Plank Legends & Leaders: Dr. Bruce Berger


Dr. Bruce K. Berger is a professor emeritus of Advertising & Public Relations in the College of Communication and Information Sciences at the University of Alabama. In addition to being the Founding Director of The Plank Center for Leadership in Public Relations, he serves on the board of advisors.

We have not one, but two interviews with Dr. Berger.

Interview: Part I

Leadership in any field seems crucial to success and the future of that field. Dr. Berger is a world-class researcher and focuses on leadership in public relations. In this interview, he defines leadership in public relations, the characteristics of a great leader and ways to continue developing your leadership skills, along with adding real-world examples of great leaders and role models. In addition, he shares hiring advice to new professionals and students.

“A really good leader not only has to have communication skills, knowledge and expertise but has to be someone who has a vision of communication.”

Interview: Part II

Dr. Bruce K. Berger goes in-depth with his vision for leadership in PR and his own journey in both the professional and teaching realms. Dr. Berger highlights the importance of passion, energy, empathy, discipline and focus as key qualities that make up a successful public relations professional. He discusses developing issues in the field, including technological changes, diversity, and ethical issues that industry professionals encounter. He cherishes his relationship with Betsy Plank, noting that her willingness and heart for mentorship, along with her listening capabilities stood out to him.

“In my career, what’s most important to me and what I would like to be remembered for is the importance of feeling passionate about the work that you do.”

More from Dr. Bruce K. Berger: