Importance of Image in Business Topic of PR Executive’s Talk

No major corporation goes about its day-to-day business without considering its public image. Daniel J. Edelman and his companies address these concerns every day.

Edelman, founder and chairman of Daniel J. Edelman Inc., will discuss the emergence of public relations as a major force for business on March 30 at UNC. The talk will be the latest in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication’s Reed Sarratt Distinguished Lecture Series. The free public lecture begins at 5:15 p.m. in Carroll Hall auditorium.

Begun in 1987, the lecture series brings some of the best minds in the communications field to the University each year to discuss matters of importance, concern, philosophy and principle.

The series honors the late Reed Sarratt ’37, a Charlotte native who directed the Southern Newspaper Publishers Association Foundation for many years and later directed the association itself.

Sarratt, the inaugural president of the school’s Journalism Alumni and Friends Association, was named to the N.C. Journalism Hall of Fame in 1985.

Daniel J. Edelman Inc. is the parent company of Edelman (Public Relations), Zeno (Public Relations), Strategy One (Research), Blue (Issue Advertising), Edelman Creative Solutions (Interactive), First & 42nd (Management Consulting) and Edelman Corporate Governance Advisors. Edelman has more than 2,000 staff members worldwide in 45 offices.

A New York City native, Edelman graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Columbia College in 1940 and earned a master’s degree from Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism the next year. During World War II, he was an officer in the U.S. Army Psychological Warfare and Information Control Divisions, serving in England, France and Germany. He received four battle stars and the Commendation Medal. Edelman was a newspaper reporter in Poughkeepsie, N.Y., and a radio news writer for CBS before moving into public relations in New York. He became public relations director of the Toni division of Gillette in Chicago in 1948 and started his firm there in 1952.

Speakers in the Reed Sarratt Distinguished Lecture Series over the years have included:

  • David Broder, Pulitzer Prize-winning Washington Post columnist
  • David Brinkley, television journalist and commentator, ABC News, who was awarded an honorary degree from UNC in 1992
  • Gordon Parks, Life magazine photographer, film director, author and composer
  • Jeff MacNelly ’69, Pulitzer Prize-winning editorial cartoonist
  • Tom Wicker ’48, New York Times columnist and author
  • Doug Marlette, Pulitzer Prize-winning editorial cartoonist
  • Karen Jurgensen ’71, USA Today
  • Tom Burrell, founder and president, Burrell Advertising, Chicago
  • Frank Deford, writer for Sports Illustrated
  • Sharon Lawrence ’83, actress
  • Gene Roberts ’54, professor in the University of Maryland at College Park College of Journalism, former managing editor of The New York Times and former editor of The Philadelphia Inquirer
  • Ken Bode ’63 (MA, ’66 PhD), of PBS television program Washington Week in Review and dean of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University
  • Penny Muse Abernathy, group publisher and general manager of the publishing division at Harvard Business School; former president of The New York Times News Services
  • R.W. Apple Jr., chief correspondent for The New York Times
  • Carl Kasell ’56, National Public Radio
  • M. Dockery Clark ’82, former senior vice president of sponsorship and marketing, Bank of America