History of a PR Icon: Harold Burson’s Memoir

It is with great honor that I share with you news of the publication of THE BUSINESS OF PERSUASION: Harold Burson on Public Relationsthe memoir of Burson-Marsteller’s Founding Chairman and one of public relations most iconic figures.

Burson spent 35 years as Chief Executive Officer of the firm, and throughout his career was a counselor to and confidant of corporate CEOs, government leaders and heads of public sector institutions. In 1983, under Burson’s leadership as CEO, Burson-Marsteller became the largest public relations firm in the world.

I can’t begin to describe the impact Harold Burson has had on my career. When I first joined Burson-Marsteller in 1985, one of the first projects I supported was a media campaign where the Coca-Cola Company announced it was re-introducing Classic Coke following the mistake the company made launching its polarizing New Coke. I also served on the team supporting the Tylenol “poison-pill” crisis.

Years later, when the company acquired a local firm to become Burson-Marsteller Mexico, I had the privilege of working alongside clients who were investing in growing their business in a pre-NAFTA environment. From Ryder System to Arm & Hammer Baking Soda, our team was applying best in class communications strategies and creative ideas to support big brands entering or returning to Mexico. We even managed the return of the Ringling Bros. Barnum & Bailey Circus after 125 years!

We continue to be on the forefront of some of the most important public relations issues, events, and announcements. When communications matter most, clients turn to Burson-Marsteller for compelling, creative strategy and integrated communications counsel and support.

I am celebrating more than 20 years with the firm and proud to be part of its history. I encourage all of you connected to the communications industry and beyond to pick up a copy of The Business of Persuasion, where Burson tells behind-the-scenes stories of some of the most prominent communications events of the last century, details ways he influenced many corporate and world leaders and provides important lessons of enduring relevance. It is a must-read for any student or practitioner of strategic communications.

Enjoy Harold’s book. Please contact me via e-mail if you have any questions or want to learn more.

Jorge Ortega | Executive Vice-President