As Kent State’s senior faculty member in PR, I have some influence on the hiring process. And my philosophy is simple: Always hire people smarter than yourself.
Well, we’ve done it again, and there’s a good chance some of you know this guy because of his blog or his books.
Bob Batchelor joins the faculty in January and will have primary responsibility for the public relations master’s program. He comes to us from the University of South Florida where he spent the past 5 years teaching public relations and mass media courses while completing course work on his PhD. Bob defends his dissertation on October 30.
Like everyone else on the PRKent faculty, Bob has some heavy-duty professional experience to complement his scholarship. Before taking the academic route, he was VP of Communication Strategy and Relationship Management for Bank of America in San Francisco. Before that Bob was senior writer for Fleishman-Hillard where his work on Documentum helped the agency win a Silver Anvil award in B2B marketing.
Bob’s career also includes time in professional services PR and marketing at Ernst & Young, and the law firm of Arter and Hadden.
Bob earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Pittsburgh, with majors in English, history and philosophy. His master’s in American history is from Kent State, so his appointment here is a bit of a homecoming.
In his life outside of PR, Bob is a prolific writer and pop-culture historian, Bob has authored or co-authored 5 books, including the acclaimed “Kotex, Kleenex and Huggies: Kimberly Clark and the Consumer Revolution in American Business,” written with Tom Heinrich. He has edited 5 more.
Bob and I met through the blogosphere, but I honestly can’t recall the circumstances. Either I commented on his blog or he commented on mine, and the conversation began. It might have been in the comments section here.
I’ve been a fan of PR-Bridge for a few years now, and I’ve learned a lot from Bob’s take on PR education and the PR business. One thing I’ve learned is that we don’t agree on everything. I’m a bit of a PR purist/snob when it comes to the symmetrical model. Bob is more inclined to approach PR from an integrated communication perspective. Our students and our program will benefit from the diversity of views and from Bob’s commitment to student success.
Of course, all disagreements melt away when you consider our common bonds. Both Bob and I grew up in small Western Pennsylvania towns (he in Slippery Rock, I in Indiana), and we’re both die hard Steeler fans.
Bob, if the Browns become competitive again, your Steeler allegiance may cause some tense moments in the classroom. You’ll just have to remind ’em whose team has 6 rings!
Update: Here’s Bob’s post on the topic.