Baruch College

Changing Dynamic of Public Relations

November 10, 2009 | Baruch College, CUNY Lecture Series

No matter what platforms people choose for communication, the business of public relations essentially remains the same, according to industry experts. “You still need to build a personal brand that stands for something,” says Don Middleberg of Middleberg Communications, whose client list includes American Express, Consumer Reports and Reuters. “Whether it’s personal contacts, bloggers, or journalists, someone still needs to pick up your phone call or answer your e-mail or tweet.” Middleberg was part of a panel discussion at Baruch College that explored ways to meet the unique challenges brought on by the decline in print outlets and the rise in social marketing media tools such as Twitter and YouTube. Other participants included Peter Himler, founder of Flatiron Communications; Bill Southard, founder of Southard Communications; Jeff Gluck of IBM and Dave Armon, past president of PRNewswire, who served as moderator.
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Mayoral Control of Schools: Is It Working?

June 11, 2009 | Baruch College, CUNY Lecture Series

As the deadline nears for renewing the 2002 legislation that gave Mayor Bloomberg control of public schools, New Yorkers weigh in on whether the system should remain under the Panel for Educational Policy or be overhauled. In a discussion moderated by Baruch College Professor Doug Muzzio and led by Schools Chancellor Joel Klein, the teachers union and city were in agreement. “The present structure is sound,” said Klein, cautioning against tweaking it. “We would undermine it and create divided authority.” United Federation of Teachers Vice President Michael Mulgrew said, “Not a single person (here) wants to go back to the old system…We want to move forward.” The event was co-sponsored by Citizens Union and the Center for Innovation and Leadership in Government at Baruch College’s School of Public Affairs.
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Going Viral in a Social Marketing World

May 14, 2009 | Baruch College, CUNY Lecture Series

Overnight, the video clip of Scottish singing sensation Susan Boyle went viral. More than 30 million people watched her “Britain’s Got Talent” TV performance, on YouTube alone. Digital marketing leaders want advertisers to use social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter to sell their products to similar-sized audiences. “The primary gateway to content and branded content will be search and social networks.” says Steve Rubel, senior VP of Insights for Edelman Digital. “We need to make sure what we’re creating is relevant and discoverable…we’re redefining how we do public relations.” Rubel was joined by panelists Peter Himler, founder of Flatiron Communications; social media strategist Howard Greenstein, and Les Blatt, former editor/producer for ABC News, and others, at a Baruch College conference, “Yes We Can: Going Viral in a Social Marketing World.”
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George Packer on Writing Long

April 20, 2009 | Baruch College, CUNY Lecture Series

Reflecting on his 20,000-word story on the Iraq war, New Yorker magazine staff writer George Packer says he considers himself fortunate to have an outlet for his epic reporting style: “I’m lucky that The New Yorker continues to want it.” Packer, whose work covering Iraq and West Africa has been recognized with three Overseas Press Club awards, is the spring semester’s Sidney Harman Writer-in-Residence at Baruch College. “I use narrative in order to bring news of the world,” said Packer, who discussed his career and read form his articles “Betrayed” — which he turned into an award-winning play — and “The Ponzi State.” “Without the narrative, it’s very hard to make readers care about these obscure lives.”
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The Longest Revolution

April 16, 2009 | Baruch College, CUNY Lecture Series

Feminist icon Gloria Steinem thinks that the fight for equality still has a long way to go. “There is no such thing as being a successful feminist without also being an anti-racist and without standing up for movements of sexual liberation,” said Steinem, a writer and social activist who has spent five decades pursuing equal rights for women. Co-founder of New York magazine and Ms. magazine, she helped launch the Women’s Action Alliance, the National Women’s Political Caucus, and most recently the Women’s Media Center. As part of the Addison Gale Memorial Lecture Series at Baruch College, Steinem addressed existing gender and racial barriers in a talk entitled, “The Longest Revolution.”
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Can Individualism Be Fair?

December 17, 2008 | Baruch College, CUNY Lecture Series

The ideal of “equality and justice for all” as promised in the Constitution, sounds noble, but it’s not necessarily in sync with the American drive for upward mobility, says Yale Law School Prof. Peter Schuck. “We value the opportunity to become wealthy more than we value equality,” said Prof. Schuck, speaking at the Lillie and Nathan Ackerman Lecture Series at Baruch College’s School of Public Affairs. Referring to greed in the mortgage industry and the nation’s subsequent economic meltdown, he said, “These challenges are so hard to resolve because they reflect our commitment to individual autonomy.”
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Her Prose: Hansel and Gretel Revisited

December 16, 2008 | Baruch College, CUNY Lecture Series

Francine Prose knows what it’s like to write a New York Times best-seller, because she did with her book, “Reading Like a Writer: A Guide for People Who Love Books and for Those Who Want to Write Them,” (2006). At a reception in her honor at Baruch College, Prose read and discussed “Hansel and Gretel,” a short story she first published in 1986. “When you have just written something, you think, what a great imagination you have,” said Prose,” who is currently the Sidney Harman Writer-in-Residence at Baruch College. “But when something sits around for decades, suddenly you begin to realize how it reflected reality.”
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The Continuing Debate over Term Limits

November 20, 2008 | Baruch College, CUNY Lecture Series

Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s move to extend term limits was passed by the City Council, signed into law, and prompted legal challenges. In a panel discussion on the controversial proposal, Kenneth Moltner of New Yorkers for Term Limits outlined a key objection to the mayor’s action: “Voters voted not once, but twice, in 1993 and 1996 (against a proposal to extend term limits from two terms to three), so the issue is about respect for their vote.” The panel, at Baruch College, was moderated by former City Council Speaker Peter F. Vallone Sr.
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Obama's $650 Million

November 18, 2008 | Baruch College, CUNY Lecture Series

Sen. Barack Obama made history with his Presidential win and with his record-breaking $650 million in fundraising — $400 million more than Sen. John McCain. That gap, says Republican strategist Ed Rollins, presents future challenges for the GOP. “When you’re being outspent four or five to one, it is very difficult to make up the numbers you need (to win),” Rollins said at a Baruch College panel discussion, “Politics, Pundits and Polls: Election 2008.” Also participating: Democratic strategist Harold Ickes, pollster Kellyanne Conway and Daily News columnist Errol Louis.
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Sexism and the Presidential Campaign

November 6, 2008 | Baruch College, CUNY Lecture Series

The 2008 presidential race, one of the most historic, also showed that gender bias still exists, says Kathleen Hall Jamieson, director of the Annenberg Public Policy Center at the University of Pennsylvania. In her lecture, “She Cackles, He Laughs: Gender Stereotypes in the 2008 Presidential Campaign Coverage,” at Baruch College’s School of Public Affairs, Jamieson cited sexist comments made in the media regarding Sen. Hillary Clinton and Gov. Sarah Palin. Specifically, she discussed the characterization of Sen. Clinton’s laugh as grist for the Sunday morning media mill, while similar behavior by ex-Mayor Rudolph Giuliani was ignored. “If it’s a sign of inauthenticity and calculation on the part of Hillary Clinton, then isn’t it a sign of inauthenticity and calculation for Rudy Giuliani as well?” asked Jamieson, who appears regularly PBS’s “The News Hour.”
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