Medill Name Change Inspires Mischief-Making

Me in my succinctly stated sweatshirt.

The journalism school where I studied at Northwestern University used to be known simply as the Medill School of Journalism. Often it has been referred to even more simply as “Medill.”

With only a period after it. Or so my increasingly tattered sweatshirt declares.

That piece of punctuation proclaimed, “No further explanation needed. If you don’t get it, then you’re just out of it.”

It has always struck me as a confident, borderline arrogant expression of self-edifying preeminence in the J-world.

Recently, however, the school’s name changed to The Medill School of Journalism, Media, Integrated Marketing Communications.

There’s a new “The” to start things off, a few commas to keep the flow going, 65 characters in all (almost halfway to maxing out a Tweet!) and nary an “and” in sight. It’s a rather windy name that has stirred some hand-wringing among alumni.

As for me, I refuse to wring my hands. I’ve opted to head straight toward mischief-making. With the creative genius of my wife backing me up, I have created T-shirt designs that poke fun at the new, exceedingly elongated name.

You can try these ones on for size: “Medill Blah Blah Blah” and “The Medill School of A Really, Really, Really Long Name That Won’t Fit On This Shi”

Check ’em out here on a Zazzle page we set up.

Truthfully, it’s all in good fun. I hold the institution and its faculty, staff and students in high regard. Almost all of Inside Edge PR’s associates over the years have been students or graduates of Medill.

And there’s also this matter of my own career path, moving from journalism to “public relations and media services” in 2005. That transition serves as a microcosm of the shifting business landscape that is part of what prompted Medill’s name change.

So I’d feel almost (but not quite) hypocritical if I railed against this new, somewhat clunky description of my esteemed Medill.

But c’mon, maestros of Medill (School of this, that & the other thing): you couldn’t spare an ampersand?

Journalism: One Way To Pave a Strong PR Path

Last week, I was pleased to be able to share some thoughts with students at Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism.

Twenty years ago, when I graduated from Medill, I never would have imagined that I’d be part of something called “PR Month,” which the school has wisely initiated to address increasing interest in a public relations career track among students.

Below is an excerpt in which I discuss the value of practicing as much journalism as possible before venturing into a public relations career:

To see other Inside Edge PR videos, click here.

Social Media’s Powerful Domino Effect

If any organization had any doubts about the urgent importance of monitoring its brand, 24/7, then the recent Domino’s Pizza controversy offers a compelling cautionary tale.

Millions have seen videos of a few since-fired employees as they behave in a disgusting manner as they prepare food. You can link to those videos through a report (“Social media: The cause and the solution to Domino‚Äôs nightmare?”) at Medill Money Mavens, a site maintained by the Medill School of Journalism graduate level advanced economics and reporting class.

Type “Domino’s Pizza” into Google and near the top is this video response by Domino’s USA President Patrick Doyle.