Raymond Buse III, Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber
Affectionately and aptly nicknamed “Buz” by his colleagues, Raymond Buse has spent the past 15 years working tirelessly to promote Cincinnati as a dynamic, progressive, and vibrant place to both live in and visit.
As featured in outlets ranging from The Wall Street Journal to The Tonight Show, the city’s reputation has risen steadily under Buse’s watch. “He’s a creative dynamo,” noted one judge, who was particularly impressed by the breadth of projects Buse has coordinated. “Nobody did more with less.”
He served as PR counsel to Mayor Mark Mallory for the launch of GO Cincinnati, the city’s new economic development initiative. With four other co-chairs Buse led the city’s first Downtown HopAround, an all-volunteer grassroots effort on April 8, which drew hundreds of community leaders to host restaurants and nightclubs that evening, providing the media a positive story to tell on the five-year anniversary of the city’s 2001 civil unrest.
That event was so successful – resulting in 20% to 50% increases in business for the majority of downtown nightspots – that a second HopAround was held on September 30. The early fall event drew all nine city council members, seven former mayors, three state senators, and, of course, thousands of locals.
In 2006, Buse played a key role in completing the city’s yearlong quest to introduce the nation’s first interstate Wi-Fi hotspot, connecting Cincinnati, Covington, KY, and Newport, KY, with a hotspot measuring more than 25 million square feet with 802.11 wireless capacity.
Proving that Buse’s impact is felt 24-7, one of his recent rebranding efforts drew the attention of TV’s late-night king. In late 2005, Buse, in conjunction with the mayor’s office, staged “Blitz Jay Leno Day.” The NFL’s Cincinnati Bengals had previously been the subject of many of Leno’s jokes. Buse’s initiative netted a personal call from Leno in which he agreed to phone into the city’s annual Young Professionals summit with a seven-minute monologue discussing how his tough love had turned the team around. Leno’s comments were carried on more than 100 stations across the US.
“He’s a testament to old-time PR,” said one judge of Buse, who has earned 12 national awards for creative PR tactics in the past two years alone, including Honorable Mention in this category last year.
“It’s obviously a labor of love.”
Rob Flaherty, Ketchum
During his 25-year career, Rob Flaherty, senior partner, has been a key facilitator as PR’s role has risen in the marketing mix, the management of corporate reputation, and world affairs. In 2006, he led the on-site team that supported global media relations and issues management before, during, and after the G8 Summit in Russia. He was one of two Ketchum partners to lead agency efforts at the World Economic Forum in Davos. He also counseled several clients on their roles as 2008 Beijing Olympics sponsors. The judges were equally impressed with his vision – Flaherty is well-regarded as one of PR’s leading new-media advocates – and leadership. “Rob is someone any young practitioner can look up to,” said one judge. “This was a year in which he elevated the entire profession,” noted another judge. “He is the ultimate PR pro, hands down.”
- Todd Aydelotte, Ricochet Public Relations
- Raymond Buse III, Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber Ken Capps, Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport
- Rob Flaherty, Ketchum
- Nancy Turett, Edelman