Magazine article Communication World

Where Are Today's Communication Stars?

Magazine article Communication World

Where Are Today's Communication Stars?

Article excerpt

Sex therapists have Dr. Ruth. Astronomers have Carl Sagan. Politicians have Mikhail Gorbachev. Dr. Ruth Westheimer became famous when her frank advice brought once taboo topics into the open. Carl Sagan exposed some celestial theories on television, and became a celebrity. And Mikhail Gorbachev? He became the icon of political change, and the rest is history.

Many professions have "stars" who have come to represent their colleagues and their vocations in the public eye.

So, who do communicators have?

Each of us may have someone in mind. But to the profession and to the public, there is no one. Our stars are dead or into their golden years.

Today's communication leaders are caretakers, not innovators. They get appointed, maintain the status quo, and move on. Later, we have trouble remembering their names. No one will study them in tomorrow's history books.

Our profession has become boring. Top executives won't admit us to their inner circles. The press says "PR" as if it's a four-letter word. We don't take risks. We reinvent the tried and true. When we do make changes, they're minor repairs, not a major overhaul.

No one has been radical enough to stir our souls, invigorate our brains, and catapult the profession forward. No one stands above the crowd to carry the important messages of our vocation to us and to the public.

We need such communicators. Dream along with me into the future. Your name could be in the blanks.

Miracle communicator to address convention

LONDON -- X, The communication executive Economist magazine featured on its July cover, is the featured speaker at tonight's British Broadcasting Corporation banquet.

X, vice president for public relations of XYZ Oil Corporation, appeared on the television networks -- almost as a commentator -- when her company's tanker ran aground off the Shetland Islands. The subsequent spill was the worst in world history. Her efforts and on-scene statements dramatically signaled a departure from how past disasters had been handled, according to The Times Mirror.

The newspaper noted that largely because of her "refreshing tone of corporate responsibility," XYZ's stock "miraculously" increased in the days following the disaster.

'Unprecedented' research model earns professor awards

NEW YORK -- Three communication organizations today announced they will present Dr. X of X University their highest awards for developing a new research model.

The International Association of Business Communicators, Public Relations Society of America, and the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication said Dr. X's work is "unprecedented" and "a giant leap" for their profession.

The new model obtains accurate data quickly at low cost. Others then can use it to build relationships that earn trust and motivate behavioral change. Dr. X tested his new model on the increasing spread of AIDS. He analyzed why government information campaigns, while efficient in getting the word out about the disease's dangers, failed to get people to take action to protect themselves.

According to a spokesperson, other research models take money and time, have too many statistics and cannot be understood by laypeople, and have higher error rates.

Small company editor achieves national prominence

SMARR, Ala. -- This tiny town, home to an auto parts factory, is agog over the plant's new employee information newsletter. And its editor has earned national attention. …

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