Three worlds I live in – climate change communications, public relations, and New Hampshire politics -fused last week when I was given a copy of the textbook, Public Relations Practices. Stacey Smith gave me a copy because six years before I had managed a complex campaign on climate change and public opinion that led, ultimately, to one of the case studies in the book. The success of the climate change campaign was due in large measure to effective public relations, and less to the merits of the issue, although climate change is very likely the most important economic, social and environmental issue of our time.
Pat Jackson was a mentor to hundreds of PR practitioners. Melvin Sharpe, APR, Fellow PRSA asserts in the textbook’s dedication that Pat “served as a beacon in a sea of professionals”. I was so fortunate to work in Exeter New Hampshire with Pat, who believed public relations must have an impact beyond ‘building awareness’, and that to be truly effective public relations must seek measurable changes in behaviors among key audiences. In the past several years we have presented the more comprehensive case study of the Carbon Coalition campaign, including the public relations strategies used, the measurable impacts and the lessons learned, to public relations professionals and issue advocates in New York, Boston, Washington and Denver.