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‘Lead where you are,’ Whitt says at Campbellsville University’s 18th annual Media Appreciation Luncheon
Campbellsville University Office of University Communications, May 5, 2023
By Gerard Flanagan, news writer and photographer, Office of University Communications
CAMPBELLSVILLE, Ky. – A few weeks before Marc Whitt prepared to depart his hometown of Paintsville, Ky., and start college at Eastern Kentucky University, his grandfather asked him what kind of college graduate he planned to be once he had his diploma in hand.
The 18-year-old Whitt gave his standard answer to what he thought was a standard question.
“Being the 18-year-old I was, I said I was going to learn public relations, and I’m going to do this and this and this,” Whitt, the featured speaker at Campbellsville University’s 18th annual Media Appreciation Luncheon April 13 in the BASC Banquet Hall, said.
Instead, Whitt’s grandfather told him about two types of college graduates. He told Whitt that one group “likes to remind you constantly how much more they know than you do, just how smart they are.”
The other group, however, wants to make a difference with the degree they’ve just received.
“This group remembers they are where they are, standing on the shoulders of many others. They want to take the degree they have and make life a bit better for others,” Whitt said.
Whitt serves as director of Media and Strategic Relations at the University of Kentucky. He was also at Campbellsville University for 11 years, including as a member of the senior cabinet, as assistant to the president for public relations and marketing and eventually as vice president for communications and marketing.
Whitt, who has nearly four decades of experience in public relations, is the author of “When In Doubt, Make Applesauce! Core Habits of the Masterful Public Relations Professional.”
The desire to make a difference forms the core of being a servant leader, one of the eight traits Whitt said make a successful public relations professional.
Everyone, regardless of title or job level, has a responsibility to be a servant leader.
“People at any job level can become a servant leader,” Whitt stated. “Regardless of title or responsibility, you and I can lead from where we are. We make, you make, a significant difference in the lives of others.”
During his time at Campbellsville, Whitt said he saw servant leadership in action.
“It lived and breathed in the very part of what Campbellsville University is about,” he said, as he counted a story about an initiative called “Workday” that would take place at Campbellsville.
As part of Workday, all Campbellsville students and employees would “give back to the institution,” according to Whitt, by doing work on campus—such as cleaning, sweeping, planting flowers or trimming trees and bushes.
Whitt, a self-professed early bird who typically arrives to work by 6:30 a.m., thought he would be one of the first people to arrive on campus that day. Instead, Dr. Ken Winters, 10th president of Campbellsville University, was already hard at work.
“Here he was, in his bib overalls, and he had a garden hoe and a shovel,” Whitt said, “and he was going at it, planting things, and his knees were dirty, his sleeves were rolled up, and he was leading by example.”
He also referenced Joan McKinney, who retired as Campbellsville’s director of university communications in February after 42 years at the university, as another example of servant leadership.
Whitt noted countless students learned under McKinney, and he said, “This lady could have easily done her work and not cared, but she gave back, and she helped to mentor these students, many of whom are editors, serving in various capacities in media, all because this lady cared.”
The seven other traits of successful public relations professionals Whitt shared were being a model of unquestionable character and integrity, an effective and strategic communicator, an exceptional networker and relationship builder, a big picture thinker and bold doer, a master of the mission and brand, an embracer of life-long learning and available communication technology and being resilient.
To journalists and public relations professionals, Whitt asked the following questions: Do we place character and integrity first in all that we do? Do we merely do public relations or journalism, or do we actually feel a calling to these professions? Are we genuine, authentic, trustworthy, and transparent? Is your word solid as gold?
“To be a true master in public relations, it’s more than getting on your cell phone or sending a text, pitching a story idea,” Whitt said. “Much more. It’s about all these things I’ve mentioned, but being a servant leader, being a person that journalists can always look to and know, even in tough times, being truthful is either 100 percent or not truthful.
“Unfortunately, we, sometimes in public relations, get a little bit of a bad reputation as not being quite upfront and honest. That is not genuine public relations work. It’s got to be about integrity.”
Whitt ended with a challenge to journalists, public relations professionals and the Campbellsville University community.
“In closing, journalists, lead and serve where you are,” Whitt said. “Public relations professionals, lead and serve where you are. CU student, faculty member or administrator, lead and serve where you are.”
Those attending the Media Appreciation Luncheon also heard an update on Campbellsville University from Dr. Donna Hedgepath, provost and vice president for academic affairs.
“We continue to thrive, and we’re strong,” Hedgepath said. “Enrollment this year has been strong as well. We continue to offer new programs. In particular, our Mass Communication program and facilities are second to none here in Kentucky.
“We continue to be so proud of that and our faculty and students who are here today. I anticipate some really great things in the future with this program because we’ve tried to be innovative, and we want to prepare our students for the future, not just settle for what was in the past. We see that every day in our faculty, staff and students here.”
Jeannie Clark, chair of the Department of Mass Communication, also offered an update.
“We are growing significantly,” Clark said. “We have doubled the number of students in the past year.”
Clark also read a line from Whitt’s book that she says embodies what the Department of Mass Communication seeks to teach its students: “Lifelong learning is a choice we make. A personal commitment that stretches our minds and expands our worlds. It’s a continuous process from cradle to grave. It’s a promise you make to yourself. And when fully embraced, lifelong learning will become a worthy, life-enhancing, and even life-changing habit.”
“And that’s something that we try to instill in our students, that we don’t just want to teach you how to use this piece of equipment and put it together and put it up there, we want to teach you to learn,” Clark said. “You need to learn how to learn in order to move forward in all of your various careers.”
Tori Cox, senior from Campbellsville, Ky., originally came to Campbellsville University to major in nursing.
However, in August 2021, she found herself in her first Mass Communication class—Introduction to Broadcasting—with Alex Meade, instructor of Mass Communication and television programming and production director.
By October of that year, Cox was on live television, co-hosting the 2021 Homecoming parade.
“I had finally found what clicked for me. And I found myself wanting to go to school and wanting to go to work, and even now, I wish I was at work right now,” she said.
Next month, Cox will graduate from Campbellsville University with a Bachelor of Science in Mass Communication Area. She is employed at the LaRue County-Herald News.
“One of the most life-changing things I found at Campbellsville University was their belief in me…Whether it’s staying late to show us how to work a board or giving me an extension on a paper because life happens, they are there to make sure that you succeed because they see our potential,” she said.
“To all the mass communication professors, you all have nurtured me, and you all have helped me grow and taught me how to believe in myself like you all believe in me.”
Campbellsville University is a widely acclaimed Kentucky-based Christian university that offers over 100 programs including doctoral, master, bachelor, associate and certificate programs. The website for complete information is www.campbellsville.edu.
Apr 21 - 8 Habits of a PR Pro
Amazon best seller Marc Whitt will speak at the April 21 lunch meeting of the PRSA Tri-Cities Chapter.
Whitt, former vice president at Campbellsville University, to have book signing April 13
By Gerard Flanagan, news writer and photographer, Office of University Communications
CAMPBELLSVILLE, Ky. – Marc Whitt, director of Media and Strategic Relations at the University of Kentucky, will have a book signing at the Barnes and Noble Bookstore at Campbellsville University, 410 N. Hoskins Ave., from 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m., Thursday, April 13 for his book, “When In Doubt, Make Applesauce! Core Habits of the Masterful Public Relations Professional.”
Whitt will be the featured speaker earlier that day at Campbellsville University’s 18th annual Media Appreciation Luncheon.
Whitt has served nearly four decades in public relations, holding senior leadership and teaching positions at public and private universities in Kentucky and consulting numerous corporate and nonprofit organizations across the United States.
Whitt served at Campbellsville University for 11 years, including as a member of the senior cabinet as assistant to the president for public relations and marketing and eventually as vice president for communications and marketing.
Whitt also served for 13 years as associate vice president for public relations and chief communications officer at his alma mater, Eastern Kentucky University.
A synopsis of the book on Amazon, where the book can be purchased, says, “As greater demands and expectations are placed on those who practice public relations, PR veteran and author Marc Whitt contends that we should advance ourselves to the ultimate level of professional skill and excellence: that of a masterful public relations professional.
“Achieving the masterful status in our profession should become our North Star – our guiding light, he writes. These individuals are the profession’s cream of the crop. But those wishing to reach the masterful level must embrace and practice eight core habits…”
The book was released on Nov. 1, 2022, and quickly became Amazon’s No. 1 new release in the area of public relations.
Whitt received back-to-back Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) Silver Medal Awards for Total Institutional Relations Program. In 2015, he received the James C. Bowling Excellence in Public Relations Award. Presented by the University of Kentucky’s Journalism Alumni Association and Department of Integrated Strategic Communication, the award is given to the “outstanding public relations practitioner with ties to Kentucky.”
Whitt has held membership in the Association of American Colleges & Universities Advisory Council on Communications & Public Affairs, including two of his eight years as national chair, CASE District III Board and the International Town & Gown Association Board. He currently serves on the Public Relations and Communications Association International University Advisory Council, the Public Relations Society of America Thoroughbred Chapter Board of Directors and the Kentucky Baptist Foundation Board.
A trumpet player for more than 50 years, Whitt performs with and is a founding member of the Madison Community Band, a regional wind band of 80 volunteer musicians. Marc, a native of Paintsville, Ky., and his wife, Jennifer, have three children: Emily Fields (Mark), Elizabeth Muncie (Christian), and Jacob Whitt; and two grandchildren, Annaleigh and Aubrey Fields, with another expected this May – Hayden Fields.
Campbellsville University is a widely acclaimed Kentucky-based Christian university that offers over 100 programs including doctoral, master, bachelor, associate and certificate programs. The website for complete information is www.campbellsville.edu.
Making Applesauce with Author Marc Whitt with Host Alex Greenwood
We're thrilled to offer a PR After Hours crossover interview with one of the masters of the public relations profession...you might even call Marc Whitt the "Johnny Appleseed" of PR, spreading the word about ethical practice and more.
As greater demands and expectations are placed on those who practice public relations, PR veteran and author Marc Whitt contends that we should advance ourselves to the ultimate level of professional skill and excellence: that of a masterful public relations professional. He writes that achieving masterful status in our profession should become our North Star - our guiding light. These individuals are the profession's “cream of the cream of the crop,” according to Whitt. But those wishing to reach the masterful level must embrace and practice eight core habits, as Whitt details in his second book, When In Doubt, Make Applesauce! Core Habits of the Masterful Public Relations Professional (CherrymoonMedia, 2022).
Adding to this exceptional book are more than 36 PR masters from six countries who share their wisdom and counsel in essays that support these core habits, including PR After Hours host Alex Greenwood!
Listen to our first conversation with Marc here. Visit his website: MarcWhitt.com. Buy the books here.
More About Marc:
Follow Marc on Twitter: @PRLessons / @marcwhitt
MYSTERIOUS GOINGS ON NAMED TOP 5 LITERATURE PODCAST! Learn more here.
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Visit Alex's new author website: JAlexanderGreenwood.com. Buy Alex Greenwood's books on Amazon.com or email him to order your autographed copies here or visit https://jalexandergreenwood.com/shop.
This Mysterious Goings On Podcast episode was recorded and mixed at Green Shebeen Studios in beautiful Kansas City, Missouri. Copyright 2022, all rights reserved. No reproduction, excerpting, or other use without written permission.
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Fine-tuning Public Relations for Nonprofit Fundraising with Marc Whitt
Lighthouse Counsel Senior Consultant Joan Bahner was joined in this episode of The Beacon Podcast by author and PR pro Marc Whitt to talk about the changing role of public relations in fundraising, how and why that role is changing and how nonprofit PR is different than corporate PR.
Fine-Tuning Public Relations For Nonprofit Fundraising - January 20, 2023
In this episode of The Beacon Podcast, Lighthouse Counsel Senior Consultant Joan Bahner talks with author and PR pro Marc Whitt about the public relations in the nonprofit sector.
Marc shares his eight habits that elevate a public relations professional to the masterful level and discusses topics including:
The changing role of public relations in fundraising for nonprofit organizations
How and why that role is changing
How PR for nonprofits is different from PR in the corporate world
About our Guest
Marc Whitt has served nearly four decades in public relations, holding senior leadership and teaching positions at public and private colleges and universities in Kentucky and consulting for numerous corporate and nonprofit organizations across the United States.
Marc is the author of the critically acclaimed book “PR Lessons Learned Along the Way.” His second book, “When In Doubt, Make Applesauce! Core Habits of the Masterful Public Relations Professional,” was released in November 2022.
During Marc’s 35+ years in higher education, his work has achieved measurable results garnering over 40 honors, including back-to-back CASE Silver Medal Awards for Total Institutional Relations Program.
In 2015, he received the James C. Bowling Excellence in Public Relations Award. Presented by the University of Kentucky Journalism Alumni Association and UK Department of Integrated Strategic Communication, the award is given to the “outstanding public relations practitioner with ties to Kentucky.”
That same year, he received the Distinguished Alumnus Award from the Eastern Kentucky University Department of Communication and the EKU Golden Apple Award for Teaching. Additionally, the Kentucky Music Educators Association District 11 presented him with its Friends of Music Award and CASE Kentucky with its Beth K. Fields Service Award for Leadership in Advancement.
In previous years, Marc served on the Association of American Colleges & Universities Advisory Council on Communications and Public Affairs (two of his eight years as national chair), CASE District III (Southeast US) Board, and the International Town & Gown Association Board. He currently serves on the PRCA International University Advisory Council, the PRSA Thoroughbred Chapter Board of Directors and the Kentucky Baptist Foundation Board.
Blog, Wadds Inc., England & Wales (Used By Permission)
A comment by Marc C. Whitt on a LinkedIn post led to me reading his book When In Doubt, Make Applesauce! and a wide ranging conversation about public relations practice.
When in Doubt, Make Applesauce!: Core Habits of the Masterful Public Relations Professional is a book about the character and reflexivity of public relations practitioners. It’s a mix of autobiography, reflection, and insight by Marc C. Whitt.
Marc generously shares his wisdom as both a teacher and practitioner over four decades. He has a professional perspective of public relations practice and firmly believes in the value of public relations and practitioners as a force for good.
We caught up to discuss some of the issues arising from his book. In a wide ranging conversation we discuss the potential of public relations to contribute to organisations and what makes a good public relations practitioner.
Along the way you’ll learn how to network, the build personal resilience, and why the press release is far from dead.
Stephen: You keep us waiting to explain the title. The anecdote about your mother making apple sauce when she needed time out comes at the end of the first chapter. What do you do to build personal resilience?
Marc: Resilient is not merely a habit for public relations professionals to embrace, but for anyone, regardless of their professional calling. But for the purposes of my latest book, When In Doubt, Make Applesauce!, I focus on eight core habits the masterful public relations professional must embrace and include resiliency. As I state in the book, from time to time, each of us who are called to serve in the public relations profession takes shrapnel during our careers. When we are in the middle of a storm, we must be battle-tested, not battle-worn. Therefore, we must learn how to become resilient.
We should never stop learning and growing in our habit of being resilient. That’s why we must continually work our resilient muscles. In my nearly 40 years in this work, I have learned through various experiences to practise the habit of resiliency. This does not mean we build a protective force shield around us, hide in a cavern, and wait for the storm to pass, or construct a drawbridge and moat to keep invading forces from attacking. Instead, we must practice the opposite, and that’s not always easy to do, is it?
I have learned over time to make it a daily habit to practice and apply 13 traits I identify in the book to embody becoming resilient. Those traits are:
confident and courageous,
seek a mentor or two,
willing to learn, then rejuvenate,
maintain a good sense of humour,
flexible and adaptable,
count your blessings,
don’t burn bridges – rebuild them,
trust your gut instincts,
remain sociable, and
schedule “me time.”
No one can be 100 percent resilient. After all, we’re human – we have real emotions and genuine feelings. But when we sincerely apply these traits that I have identified and apply them to our daily personal and professional interactions, we can indeed strengthen the very fibre of our ability to be resilient.
Stephen: You’re very upbeat and optimistic about public relations practice. How do you respond to critics who claim that it can equally be applied as a force for good or bad to corrupt the public?
Marc: I’m incredibly upbeat and optimistic about the public relations profession! The masterful public relations professional understands the enormous value of living a personal and professional life that reflects the highest standards of moral conduct and ethical behaviour. Most of us want to start our public relation careers on the “right foot.” We desire to perform our work excellently with plenty of zest and zeal. We are eager to learn and absorb all we can about and from our new employer, make new friends, meet new people, visit new places, exercise our creative muscles, and demonstrate our talents and skills.
We hope to eventually garner respect and appreciation from our colleagues, clients, and peers by doing these things, which build our credibility as public relations professionals.
Call me an eternal optimist, but I am a realist, too. I firmly believe we are very much a force for good. Please consider the eight habits of a masterful public relations professional I present in the book. Each of these is based on the merits of being productive, indispensable, honest, ethical, genuine, authentic, creative, and of service – all of which reflect the finest characteristics of humankind. We are, by calling, relationship builders. We help spark ideas and forge relationships that will better society.
True, there are very few in our profession who have sometimes taken advantage of the ability of public relations to influence others. As a result, their business practices and approaches are questionable at best and unethical at worst.
We in public relations practice must continue to do all we can to protect and defend our reputations as professionals. After all, we must always strive to be good apples!
Stephen: You cite Abraham Lincoln as a role model communicator, but you fail to list listening as one of his notable characteristics. Is this an oversight, and what do you believe are the characteristics of an exceptional communicator?
Marc: With only little formal education and growing up in humble environments, Abraham Lincoln not only stands as a political giant in American history, but his ability to connect with audiences as a master storyteller and persuader are most worthy of our examination. That was why I included a brief section about Lincoln in my book.
Even though I do not specifically note his fine skill in listening to his constituents, I do believe it is the underlying theme that weaves through Lincoln’s ability to effectively tell stories and persuade his audiences.
After all, only a masterful communicator who is an exceptional listener can:
know their audience,
make a genuine connection with people,
excel at being a masterful storyteller,
provide the facts,
offer plain, simple logic, and
be persuasive and deliver the message honesty, clarity, and simplicity.
As I noted in that same chapter that led into the section on Lincoln, I wrote this:
“Masterful public relations professionals must always seek to simplify the complex, speak or write to their audiences’ understanding, listen and absorb, and master the ability to have meaningful, engaging, and uninterrupted conversations.”
Later in that chapter, I share how the masterful public relations professional must excel at genuine conversation and note that to “do so, one must first be “all ears” and willing to “listen to the other person.”
So, we are in complete agreement! Listening is key to being a masterful communicator.
Stephen: Networking is another important attribute of a professional communicator. How do you recommend starting a conversation in both a physical and virtual sphere?
Marc: Networking and building relationships with others – whether in-person or virtually – come naturally for the masterful public relations professional. It’s second nature for them. Nothing is forced or awkward when conversing with such a master. They understand their audience and surroundings and connect accordingly.
Public relations always has been and will continue to be about the relationship-building business. It’s the backbone of who we are and what we do.
Almost instinctively, the masterful public relations professional understands how and when to connect the right idea and opportunities to the right people or pitch the right story to the right journalist at the right time, in both in-person and virtual environments.
They maintain productive relations with colleagues and peers near and far through frequent in-person and virtual communications, including video, web and audio conferencing and social media platforms.
With that said, how do we start that conversation, you ask. You begin with simple conversations.
During our simple conversations, we learn a lot about the other person: their likes and dislikes, their dreams and aspirations, their curiosities, business goals and opportunities, family and hometown, memorable moments in life, interpretations of the day’s news headlines, favourite athletic teams and music, and so much more. A natural rhythm begins as we become better acquainted with the other person.
We go from being an awkward couple on the dance floor to becoming trusting “dance partners.” We move our initial encounters from the networking phase to a deeper, richer, more meaningful phase of relationship building and cultivation.
The masterful public relations professional understands and knows this process well. Moreover, they recognise and appreciate that skillful networking leads to making additional connections. And intelligent relationship building and cultivation lead to exchanging ideas, information, and opportunities.
Stephen: Our shared belief that public relations practitioners have an opportunity to influence organisational strategy and decision making led to our initial introduction and conversation. Could you please summarise your argument?
Marc: Stephen, you and I share several beliefs and philosophies regarding our profession – most certainly, concerning the opportunity public relations practitioners have to influence organisational strategy and decision-making.
As our profession continues to garner more tremendous respect and appreciation among corporate C-Suites and clients, we should push ourselves to what I believe to be the ultimate professional level in public relations – the masterful public relations professional. We all recognise that greater demands and expectations are being placed on those of us who practice public relations. In recognition of that, I contend in my latest book that we should advance ourselves to this masterful level.
Achieving the masterful status in our profession should become our North Star – our guiding light. Those who are masterful are our profession’s cream of the cream of the crop. They embrace and practice what I believe to be eight core habits. These essential core habits of a masterful public relations professional:
unquestionable character and integrity;
effective and strategic communicator;
exceptional relationship-builder and networker;
“big picture” thinker and bold doer;
master of the mission and brand;
embracer of lifelong learning and available communication technologies;
servant leader; and
Stephen: There’s a related point that the tactical execution of public relations is also critical to practice. You lead a strong defence for the press release. Why do you believe calls for its death are untimely?
Marc: As I noted in the book, several in our industry have limited the opportunities the warhorse of our work – the press release – can still offer. Several have announced its demise, claiming it has outlasted its function and usefulness. I respectfully disagree.
In my opinion, the press release still matters and helps to open opportunities with:
journalists and media relations efforts
customers and consumer relations
In addition, press releases deliver:
relevant, timely news, data, business announcements, and developments
relevant, timely content for websites and online publications
relevant, timely information for external constituents
relevant, timely information for internal constituents
repurposed content for podcasts, blogs and marketing communications
support for a brand’s storytelling efforts
The masterful public relations professional appreciates life for the press release beyond its immediate earned media value by maximising the various ways its content can effectively and strategically communicate with people through earned, owned, and paid media opportunities.
From where I am – long live the press release!
Stephen: Service is an unfashionable personal attribute in modern society. Why do you believe it is important for public relations practice?
Marc: Service should be at the very core of what we do. It should represent the heart of public relations practice. It must be our branding promise and reputation as we serve others.
The masterful public relations professional embodies this to become a servant leader. It’s a personal commitment – a calling, if you will – to place oneself at the back of the line while serving the needs of others first. And in today’s world, where incivility, rudeness, and me-first seem to rule the day, the idea of becoming a servant leader looks rather radical. We in public relations – regardless of the roles we hold – have this incredible opportunity to make a difference in our world, one person at a time.
Stephen: Learning and development is a golden thread running through the book. Do you think qualifications and professional development should be mandatory in public relations practice?
Marc: Lifelong learning is a choice we make, a personal commitment to stretch our minds and expand our world. It’s a continuous process from the cradle to the grave. It’s a promise we make to ourselves. And when fully embraced, lifelong learning is a worthy, life-enhancing, and even life-changing habit for each of us.
We cannot force people to learn. We can, however, provide them with countless professional development opportunities that will excite, encourage, and invite our colleagues to remain eager learners for life.
Stephen: The book includes your mother’s recipe for applesauce, but once you’ve made the sauce what’s your favourite use?
Marc: You must have contacted my mom by asking this! I enjoy her applesauce as a side dish, served with chicken or pork dishes. It’s the best!
When in Doubt, Make Applesauce!: Core Habits of the Masterful Public Relations Professional
Marc C. Whitt
Cherrymoon Media, Lexington, Kentucky USA
A Communicator’s Calling: Serving Others First
By Marc C. Whitt
PR News, Jan. 11, 2023
The masterful PR pro is a servant leader–one whose self-mastery and self-discipline in serving others help her stand out.
“In countless for-profit and nonprofit organizations today, we are seeing traditional autocratic and hierarchical modes of leadership yielding to a different way of working:
one based on teamwork and community
one that seeks to involve others in decision making
one strongly based in ethical and caring behavior and
one that is attempting to enhance the personal growth of workers while improving the caring and quality of our many institutions
This emerging approach to leadership is called servant leadership.”
Servant leadership's qualities
Larry Spears wrote the above in "Practicing Servant Leadership: Succeeding Through Trust, Bravery, and Forgiveness," (336 pp, Jossey-Bass, 2004). His co-author was Michele Lawrence.
Servant leadership isn’t incumbent on one’s personality, but her character. It doesn’t require being an extrovert. Many introverts are exemplary PR servant leaders. And it doesn’t require holding an executive position. People at any job level can become servant leaders.
The key is simply leading from where a person is–no matter their rank or responsibility.
Masterful PR professionals who are servant leaders are:
wise stewards of resources
They invite others to dream big and walk beside them as they plan the work and work the plan. They never walk so far ahead of their team that no one sees them or understands the mission.
Humility, compassion, empathy
Servant-leading PR pros demonstrate humility and extend compassion and empathy. They never offer mere bread crumbs. Instead, they provide rich, meaningful, coherent internal communication that focuses and reenergizes staff.
Moreover, they are philanthropists and genuinely love people. As such, they give of themselves for worthy causes as volunteers and provide financial support.
This point is reminiscent of a donor call example.
A college development officer sat with a prospective donor, an extremely wealthy person. He shared with the prospective donor the school's dream of remodeling its science building.
During the meeting, the development officer saw the potential donor had a checkbook and pen ready. In light of this and the positive conversation, the development officer was confident about the upcoming multi-million dollar request.
Following the ask, the prospective donor sat back in his wingback chair and said: “This is a project I can support. But before I write my check, let me ask, ‘Do you support your institution?’”
The development officer admitted the answer was no.
“If your institution isn’t worth your own investment,” the potential donor said, “then it’s certainly not worth mine.”
A PR professional who is a servant leader understands this. It’s not the amount of our philanthropy–whether that's hours spent volunteering, financial support, or both–that counts. But before we encourage others to support us, we, as PR professionals, must be among the first who invest ourselves in whatever way we can.
Our believability and authentic leadership as PR professionals is appreciated even more when we invest in what we communicate, promote, challenge, encourage, persuade, or invite others to do. They see and value that we are sincere and genuine.
Last, servant leaders are committed to growing those around them.
As such, they quickly offer praise and recognition. They send occasional handwritten notes of appreciation or emails offering encouragement. Moreover, they are not shy about providing shout-outs on social media when a colleague or friend is honored. They genuinely enjoy celebrating the successes of others. Why?
Because they are servant leaders.
Should a servant leader head the PR operation, they provide lifelong learning opportunities for their team through professional development offerings. Like planting a seed, servant leaders cultivate growth and enjoy watching employees rise in the profession.
Marc C. Whitt is instructor and director of media & strategic relations, University of Kentucky office of PR and strategic communications. This essay is an edited excerpt from his book, "When In Doubt, Make Applesauce! Core Habits of the Masterful Public Relations Professional" (444 pp., Cherrymoon Media, 11/2022).
Excerpt: The Value of Our Role
18 November 2022
Reading Time: 3 minutes
AN excerpt from the book, When In Doubt, Make Applesauce! Core Habits of the Masterful Public Relations Professional, by Marc C Whitt (Cherrymoon Media, Lexington, Kentucky USA, Nov. 2022)
Strategic, Nov. 18, 2022 (Ireland, UK and USA)
The Value of Our Role.
The masterful public relations professional, through years of experience, understands the critical role PR plays. Whether you are part of an in-house team, an agency staff, or a full-time PR consultant, our efforts are crucial as they directly impact the success of the business or organization we represent by:
Supporting their mission and values through our counsel and strategic ideas
Advancing their brand through various means of authentic and ethical communication strategies that inform and engage the public and align with the organization’s mission and goals
Providing senior leadership with measurable objectives, strategies, and tactics that will both identify and address the perceptions, needs, and wants of our targeted audiences while, at the same time, offering wise and mature counsel on the most innovative ways to advance communication, relationships, and organizational policies
Foreseeing, interpreting, and preparing for issues and opinions that could impact peer and public perception
Framing and shaping organizational positions that establish credibility with internal and external audiences
Engaging and creating meaningful relationships that become productive and long-lasting and that encourage open, honest dialogue
Addressing and solving critical problems and conflicts
Making sure to deliver on your brand’s promise
Maintaining open, honest, and transparent communication and relations with the media
Maximizing the relational and marketing benefits of our plans and efforts
Establishing best practices that others in the marketplace will wish to follow
Performing all assigned tasks with the highest ethical behavior
Never, ever doubt the value you have for the business or organization you represent. People, including senior leadership and your staff, depend on you in many ways.
As one steadily develops to become the masterful public relations professional we have portrayed so far in this book, you will discover that your counsel will increasingly matter.
You hold a tremendous responsibility that you must never take for granted. But, like it or not, whenever people see you, they most often see the employer you represent.
When my three children were very young, I frequently took one or more of them to a movie on Saturdays. I was always mindful that even though I was “off the clock,” so to speak, I was still often viewed in my community as the PR guy who represented my employer, its mission and brand – even during my recreational times away from the office.
So, allow me to ask you a couple of personal questions that you need to ask yourself: When you encounter others, who do people see? Do they see the professional who embodies the values your employer claims it represents, and do you uphold those?
As we conclude, the message I want to leave with you is this: Being the master of your business or organization’s mission and brand is much more than simply overseeing their appropriate and consistent applications that the public will read or hear through stories, social media postings, advertisements, speeches, photos, websites, and print and digital publications – as crucial as these are.
The masterful public relations professional understands the deeper meaning behind mastering the mission and brand. It’s much more than managing their tactical objectives and applications.
To master the mission and brand, you must believe in and support the mission and brand. You can’t merely give them lip service along with a “pat and a promise,” as we like to say in the American South.
For you see, the PR professional who fully masters the mission and brand completely recognizes, appreciates, and supports them through their own words, deeds, and actions. It’s this holistic understanding that helps move this pro to the top of our profession.
In other words, when others see and hear you, they should also see and hear the heart of the business or organization you represent. And when this is achieved, you have risen to a new level of excellence. You have truly become a master of the mission and brand.
Paintsville native announces his new book for PR pros — ‘When In Doubt, Make Applesauce! Core Habits of the Masterful Public Relations Professional’
Appalachian News, Nov. 17, 2022
As greater demands and expectations are placed on those who practice public relations, PR veteran and author Marc Whitt, a native of Paintsville, contends that we should advance ourselves to the ultimate level of professional skill and excellence: that of a masterful public relations professional.
Achieving the masterful status in our profession should become our North Star - our guiding light, he writes. These individuals are the profession's “cream of the cream of the crop,” according to Whitt.
But those wishing to reach the masterful level must embrace and practice eight core habits, as Whitt details in his second book, “When In Doubt, Make Applesauce! Core Habits of the Masterful Public Relations Professional.”
Whitt suggests in 11 chapters that a masterful public relations professional is a model of unquestionable character and integrity, an effective and strategic communicator, an exceptional networker and relationship builder, a "big picture" thinker and bold doer, a master of the mission and brand, an embracer of lifelong learning and available communication technologies, a servant leader and one who is resilient.
Adding to the book are more than 36 PR masters from six countries who share their wisdom and counsel in essays that support these core habits.
“When In Doubt, Make Applesauce!” is available in print and digital versions at Amazon and at most leading booksellers in the United States.
News: Marc Whitt launches his latest book – When In Doubt, Make Applesauce! Core Habits of the Masterful Public Relations Professional
Strategic (Ireland, UK & USA)
2 November 2022
Reading Time: 3 minutes
AS greater demands and expectations are placed on those who practice public relations, PR veteran and author Marc Whitt (pictured) contends that we should advance ourselves to the ultimate level of professional skill and excellence: that of a masterful public relations professional. Achieving the masterful status in our profession should become our North Star – our guiding light, he writes. These individuals are the profession’s “cream of the cream of the crop,” according to Whitt.
But those wishing to reach the masterful level must embrace and practice eight core habits, as Whitt details in his second book, When In Doubt, Make Applesauce! Core Habits of the Masterful Public Relations Professional (CherrymoonMedia, 2022).
Written in a conversational, thought-provoking, and inspirational style, Whitt suggests in 11 chapters that a masterful public relations professional is a model of unquestionable character and integrity, an effective and strategic communicator, an exceptional networker and relationship builder, a “big picture” thinker and bold doer, a master of the mission and brand, an embracer of lifelong learning and available communication technologies, a servant leader and one who is resilient.
Adding to this exceptional book are more than 36 PR masters from six countries who share their wisdom and counsel in essays that support these core habits: Seth Arenstein, editor, PR News and Crisis Insider; Farzana Baduel, CEO, Curzon PR, and PR expert in residence at The Foundry, University of Oxford; Dr Beth Barnes, professor emerita, Department of Integrated Strategic Communication, College of Communication and Information, University of Kentucky; Dr Bruce Berger, professor emeritus of Advertising and Public Relations, College of Communication and Information Services, and founding director of The Plank Center for Leadership in Public Relations, University of Alabama; Jay Blanton, chief communications officer, University of Kentucky; Dr Felicia Blow, 2022 national chair of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) and associate vice president for development, Hampton University, APR; Roger Bolton, president, Page; Deirdre Breakenridge, author, Executive Media and Communications Trainer, and PR strategist; Tina V Bryson, director of communications, Christian Appalachian Project; Chad Carlton, CEO, C2 Strategic Communications; Orla Clancy, founder and editor-in-chief, Strategic; Dr Jeanette DeDiemar, vice president for University Advancement & External Relations (Retired), Texas A&M University – San Antonio; Gini Dietrich, founder and CEO, Spin Sucks; Cliff Feltham, media relations manager (Retired), Kentucky Utilities Company; Jenni Field, founder, Redefining Communications, author, international speaker and host, “Redefining Communications with Jenni Field” Podcast; Dr Jim Gleason, professor emeritus of Communication, Eastern Kentucky University; J Alex Greenwood, principal and owner, AGPR, and host, “PR After Hours” Podcast; Kirk Hazlett, APR, fellow PRSA, adjunct professor, Communication, The University of Tampa, faculty adviser, UT PRSSA/UT Ad Club, PRSA Board of Ethics and Professional Standards, and director/ethics officer, PRSA Tampa Bay; Francis Ingham, director general, Public Relations and Communications Association (PRCA) and chief executive, International Communications Consultancy Organisation (ICCO); Bob Jensen, senior managing director, Strat3 LLC, and former principal deputy assistant secretary, US Department of Homeland Security; Katie Neal, associate vice president, Media Relations, TimelyMD; Stavros Papagianneas, managing director, StP Communications, Brussels, and founder, Steps4 Europe and author; Dr Pam Parry, professor of Mass Media, Southeast Missouri State University, and author; Ben Pinnington, founder and managing director, Polaris Media Management, and author; Dr Kathy K. Previs, professor, Public Relations, Eastern Kentucky University, and instructor, Journalism and IMC, West Virginia University; Deborah Radman, CEO, Radman Communications LLC; Rachel Roberts, president, Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR), and founder and CEO, spottydog communications; Morgan Roth, chief communications strategist, EveryLife Foundation for Rare Diseases; Linda Rutherford, chief administration and communications officer, Southwest Airlines; Annie Scranton, founder and president, Pace PR, and host, “The PR Pace” Podcast; Ericka Bahner Seifried, marketing communications professional and arts consultant; Dr Jane Tonge, FHEA, owner and director, BOOST Communications and Training Ltd.; Emma Warburton, account director, Weber Shandwick (Manchester, UK); Martin Waxman, MCM, digital strategist, LinkedIn Learning instructor, and president, Martin Waxman Communications; Mary Beth West, senior strategist and co-host, “#MsInterPReted” Podcast, Fletcher Marketing PR; Matthew Winston, executive director of Alumni Engagement, Binghamton University, and founder/principal, The Winston Advisory Pack; and Nancy Wiser, president, Wiser Strategies, APR, fellow PRSA.
When In Doubt, Make Applesauce! is available in print and digital versions at Amazon and at most leading booksellers in the United States, Austria, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, India, Italy, Mexico, Japan, Poland, Singapore, Spain, The Netherlands, United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom and Ireland.
'PR Lessons Learned Along the Way' named among Best PR Books of All Time by BookAuthority
National News: BookAuthority, 2021
BookAuthority has announced that the book, "PR Lessons Learned Along the Way: Strategies, Tips & Advice for the Higher Ed and Nonprofit Public Relations Professional", by Marc C. Whitt, has made it to BookAuthority's Best PR Books of All Time: https://bookauthority.org/books/best-pr-books?t=13mi96&s=award&book=B089C8H9PN.
BookAuthority, as seen on CNN, Inc., Forbes, among other news oulets, collects and ranks the best books in the world, and it is a great honor to get this kind of recognition.
The book is available for purchase on Amazon.
19 Best New PR Books To Read In 2022
BookAuthority, January 1, 2022
As featured on CNN, Forbes and Inc – BookAuthority identifies and rates the best books in the world, based on recommendations by thought leaders and experts.
PR Lessons Learned Along the Way made it to the Best New PR Books
BookAuthority is pleased to announce that Marc C. Whitt's book, 'PR Lessons Learned Along the Way: Strategies, Tips & Advice for the Higher Ed and Nonprofit Public Relations Professional', made it to BookAuthority's "Best New PR Books for 2022" -- a distinction awarded to this book for 2020 and 2021, as well.
BookAuthority collects and ranks the best books in the world, and it is a great honor for author Marc Whitt to get this kind of recognition.
The book is available for purchase on Amazon.
Five Books for Nonprofit Public Relations Teams
The Blake Agency, Atlanta, Georgia, 2021
Nonprofit public relations typically requires a broad scope of work that includes community relations, media relations, public affairs, and consumer relations. This sector is a dynamic landscape brimming with new knowledge every single day. Industry professionals must dedicate themselves to continuous learning so that they (and their organizations) are not left behind. Many do this through a healthy mix of newsletters, articles, and conversations with peers. Although this form of professional development is relevant, it’s not always practical and can lack depth.
Another way to develop new skills and invest in professional growth is with books about public relations best practices and theories.
Books aren’t just for the up-and-coming public relations pros in school anymore. There’s a wide range of comprehensive, easy-to-read guidebooks that can help anyone, regardless of industry, become a more well-rounded professional for their organization. Better yet, there are books written specifically for those in nonprofits, with tips and advice to meet the unique challenges faced there.
Here are five books that every nonprofit public relations pro, in-house or agency, should read.
*The Blake Agency is not affiliated with the publishers or distributors of these titles, nor is The Blake Agency compensated for any purchases made through links.
PR Lessons Learned Along the Way: Strategies, Tips & Advice for the Higher Ed and Nonprofit Public Relations Professional
Among BookAuthority’s ‘Best PR Books of All Time’, PR Lessons Learned Along the Way; Strategies, Tips & Advice for the Higher Ed and Nonprofit Public Relations Professional by Marc C. Whitt is a must-have in any public relation specialist’s arsenal.
Though only released in May 2020, PR Lessons Learned Along the Way has garnered mass critical acclaim. The title has been included on the Public Relations and Communication Association’s (PRCA) Recommended Read list, was the number one new release for PR books on Amazon in June 2020, and named The Best New PR Book to Read in 2021 by PR Intelligence.
Whitt is a public relations veteran. As the current Director of Media and Strategic Relations at the University of Kentucky’s Office of Public Relations with over 35 years of public relations experience, he is well-equipped to write this instructional text. PR Lessons Learned Along the Way is full of the experiences and insights Whitt cultivated during his career in higher education and nonprofit public relations. The book gives readers ‘strategies, tips, and advice addressing pertinent topics of their role in higher education or nonprofit public relations: program leadership and management, crisis communications, social media, earned media, storytelling, philanthropy and donor communications, town and gown relations branding and much more.’
PR Lessons Learned Along the Way was written to ‘encourage, inspire, and hopefully lead you to consider ways to become an even more effective public relations professional.’
'PR Lessons Along the Way' receives stellar reviews
By Poppy Humphrey, United Kingdom Town & Gown Association, Manchester, England, July 1, 2020
PR Lessons Learned Along the Way: Strategies, Tips & Advice for the Higher Ed and Nonprofit Public Relations Professional Lands Amazon’s “#1 New Release in Public Relations” Spot for June
Higher Education PR Veteran Marc Whitt Authors Book Named to Public Relations and Communication Association’s “Recommended Reading List” and Recommended by United Kingdom Town & Gown Association Leaders
Lexington, KY (June 30, 2020) – PR Lessons Learned Along the Way: Strategies, Tips & Advice for the Higher Ed and Nonprofit Public Relations Professional, a book that has already received rave editorial reviews by higher education and nonprofit leaders from across the United States and United Kingdom, maintained Top 5 status in Amazon Book’s “New Release in Public Relations” category for the month of June – most of those weeks at the Number 1 spot, announced Adam Turner, president of Cherrymoon Media, a publisher based in Lexington, Ky. The book is available in print and Kindle formats via Amazon Books.
The 272- page book, named by the Public Relations and Communications Association (PRCA) to its “Recommended Reading List,” is by first-time author, Marc C. Whitt, a 35-year veteran of higher education and nonprofit public relations. Whitt currently serves as director of media and strategic relations at the University of Kentucky Office of Public Relations and Strategic Communications and is a part-time instructor at UK’s Department of Integrated Strategic Communication. The foreword is written by nationally-respected higher education journalist Melissa Ezarik, senior managing editor of Connecticutt-based University Business magazine.
Whitt has written a book filled with strategies, tips and advice addressing pertinent topics for those in higher education or nonprofit public relations. More than 20 chapters cover topics such as program leadership and management, crisis communications, social media, earned media, storytelling, philanthropy and donor communications, town and gown relations, branding, event planning and much more.
Interspersed throughout the book are many of the career lessons Whitt said he has personally learned and experienced during his career. He has taken these experiences and insights and shares them with the reader in an open, honest, inspiring and insightful way, said Turner.
“PR Lessons Learned Along the Way is written in a conversational tone,” Turner added. “That was intentional on Marc’s part and true to his personality and character. He wants the young, mid-career or senior professional to feel as if they are sitting down with him over a cup of coffee or glass of sweet tea talking shop as they learn from one another. Not only do I believe he has successfully captured this in the book, but so do many in the public relations profession who have reviewed it.”
Cooper Healey and Poppy Humphrey with the United Kingdom Town and Gown Association (www.uktga.org) have been enthusiastic readers of Whitt’s book since its release and have offered editorial reviews.
“Marc Whitt takes a complex subject and gives the reader straightforward, practical advice,” said Healey, chair of UKTGA. “One is reassured that the potential challenges associated with ‘town and gown’ can easily be overcome by following simple, common-sense guidelines. Not only limited to university, community and municipal issues, Marc deftly addresses the potential to enhance the economy by engaging with all sectors, particularly tourism. Marc writes in a comprehensive, easy to follow style with points clearly set out. A pleasure to read, this book is a must for all involved in the ‘town and gown’ debate.”
Healey’s associate, Poppy Humphrey, UKTGA’s North West Representative and an off-campus student affairs officer for Manchester Student Homes, concurs.
“(PR Lessons Learned Along the Way) is a true delight of a read that clearly sets out the strategic and practical approaches to developing expertise in the world of PR,” said Humphrey. “Marc Whitt draws on key principles harnessed throughout not only his career, but also intertwines these lessons with reflections from wider life experiences. Marc invites the reader to trip through the narrative, interspersing motivational and thought-provoking quotes which both challenge and inspire. Many of the principles can be applied not only in a work setting but as building blocks for life. Marc sets out a blueprint for successfully navigating the reader through the intricacies of managing town-gown relations, in both an eloquent and accessible way.”
About the Author
Marc Whitt is Director of Media & Strategic Relations at the University of Kentucky’s Office of Public Relations and Strategic Communications. He also serves as a part-time instructor in UK’s Department of Integrated Strategic Communication and is a former PR and marketing columnist for the national trade magazine, University Business. During his nearly 35 years in higher education, Marc’s work has achieved measurable results garnering over 40 honors including back-to-back CASE Silver Medal Awards for Total Institutional Relations Program. In 2015, he received the James C. Bowling Excellence in Public Relations Award. Presented by the UK Journalism Alumni Association and UK Department of Integrated Strategic Communication, the award is given to the “outstanding public relations practitioner with ties to Kentucky.” That same year, he received the Distinguished Alumnus Award from the Eastern Kentucky University Department of Communication. In 2003, he was named an Honorary Alumnus of Campbellsville University.
Recently Onalytica, a firm that identifies social influencers, named him among the “Top 100 Public Relations Influencers on Twitter;” he was ranked 21st. Additionally, CASE Kentucky presented him with its Beth K. Fields Service Award for Leadership in Advancement.
In previous years, Marc has served on the Association of American Colleges & Universities Advisory Council on Communications and Public Affairs (two of his eight years as national chair), the CASE District III (Southeast US) Board of Directors and the International Town & Gown Association Board of Directors. He has consulted organizations such as the Christian Appalachian Project, The National Association of Music Parents, Witnessing History Education Foundation, among others.
Marc earned a Master of Arts Degree (1985) and Bachelor of Arts Degree (1982) from Eastern Kentucky University.
Marc and his wife, Jennifer, formerly of Paintsville, Ky., reside in Richmond, Ky., and are the parents of three children: Emily Fields (Mark), Elizabeth Muncie (Christian), and Jacob; and the grandparents of Annaleigh and Aubrey Fields.
Sage Advice From a Seasoned Communicator
NonProfit PRO, January 20, 2021
Credit: Getty Images by 10'000 Hours
By Jeff Jowdy
Integrity and character come first — plain and simple.
That’s the bottom line shared by my friend Marc Whitt, a higher education advancement communications veteran, in his new book, “PR Lessons Learned Along the Way.”
“If, in our work, people can’t trust who we are and what we claim to be, then we lose the ballgame,” Marc told me.
Thus, began our conversation about advancement and his book.
Our integrity and character are the DNA of who we are Marc shared. It takes years to build a solid reputation but just moments to lose it, so it’s crucial we remember that whether we are on the clock or off, we represent our institutions.
One of the biggest challenges in fundraising is to get fundraising professionals out from behind the desk. It can be the same for public relations.
“It’s not a desk relationship; it’s public relations,” Marc said, citing the importance of meeting with media professionals, community leaders and people at your institution who can be sources for stories, connections and other information.
Marc pointed to the importance of tenure in the advancement sector. Thirty years ago, when he got his start, professionals were expected to work their way up.
“Now it seems like you start out high and you do a sidestep… there is no stair-stepping,” he said. “Regardless of what area in advancement you are in, it takes time for people to know and trust you.”
“There is a lot of merit to trying to have a good healthy tenure,” he said.
A proper understanding of the relationship between communications and fundraising is also important. They go hand in hand, Marc shared, but communications leaders too often are trained in the transactional and have neither experience nor understanding of fundraising relationship-building.
Marc told me about an early mentor, his first boss.
“He wisely told me it was very important to understand the basics of fundraising,” he said. “The philanthropy side is a significant area that PR people need to have a good understanding of. We need to do a better job of bringing our communications and development officers together.”
Marc believes that advancement professionals need to embrace social media as an important relationship-building resource.
“When social media started making its foray into our work and the public, you heard it described much more in terms of social networking,” he said. “I’ve noticed that over the last two to three years, you don’t hear as much about social networking as you do about social media.
“True social media is an incredible tool,” he said. “It can aid in so many ways in relationship-building.”
Marc believes that too many people get caught up in seeing the number of followers they have go up, acting more like “people catchers” than “people engagers.” Used correctly — to engage rather than to simply gather — social media can be one of the most important resources in a fundraisers toolkit when it comes to engagement and relationship-building.
Marc also has some basic advice for advancement professionals looking to grow in their effectiveness, their relationships and their careers: Be a sponge.
“Rather than coming in and being quick to come up with the plans, they need to take time to be able to observe the institution,” he said. “They need to reach out and sit down with people who have invested their careers there — listen and learn about the hits and misses.”
“It’s a PR position,” he said. “You need to sit down with donors. And if you’re in a fundraising capacity, you need to sit down with community leadership, media and others — just to get a good feel.”
Regular readers of Bedrocks & Beacons know I’m suspicious of professionals selling their wisdom — whether it be via a monthly subscription, webinar, consulting or a book — when their bio is light on in-the-trenches experience.
Marc is front and center with his 30 years of successful experience in higher education plus extensive involvement with the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education.
He’s what my father would have called “the real deal.”
“PR Lessons Learned Along the Way” is ranked by BookAuthority as the No. 1 Best New PR Book to Read in 2020, one of the Best 100 PR Books of All Time (No. 12) and one of the Best 6 PR Books for Beginners (No. 2). It’s targeted to higher education and nonprofit public relations professionals, but it’s a must-read for anyone in advancement work and in a nonprofit leadership role.
Jeff Jowdy Author's page
Looking for Jeff? You'll find him either on the lake, laughing with good friends, or helping nonprofits develop to their full potential.
Jeff believes that successful fundraising is built on a bedrock of relevant, consistent messaging; sound practices; the nurturing of relationships; and impeccable stewardship. And that organizations that adhere to those standards serve as beacons to others that aspire to them. The Bedrocks & Beacons blog will provide strategic information to help nonprofits be both.
Jeff has more than 25 years of nonprofit leadership experience and is a member of the NonProfit PRO Editorial Advisory Board.
Richmond author’s book named among ‘Best PR Books of All Time’ and ‘Best Read in 2021’
The Lane Report, March 2, 2021
LEXINGTON, Ky. – “PR Lessons Learned Along the Way: Strategies, Tips & Advice for the Higher Ed and Nonprofit Public Relations Professional,” a book by Marc C. Whitt, of Richmond, Ky., has been named to BookAuthority’s Best PR Books of All Time list and ranked among its Best New PR Books to Read in 2021.
BookAuthority, a site for book recommendations by thought leaders, collects the most recommended books on business, technology and science – as featured on CNN, Inc. and Forbes. The site includes the most comprehensive collection of book recommendations from business leaders and experts such as Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, Sheryl Sandberg and Jeff Bezos.
Whitt serves as director of media and strategic relations at the University of Kentucky and is a part-time instructor in UK’s Department of Integrated Strategic Communications. His book has also been named by BookAuthority to its list of Best PR Books for Beginners in 2021.
“PR Lessons Learned Along the Way” has been named by the Public Relations and Communication Association (PRCA), the world’s largest organization for public relations professionals, to its “recommended read” list, and was Amazon’s #1 “New Release for PR Books” (June 2020).
Whitt said his book was written for the young, mid-career or senior professional, or perhaps a college PR student who is learning the principles of the public relations profession. It is filled with strategies, tips and advice addressing pertinent topics including program leadership and management, crisis communications, social media, earned media, storytelling, philanthropy and donor communications, town and gown relations, branding and much more.
Whitt’s book is available through Amazon Books, Barnes and Noble, Books A Million and at most independent booksellers.
Central Kentuckians take part in Taps Across America
By Amber PhilpottPublished: May. 30, 2022 at 10:44 PM EDT
LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - If around 3 p.m. Memorial Day, you heard Taps being played you were not alone.
For the third year in a row CBS marked Memorial Day by inviting musicians from across the country to honor our fallen men and women who have served our country by playing Taps.
Last year’s call for musicians drew tens of thousands of videos from all across the world and this year two central Kentucky men picked up their instruments to play.
On a day where we stop to pay tribute honoring the countless lives who make our freedoms possible there is a sound we all recognize.
From the front yard to a cemetery Monday at 3 p.m. local time musicians like Marc Whitt in Richmond did their part by picking up their instrument and saluting the best way they know how.
Taps is the somber 24 note bugle call played at American military funerals and ceremonies.
For the last three years CBS has put the call out asking folks like Terry Thompson of Georgetown to step forward in their community, no matter where they are and play.
Taps Across America is just another way to bring the nation together.
No matter a red state or blue state, just a way both Whitt and Thompson can use the simple notes they play to recognize the sacrifice of so many.
Both Thompson and Whitt are members of the Madison Community Band.
Taps Across America was inspired after CBS Evening News “On the Road” correspondent Steve Hartman in 2020.