I realize that being a good public relations practitioner is all about staying behind the scenes so that others can enjoy the glory, but let’s give credit where credit it due!
Following the success of RIT’s dedication ceremony for the IT Collaboratory research building on March 3, an event widely covered by the local media, the Democrat and Chronicle ran a brief about the rapid turnaround of a commemorative plaque given to Russell Bessette, executive director of the New York State Office of Science, Technology and Academic Research (the agency responsible for funding this collaborative research initiative):
The story mentions how a photo from the event’s ribbon cutting was hustled off to be printed and then inserted into the plaque, all to be presented less than an hour later at the end of the ceremony. What it fails to mention is the sight of RIT’s director of University News (Me!) — dressed in a suit, full-length wool top coat, dress shoes and my “Driving Miss Daisy” cap, clutching the metal and glass creation, extended a full arm’s length in front of me — running across campus and handing off the plaque in a nick of time. I can only imagine what onlookers must have been thinking.
Yeah, kudos to RIT’s spontaneity, and our technology…blah, blah, blah. How ’bout we give it up to a 41-year-old running enthusiast with a can-do spirit who put his dignity on the line (it couldn’t have been a pretty sight) to enhance the university’s moment in the spotlight?
I’m not bitter. It’s just another day’s work in the PR biz.