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PR Masters Series
50 minutes | Jul 30, 2021
PR Masters Series Podcast, Episode #51 – Mathew Evins
About the Podcast The Stevens Group has been presenting the PR Masters Series Podcast for almost two years now. This series is part of the ongoing partnership between The Stevens Group and CommPRO to bring to PR, digital/interactive and marketing communications agencies the wisdom of those who have reached the top of the PR profession. Today’s special guest is Mathew Evins, Chairman and Co-Founder of EVINS Communications About Our Guest Mathew Evins is the Chairman and Co-Founder of EVINS Communications, an award-winning brand marketing communications and public relations firm specializing in the premium, prestige and luxury sectors. The Agency encompasses four practice areas; Brand Essence & Content Curation; Digital & Social Insights & Implementation; Food, Spirits & Wine; Lifestyle; and Travel & Hospitality. EVINS Communications has an established reputation for providing consummate business strategic counsel, as well as for transforming brand potential into brand performance. The Agency utilizes business, market and digital analytics and insights to create strategies and programs that engender exponential brand benefit and quantifiable business value. Well known for its exceptional creativity, strategies and tactics, the Agency utilizes compelling brand activations, immersive content and experiential programming, event embedding and brand placement, media and influencer engagement, thought leadership and authority positioning, strategic brand collaborations and partnerships, to catalyze and enhance brand resonance, brand engagement and brand advocacy. EVINS Communications provides clients with a demonstrable and exponential return on investment and builds enduring client partnerships, with an average tenure of more than eight years and several in excess of two decades. Since its founding in 1987, EVINS has played an invaluable role in the development and growth of such icons, innovators and pioneers as American Express Centurion and Platinum, Barney’s New York, Bergdorf Goodman, Bomber Ski, Cakebread Cellars, Chaumet, Colgin Cellars, CORE Club, Courvoisier Cognac, Departures Magazine, Duxiana, Ebel Watches, Exclusive Resorts, Glaceau Vitamin Water, Half Moon Resort, Hotels & Resorts of Halekulani, Inspirato, Jet Linx Aviation, Leica Camera, Louis Jadot Wines, Maker’s Mark Bourbon, Marquis Jet, Neiman Marcus, Ocean Reef Club, Park Hyatt, National Limousine Association, Preferred Hotels & Resorts, Rosewood Hotel & Resorts, SmartWater, South Sea Pearl Consortium, Swarovski, Tequila Avion, The Knickerbocker Hotel, The Lanesborough, The Lowell, Tourneau, Trinchero Family Estates, Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection, Valentino, Vera Wang and Wheels Up, amongst many others. Prior to founding EVINS Communications, Mr. Evins previously served as CEO of Pain Therapeutics Corporation, a healthcare services and technology innovator, beforehand as President of Cardiff Consultants, a business and financial strategic consultancy and formerly as Vice President of Vector Petroleum Corporation, an oil and gas exploration business. While an undergraduate at the University of Pennsylvania, from which he received a B.A. degree, Mr. Evins created and co-published “The Talisman Report,” which became the world’s leading investment advisory newsletter for the three years of its publication. While attending the University of Pennsylvania, and for more than six years beforehand, Mr. Evins served on the staff of Cornell Medical Center, initially as a Surgical Research Associate in the Cardiovascular Research Laboratory and, subsequently, as Associate Director of the Rogosin Organ Retrieval & Preservation Laboratory. Mr. Evins is one of the most respected authorities and thought leaders in luxury and luxury hospitality, has lectured at the Cornell Hotel School and NYU’s Graduate School of Business, and has authored numerous articles on luxury and luxury hospitality. Mr. Evins currently serves on several philanthropic, professional and industry boards, including the Global Virus Network comprised of 63 Centers of Excellence and 11 Affiliated Institutions in 35 countries worldwide working collaboratively to prepare for, defend against and provide an integrated first research response to, existing, emerging and unidentified viruses that pose a clear and present threat to public health, such as COVID-19, of which organization he is a cofounding board member and serves as Secretary and Treasurer, as well as the International Hotel Investment Forum and The International Luxury Hotel Association.
49 minutes | Jun 16, 2021
PR Masters Series Podcast, Episode #50 – Bill Nielsen
About the Podcast The Stevens Group has been presenting the PR Masters Series Podcast for almost two years now. This series is part of the ongoing partnership between The Stevens Group and CommPRO to bring to PR, digital/interactive and marketing communications agencies the wisdom of those who have reached the top of the PR profession. Today’s special guest is Bill Nielsen, a public relations and corporate communications authority. About Our Guest Bill Nielsen, a public relations and corporate communications authority, is currently a consultant to management of for-profit and not-for-profit organizations. He retired as corporate vice president of Johnson & Johnson (J&J) in December 2004, after serving l7 years with the company, where he was the chief public relations and corporate communications officer. He joined J&J in 1988, following l8 years as a public relations agency consultant with Carl Byoir & Associates and Hill and Knowlton. In addition to executive roles in agency management, he specialized in corporate communications and crisis management in such industries as consumer finance, insurance, defense, biotech, and airlines. Nielsen was elected to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Board of Trustees in January 2011. He also serves as Chairman of the Board of Advisors to the Arthur W. Page Center for Integrity in Public Communications at Penn State University. Nielsen served two terms as president of the Arthur W. Page Society and was inducted into that organization’s Hall of Fame in September 2003. He served on its board of trustees for 17 years and continues as chair of the Society’s Honors Committee. He also chaired the boards of The Seminar and the Institute for Public Relations and continues as an emeritus director. He is a member of The Wisemen and the Public Relations Society of America. In addition to his consulting work, Nielsen is a frequent guest lecturer at public relations and corporate communications graduate programs at universities across the country. He was inducted into the PRWeek Hall of Fame in December 2014, and was honored by The Plank Center with its Milestones in Mentoring Legacy award in 2017. Following graduation from Oregon State University, Nielsen served in the U.S. Air Force as a public information officer in Washington, D.C., and Japan. He and his wife, Doris, reside in Maryland, where they are both active in community affairs.
31 minutes | Jun 1, 2021
(SPECIAL) PR Masters Series Podcast, Episode #49 – Art Stevens, Interviewed by Shelley Spector
About the Podcast The Stevens Group has been presenting the PR Masters Series Podcast for almost two years now. This series is part of the ongoing partnership between The Stevens Group and CommPRO to bring to PR, digital/interactive and marketing communications agencies the wisdom of those who have reached the top of the PR profession. Today’s special guest is Art Stevens, Managing Partner of The Stevens Group. With today’s episode, our “host” is our guest. Join Art as he’s interviewed by Shelley Spector, Co-Founder of The Museum of Public Relations & President, Spector & Associates. About Our Special Guest ART STEVENS is Managing Partner of The Stevens Group, a consulting organization that specializes in facilitating mergers and acquisitions in the public relations and related marketing communications industries. The firm also provides consulting in PR agency management, profitability and strategic planning. Mr. Stevens was the CEO of LobsenzStevens, one of the most prestigious independent public relations firms in the country for many years. Among the clients his firm served are American Express, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Johnson & Johnson, Pitney Bowes, The New York State Lottery, McKinsey & Company, Ernst & Young, Hertz and many others. In 1999 LobsenzStevens was acquired by Publicis and Mr. Stevens stayed on to manage what became the New York office of Publicis Dialog. In 2003 he began a new career in the public relations agency industry. Mr. Stevens has served as instructor of public relations and management case studies at Fairleigh Dickinson University and has lectured at the New School, New York University and many other colleges and associations. Listed in Who’s Who in America, Mr. Stevens has written numerous articles for financial, management, marketing and public relations publications. He is the author of the The Persuasion Explosion, a book published by Acropolis Books dealing with the role and influence of contemporary public relations practices. He is also the author of When and How — Selling Your Public Relations Firm. A former president of the Publicity Club of New York and an accredited member of the Public Relations Society of America, Mr. Stevens was elected to PRSA’s College of Fellows, an honor given to a select group of public relations practitioners for meritorious professional lifetime achievements. As chairman of the Public Relations Committee of PRSA, he initiated a program to establish a closer relationship between the profession and national media. A former member of the executive committee of the Counselors Academy, Mr. Stevens founded the organization’s ethics committee and helped institute a new code of ethics and a grievance process. He was honored by the New York Chapter of PRSA with three awards: the annual John Hill Award for lifetime achievement; the President’s Award for service to the chapter; and the Phil Dorf Award for mentoring and educational achievements.. He was also inducted into the City College of New York Communications Alumni Hall of Fame, which also includes David Finn, The Kalb Brothers and The New York Times’ A.M. Rosenthal. Mr. Stevens has remained active in the Public Relations Society of America. He served as president of the New York Chapter and on the national board as Secretary and board member. He is the recipient of the Patrick Jackson Award from PRSA for lifetime achievement to the organization and the profession. He was nominated for an Emmy Award for a weekly humor commentary on WINK-TV, the CBS television affiliate in Fort Myers, Florida. He has also written a humor column for the Sanibel Island Reporter, a weekly newspaper in Sanibel, Florida. Mr. Stevens presently serves on such boards as Crossroads Theatre Company, a regional African American theatre company; the City College of New York Communications Alumni Group, and the Laurie Strauss Leukemia Foundation. He created an annual student scholarship for a public relations major at the City College of New York, now in its fourteenth year. He made a record album on which he sings songs from the American song book and has performed publicly , including at Counselors Academy spring conferences. About Our Guest Host Named as one of the “most innovative” professionals in the field, SHELLEY SPECTOR has produced award-winning campaigns for some of the world’s top corporations, including AT&T, Bayer, ITT Corporation, Forest Laboratories, Harris Corporation, and Philips. Spector co-founded the firm in 1991. Within the first year of operation the firm was awarded the Gold Creativity in Public Relations Award for client Embassy Suites. Since then, the firm has won more than 50 national awards for a variety of Fortune 100 companies. In June 2018, she was presented with the Phil Dorf award for leadership and mentorship at the PRSA New York Big Apple Awards. Prior to co-founding the firm, Spector worked in financial relations for Hill & Knowlton, RuderFinn and Lobsenz-Stevens. She also served as press director for the American Stock Exchange. In 1997, she co-founded the Museum of Public Relations, the world’s first and only museum dedicated to preserving and exhibiting the history of the field. It is a 501(c)(3) educational institution, chartered by the New York State Department of Education. Spector serves as an adjunct professor for the graduate Corporate Communications graduate programs at both Baruch College and NYU. She is a frequent guest speaker at academic, industry and corporate events, talking on subjects ranging from “PR in History” to “The Diversity Imperative,” to “Developing Big Ideas.” She is author of “Public Relations for the Public Good” and co-editor of the upcoming book, “Diverse Voices: Profiles in Leadership,” with the PRSA Foundation. A graduate of the Journalism program at the University of Rhode Island, Spector earned an M.S. in Radio/TV/Film at the Newhouse School, Syracuse University.
45 minutes | Apr 26, 2021
PR Masters Series Podcast, Episode #48 – Anthony P. Carter, Global Diversity and Social Justice Writer and Lecturer
About the Podcast The Stevens Group has been presenting the PR Masters Series Podcast for almost two years now. This series is part of the ongoing partnership between The Stevens Group and CommPRO to bring to PR, digital/interactive and marketing communications agencies the wisdom of those who have reached the top of the PR profession. Today’s special guest is Anthony P. Carter, Global Diversity and Social Justice Writer and Lecturer. About Our Guest Anthony P. Carter is a writer, lecturer, social justice influencer and award-winning global diversity and inclusion expert. He retired in 2015 as the Chief Diversity Officer at Johnson & Johnson His 40+ year career spans the corporate, government and not for profit sectors. He has the distinction of being recognized as a public relations legend. He is a highly sought after global diversity and inclusion speaker. Anthony has held two government press secretary roles of prominence at the local and national levels…in the New York City Mayor’s Office and in the United States House of Representatives. The recipient of numerous awards for his work in diversity and inclusion, including the distinguished Corporate Diversity Award from the New Brunswick-New Jersey Branch of the N.A.A.C.P., Anthony is currently a Member of the Board of Trustees for Fordham University; President of the Board of Trustees of the Crossroads Theatre Company in New Jersey; recently retired Trustee of the United Way – USA; and Board Member-Emeritus of the National Medical Fellowships. As a writer, Anthony has national and global reach. His voice is heard in articles he’s written over the past few years, including “What Does it Mean to be a Black Catholic?”…”Social Justice: The New Diversity”…”Racism in Colleges and Universities Across America”…and “Social Separation and Social Injustice: Corporate America’s Accountability & Opportunity.” Anthony has personal and enduring relationships with top civil rights leaders and educators across the United States. In 2017, Anthony received a Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from Fordham University for his work in global diversity and social justice.
43 minutes | Mar 29, 2021
PR Masters Series Podcast, Episode #47 – Aaron Kwittken
About the Podcast The Stevens Group has been presenting the PR Masters Series Podcast for almost two years now. This series is part of the ongoing partnership between The Stevens Group and CommPRO to bring to PR, digital/interactive and marketing communications agencies the wisdom of those who have reached the top of the PR profession. Today’s special guest is Aaron Kwittken, Founder and CEO of PRophet. About Our Guest Aaron Kwittken is founder and CEO of PRophet, an AI-driven PR SaaS platform backed by MDC Ventures. He is also founder and chairman of KWT Global, a highly acclaimed PR and brand strategy firm with offices in New York, London and Los Angeles. A proud George Washington University alum, Aaron serves on GW’s School of Media and Public Affairs advisory committee. He’s president-elect of PRSA-New York and past president of the Americas for the International Communications Consultancy Organization (ICCO); a former Board member of the PR Council; a former adjunct professor at NYU; writes for Forbes and The Drum; and is the creator and host of the popular Brand on Purpose podcast that features companies that do well by doing good. He has deep expertise in marketing technology, brand strategy, reputation management, crisis management and purpose-driven marketing. An endurance sports enthusiast, Aaron puts social impact at the center of everything he does personally and professionally.
52 minutes | Mar 24, 2021
PR Masters Series Podcast, Episode #46 – Michael Nyman
About the Podcast The Stevens Group has been presenting the PR Masters Series Podcast for almost two years now. This series is part of the ongoing partnership between The Stevens Group and CommPRO to bring to PR, digital/interactive and marketing communications agencies the wisdom of those who have reached the top of the PR profession. Today’s special guest is Michael Nyman, Founder & CEO, Acceleration Community of Companies. About Our Guest Michael Nyman has made a career by being on the leading edge of marketing trends. With this latest venture, Acceleration Community of Companies (ACC), he has created another new go to market strategy. After establishing a new marketing approach in the early 90s to merge the world of brands and entertainment, Nyman, the former longtime PMK*BNC Co-Chairman & CEO, pivoted his firm in 2010 to focus on harnessing expertise with popular culture and entertainment as a way for their brand clients to differentiate themselves and better connect with their consumers. With ACC, Nyman is developing a new go-to market business approach with a series of strategic and complementary acquisitions, including MKG, a leading creative agency specializing in brand experiences, Pink Sparrow, a design and fabrication shop specializing in experiential environments and Stripe Theory, a data and analytics agency. Additionally, ACC has a Brand Advisory unit, a consultancy aimed at providing clients a central point for integration and customization. Acceleration is creating a unique community of specialized firms helping clients move quickly and efficiently with their branding, marketing and media decisions and action. ACC is built for clients looking for an alternative marketing solution partner not interested in or reliant on the old legacy marketing models. Current ACC clients include a range of Fortune 500 as well as DTC brands, from Amazon, Facebook, ABinBev, Canopy Growth, Fashion Nova and Google to Target, Pepsi, and T-Mobile. As Chairman and CEO of PMK●BNC, Nyman was the architect behind one of the world’s most influential communications and marketing firms and led the historic merger of his previous firm, Bragman Nyman Cafarelli (BNC), with the renowned entertainment publicity powerhouse PMK, in the fall of 2009. Nyman, a 30-year veteran, started his own firm, Bragman Nyman Cafarelli (along with founder Howard Bragman and co-founder Brad Cafarelli) in 1991, before selling it to Interpublic Group of Companies (IPG:NYSE) in the fall of 2000, and leading the firm through its transition to a public company and subsequent expansion. Along the way Nyman founded a Licensing company for IPG, as well as served as Vice-Chairman of IPG Sports & Entertainment (IPSEG). In the fall of 2009, Nyman was asked to lead the merger combining the talent powerhouse of PMK with BNC’s established leadership in not only communications, but also marketing services and expertise in merging brands with entertainment. Within five years PMK*BNC had doubled its revenue and built up to 300 employees representing nearly 1,000 entertainment and Fortune 500 clients and projects across their Los Angeles, New York and London offices. Michael Nyman is a leading authority with keen cultural insights in bridging the worlds of entertainment and consumer brand marketing and has achieved numerous accolades. Nyman was named to The Holmes Report’s inaugural Innovator 25 list in 2013 for strategically positioning PMK●BNC as the experts on pop culture. Under his leadership, PMK*BNC was named both PR and Marketing Agency of the Year by the 2016 American Business Awards, ranked #1 on Los Angeles Business Journal’s 2016 PR firms List, ranked #17 on Advertising Age’s 2016 Largest PR firms in the U.S., and ranked #29 on PRWeek’s 2016 Global Agency Report, among many other prestigious recognitions, rankings and awards. From 21013-2018 PMK*BNC garnered nearly 100 awards, including the Cannes Lions, The Clios, Holmes Report, PRSA, Digiday, The Effies, Ad Weed, MarCom, PR News and 4A’s, among others. Nyman is a recognized leader and speaker in marketing, communications and entertainment, having been profiled in multiple media trades and spoken at a number of conferences and summits, ranging from Ad Week and Ad Age, to PR Week, The Holmes Report, Variety, The Hollywood Reporter and NATPE, among others. For more than two decades of work with BNC and PMK*BNC, Nyman architected and contributed to numerous award-winning campaigns and/or counseled clients, including Samsung, Pepsi, American Express, Avon and BeatsbyDre to Product(Red), Jordan Brand (Nike), The Television Academy (Emmys), Shonda Rhimes, JC Penny, The Academy of Country Music (ACM’s), Warner Bros, Digital Networks Group and Condé Nast. Nyman has served on multiple boards over the past two decades. Currently he serves on the Board of Councilors for USC’s Annenberg School of Communications and Journalism, the Board of Governors at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, and most recently served as Chairman of the California Film Commission. Nyman received the 2019 Alumni Merit Award from the University of Southern California Alumni Association and has been a member of YPO for 22 years. Nyman is an alumni of Harvard Business School, having earned earned a degree in 2020 from the HBS Executive Education Presidents’ Program in Leadership (PPL). Nyman, a graduate of USC (B.A.) and his wife Liz, reside in Los Angeles with two grown children; Kaitlyn, a graduate of Tulane University and Matthew, a senior at USC.
47 minutes | Mar 15, 2021
PR Masters Series Podcast, Episode #45 – Ronn Torossian
About the Podcast The Stevens Group has been presenting the PR Masters Series Podcast for almost two years now. This series is part of the ongoing partnership between The Stevens Group and CommPRO to bring to PR, digital/interactive and marketing communications agencies the wisdom of those who have reached the top of the PR profession. Today’s special guest is Ronn Torossian, CEO, 5WPR. About Our Guest Ronn Torossian is the founder and CEO of 5W Public Relations, one of the largest independently-owned PR firms in the United States. With over 20 years of experience crafting and executing powerful narratives, Torossian is one of America’s most prolific and well-respected Public Relations professionals. Throughout his career, Torossian has worked with some of the world’s most visible companies, brands and organizations. His strategic, resourceful approach has been recognized with numerous awards including being named the Stevie American Business Awards 2020 Entrepreneur of the Year, the American Business Awards PR Executive of the Year, twice over, an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year semi-finalist, Metropolitan Magazine’s Most Influential New Yorker, and a 2020 Top Crisis Communications Professional by Business Insider. Torossian is known as one of the country’s foremost experts on crisis communications, and is called on to counsel blue chip companies, top business executives and entrepreneurs both in the United States and worldwide. Torossian has lectured on crisis PR at Harvard Business School, appears regularly on CNN & CNBC, was named to PR Week’s “40 under Forty” list, is a contributing columnist for Forbes and the New York Observer, and his book, “For Immediate Release: Shape Minds, Build Brands, and Deliver Results With Game-Changing Public Relations” is an industry best-seller.
48 minutes | Mar 8, 2021
PR Masters Series Podcast, Episode #44 – Alexis Davis Smith
About the Podcast The Stevens Group has been presenting the PR Masters Series Podcast for almost two years now. This series is part of the ongoing partnership between The Stevens Group and CommPRO to bring to PR, digital/interactive and marketing communications agencies the wisdom of those who have reached the top of the PR profession. Today’s special guest is Alexis Davis Smith, President and CEO, PRecise Communications, Co-Founder, The Change Agencies. About Our Guest Alexis Davis Smith President and CEO, PRecise Communications Co-Founder, The Change Agencies Building on nearly 30 years of experience and reputation as a trusted communications strategist, Alexis Davis Smith is a leader in Atlanta’s public relations industry and a national voice for multicultural marketing. She is responsible for creating breakthrough and strategic communications programs for major consumer brands. Alexis has provided public relations counsel for leading global companies such as Coca-Cola, Toyota and Pfizer. For Coca-Cola, she has directed nearly 100 PR programs including the launch of the innovative Coca-Cola Fridge Pack and the award-winning Coca-Cola Pay It Forward program. Her work with the world’s No. 1 automaker, Toyota, has enhanced its brand reputation among multicultural audiences via media relations, experiential marketing, community and philanthropic activities and strategic partnerships. Alexis maximizes her influence and position to help make a difference in the community. As a result of her recommendations, Cracker Barrel Old Country Store established a scholarship for history students at Spelman College, which continues to assist deserving young people today. In addition, Toyota has donated $20,000 the National Trust for Historic Preservation to help save endangered sites representing important moments and icons in Black history. Prior to establishing PRecise Communications in 2000, Alexis was an account supervisor at Ketchum, a top 10 global public relations firm, where she traveled the world supporting several key consumer accounts. In 1998, she co-founded the agency’s African American Markets Group, the first-ever in-house ethnic marketing team created by an international PR agency. Her work since that time has established her as a nationally recognized multicultural communications expert. That expertise earned her the position of one of the six co-founders of The Change Agencies (TCA). TCA is the PR industry’s first national collective of firms to offer inclusive communications services to represent, engage and connect with African American, Asian American, Latinx and LGBTQ communities. The group was launched in the summer of 2019 with the objective of changing how marketing communications professionals reach diverse audiences. Alexis has received a number of industry awards including a Silver Anvil, “the Oscar of PR” from the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) and seven Phoenix Awards from PRSA of Georgia. She is immediate past president of the Black Public Relations Society of Atlanta and a board of director for HOPE Atlanta. The Atlanta Business League has recognized Alexis as one of Atlanta’s leading female entrepreneurs and a top 100 black women of influence. She served on its board for two terms. She is also on the executive committee for PRSA’s Counselors Academy section. Alexis considers herself an advocate for multicultural consumers, helping companies recognize and tap into the viability and business opportunities ethnic groups offer. Her opinion has been featured in the popular industry trades, PR Week and O’Dwyers as well as Vanity Fair. She has also appeared on a number of PR and entrepreneurship-focused podcasts. Black Enterprise profiled her professional journey in a 2017 online article. In addition, she has served as a speaker at various local and industry events including the 2015 Insurers Public Relations Council Fall Meeting, 2015 Public Relations Society of America International Conference, 2013 Black Public Relations Society National Conference and 2018 PRSA Counselors Academy Spring Conference. A Philadelphia, Penn. native and proud graduate of Florida A&M University, Alexis has a passion for women and giving back to the next generation of public relations professionals and entrepreneurs.
44 minutes | Mar 3, 2021
PR Masters Series Podcast, Episode #43 – Christine M. Barney, APR
About the Podcast The Stevens Group has been presenting the PR Masters Series Podcast for almost two years now. This series is part of the ongoing partnership between The Stevens Group and CommPRO to bring to PR, digital/interactive and marketing communications agencies the wisdom of those who have reached the top of the PR profession. Today’s special guest is Christine M. Barney, APR, CEO & Managing Partner, rbb Communications. About Our Guest Christine M. Barney, APR CEO & Managing Partner rbb Communications Christine M. Barney is CEO and managing partner of rbb Communications. rbb is a triple threat repeatedly recognized as champions in the field of PR, Digital/Marketing and Creative Services. In 2020 alone, rbb was among Top Five Global Creative Agencies of the Year, the PRovoke US Small Agency of the Year, named to the Forbes Top PR Firms and took home campaign honors in every competition entered. rbb is a certified women-owned business with a diverse team across a broad spectrum of crafts including healthcare, consumer services/products, luxury lifestyle, B2B/professional services, real estate and travel. Barney is the author of “The Breakout Brand ™ Strategy: An Evolutionary Approach to Creating Customer Passion” and her firm, headquartered in Miami, with a presence in Los Angeles and New York is known as the Champion of Breakout Brands ™. Barney’s innovative management style and “employee-driven workplace” philosophy makes the firm a repeated winner in “best place to work” rankings. She is active in her home state having served as founding chair of the South Florida Business Council, past chair of the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce, a board member of the Orange Bowl Committee, board member of the Beacon Council, member of the International Women’s Forum, Leadership Florida, 2020 Florida Influencers Series and the Florida 500. She is a member of The Page Society and is accredited by the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) where she received the 2016 Bill Adams PRSA Lifetime Achievement Award. She is a married mother of three and new grandmother. www.rbbcommunications.com https://twitter.com/cmbarney @cmbarney https://www.linkedin.com/in/cmbarney
48 minutes | Feb 24, 2021
PR Masters Series Podcast, Episode #42 – Cheryl Procter-Rogers
About the Podcast The Stevens Group has been presenting the PR Masters Series Podcast for almost two years now. This series is part of the ongoing partnership between The Stevens Group and CommPRO to bring to PR, digital/interactive and marketing communications agencies the wisdom of those who have reached the top of the PR profession. Today’s special guest is Cheryl I. Procter-Rogers. About Our Guest Cheryl I. Procter-Rogers, APR, PCC, Fellow, MBA, MA Senior Consultant and Executive Coach A Step Ahead Consulting and Coaching With more than 40 years of experience as a communications and business strategist, Cheryl is a high-energy, dynamic, professional with a track record of success working with senior executives in a variety of business, government and nonprofit sectors around the world. She is currently senior consultant and executive coach, A Step Ahead PR Consulting and Coaching, a Chicago-based, global practice. She is a subject matter expert and develops and implements strategies in crisis communications, strategic planning, change management, internal communications and media relations. She is an expert in executive communications and is a certified master coach, an International Coach Federation credentialed coach and is accredited by the Public Relations Society of America in public relations. She draws on her years of experience leading accelerated change and proactive communications efforts for both global, complex organizations as well as local, regional and national entities. As a trusted advisor and coach, she helps leaders navigate ambiguous and volatile environments to achieve their leadership effectiveness. Through her coaching approach, executives focus on their leadership development, corporate presence, personal branding, effective communications, work-life balance, career transitions, or time management challenges through action plans co-created to benefit themselves and their organizations. She has worked with a variety of corporations and organizations in a number of business sectors. She served in management and executive positions for DePaul University, HBO, Nielsen Marketing Research and Golden State Mutual Life Insurance Company. As a consultant, she has implemented strategies and designed training for clients such as Coca-Cola, Nissan, Allstate, McDonald’s, Sears, McCain Foods, Academy of General Dentistry, Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, and Magellan Corporation, to name a few. She was the 2006 national president and CEO of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA). In 2000, she was the youngest inducted into the PRSA’s College of Fellows. She is the 2011 PRSA Gold Anvil recipient, the Society’s highest individual award presented to an individual whose work significantly advanced the profession and set high standards for the practice of public relations. She was the 2016 president of the International Coach Federation Chicago Chapter. She has authored many articles, contributed to several books, been featured in many publications and is frequently quoted in the media. Her awards and honors are too numerous to mention here. She is a member of the Public Relations Society of America, International Coach Federation, Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Board Source and the Television Academy (Emmys®). Procter-Rogers earned her bachelor’s degree from Bradley University, an MBA from Keller Graduate School of Management, and a master’s degree in Leadership and Change Management from DePaul University. Visit: www.AStepAheadPR.com
45 minutes | Feb 10, 2021
(SPECIAL) PR Masters Series Podcast, Episode #41 – Joe Lockhart
Special Episode Joe Lockhart knows the White House through and through. His responses to my questions during our recent PR Masters Series podcast reflects that. Joe described to our listeners how an effective and experienced White House press secretary prepares for a press briefing and maintains trust, integrity and transparency. Judging from my interview with Joe, it’s clear to me that President Clinton was well served during Joe’s tenure as White House press secretary. Being a White House press secretary isn’t for sissies. It’s a difficult job being in front of an information ravishing group of reporters. If you’re not good at your job you will be torn to shreds by the media. And if you engage in half-truths, innuendo, gossip, rumors and fake news, you’ll be overwhelmed. Joe Lockhart is the epitome of what a White House press secretary ought to be. In fact, I would urge him to tutor all future White House press secretaries wanna be’s. If so, the American public would be served up with the truth, which is good for our country. About the Podcast The Stevens Group has been presenting the PR Masters Series Podcast for almost two years now. This series is part of the ongoing partnership between The Stevens Group and CommPRO to bring to PR, digital/interactive and marketing communications agencies the wisdom of those who have reached the top of the PR profession. About Our Guest Joe Lockhart, White House Press Secretary under President Bill Clinton Joe Lockhart is perhaps best known for his service as White House Press Secretary under President Bill Clinton from 1998 to 2000, during which time he managed daily press briefings, provided senior counsel to the President, and managed communications through the President’s impeachment proceedings. Long-time White House correspondent Helen Thomas called him “a straight shooter,” and “one of the best it’s been my honor to work with;” Susan Page at USA Today found Lockhart “direct, well-informed and trusted;” and former CBS White House correspondent Peter Maer said “if Joe Lockhart knows anything, it’s how to control a narrative.” Lockhart developed his knack for steering the conversation during his early career as an award-winning journalist, political strategist and public-relations consultant. Lockhart held posts as Assignment Editor at ABC News, Deputy Assignment Manager for CNN, and foreign producer reporting on the Gulf War for Skye News. He served as a press secretary for the presidential campaigns of Walter Mondale and Michael Dukakis, an aide to Senator Paul Simon, a senior advisor to the John Kerry campaign, and an Executive Vice President at Bozell Sawyer Miller, where he advised a range of high-profile corporations and institutions on media relations and political strategy. Lockhart is the founding partner and managing director of the Glover Park Group (GPG), a Washington, D.C. communications strategy firm. Under Lockhart’s leadership, GPG earned a reputation for providing its wide range of corporate and non-profit clients (including Microsoft, Visa and the National Football League) with agile crisis management, astute public affairs, policy, advertising and marketing counsel, and cutting-edge opinion research. In 2011 Lockhart was named Vice President of Global Communications at Facebook, just as the rapidly-expanding enterprise was preparing to go public. Lockhart helped the company mitigate initial public backlash to its IPO, take ownership of its story, and refortify its brand. In 2013, Lockhart returned to GPG, where that vision payed immediate dividends, in the form of a major expansion and move to a new headquarters. At GPG, he spearheaded the National Football League’s response to a series of public challenges. In 2016 the NFL named Lockhart Executive Vice President overseeing Communications, Government Affairs, Social Responsibility and Philanthropy. A graduate of Georgetown University, Joe is a native of New York City, New York. Follow Joe on Twitter: @joelockhart About Our Host Art Stevens, Managing Partner, The Stevens Group Art Stevens literally knows the PR industry at every level and in every aspect, from the inside out and from foundation to pinnacle. Art knows what makes a PR business successful, profitable and valuable. A prolific writer as well as a dynamic executive, Art is subtle, observant and quietly creative, yet not opposed to a good measure of “brandstanding” when appropriate. He has been valuing agencies, brokering mergers and acquisitions, and providing strategic advice for ten years. Art is a former owner and CEO of LobsenzStevens, a Top-20 independent PR agency, which Publicis Groupe acquired. Follow Art on Twitter: @ArtS1735
44 minutes | Dec 14, 2020
PR Masters Series Podcast, Episode #38 – Fred Cook
Overview The Stevens Group has been presenting the PR Masters Series Podcast for almost two years now. This series is part of the ongoing partnership between The Stevens Group and CommPRO to bring to PR, digital/interactive and marketing communications agencies the wisdom of those who have reached the top of the PR profession. Today’s special guest is Fred Cook, Chairman, Golin & Director, USC Center For Public Relations (Los Angeles, CA). About Our Guest Fred Cook has worked at Golin for over 30 years. He started as an account supervisor in the Los Angeles office and moved to Chicago 15 years ago to become Golin’s third CEO. Fred credits the company culture for his long tenure with the firm. During his time with Golin, Cook has had the privilege to work with a variety of high-profile CEOs, including Herb Kelleher, Jeff Bezos and Steve Jobs. He has also managed a wide scope of crises for his clients, including airline crashes, product recalls, and sexual harassment. Fred is proud of the firm’s accomplishments, but he is even more excited about the future. The world is experiencing profound changes in demographics, globalization, multiculturalism and technology which are impacting the way people communicate with each other. To stay ahead of their changes, five years ago, Golin completely redesigned the agency by adopting a proprietary business model called g4, to deliver deeper insights, bigger ideas and broader engagement to their clients. Since that time, Golin has been named ‘Agency of the Year’ more than a dozen times. In 2014, Cook published “Improvise – Unconventional Career Advice from an Unlikely CEO,” which shares the wisdom he gained as a cabin boy on a Norwegian tanker, doorman at a 5-star hotel and chauffeur for drunks. In 2015, after speaking on college campuses around the world, Fred accepted an additional position with the University of Southern California as the Director of the USC Center for Public Relations at the Annenberg School whose mission is to shape the future of public relations and those who will lead it – through research, education and thought leadership.
43 minutes | Dec 7, 2020
PR Masters Series Podcast, Episode #39 – Peter Finn
Overview The Stevens Group has been presenting the PR Masters Series Podcast for almost two years now. This series is part of the ongoing partnership between The Stevens Group and CommPRO to bring to PR, digital/interactive and marketing communications agencies the wisdom of those who have reached the top of the PR profession. Today’s special guest is Peter Finn, Founding Partner at Finn Partners. About Our Guest Peter Finn plays the central role in the creation and ongoing initiatives of Finn Partners and the development of the practices and offices that now make up the global agency. Over the years his contributions as Founding Managing Partner have included the recruitment of key executives, and the orchestration of domestic and global acquisitions of agencies specializing in technology, health, consumer marketing, tourism, education, professional and financial services, branding, public affairs and social and digital practices. He’s developed a powerful team, acquiring top notch agencies and integrating them into the firm, building what began as a small agency in 2011 into one of the top independent agencies in the world. Under Peter’s direction, Finn Partners was selected by the prestigious Holmes Report as “Best New Agency” in 2012 and later was “Midsize Agency of the Year” by PR News and Holmes Report, and was named Health Agency of the Year by the Holmes Report in 2018 and was named one of the top Health agencies in the world in 2020. Finn continues to grow rapidly and is currently ranked by the O’Dwyer’s report as the 4h largest US based independent PR firm. Through Finn’s efforts, the firm has more than quadrupled in size over the past eight years and now has 20 offices around the world with almost 800 employees internationally. Prior to launching Finn Partners, Peter was Co-CEO of Ruder Finn, Inc., He first joined Ruder Finn in 1976 and played a key role since the 1980s in turning the firm into one of the largest independently owned public relations firms in the world. Peter is co-founder, with his wife Sarah, and Chairman of the Catskill Mountain Foundation, one of the largest arts organizations in the upstate New York, where he continues to work with many public officials at the local, state and federal level, impacting the region’s economic development. He is the recipient of the 2017 Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts award. Peter has a B.A. from Brown University and an M.A. from Columbia University.
45 minutes | Nov 25, 2020
PR Masters Series Podcast, Episode #40 – Michael Kempner
Overview The Stevens Group has been presenting the PR Masters Series Podcast for almost two years now. This series is part of the ongoing partnership between The Stevens Group and CommPRO to bring to PR, digital/interactive and marketing communications agencies the wisdom of those who have reached the top of the PR profession. Today’s special guest on this Thanksgiving eve is Michael Kempner, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of MWWPR. About Our Guest Michael Kempner is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of MWWPR, one of the nation’s largest independent public relations firms. He is a nationally recognized authority on reputation management, crisis management, public affairs, business to business, consumer marketing and corporate social responsibility, and has counseled some of the world’s most prominent executives, organizations and companies. Michael is known for his candor, commitment to community service and personal attention to client needs. He is an author and speaker on a variety of public relations, management, entrepreneurship, and marketing topics. An active member of his community, Michael serves as the chairman of the Manhattan Chamber of Commerce, in addition to a current member of the PR Council Board of Directors, a board member of the New York Coalition for the Homeless, Fulbright-Canada Scholarship Board and a founding Board Member of ConnectOne Bank, one of the nation’s most successful community banks (NASDAQ: CNOB). He is also active in progressive politics and issues, having played major roles in the campaigns of President Barack Obama, Secretary Hillary Clinton and currently Joe Biden.
37 minutes | Nov 11, 2020
PR Masters Series Podcast, Episode #36 – Margi Booth
Overview The Stevens Group has been presenting the PR Masters Series Podcast for almost two years now. This series is part of the ongoing partnership between The Stevens Group and CommPRO to bring to PR, digital/interactive and marketing communications agencies the wisdom of those who have reached the top of the PR profession. Today’s special guest is Margi Booth, Chairman, M Booth. About Our Guest Margi founded M Booth in 1985 to create innovative communications programs for highly respected consumer, lifestyle, and corporate brands. Under her leadership, the agency’s client roster has grown to include American Express, Unilever, Google, GE, Mercedes Benz, and Godiva, among others. In addition, her agency has been recognized by the Holmes Report as Creative Agency of the Year, and is one of nine companies cited in 2014 as the Best Place To Work by PR Week. In 2009, Margi sold her firm to Next Fifteen Communications and assumed the role of M Booth’s AWC (Active Working Chairman). In her new role, she is involved in setting the firm’s strategic direction, client counseling and new business. Margi is also working with Next Fifteen to manage its talent and acquisition strategies. She is a New York Women in Communications Matrix Award recipient for career advancement in public relations and was awarded the New York Public Relations Society prestigious John W. Hill Award for her demonstration of leadership in the practice of public relations. She is a founding member of the Council of Public Relations Firms, and serves as a board member of the Center To Advance Palliative Care, and the Community Resource Exchange.
41 minutes | Sep 23, 2020
PR Masters Series Podcast, Episode #35 – Catherine Hernandez-Blades
Overview The Stevens Group has been presenting the PR Masters Series Podcast for almost two years now. This series is part of the ongoing partnership between The Stevens Group and CommPRO to bring to PR, digital/interactive and marketing communications agencies the wisdom of those who have reached the top of the PR profession. Today’s special guest is Catherine Hernandez-Blades is senior vice president, chief ESG and Communications officer at Aflac. About Our Guest Catherine Hernandez-Blades is senior vice president, chief ESG and Communications officer at Aflac. She served in the CMO and CCO roles simultaneously at two Fortune 500 companies. She is in the inaugural class of the Women in Communications Hall of Fame and the first recipient of the PR Week’s Most Purposeful CCO award. A PR News Hall of Famer, Forbes Top 50 Most Influential Global CMO, inducted into the PR Week Hall of Femme in 2017, she is the first American to win the Relations 4 the Future Medal at the Communications 4 the Future awards at Davos. The 2019 Latina Style Corporate Executive of the Year, and on The Holmes Report’s 100, she is the 2018 Innovation SABRE recipient for Most Innovative Marketing/Communications Professional – Brand, and PR Week’s 2018 Outstanding In-house Professional of the Year. She is a four-time Top Woman in PR, and four-time Bulldog Star of PR.
46 minutes | Aug 31, 2020
PR Masters Series Podcast, Episode #34 – Scott Allison
Overview The Stevens Group has been presenting the PR Masters Series Podcast for almost two years now. This series is part of the ongoing partnership between The Stevens Group and CommPRO to bring to PR,digital/interactive and marketing communications agencies the wisdom of those who have reached the top of the PR profession. Today’s special guest is Scott Allison, Co-Founder, Global Chairman & CEO, Allison + Partners. About Our Guest Scott is global chairman and CEO of one of the fastest-growing global communications firms in the industry. Known for its unique culture, Scott founded Allison+Partners with a vision to build a positive and entrepreneurial environment where talented people at all levels could do great work and thrive. Scott oversees the firm’s Global Board, while continuing to provide communications counsel to many high-profile executives and clients. He is an expert in issues management and crisis communications; presentation and media training; and is regularly called upon to speak about issues facing the public relations industry. Prior to founding Allison+Partners, Scott was the West Coast president of Connors Communications and a senior vice president and partner at The Gable Group. Scott is a member of the Arthur W. Page Society and serves on the advisory board for ISOThrive, The Fraternity and the Church of the Resurrection. He is a recipient of the Monty Award given to San Diego State University alumni and was a finalist for both the EY Entrepreneur Of The Year® and the American Business Award’s Communications Executive of the Year. A patron of San Diego State University’s School of Journalism and Media Studies, Scott provided a founding gift to the Glen M. Broom Center for Professional Development in Public Relations and funds a scholarship that supports internship opportunities for students.
49 minutes | Aug 17, 2020
PR Masters Series Podcast, Episode #33 – Ron Culp
Overview The Stevens Group has been presenting the PR Masters Series Podcast for almost two years now. This series is part of the ongoing partnership between The Stevens Group and CommPRO to bring to PR,digital/interactive and marketing communications agencies the wisdom of those who have reached the top of the PR profession. Today’s special guest is Ron Culp, PRAD Professional in Residence, Instructor and Professional Director, Graduate Professional Program Director – Public Relations and Advertising at DePaul. About Our Guest Prior to joining DePaul and becoming an independent public relations consultant, Ron Culp held senior public relations positions at four Fortune 500 corporations and two major agencies. Ron’s career spans a broad range of communications responsibilities in government and industry sectors including business-to-business, consumer products, pharmaceutical and retailing. Ron’s two agency stints include being partner and managing director of Ketchum’s Midwest offices and head of the agency’s North American Corporate Practice. Prior to Ketchum, he opened and served as managing director of the Chicago office of Sard Verbinnen and Company, a leading financial communications firm. Previously, Ron was a corporate officer and senior vice president, public relations and government affairs, at Sears. During his Sears career, Ron managed internal and external communications, marketing public relations support, state and federal government affairs, community relations and the Sears-Roebuck Foundation. Earlier in his corporate career, he held senior communications positions at Sara Lee Corporation, Pitney Bowes and Eli Lilly. Following graduation from Indiana State, Ron began his career as a reporter for The Columbus (Ind.) Republic before moving to the New York State Assembly where he served as director of member services (the public relations support unit) under both Republican and Democratic administrations. Ron is active in several civic organizations including the Economic Club of Chicago where he is a former board member and past vice chair. Culp serves on the board of Gilda’s Club Chicago, Public Relations Museum and Library, PRSA Foundation, Indiana State Foundation and the Plank Center for Leadership in Public Relations, which he also chaired for five years. He was listed in Crain’s “Who in Chicago Business” from 2009 to 2017. Culp is the only individual to receive both the Distinguished Service Award and the Hall of Fame Award from the Arthur W. Page Society, which is comprised of senior communication professionals, agency heads and leading academics. In 2011 he was honored with the John W. Hill Award by the New York Chapter of Public Relations Society of America (PRSA), and a year later he received the PR Professional of the Year from the Chicago chapter of PRSA. He also is featured in the PRSSA book, “Legacies from Legends in Public Relations” (2007) and was named to the PR News Hall of Fame in 2008. In 2012, Ron received the David Ferguson Award for Outstanding Contributions to Public Relations Education by a Practitioner, and in 2017 he received PRSA’s Gold Anvil, the organization’s lifetime achievement award. Ron and his DePaul colleague Matt Ragas are co-authors of a business basics book for PR professionals entitled “Business Essentials for Strategic Communicators” (Palgrave Macmillan, 2014) and they jointly edited “Mastering Business for Strategic Communicators” (Emerald, 2018). Also in 2018, Ron compiled and edited an eBook entitled, “The New Rules of Crisis Management.” Ron and his wife, Sandra, fund a scholarship at their alma mater, Indiana State, for first-generation college students. In addition, Ron sponsors an annual PRSSA scholarship for student mentors. Visit Ron’s career blog, Culpwrit, and follow him on Facebook and Twitter.
45 minutes | Aug 10, 2020
PR Masters Series Podcast, Episode #32 – Dick Martin, Author, “Marilyn: A Woman In Charge”
Overview The Stevens Group has been presenting the PR Masters Series Podcast for almost two years now. This series is part of the ongoing partnership between The Stevens Group and CommPRO to bring to PR,digital/interactive and marketing communications agencies the wisdom of those who have reached the top of the PR profession. Today’s special guest is Dick Martin, Author, “Marilyn: A Woman In Charge.” About Our Guest Dick Martin writes about public relations, marketing, and ethics. He has authored four books for the American Management Association and articles for such publications as the Harvard Business Review, Chief Executive, and the Journal of Business Strategy. Capping a 33-year career with AT&T, from 1997 to 2003, he was Chairman of the AT&T Foundation and executive vice president responsible for the company’s public relations, employee communications and brand management worldwide. The Holmes Report called his first book, Tough Calls, one of the 5 best PR books published in the first decade of the 21st century and “by far the best book about the realities of working in corporate communications for a large American corporation.” He is a frequent speaker to business groups and has conducted ethics workshops for the Institute of Public Relations, the Arthur Page Society, Rutgers University, and other organizations. He co-authored Public Relations Ethics: How To Practice PR Without Losing Your Soul, with Donald K. Wright, chair of the public relations department of Boston University’s College of Communications. Most recently he wrote a biography of Marilyn Laurie, his predecessor at AT&T and the first woman to become a policy-making officer at a Fortune 10 company. Marilyn: A Woman In Charge will be published by the PR Museum Press on September 8, 2020. Martin was one of the first recipients of the Arthur W. Page Center’s Award for Integrity in Public Communication.
47 minutes | Jul 26, 2020
PR Masters Series Podcast, Episode #31 – Denise Hill, Ph.D., APR Assistant Professor Elon University School of Communications
Overview The Stevens Group has been presenting the PR Masters Series Podcast for almost two years now. This series is part of the ongoing partnership between The Stevens Group and CommPRO to bring to PR,digital/interactive and marketing communications agencies the wisdom of those who have reached the top of the PR profession. Today’s special guest is Denise Hill, Ph.D., APR Assistant Professor Elon University School of Communications. About Our Guest Denise Hill is an assistant professor at Elon University’s School of Communications, where she teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in strategic communications. Dr. Hill is a former chief communications officer with more than 30 years of corporate communications and public relations agency experience. Before joining Elon University, Dr. Hill was vice president of corporate communications and public relations at Delhaize America, the U.S. operation of global Fortune 500 grocery retailer Delhaize Group. She previously held chief communication officer positions at Quest Diagnostics and a business unit of Wyndham Worldwide. In addition, she served as a vice president of communication at Novartis Pharmaceuticals and Cigna. She started her career at a Carl Byoir/Hill+Knowlton public relations agency in Philadelphia. In addition to her Elon University teaching experience, Dr. Hill was an adjunct instructor of corporate communications and public relations at New York University. She also taught communications at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She holds a bachelor’s degree and master’s degree in communications from Temple University, and a Ph.D. in mass communication from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Her academic research focuses on public relations and social change, how public relations was used to help marginalized groups in the United States gain civil rights, and African American public relations pioneers. Dr. Hill is a member of the board of directors of the Public Relations Society of America. In addition, she is a member of the Arthur W. Page Society, where she serves on the new member liaison subcommittee. Dr. Hill is a member of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication, the American Journalism Historians Association, and an advisory board member of The Museum of Public Relations. She also serves on APCO Worldwide’s International Advisory Council as a member of its Corporate Communications Strategies subgroup. Dr. Hill serves on the board of directors of Easterseals of North Carolina and Virginia, and she chairs the organization’s development and communications committee. She is a former member of The Seminar, the premier organization of chief communication officers. She also is a former member of The Executive Leadership Council, the preeminent organization of African American business executives.
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