GEORGE MCQUADE III
Media director, Cerrell Associates, Los Angeles
My New Year's resolutions are as follows: Keep in focus the importance
of the family. Mentor someone less fortunate.
Never promise a client guaranteed media coverage. Start-ups and hi-tech
companies pay up front. Don't diet, just eat less at big luncheons.
Always expect the unexpected and I will never be surprised. The only
risk is the one I do not take. Join a new industry-related association
like Motor Press Guild in LA. Start working out and network at the club.
See at least two movies a month with my eight- and 10-year-old sons.
Take at least one reporter out to lunch once a month to obtain feedback.
Attend at least one media meeting a month for trends of pitch
acceptance. Go fishing at least twice a month, even if there are no
fish. Never assume a client is media-trained, and will return media
calls. Respect reporter deadlines and plant pitches earlier. Listen more
passionately, and talk less. Enter well, end well, and all is well in
everything I do.
SVP - Food & Nutrition, Edelman Public Relations Worldwide, Washington,
As someone who specializes in food and nutrition issues, my resolve in
2002 is to anticipate the news and major developments in the field
rather than getting caught up in the PR industry's more familiar
practice of reacting to events in the course of the typical workweek. In
order to be successful, you need to thoughtfully analyze the industry on
a range of issues, including food safety, biotechnology, emerging
consumer trends, agriculture, and health research. Sudden developments
in any of these areas can lead to rapid and dramatic changes in the
marketplace and in the regulatory arena. The high stakes are propelled
by consumers' heightened interest in food and health issues. Insight
becomes our currency as we need to prepare for a range of scenarios in
our areas of expertise. The coming year offers us a new an opportunity
to look at the broader picture in order to provide clients with a
sharper view of the landscape.
PR specialist/spokesperson, TXU Corp, Dallas
2001 was filled with change, both professionally and personally. I was
one of many who were laid off earlier this year from a PR agency that
relied entirely on hi-tech clients. Fortunately, I was blessed with the
immediate opportunity to work in corporate communications for an amazing
company. Since my company is one of the largest energy services
companies in the world, it's been a challenge to learn a new industry.
However, my new colleagues have all been wonderful and supportive in
teaching me the ropes. On September 11, I was reminded of how important
my family and friends are to me, and I was inspired by the strength of
For the upcoming year, I've resolved to do a few simple things. I won't
let work take over my time with family and friends because my job may
not always be there for me. I won't get stressed easily over little
things because others are dealing with more. Finally, I will strive to
make the most out of what life brings me, no matter what.
President, Plesser Associates, New York
It's been an unbelievably wild ride - a period of dynamic change with an
impact that is still very difficult to grasp. As firm principals, we've
had to deal with with aggressive business development outreach, agency
restructuring and consolidation.
With all of this commotion, client services often became secondary - a
big mistake for any agency, large or small. My resolution for the coming
year is to get back to basics. Public relations is, above all else,
about giving clients the support and guidance that they need in order to
be successful. It's a goal that can sometimes seem impossible to
achieve, particularly during the present tumultuous business cycle, but
in the end, it's how we measure the value we provide for our clients and
our own success as PR professionals. Thus, my mantra for the New Year:
Tune out the noise, get back to basics, and remember that clients come