I had developed a career in corporate communication management and consulting when a fellow pro asked if I would like to help teach a corporate PR unit at a local university, and so I agreed. I was running my own busy consulting business after moving from interstate, but still had some flexibility to fit in the teaching.
A local publisher approached me to produce my own textbook from the course material, and then international publisher Palgrave Macmillan contracted me to write a book for them. So I wrote the 900-page book Strategic Public Relations, which was published in 2011 and used as a textbook in a dozen universities.
In the various leadership positions I have held during my career, I have always believed it is really important to listen genuinely to other people’s point of view and always to engage in teamwork with others. Too many communicators speak on behalf of their organization as a one-way activity rather than effectively listening carefully to those who want to engage with them.
During my career I’ve been very active within the communication profession, organizing the professional development program in my State for 7 years, and becoming State President and a national Board member of the Public Relations Institute of Australia (PRIA). In 2007, I was elected a Fellow of the PRIA for a distinguished contribution to the profession. In 2018 and 2019, I have been a judge of the PRIA Golden Target Awards, the national annual awards for excellence.
Since founding my website in 2005, I have written many articles based on my own practical business experience and on the latest communication research and expert commentary. My articles have been quoted in the New York Times and various other news media, as well as by communicators around the world. As part-time CEO of Crime Stoppers non-profit organization in 2014-16, my main role was to highlight the service to the public and gain media coverage on crime-related matters. This linked closely with my knowledge of issue and crisis management developed during my career.
My wife Linda and I love traveling. Travel obliges you to place your trust in other people, and to freshly view their way of life and their culture. Playing and coaching in sport has also been a big part of my lifelong learning experience.
Good communication and productive relationships are essential in professional life. I agree totally with the view of Professor Anne Gregory, former Chair of the Global Alliance for Public Relations and Communication Management, who said:
“The communication profession is the living embodiment of complexity. Communication is complex, fluid and often misunderstood. It is a function, but it is also a central part of organizations and organizing in a way that other professions are not. It is perfectly possible for organizations to operate without buildings, money or products, but it is not possible for them to exist without communication.”
As communication is so complex and important, I have taken a lifelong interest in learning about it and helping to strengthen people’s communication knowledge and application so they can achieve personal and professional success.
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