A veritable who’s who of PR dignitaries, including Jerry Dalton, John Paluszek, Don Bates and other public relations leaders, gathered on September 8 at the Museum of Public Relations at Baruch College in NYC, for the opening of the Patrick Jackson exhibit and to acknowledge Pat’s widespread influence on the public relations profession. Pat, who was a founding member of Yankee Chapter and former National PRSA president, founded Jackson Jackson & Wagner (JJ&W) in 1956 and worked tirelessly to serve clients and advance the profession until his death in 2001. The Museum of PR will have his career works on display through October 15.
An esteemed panel, including Anthony D’Angelo, PRSA-President elect and professor at Syracuse University; Rich Bagin, Executive Director of the National School Public Relations Association (NSPRA); Joe Brennan, VP Communications and Marketing at University of Albany–SUNY and Counselors To Higher Education/PRSA leader and Gail Winslow, a former JJ&W colleague and now Associate Director, Strategic Growth and Business Development for UMass Medical School, recalled how they had personally been influenced by Pat and debated such questions as, “What would Pat Jackson have thought about social media?” Stacey Smith, Senior Counsel & Partner at JJ&W and former Yankee Chapter president, facilitated the discussion and was responsible for putting the exhibit together.
Stories flew about Pat’s influence on practitioners and academics alike, quoting his philosophies and theories that are still very much alive and applicable today. Pat believed practitioners should focus on stakeholder behavior, pushing the field to go beyond building awareness and knowledge levels to achieving measurable outcomes. The crowd gave examples of the growing understanding of that approach in our field but acknowledged that more can, and needs to be done, in the future.
To honor Pat and JJ&W’s 60th anniversary, the firm launched the Patrick Jackson website. The website is a virtual treasure trove of Pat’s teachings, including 26 years of pr reporter, the weekly newsletter Pat edited; video and audio tapes of Pat’s presentations; his theoretical models and more. JJ&W will continue to load new material as it is discovered and urges anyone who has Pat’s teachings in their files to contact Stacey Smith at email@example.com or 603-770-3607.
A sample of the Jackson exhibit contents will be on display at the Yankee Chapter’s annual meeting when the Patrick Jackson Award is typically presented.