Harold Burson's Blog

Who’s Counting?

September 19, 2007

An article in a recent New York Times Magazine (Sept. 2) about Mark Penn’s compelling new book “Microtrends” described Burson-Marsteller as a firm “which likes to call itself the world’s largest public relations firm.” Admittedly, there was a time when we used those words to describe ourselves. But for the past five years or so, […]


“Lobbying” is Not a Dirty Word

July 30, 2007

The First Amendment to our Constitution – the first of the ten amendments in the Bill of Rights – reads as follows: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press, or the right of the people to […]


Let’s Not Sell Ourselves Short

June 6, 2007

The notion of “free publicity” or “great results with a ridiculously low budget” troubles me. It troubles me even more when public relations media make a virtue of the cost advantages of public relations (publicity) over advertising and other methods of disseminating information. My concern is that it discourages the best and the brightest to […]


A Time of Renewal

May 20, 2007

At this time of the year, literally thousands of newly-minted public relations practitioners are entering the work force, most of them who describe themselves as communicators. The fact is, attendance at schools of communications is at an all-time high and public relations – usually one of three courses of study alongside journalism and advertising – […]


Storm Warning for U.S. Corporations and CEOs

March 28, 2007

Today’s challenge for global corporations and their CEO’s, especially those of U.S. origin, is finding safe harbor from an amalgamation of circumstances that are the equivalent of a perfect storm. Consider the following: At no time in more than two centuries of nationhood have overseas public attitudes toward the United States been at so low […]


About Job Titles and How We in PR are Perceived

March 13, 2007

In speeches, articles and interviews over the past 20 years or so, I have bemoaned the use of "communications" as a replacement for public relations. While communications plays an important role in what we public relations professionals do, it is only one aspect of our job. Equally, if not more important, we have an overall […]


America’s First Chief Public Relations Officer

February 2, 2007

Public relations was practiced in Boston long before the first publicity firm opened for business there in 1900. What we would nowadays recognize as a public relations campaign whose objective was separating the 13 colonies from England was launched in 1776 – 12 years before the formal Declaration of Independence. Though the term ‘public relations’ […]