It was January 1968, and I’d just taken my usual seat in the school auditorium. In 15 or 20 minutes the hall monitor would call Bus #75 and I’d be on my way home.
A familiar face – my civics and homeroom teacher – popped through a side door and pointed two fingers of his right hand, one at me and one at my buddy Mike.
“You two, come with me.” Mr. Harris said. He wasn’t the kind of guy you questioned, and certainly not one you ever defied. We followed. Continue reading
We learn this morning – courtesy of our local newspaper — that one public university president here in Northeast Ohio isn’t playing nice with his partners in the higher-ed sandbox. Tut, tut, Scott Scarborough. Continue reading
When you earn front-page coverage 4 times for one story — and all within a 2-week period — it’s usually bad news. Such is the case with Kent State, and I can’t let it pass without comment.
The story that keeps on giving.
It began with this story on March 10. Internally, KSU announced plans to hire East Coast marketing firm 160over90 to help redirect the university’s brand. The cost, just north of $100K, is small change in the scheme of things. Continue reading
Update, March 13, 2015. KSU Board of Trustees voted, in executive session this past Wednesday, to extend benefits to dependents of domestic partners, retroactive to January. Hat tip to Bev Warren for doing the right thing. Raspberries to the administrators who fought for discrimination and the status quo for the last 6 months.
Kent State’s Beverly Warren faces the first major leadership challenge of her 8-month presidency this Wednesday. But you probably haven’t heard about it. Continue reading
A scandalous story unfolded in my neighborhood in recent weeks. It has all the elements of a made-for-TV movie, which may explain why the rise and fall of Chief David Oliver remained a Page 1 story — and a PR nightmare — for a fortnight.
Chief David Oliver’s celebrity included a popular Facebook page and this book.
It’s the story of a man once dubbed “the most popular cop on the Internet.” Oliver, from tiny Brimfield Township, Ohio, used social media and an affable personality to become bigger than life. At one point he had 80,000 followers on Facebook and a hot-selling book. He’d also been the focus of dozens of national media stories, most praising his sense of humor and no-nonsense approach to crime. Continue reading
Life if tough all over. Especially for those in the biz formerly known as newspaper publishing. Under pressure to keep the doors open, even the Grey Lady herself is selling content like a hooker on a street corner. Continue reading
I’m eager to see how folks with serious interest in ethics will analyze the Ice Bucket campaign. And I’m hoping the discussion includes more than the knee-jerk reactions we typically see in social media. Let me start the discussion here. Continue reading
Most PR guys don’t have the luxury of recalibrating their careers at age 60. Most have been put out to pasture — victims of our youth-driven culture. I’m fortunate to have some control over my career exit, thanks to academic tenure and a union contract. So I’ve made some decisions.
1) I will retire from teaching in 2020, at the end of my 28th year — barring unforeseen variables such as untimely death or another Bush-like presidency that crashes my investments. It breaks my heart to think about leaving this incredible… wait, wait. That’s total bullshit. I can’t freakin’ can’t wait to retire, and with the right incentive I’ll exit long before 2020. Send Powerball tickets. Continue reading
When a certain Midwestern state university conducted a presidential search in relative secrecy last year, it rightfully drew criticism from news media and public records advocates everywhere (my summary here). And though none of these media outlets challenged the secret search in court, the university suffered great losses in the court of public opinion.
It was a PR disaster. But on the bright side, it’s one that a new president can use to guide future decisions. Continue reading
Disagree if you’d like, but using the NFL team name “Redskins” is akin to using the N-word. It’s a racial epithet used only to disparage. It’s not a label that civil and thinking people ever apply to Native Americans.
But Washington team owner Dan Snyder sees it differently. In fact, he even used another N-word to make this point last year: “We will NEVER change the name of the team.” Continue reading