of the PR industry with more than 28 years experience helping clients in the areas of pet care, travel, food, health, beauty and entertainment. Prior to opening her own firm, Hartzler was Vice President at Murphy O'Brien where she specialized in the resort industry representing world renown destination spots such as St. Andrews in Scotland, the Post Ranch Inn in Big Sur, and the Cousteau Fiji Islands Resort. She also made her mark in the entertainment industry promoting both major motion pictures and television.
But recently Susan decided to rebrand and focus exclusively on her true passion, i.e. her pets. She's opened Alpha Dog Public Relations.
Good for her. NOW THAT'S GENUINE PR!
Listen to Susan tell it in her own words...
Posted by Matt Gentile
Take me out to the Ballpark... Please
“Make news, not news releases.” That’s what legendary PR pioneer, Aaron Cushman said while in town recently to accept a Lifetime Achievement Award and present to the Florida Public Relations Association Annual Conference held at the Ritz in Sarasota, FL a few weeks ago.
When you think of heroes, many people may think of sports figures like Babe Ruth or political leaders like George Washington. The one common element is their ability to inspire people, whether it is living a moment vicariously through these larger than life figures or fomenting a revolution that will forever change the world, they all have an innate ability to make a change in people’s lives. Well, Mr. Cushman has that awe-inspiring characteristic and is without question a light for all of us PR practitioners out there struggling to find our way in the dark.
Cushman is a one of a kind original. His parents wanted him to be a doctor, lawyer or accountant. In fact, he studied accounting for one year at the University of Illinois, but got called up during WWII. A fate that would ultimately change his professional path. As he told it, “I was flying a bombing run over Europe with flak going off all around me and my buddies screaming and I knew I could never go back to accounting. Cost accounting, give me a break.”
Posted by an Honored Guest
It’s that time of year again, i.e. September is the time to renew your PR Practitioner’s License.
Far fetched? Maybe not. Certainly seems to be a growing movement. Just yesterday the board of directors of The Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) established a task force to explore certification. According to PRSA Chair and CEO Rhoda Weiss, the organization is looking: “to explore professional credentials that could be validated by a outside certification process” with the goal of “a competitive marketplace advantage.”
Of note: Weiss opened her statement saying, “The issue of certification has been discussed, dissected and debated for years.” Indeed, it has. So what’s the hubub now? Hello!! They’re not doin’ it to make friends! The point is that it’s gettin’ pretty wacky out there and if they don’t take hold of the reins, the government will. That would NOT be good.
But according to Toni Muzi Falconi, who’s presently teaching Global Relations at NYU’s Master Program in Public Relations, the pressure seems to be coming from our global partners... as well as, interestingly, the junior ranks. In a class that he is teaching presently, he was surprised to learn that over 60 percent of his students (young up-and-coming professionals from agencies, profit and non-profit organizations) selected “licensing” for their final paper.
We’re thrilled to have Sig. Toni Muzi Falconi weigh in on the topic here today. His words are backed by SERIOUS credentials. Presently, he’s a Senior Counselor at the Italian change-knowledge management consultancy, Methodos. He is the former press attaché and public relations manager of 3M Company in Italy; he’s the former economic and financial editor of the newsweekly L’Espresso, he’s the former editor in chief of the monthly Photo 13 Italiana; he’s the former Director of Communication of Fabbri Editori, then Italy’s largest publisher; and he’s the former head of SCR, Italy’s largest and most prominent public affairs and public relations consultancy. Falconi held the undergraduate chair of Public Relations Theory at IULM University of Milano from 1999 to 2002. He’s taught PR on the postgraduate level at the University of Udine in Gorizia, the University of Bologna in Forli , as well as at IULM University in Milano. Mr. Muzi Falconi is the former President of Ferpi, the Italian Federation of Public Relations. He is also the former Chairman of the Global Alliance for Public Relations and Communication Management.
The guy knows what he’s talkin’ about. Without further ado... Mr. Muzi Falconi: