It’s a great week for name-dropping at Kent State

fine2.jpgYesterday’s guest speaker in PR Case Studies was our “professional in residence,” Lauren Rich Fine. She dropped by to give the kids an insider’s view of investor relations and a look at strategies IR professionals use to reach the influentials.

If you’ve read the Wall Street Journal in the past decade, you know Lauren Rich Fine as the oft-quoted Merrill Lynch analyst who specialized in publishing, information, advertising and online industries. She’s taken a break from the rigors of high finance and is back home in Cleveland for now. She’s as comfortable in the classroom as she was in the C-Suites of Wall Street.

carolcostello.jpgIn the middle of Lauren’s engaging presentation, our dean, Jim Gaudino, interrupted the class (deans can do that) to ask when Lauren would be free. Seems Jim had someone in tow — someone he wanted Laruen to meet. His guest, it turns out, was Kent grad and CNN anchor Carol Costello. So what was I to do? I let Lauren out of class early, even though she didn’t have a note from home.

Carol was in town to address the Akron Press Club. For the details on her presentation, read the story in the Daily Kent Stater — courtesy of student reporter and PR major, Brittany Senary.

dweinberger.jpgA third luminary to show up was David Weinberger. OK, this one’s a stretch, since David only dropped in via email. But I still score it a hat- trick for the program — three VIPs in 24 hours. David found my teaching blog through a Google Alert and discovered our graduate students’ online discussion of The Cluetrain Manifesto.

I’ve encouraged David, a Fellow at the Berkman Center for the Internet and Society at Harvard, to drop by and join that discussion before the semester ends. Either way, his note illustrates the unique nature of social media to connect an Average Joe like me to thought leaders like David.

It’s an exciting time to be at Kent State.

More big names arrive this Friday

If you drop by Franklin Hall this Friday you’ll meet a few more stars of business, politics and social media. The hands-on sessions for the “You, Too, Social Media Boot Camp and Leadership Summit” are sold out, but you can drop in on the “leadership” part from 2-3:30 and catch the discussion about the role of online communication in the presidential race. That session is free and all are welcome.

Among the VIP panelists for our the leadership summit are former U.S. Congressman Dennis Eckart and NEOhio PR legend David Meeker. Others include Mike Connell, CEO of New Media Communcations, whose company provided the Internet strategy to the Bush-Cheney campaigns in 2000 and 2004, and Jenny Camper, president of the public affairs firm Lesic & Camper.

PRSA’s John Elsasser, editor in chief of PR Strategist, will serve as moderator of the big show. We’re also excited about a session from Steve Shannon of BurrelleLuce focusing on “Copyright Compliance in the Digital Age.”

Some big names in social-media also are on the program, too. They include: Luke Armour of Blog Talk Radio; Matt Dickman, director of digital marketing, Fleishman-Hillard Cleveland; Sage Lewis, founder of; and Dino Baskovic, principal with Vincena, an Internet and social-media consulting firm based in Detroit.

Finally, for the Kent State faithful, watch your snail-mail for an invitation to the Franklin Hall grand opening, April 18. If you’re somehow left off that list, let me know. I have connections to this guy in the corner office on the 3rd floor. He can get you in — even if you aren’t a famous Wall Street analyst, CNN news anchor, or a social-media guru.


7 Responses to It’s a great week for name-dropping at Kent State

  1. Matt Dickman says:

    Bill — I’m really looking forward to the panel and to chatting with you again. I am going to try to come earlier in the day to see some of the other parts of the program.

  2. Bill Sledzik says:

    We’re cranked up and ready to go here, Matt. And we’ll try to be sure you don’t get a parking ticket — a famous KSU hazard!

    I’m smiling as I write this, as it’s the only comment I’ve had in 3 days. I’ve enjoyed the serenity.

  3. Judy Gombita says:

    “I’ve enjoyed the serenity.” Pshaw. Who is going to believe that bit of billfoolery?

    Best wishes for a BANG-up Social Media Boot Camp and Leadership Summit….

  4. Breeze says:

    Serenity? Not while I’m in town, bub.

  5. Bill Sledzik says:

    OK. I’m ready for the big day. Just don’t tell all those “PR is marketing” kooks where we’ll be drinking after the conference. I’m avoiding them!

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  7. […] am nothing but proud—and not at all surprised—to see how far my alma mater has evolved. As I present this morning at the YouToo conference at Kent State University, I am surrounded by my former professors, new […]

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