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Jerry Swerling
Professor of Professional Practice and Director of Public Relations Studies; Director, Strategic Communication and Public Relations Center


Public Relations Program




ASC 301G

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Marketing Research
Organizational Communication
Public Relations

Center Affiliation

Center on Public Diplomacy
Strategic Communication and Public Relations Center

Jerry Swerling, who was named "Public Relations Person of the Year 2000" by the Los Angeles Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America, has almost 40 years of experience as a consultant, educator, policy advisor, and communicator. He is a frequent speaker on trends in public relations and the state of the profession.

At USC’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, where he serves as Professor of Professional Practice and Director of Public Relations Studies, he is responsible for the management of the 240 student undergraduate public relations program, the 130 student Masters in Strategic PR, and the 130 student undergraduate minor in advertising. His responsibilities include curriculum design, faculty organization, and student mentoring. He also teaches at the graduate and undergraduate levels.

In addition, he serves as Director of the USC Annenberg Strategic Communication and Public Relations Center, the mission of which is to “advance the study, practice and value of public relations by means of practical, applied research.” The Center’s best-known project is the biennial Communication and Public Relations Generally Accepted Practices (GAP) Study, which is widely recognized as an important source of management-related information for the profession.

Jerry is also principal of Swerling & Associates, a PR management consultancy he formed in 1998 to help corporate clients solve a wide variety of strategic organizational and communications challenges. His consulting clients have included (among others) TriAlpha Energy, Cisco Systems, General Motors, Computer Sciences Corp, Home Depot, Toshiba America Information Systems, Honda, Michelin, State Farm Insurance, The American Cancer Society National Office, Hyundai, Dairy Management, Inc., Toyota, and Remy Martin.

He previously headed the Southern California operations of Porter/Novelli, a leading, global public relations agency. Under his eight-year leadership, P/N's organization grew from a small, little known presence in Los Angeles to one of the strongest and most respected firms in California, with a staff of 60 serving in offices in Los Angeles, San Francisco and Irvine.

Before moving to Los Angeles from Boston to join Porter/Novelli, Jerry served as Senior Vice President/Director of the Public Relations Division of Ingalls, Quinn & Johnson, which at that time was one of the largest integrated marketing firms in the Northeast.

Jerry holds a BA from the University of Massachusetts and an MS in Communication from Boston University. He is past president of the Counselors Section of PRSA-LA and is currently a member of the Arthur W. Page Society, the European Public Relations Research and Education Association (EUPRERA), PRSA, the Educators and Counselors sections of PRSA, the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC), and the Public Relations Section of AEJMC.