Is PR really a profession? And does it really matter?

May 23, 2010

Ray Simon

I met legendary PR professor Ray Simon in 1987. He came to Buffalo, at my invitation, to address the PRSA chapter there, and he discussed the questions you see in today’s headline.

Ray began teaching PR at Utica College in 1949. I used his book, “PR Concepts and Practices,” when I taught my first PR class at the University of Buffalo in 1985, and have always held Ray in the highest regard.

Ray’s key messages about “PR as profession” became part of my own lessons for the next 23 years. But since I can’t locate theĀ  script he gave me that day, you’ll have to trust my notes and my memory. Read the rest of this entry »


Will corporate partnerships corrupt nonprofits?

May 6, 2010

Our School of Journalism at Kent State doesn’t have a famous name like Newhouse or Scripps. And we probably won’t any time soon, given the financial state of the news business.

But let’s say, just for fun, that Rupert Murdoch offers Kent State $10 million to endow “The Fox News School of Journalism…fairness, balance, accuracy, truth.” Read the rest of this entry »


PR pros and triggering events: anticipate, create

May 3, 2010

Forgive me, but I’m feeling academic today.

Photo courtesy of BP

There’s a good chance President Obama’s plan to expand offshore drilling won’t go smoothly. You all know why.

The oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico is a classic triggering event, and not a welcome one if your future is staked to the oil business. People are certain to change their views about offshore drilling as a result of this incident. Read the rest of this entry »


My interview at the Daily Dog

April 28, 2010

OK, this is a little self-serving, but if I don’t post the link, you might not see it. Honored to be the featured “thought leader” over at Bulldog Reporter’s Daily Dog this week. Thanks to Roxanna Guilford-Blake for asking great questions that helped me sound coherent.


Millennial post is a tough act to follow

April 24, 2010

Last week’s post about the Millennials taught me a lesson.

The last 15 days were lookin' up.

The post shattered records for single-day traffic five times. I’m flattered by the attention, but I know it’s probably a one-time thing.

I don’t do posts outside my realm. I just stumbled onto a hot topic. Lots of folks liked it, I guess, and the conversation continues. Read the rest of this entry »


Dear Millennials: Your parents lied to you

April 20, 2010

You’re wonderful, sweetie. Just keep working hard and you can be anything you want to be. Great job! (soccer mom, 1992)

I’ve spent the past 15 years teaching and coaching the kids known as Millennials. Some call them GenY. I call them the “self esteem generation.” Millennials were raised by parents who showered them with praise and awarded them athletic trophies for just showing up. Their lives were over-programmed, their parents hovering.

Then they went to college. Read the rest of this entry »


Kent State takes a digital focus in Week #12

April 12, 2010

When you teach college courses, you count weeks. This is Week #12 of the spring semester, which means students and faculty are near maximum stress levels and, I hope, maximum productivity.

So it’s refreshing, during a crazy week, to welcome three hi-profile guests from the digital world. They include Chris Barr of Yahoo!, Phil Gomes of Edelman Digital, and Kyle Lacy, author of “Twitter Marketing for Dummies.” Read the rest of this entry »


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