In popular culture, there’s the passing of the torch and the end of an era. In media, the latter seems to be happening far more often than the former. Trusted anchors are retiring to pen memoirs or reinvent their fame on social media. Where once they were replaced by trusted names who had been their […]
I went to the home of Professor Jeffrey Sachs, director of The Earth Institute at Columbia University, last night for dinner. Sachs, a Harvard classmate (one of those people you identified at age 18 as having superior intellect), has taken a leadership role in the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN), a coalition of academics, business and non-governmental organizations.
Edelman hosted its sixth Academic Summit last week at DePaul University in Chicago. We had over 80 professors of communications, marketing and public relations for a three day event. Many of our clients, including HP, GE, Starbucks, SC Johnson, Samsung, Darden, Gap, CVS Caremark, DMI, ConAgra and Mars, spoke to the academics.
Tonight in Cannes, France, the Chipotle Scarecrow campaign won two Golden Lions and the Grand Prix for PR. This marks the first time that a PR firm has actually won the coveted Grand Prix award. In prior years, I would gnash my teeth and break pencils when I learned that ad agencies had invaded our space and had done a better job of convincing the judges. PR firms have learned how to play the game, with visually arresting content to go with the usual high substance and top class results.
I met for breakfast this morning with my long-time friend Henry McGee, former top executive at HBO, now a professor at Harvard Business School. Henry is teaching the Leadership and Corporate Accountability required course to first-year students. The MBA students are exposed to this broader view of business because the school wanted to make the case for complexity in decision-making, a far better lens than the simplistic shareholder value notion that dominated my own graduate experience.
Today marks the opening of the 9/11 Memorial Museum in Lower Manhattan, nearly 13 years after the destruction of the World Trade Center and the loss of almost 3,000 innocent lives. I was part of the Edelman team that worked pro-bono with the global media on the press preview and Dedication a week ago.
Earlier this week, Dr. Toni Irving, executive director of Get IN Chicago, a public-private partnership to combat juvenile violence, announced its first 11 grant recipients (disclosure: Edelman is the volunteer PR firm). In a ceremony that also featured Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Allstate CEO Thomas Wilson, the $50 million partnership made its first grants to non-profits that in Irving’s words, “administer community-driven programs that research indicates are most effective in preventing youth violence, including mentoring, after-school engagement, cognitive behavioral therapy and parental leadership.