After writing – and rereading – the foregoing article, I got to thinking about some of the things I learned in my old days at Ruder & Finn. I had the privilege of working with and for Bill Ruder and Dick Weiner in the 1960s. (Bill, a superb human being and a consummate public relations practitioner, passed away recently, leaving the profession palpably poorer.)
When everybody thought that public relations was simply a matter of press relations, Bill and Dick and others at R&F were developing new techniques – practices now considered standard today – designed to be newsworthy on their own. Press relations after that were just a matter of reporting the news. And the more original the activity, the greater the likelihood of getting great press. To this day, even though public relations alone is only the smallest part of what good professional services marketer do today. This is why I still call Dick – then my long-suffering boss at R&F – my mentor. He taught me not only technique, but how to understand the market, and the role of public relations in marketing. As the old song goes, “You made me what I am today – I hope you’re satisfied.”
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