Friday morning prospective students of Quinnipiac University gathered in the Mancheski Seminar room to learn about the growing world of public relations. CEO Don Middleburg of the Middleburg Agency, has been taking the time to speak at various colleges and universities around the country concerning the history and advancements of PR. His company has many well-known clients, such as Sony Electronics and American Express.
However, it took Middleburg a lot of time and work to make his company what it is today. Fortunately, public relations has evolved considerably. “A birth of a brand is usually accomplished with publicity, not advertising,” says Middleburg. This is why PR in demand. In the pre-1990s it was a position for outcasts. Individuals known as press agents would be paid by journalists to write columns instead of finding their own work.
Now PR has become more complicated with its many facets. These include employee communications, lobbying, sports promoting and product promoting. Yet, these components would not be possible without the help of the Internet. This is because technology is driving businesses. Middleburg says, “The Internet has changed the way companies do business.”
It is important to remember that the big brands usually win and the little ones lose. Therefore, it is difficult to have a start up company online. However, if the PR company protects the brand image, knows the digital space, and has good business partner relationships, they have a chance at being successful.
Middleburg emphasized taking risks in his address. “The worst risk you can take is not taking a risk,” he says. As one can see, Middleburg took a risk by creating his business. Now his agency is the 25th largest in the world.
If anyone is interested in Public Relations, the Middleburg Agency is looking for interns for the summer and next year. Just send a resume or look them up on the Web.