About Me

I had an odd childhood dream.
I wanted to be Lou Grant.

Not the Lou Grant character who appeared on the famous CBS situation comedy Mary Tyler Moore, but the more serious, sober Lou Grant who headlined the CBS drama that ran from 1977-1982. For reasons I cannot pinpoint today, Lou Grant, along with a nightly dose of famed news anchor Walter Cronkite, for me became the personification both of how to inform and be informed.

I have vivid childhood memories gathered throughout the 1970s of noteworthy stories being communicated through the media of that time. The resignation of President Richard Nixon, live on television. Articles in the Miami Herald about the bilking of school funds by the then-superintendent for personal gain, including golden faucets on the bathroom sink in his home. The 1980 riots on the streets of Miami following the acquittal of police officers thought to be involved in the death of Arthur McDuffie.

Of course, there were marketing and advertising highlights as well. The Wendy’s fast food chain’s “Where’s the Beef?” commercials seemed to dominate attention. Who could ever forget “Pet Rocks”? Television, print and radio built-up of the launch of reformulated, New Coke, and then chronicled the almost immediate flameout of the same product.

What better way to create more great memories of my own than by trying to tell stories in much the same way as Lou Grant and “Uncle” Walter Cronkite did, by using the media of my time as my canvas. I have, in my own way, pursued that path ever since. After my undergraduate experience at Marist College, dreams of being a journalist morphed into a career in public relations and marketing. My professional life has allowed me to tell interesting stories featuring an array of subjects and with objectives that have varied from client to client and from employer to employer.

Of course, much has changed in the nearly 25 years since earning my undergraduate degree.  After graduation, I worked in radio journalism while at the same time launching a career in public relations. The successes and failures experienced through my on-the-job training of more than two decades have also given me insight and understanding into how consumers react. I have advanced in my career to today hold responsibility for advertising, marketing, media relations, fund raising, government relations, and more. I feel lucky to have gained practical experiences in all of these fields. My greatest professional limitation, however, is in the knowledge and ability to effectively and efficiently tie these many facets of communications together – to integrate them – particularly against a backdrop driven more and more through social media and niche marketing opportunities

It is the confluence of the fast-growing use of technology and the fast-moving, ever-changing demands of the consumer that has led me to study in the Marist College Integrated Marketing Communications Master of Arts program for which this blog was created.

My hope in pursuing this degree is to learn from those who know best how to develop a brand, how to transmit it across multiple platforms with great effect, how to measure that effect, and then how to close the loop by using what is learned to improve upon the original brand concept itself.

While the use of a television character seems now to have been a funny means to envision my future, the core of who I am and what I most enjoy doing remains the same.  
Among my great joys remains telling the story of a person, place, or thing which I find interesting and having the distribution of that story bring positive benefit back to me or the organization I represent.  

I hope  I continue to do it just like Lou did...rolled up sleeves and all. 

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