Addressing PR’s problematic reputation

In a recent speech, PR luminary Harold Burson said that Richard Nixon, during the Watergate scandal, contributed to the negative perception of PR when he referred to “PR flacks” and used PR as an equivalent term to spin or manipulating public opinion: “We will have to PR that…” Since then, public relations has been vilified in …

Applications OPEN for the McMaster-Syracuse MCM program 2015-16

As program director, I am pleased to announce that applications to our extraordinary Master of Communications Management program are now open! The MCM program offered in partnership between McMaster University’s DeGroote School of Business and Dept of Communication Studies and Multimedia and the Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University. The MCM program combines four …

Harold Burson thinks the widening wealth gap is bad for business

  Harold Burson, founder of Burson-Marsteller, the world’s largest PR firm, thinks that the huge and widening gap between rich and poor bad for business. I agree. I had a wonderful time yesterday at the #ComMgtat20 reunion of the alumni of the M.S. in Communications Management program offered by the S.I. Newhouse School of Public …

Authenticity versus consistency in PR

“Authenticity” has become a buzzword in public relations especially in talk about social media. I think this may be an error. I think the best we can do is consistency. Authenticity is a tricky concept. The dictionary defines authenticity as adhering to tradition or sticking to the facts, but that isn’t how most people understand the …

How can PR be part of senior management?

You hear a lot about public relations pros wanting a seat at the senior management table or in the c-suite. The question is: what does this mean, other than being a vague validation of the importance of the field? I had lunch at the Modern with a brilliant, independent-minded communications and management consultant in New York …

Effective analytics in PR: Track your value.

Metrics are the language an organization’s department uses to represent its value to the rest of the organization. Metrics, when well chosen, serve as much a storytelling function as they do a benchmarking and performance evaluation one. That’s why it is very important for public relations and communications management professionals to choose metrics that adequately …

Marketing vs PR? More like marketing is BECOMING PR

The new world of social networks, ubiquitous smartphones and easy connectivity has made the relationship king of the marketing universe. The thing is, most marketers aren’t trained to understand their consumers to foster a proper dialogical relationship that most people would recognize. Rather, they are good at doing research, understanding trends in the culture or …

Postmodern insomnia: how to make an internal comms smoothie

Well, here I am at 2:50am wide awake and watching an episode of The Mind of a Chef on Netflix. This bout with insomnia is the result of a lovely Turkish coffee enjoyed at Jerusalem Restaurant at a family New Year’s Dinner. Amazing the power of caffeine in the evening. Anyhow, it called to mind …

We should teach the principles of commerce to young kids

One of the greatest brakes on people’s success is their lack of social capital. I have seen this in action at the university where I teach. The students who come in knowing how to start businesses, seek internships and network have a huge advantage over those who haven’t been given those skills or exposed to …

Managing your manager

I have been reading Drucker quite a bit as part of a research project the last few days. In Managing Oneself [pdf], I found the following gem: “Bosses are neither a title on the organization chart nor a “function.” They are individuals and are entitled to do their work in the way they do it best. It …