THE BIG PITCH: Of everybody in the PR industry, whose work do you most admire, and why?




New York

I admire the mentors of our industry - those individuals who share their

knowledge selflessly with others. Harold Burson, a PR pioneer and

trendsetter, shared his expertise with junior PR practitioners in a

column in our company newsletter; Art Stevens has devoted countless

hours to building professionalism within the craft via PRSA’s Counselors

Academy; and Philip Lesly, editor of Lesly’s Handbook of Public

Relations and Communications, has helped educate us all and is known for

first quantifying the value of PR to those outside the industry. By

giving of their time to help others, these three pros have made a major

contribution to the general growth of the industry.


Mercy Medical Center


Lucifer - the first PR guy, if you buy Milton. The author of Paradise

Lost referred to the Bringer of Light as ’the reflection of God’s

majesty.’ And that’s what we in PR do: we reflect other people’s

majesty. Lucifer’s fall is also an effective warning for PR pros: when

you put your own opinions and desires before that of your client, things

really go to hell. I also admire the late Ivy Ledbetter Lee, the

grandfather of PR (Ed Bernays is the father). Lee built the bridge

between P.T. Barnum-style publicity and what would become modern PR. He

was the genius who got the press to pick up on John D. Rockefeller’s

habit of passing out dimes - you’ve gotta like a PR guy who can actually

convince his client to give away money.

Lee proved to the business world that being open and honest was more

than merely ethical - it could be profitable as well.


Ketchum Crescent


Nokia America’s senior communications manager, Megan Matthews. Megan

started her professional career with an internship that quickly turned

into what is now a seven-year run with Nokia - and I mean run. During

her short tenure, awareness of Nokia has skyrocketed, making it the

world’s leading manufacturer of mobile phones and a top global brand. If

Megan’s ability to communicate highly technical material, handle global

travel requirements and weave communications between Nokia’s many

divisions doesn’t wow you, then the fact that she also stays on top of

more than 300 e-mails a day should. The professionalism she portrays and

the respect she is given both within her company and the industry is

testament to her success.

Although highly ambitious and aggressive, Megan also shoots straight

from the hip, listens and respects counsel - qualities every PR pro

should emulate.


Publicis Dialog


I’ve worked with a number of clients who understand the importance of

brand-based planning, but nobody does it better than Clorox Company’s

marketing manager Mary O’Connell. It would be easy to lose sight of this

philosophy when you represent as many brands as Mary does. But in case

after case - whether it be staging the World’s Longest Salad Bar for

Hidden Valley Dressings & Dips in New York’s Central Park or beach

cleanup efforts in coastal communities for Brita water filtration

systems - she focuses on a single question: ’How will this support the


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