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Posts Tagged ‘Arthur W. Page Society’

Here’s Why Every MBA Program Should Teach Strategic Communications

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Obvious question of the day: how important is communications to the business world? The answer, as we all know, is “extremely”—but if you’d asked business executives ten years ago you would have gotten a very different response.

Corporate leaders now understand the value of public relations, but MBA programs are only beginning to catch up. The result, according to a white paper recently published by the Arthur W. Page Society, is a global community whose leaders are not properly trained in the art of corporate comms.

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General Electric’s Gary Sheffer Named Chairman of Arthur W. Page Society

In what would appear to be another move toward greater focus on corporate transparency, the Arthur W. Page Society has named General Electric‘s head PR man Gary Sheffer as its newest chairman.

Sheffer, who’s been included on PRWeek‘s power list in the past, faced significant challenges at GE after the economic collapse and subsequent government bailout. He promoted a transparency strategy that included creating the “GE Works” CSR project, responding to political scuffles and promoting the company’s awesome “science fair” Vine project.

Sheffer has been a member of the Page Society since 2006, and in accepting the position he writes:

We live in a challenging era of heightened expectations and radical transparency. Page is working with CCOs to build public trust for their organizations through corporate character and authentic advocacy.

No easy task, that; we think it safe to say that true corporate transparency is both more valuable and more challenging than ever.

Interview with New Weber Shandwick CEO Andy Polansky

Andy Polansky, CEO Weber ShandwickLast week the Interpublic Group announced the promotion of PR firm Weber Shandwick‘s former president, Andy Polansky, to the position of CEO. Polanksy had served as president of Weber Shandwick since 2004; he replaced outgoing CEO Harris Diamond (who in turn became chairman and CEO of “ad agency network” McCann Worldgroup).

Polansky has worked for Shandwick and its predecessor firms in various capacities for approximately 30 years; he is a member of the Arthur W. Page Society who currently sits on the Board of Trustees for the Institute for Public Relations, and he has also served as chairman of the Council of PR Firms for the past two years.

On Friday we had the opportunity to get Polanksy’s thoughts on a changing PR industry; we’ve reprinted our exchange below.

Could you briefly describe the changes you’ve seen affecting Weber Shandwick and the PR industry at large during your time with the firm?

I’ve been with Weber Shandwick and its predecessor firms for nearly 30 years, so of course the change has been quite dramatic! Over the past few years we’ve seen significant shifts in how people consume and share information. We’ve also seen a heightened focus on the changing context of go-to-market approaches, with public policy and reputation considerations now playing a larger role in how organizations shape strategies. Public relations firms increasingly play a lead role in the fast-changing environment. It’s an exciting time to be in this business.

There seems to be a consensus around social media and the data/analytics explosion exerting a great influence on the PR industry of the future. What is your take on this subject?

Social media’s rise has transformed our industry, as companies focus on new ways to engage with their customers.  Whether you’re a B2B company, dealing with a reputational issue or crisis or launching a new consumer product, social media is front and center – a nexus for everything we consider now for any type of communications program. There has been an explosion of data available to formulate insights, to inform strategy, and to create pathways to breakthrough creative thinking.

How do you see the relationship between PR, marketing and advertising changing?

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Reputations, Digital, and Job Opportunities at the Arthur Page Conference

In addition to announcing a new corp comms model, the Arthur W. Page Society is having a spring conference in NYC that wraps up today. Yesterday, I sat in on the “CEO Spotlight,” which was placed on healthcare/pharmaceutical company Novartis.

Novartis faces a dilemma, according to CEO Joe Jimenez. “We’re ranked first as Fortune magazine’s most admired pharmaceutical company, but the whole industry suffers from a poor reputation,” he said. He bemoaned that “public trust of pharma even ranks below oil and tobacco.”

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PR Groups Collaborate to Redefine PR

The PRSA has teamed up with 10 other PR organizations including the National Black Public Relations Society, the Arthur W. Page Society, and the Canadian Public Relations Society on a campaign, “Public Relations Defined,” which seeks to develop a modern definition of “public relations.”

The campaign got a write-up in today’s New York Times, with Stuart Elliott pointing out that previous attempts to define PR failed, leaving this: “Public relations helps an organization and its publics adapt mutually to each other.”

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Bolton Named Arthur Page President Following Hood’s Departure

Roger Bolton has been named president of the Arthur W. Page Society, taking the reins from Julia Hood, who is returning to her old stomping ground, Haymarket Media, to serve as EVP and board member. Haymarket owns PRWeek. She will oversee that publication as well as DMNews beginning November 21.

Bolton has served as the chairman of the organization and on the board of trustees. He was also co-chair of the Society’s “Authentic Enterprise” report, which he talked about with us back in January. He was previously the SVP of comms at Aetna, has served as secretary of the Treasury for public affairs during the George H.W. Bush, and worked in the Reagan administration.

In this new role, Bolton be working with the Society’s chairman, FedEx’s Bill Margaritis. Margaritis will turn over that position to IBM SVP of marcomms Jon Iwata on January 1, 2012.

Bolton Named Arthur Page Center Chair

Roger Bolton has been appointed chair of the Arthur W. Page Center for Integrity in Public Communication at Penn State University, effective tomorrow. He’s been on the board of the Arthur W. Page Society since 2006 and has served as a past president of the organization.

Bolton works with consulting firm Gagen MacDonald and with APCO Worldwide. He has served as the SVP of comms at Aetna and assistant secretary of the Treasury for public affairs under President George H.W. Bush. He also worked in the Ronald Reagan administration.

The Page Center is a research unit at Penn State’s College of Communications. The Center was formed in 2004 and collects stories and histories of PR practitioners. It has handed out $370,000 in research grants for ethical projects since its inception.

We spoke with Bolton for a podcast on trust and reputation back in January. Click here to listen to his thoughts.

Mark Penn: How ‘King’s Speech’ is Like Advising CEOs

Burson-Marsteller CEO Mark Penn‘s latest opinion piece is live, this time for the Arthur W. Page Society, the high-end club of corporate communicators.

He uses The King’s Speech to discuss his work for CEOs:  it takes an outsider to help leaders change course under duress, and how an armful of data underpinning the need for change can establish trust quickly so progress can be made.

Here’s the tidbit that peels back slightly what happens at the highest rungs of Burson:

“I sometimes don’t know how the clients I am working with can possibly stand up to the stress. They are often facing indictment, public humiliation, near certain electoral defeat or other pretty dire circumstances.”

And what happens in the King’s chambers, stays in the King’s chambers.   I guess till the movie comes out.  How about Randy Quaid as Penn?

FedEx SVP of Global Comm. and IR Named President of Arthur W. Page Society

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William G. (Bill) Margaritis, senior vice president, global communications and investor relations for FedEx, was named the 13th president of the Arthur W. Page Society this morning at the society’s annual business meeting in Chicago. Margaritis has been with FedEx since May 1997, and oversees global reputation management, investor relations, public relations, employee communications and social responsibility programs.

The society is perhaps PR’s most exclusive professional association, composed primarily of “chief communications officers (CCOs) of the world’s top multinational corporations, CEOs of the world’s largest public relations agencies,” and “academics from the leading business and communications schools.”