Public Relations’ Next Generation: Walking the Talk (video)

Professor Steve Quigley in action at Boston University

Professor Steve Quigley is a bit of a legend among past and present public relations students at Boston University, where he has been teaching for 12 years.  His boundless energy, smarts, sense of humor, humility and passion for public relations has earned him the respect, admiration and friendship of countless students and colleagues, as well as the business community.

Professor Quigley is a professor who walks the talk of this next generation of public relations.  If you are connected to him on LinkedIn (nearly 800 of us are); or follow him on Twitter (almost 1500 of us are); or are among his 400+ friends on Facebook; or you have attended one or more of the PR panels and events he participates in (he’s speaking tonight on a branding and entrepreneurship panel), then you already know this to be true.

He makes sure his students know what needs to be in their PR toolbox in order to be successful upon graduation.

It’s for these reasons, and others, why Professor Quigley, APR, was recently recognized by the Public Relations Society of America as the 2011 Oustanding Educator of the Year.

In making the announcement, Rosanna M. Fiske, APR, PRSA chair and CEO said:  “The considerable impact Quigley has had on the next generation of public relations professionals has helped advance the profession in profound ways. This honor highlights his achievements and dedication to helping to prepare the future leaders of our profession.”

This isn’t the first significant award for Professor Quigley, who previously worked at a Boston PR agency.  Five years ago he was honored with the John J. Malloy Crystal Bell Award (for lifetime achievement and contribution to PR). Last year he received the Diane Davis Beacon Award for lifetime achievement by PRSA Boston.  And his employer bestowed upon him the Boston University Lyndon Baines Johnson Student Advisor of the Year Award, the Boston University College of Communication Advisor of the Year Award and the Boston University Student Activities Advisor of the Year Award.

Industry and peer recognition is rewarding.  It’s great for the resume, and ego, too.   But you get the feeling that the greatest reward for Professor Quigley is when he makes a difference with one of his students, like he has with our rock star student intern, Emily Wienberg — a senior at the university majoring in public relations.

We thought it would be informational, and a little fun, if Emily put her Morrissey & Company hat on and turned the tables on her esteemed professor by asking the questions.  So we did just that:  Emily takes on Professor Quigley and the future of public relations. Please let us know what you think of what the professor had to say.  We’ll be sure to post your insights.

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5 Responses to Public Relations’ Next Generation: Walking the Talk (video)

  1. Great intro Jim! Really amazing just how accomplished Professor Quigley is. But that’s not why I enjoy having him as a professor. It’s the personal connection he makes with all his students, whether it be in class, in office hours, or on Twitter. He truly does care about helping you succeed. People find it funny that I tweet with a professor, but he’s practicing what he preaches, and doing it well, too. I had a great time in the interview and learning about the future of PR from the perspective of a distinguished, experienced professor.

    • Emily — you are indeed fortunate to be studying under a professor such as Steve. I think one of the things that sets Steve apart from some other educators in our industry is that he worked in a PR agency for a number of years. So he is not only an instructor, but has hands-on experience as a practitioner. Having the two perspectives — from inside and outside the classroom — adds to the influence he has on his students.

  2. Chas Kielt says:

    Prof. Quigley provides a valuable reminder that while social media provides a direct communication channel to an organization’s publics – aka “disintermediation” – it can potentially make traditional media coverage more valuable by increasing pass-on readership through content syndication and aggregation. I think it’s a win-win. I like that disintermediation makes PR pros less dependent on reporters/editors (who can be inaccessible, arrogant, myopic, biased, dismissive or lazy) to get their stories out, while maximizing the reach and influence of “brokered” media exposure. And there’s still something to be said for third-party objectivity, be it perceived or actual.

  3. Good point, Chas. We know many PR practitioners — you and I among them — who find that traditional and social media are most powerful when they work together. While consumers may want to hear directly from suppliers via social media, validation through “objective” traditional information sources will always be invaluable.

  4. That’s an excellent point, Chas. Professor Quigley even asked us about disintermediation on an exam! I agree with you Jim that his professional experience has helped enrich the classroom experience, with this discussion as a prime example. Here, two PR pros are discussing a concept that is also being talked about in the classroom. It’s amazing to see just how important Professor Quigley’s experience in the PR world has helped his courses and his students.

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