Graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Columbia College; earned an M.S. in journalism from Columbia University. Worked as a newspaper reporter, radio news writer for CBS Television and public relations director for the Toni division of Gillette. Started his own firm in Chicago in 1952. Edelman is today the largest privately held and independent firm with 48 worldwide offices. Recipient of the PRSA Gold Anvil (1999) and Inside PR’s Lifetime Achievement Award (1998). Named to the Arthur W. Page Society’s Hall of Fame (1997) and received the first-ever Outstanding Achievement Award from the China International Public Relations Association.
The celebration of the 40th anniversary of the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) comes at a most appropriate time in our world.
There is underway currently the greatest expansion of the public relations field than has ever occurred previously. It is rare if a company does not have a public relations department and director. There are more public relations firms in the US than at any other time in history.
There’s also an expansion into markets throughout this country and worldwide to meet the needs of mid-sized companies, which may or may not have a public relations director and/or department.
Larger public relations firms are representing clients in the U.S. and Europe, Asia and other regions of the world, providing traditional public relations services as well as diversifying into such related fields as medical, consumer, financial, government relations and corporate reputation. The expansion of public relations keeps pace with the dynamic economic growth in the U.S. and globally.
Pursuing further growth of their business, many public relations firms build additional assignments from ongoing clients. This makes good sense because they work from a base of good service, which provides a strong opportunity to move into global markets and/or to add programs in practice areas not presently covered by the ongoing program.
For public relations firms of all sizes, it’s essential to maintain a continuing new business effort. As I advise our own people, we have to be aggressive in seeking further growth of assignments. No matter how strong a contribution we’re making in a current program, it’s up to us to capitalize on this good work by providing additional services to existing clients.
Opportunities for PRSSA alumni are greater than ever and will enable them to make significant service contributions while earning solid financial returns.
I salute you and look forward to your future accomplishments.