The PR Center’s 16-member Board of Advisors is a who’s-who roster of industry-leading communications professionals from the agency and corporate world.

USC Annenberg Public Relations Center announces all-new Board of Advisors, research and events

The USC Annenberg Center for Public Relations (CPR), a think tank that connects the school and its students with the $14 billion global PR industry, has announced a new Board of Advisors. The Board will be led by new Center Director and Golin CEO Fred Cook, the first active CEO to lead a center at the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism.

The PR Center’s 16-member Board of Advisors is a who’s-who roster of industry-leading communications professionals from the agency and corporate world:

Gail Becker, President of Strategic Partnerships and Global Integration, Edelman; Adrienne Cadena, Vice President, Havas STREET (’06; M.C.M. ‘09); Cathy Calhoun, Chief Client Officer, Weber Shandwick; Todd Defren, CEO, SHIFT Communications; Corey duBrowa, SVP, Global Communications and International Public Affairs, Starbucks Coffee Company; Bob Feldman, Partner, Co-Founder, PulsePoint Group; Cynthia Gordon, VP, Corporate Affairs, Nintendo of America Inc.; Bill Imada, Founder, Chairman & Chief Connectivity Officer, IW Group, Inc.; Torod Neptune, Corporate Vice President, Corporate Communications, Verizon Communications, Inc.; Glenn Osaki (M.A. Public Relations ’87), President, Asia, MSLGROUP; Ron Reese, SVP, Global Communications and Corporate Affairs; Las Vegas Sands Corp.; Dave Samson, General Manager, Public Affairs, Chevron Corporation; Kirk Stewart, Founder and CEO, KTStewart (‘76); Oscar Suris, EVP, Corporate Communications, Wells Fargo; Tony Weisman, CEO, DigitasLBi North America; and Deanne Yamamoto, Managing Director, Golin LA (‘89).

“USC Annenberg is truly at the center of one of the world’s most dynamic professions. The Center’s mission is to connect businesses, agencies, academics and students to define the future of communications and to develop those who will shape it,” said Cook. “I’m thrilled to have such a dynamic group of industry luminaries help lead this effort.”

In the coming weeks, the Center for Public Relations will collaborate with The Holmes Report to field a study that will result in the release of its inaugural Global Communications Report, a vastly expanded and redesigned version of what was previously known in the industry as the Generally Accepted Practices (GAP) study. It will focus on identifying and understanding emerging trends in the global communications industry and help senior communicators stay on the forefront of industry trends as they manage their organizations, develop strategy and prepare for the future. The results will also help those entering the PR industry to better understand the skills and traits they will need to be successful in this fast-changing profession.

“The ability to communicate has always been a vital skill for effective leaders and successful companies,” said Cook. “But in today’s complex, real-time media environment conveying an important message to a specific audience has become more of a science than an art. That’s where we come in.”

On April 14th, CPR will host the 26th Annual Kenneth Owler Smith Symposium at USC Annenberg. Leveraging the theme “Back to the Future,” the event will focus on where the PR industry has been and where it is going. The annual event will feature industry legends, advisory board members and USC students previewing the latest research and projecting emerging trends that are shaping communications. More details will be announced in February.