Harold Burson's Blog

December 10, 1994: Our Saddest Day

December 14, 2008

At a time when the holiday spirit and the oncoming dawn of a new year should bring an immersion of happiness and glee to those of us with long memories, for the past 11 years we at Burson-Marsteller have been saddened with the turning of the calendar page to December 10. That was the date […]


“You Have Elected Our Candidate”

December 1, 2008

Until my recent two-week visit to Asia, I had never been absent from the United States on the day of a Presidential election.* I was in Hong Kong fulfilling a pre-arranged schedule that included talks with a former CEO of our Asia region (a non-American), members of our B-M/Hong Kong staff (almost exclusively Chinese) and […]


“Nothing new under the sun….” — With apologies to Ecclesiastes

October 26, 2008

About a dozen years ago, one of my most intelligent decisions was hiring a part-time professional archivist to preserve the historical record of a public relations firm which has thrived beyond my wildest dreams. The archive is in two parts: 1) The Burson-Marsteller Archive and 2) The Harold Burson Archive. I have made a commitment […]


A Dose of Business Common Sense

September 10, 2008

My long-time friend and client at The Coca-Cola Company, Don Keough, has done all manner of executives – especially executives-to-be – a good turn by recording his common sense views in a new book mischievously titled “The Ten Commandments for Business Failure.” Don is a Warren Buffett type guy, but that should come as no […]


Public Relations in a Downturn Economy

August 25, 2008

Anyone who skims the headlines knows that most of the world is challenged by an economy that’s losing its steam. It’s been that way for almost a year and the timing of an upturn is indeterminate, most likely not until well into next year. The impact on public relations has been interesting – somewhat different […]


WANTED: CEO’s Who Will Speak Up for Business

July 18, 2008

On October 19, 1987 the Dow-Jones Industrial Index tumbled 508 points to 1739, a drop of 22.6 percent, the steepest ever. Five days later, Bill Schrier, Merrill Lynch CEO, in a “talking head” television commercial explained to a World Series audience why “Merrill Lynch is bullish on America.” Soon other CEOs chimed in, proclaiming their […]


A “Sunday Morning” Wake-up Call

June 11, 2008

You can just imagine how many e-mails and telephone calls I’ve gotten in the wake of the recent unflattering and untruthful CBS “Sunday Morning” diatribe on the behavior and characteristics of public relations professionals – and coming from a lawyer, at that. Usually, I see “Sunday Morning” – I’ve been a fan since Charles Kuralt […]


Charity Begins at Home

March 30, 2008

It’s annual report time and you can be sure that many, if not most corporations, have made a special effort to report on their CSR (corporate social responsibility) initiatives, some with separate documents that highlight their actions to preserve the environment and maintain the planet’s sustainability. CSR has, in fact, become an active subset of […]


On Being 87 and Still Engaged

February 27, 2008

My only thought on how long I was going to live was that, with luck, I would make it to the biblical three score and ten. Genetically, I had a good shot: my Father fell short by two years, my Mother made it to a couple months short of 90. Nor did I ever give […]


A Matter of Definition

January 3, 2008

Not long ago at a Q&A session following my talk to college majors in public relations, one of them asked, “Mr. Burson, do you think the Internet will replace public relations?” Along a similar line of thought, PRWeek recently published an article headlined “Word of Mouth, PR are a good fit.” It described a survey […]