Philip A. Nardone Jr.
To say O’Dwyer’s has helped shape the PR industry would be an understatement. When Jack O’Dwyer founded his company, I was just short of ten years old and had no inkling of the impact he would have on the future of my career.
Fast forward two decades and PAN Communications was founded on the very same principles and tenants of PR that Jack laid a foundation for so early on. I found myself gathering and making print copies of the O’Dwyer’s newsletter to hand out to my staff in our small Andover Massachusetts office. The newsletter was a gateway for PR news and industry happenings, and it kept our agency on track with our services and offerings. 25 years, four offices and a digital evolution later, this newsletter continues to serve that same purpose.
As others have so fondly done, I would like to reflect on the ways in which Jack has impacted the industry as well as my personal career. Here is a list of what I believe to be the top 5 contributions O’Dwyer’s has made to PR in the last 50 years:
1. O’Dwyer’s Educates: It’s more than just a publication, it’s a trusted source for PR education and an advocate for why PR needs a seat at the board. As younger generations look to make a mark on the industry, they look to O’Dwyer’s. It’s often through the PR vets that they do this. An example of this is my position at Syracuse University as a public relations professor over the past 15 years. O’Dwyer’s has played a key role in teaching these up-and-coming professionals what PR is all about.
2. O’Dwyer’s Guides: It is a beacon that guides professionals of all levels. Whether it’s a CEO making a big business move, a GM looking to capitalize on trends in a local market, or a recent college grad searching for an agency, O’Dwyer’s guides them in the right direction. As a fellow CEO always looking to make the next move, I can candidly say that O’Dwyer’s helped me build PAN from the ground up in 1995 and continues to influence my decisions 23 years later.
3. O’Dwyer’s Listens: As the industry’s eyes and ears, O’Dwyer’s listens and reports on the latest news and trends, and “movers and shakers” – making it easier for all of us to stay in tune. Where should our focus be next? What are our competitors doing? Not only does it serve as a commonplace for news, but it pushes me to move ahead of the curve.
4. O’Dwyer’s Transforms: It makes moves as the market does. O’Dwyer’s reported on the shift to integrated marketing, the alignment of services that agencies should be offering, and it stayed on course from the days of print to the era of digital. O’Dwyer’s demands that you keep up, and personally, it keeps me honest.
5. O’Dwyer’s Impacts: Here’s where I’d like to talk about how O’Dwyer’s has made a business impact on PAN. Known for its yearly regional and national PR Rankings, O’Dwyer’s has become a trusted source for some of PAN’s most tenured customers who began their search for a PR firm by surfing the web. Our Executive Vice President of Marketing, Mark Nardone, touts O’Dwyer’s as a top source of referral traffic for our site and a go-to publication for prospects as they look to find an integrated agency that can do it all. Simply put, O’Dwyer’s helps keep us focused on the bottom line. It’s a resource for our agency when we have new partnerships or client news, making a positive impact on the client relations and customer experience aspect of the business that we hold in high regard here at PAN. O’Dwyer’s news allows me to keep a sharp focus on the most important component of my business: the people who make it all happen. I take great pride in showcasing my passion for creating excellent company culture and hiring great people through outlets like O’Dwyer’s.
The PR industry has evolved over the past 50 years to focus on finding work-life balance and a way to keep people motivated in the job they love; a principle Jack and I share in our excitement for the future of the trade. O’Dwyer’s 50th anniversary marks a special time for a company that continues to evolve while the industry innovates. PAN Communications is proud to have worked alongside the esteemed publication that Jack has built for so many decades and is grateful for the impact it has made on our business.
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Philip A. Nardone Jr. is president and CEO of PAN Communications.