Nelson is president, board member and annual congress program co- chair of the International Management Development Association imda

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Richard Alan Nelson is an internationally-known business, communication and public affairs educator and consultant. Currently he is a Professor of Mass Communication and Public Affairs at Louisiana State University’s Manship School of Mass Communication. In addition, he is an Affiliate Member of the Centre for Marketing and Communications at the Hull University Business School in the U.K.; serves on the Advisory Board for the Master of Management in Communication Program of Trisakti University’s International Business School in Jakarta, Indonesia; and was a visiting academic in the School of Advertising, Marketing and Public Relations at Queensland University of Technology (2004, Brisbane, Australia), the Department of Marketing and Business Strategy at Hull University (2006), and the School of Marketing at Curtin University of Technology (2007, Perth, Australia).

Nelson is president, board member and annual congress program co-chair of the International Management Development Association (IMDA,, past president of the International Academy of Business Disciplines (IABD;, board member of the American Society for Competitiveness (ASC;, as well as former head of the Public Relations Division of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC; He is professionally accredited by the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA; and in 1998 served as an elected director on the executive committee of the PRSA Educator’s Academy. Nelson is recognized in the “Louisiana Public Policy Guide” database and the Heritage Foundation’s Policy Experts: The Insiders Guide to Public Policy Experts and Organizations.” He also served on the Advisory Council of The Media Institute’s Center for Media Analysis, another Washington, D.C. think tank featuring nationally-known professional and academic leaders.

He has a particular interest in assisting the progressive Arab world. Nelson’s research focuses on business public policy, strategic planning, marketing communications, management, ethics and political communications issues. He is the author of more than 100 articles, essays, and reports on business and media industry topics ranging from the public opinion role played by paid persuaders, to the impact of new communications technologies, to state promotion of motion picture and television industrial development. He is co-author of Issues Management: Corporate Public Policymaking in an Information Society (Sage) and has individually written several books, including A Chronology and Glossary of Propaganda in the United States (Greenwood), Florida and the American Motion Picture Industry (Garland), Lights! Camera! Florida! (Florida Endowment for the Humanities), and Propaganda: A Reference Guide (forthcoming, Greenwood). Since Fall 1999, Richard Nelson has been editor of the refereed Journal of Promotion Management as well as a related Promotion Management book series established by Haworth Press. Beginning in 2005, Nelson was also named editor of the new Journal of Website Promotion. In addition, he serves on the editorial boards of 12 other refereed publications (listed alphabetically): Advances in Competitiveness Research, Asia Pacific Journal of Marketing and Logistics (England), Competition Forum, Corporate Communications: An International Journal (England), ESIC Market: Economic and Business Journal (Spain), EuroMed Journal of Business (Cyprus), International Journal of Business and Public Administration (IJBPA), International Journal of Commerce and Management, Journal of the Global Communication Research Association (with more GRSA information), Journal of Global Competitiveness, Journal of Marketing Communications (England), and Service Business. An International Journal (Germany). Previously he was a member of the editorial board for Journal of Mass Media Ethics.

This ongoing program of research, commentary, and service continues to bring recognition. For example, he was selected as one of the top 50 most influential public relations scholars in a citation study published by the Journal of Public Relations Research in 1999. In addition, in 1991 he was named “one of the 216 most cited authors in communication” who “as the core scholars in the field of communication, have contributed to as well as shaped its development in the past 10 to 20 years.”

He was named an LSU Alumni Association Distinguished Professor in 1997, one of the institution’s highest honors. From 1999-2005, Nelson also served as the Manship School’s public relations area head, and from 1994-1999 as Associate Dean for Graduate Studies and Research. In that latter capacity, he successfully supervised creation of a Ph.D. program in Mass Communication and Public Affairs. His thesis guide is also used by students at a number of other institutions. Please note that the Manship School is committed to preparing leaders for the Information Age. For more information on Manship programs and services, please visit the School’s Home Page:

Earlier, Nelson directed the Public Relations Sequence at Kansas State University. He also previously held positions as an Associate Director of the International Telecommunications Research Institute and tenured faculty member at the University of Houston.

Nelson’s professional background includes work as a trade magazine editor, weekly newspaper journalist, government public information coordinator, television news writer, and management consultant. Nelson is a graduate of Stanford University, later received a Master’s degree from Brigham Young University, and completed his Ph.D. at Florida State University. He has been married since 1974, is the father of two daughters, and is a dual citizen of the United States and European Union (Ireland).


In terms of administrative leadership, I believe I can help an institution navigate the more complex society we must now work within. Clearly universities have to be willing to adapt to change. Academic leaders should take a proactive role in helping shape future educational and social policy decisions. Nowhere is this more evident that in the increased number of constituencies important to the success of any institution. As a result, the essential considerations in whether or not a person should be selected for an important and sensitive academic leadership position now involve many factors such as:

· working to ensure the administration speaks with one voice.

· demonstrating “people skills” that create confidence to build necessary internal support, establish administrative credibility, win faculty, staff and student allegiance, nurture professional development, and mediate between the sometimes conflicting needs of departments as they go about contributing to learning through teaching, research, and service.

· exhibiting leadership that commands respect externally, especially among potential donors, the professional communities, other institutions, alumni, and supporters important to the university’s national/international reputation.

· communicating a wise vision about what future roles the university should undertake to make a real social contribution because of its unique heritage.

· having the expertise to ensure these goals are accomplished through the prudent management of resources.

· understanding the public policy arena which impacts on the institution and how persuasive communication is essential to shaping the process.

In addition, I am well acquainted with the standards used by accrediting bodies such as AACSB International - The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, Association of Collegiate Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP), and the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (ACEJMC).


Teaching is central to what we do in the academy. My philosophy of teaching continues to be based on a long-range strategic plan designed to increase exposure to research and management challenges, while retaining a strong theoretical and practical platform.

I believe that a key goal of an educator should be to enlighten students and help them transition into adulthood. I make every effort to be available for my students and meet their individual needs. This includes creating an environment of mutual respect between the teacher and the students. As is true of other good teachers I have encountered, I also try to engage my students, make efforts to motivate them to learn, and strive hard to resolve their problems. I am a strong believer in quality of education. My definition of “quality” includes not only relevant state-of-the-art of subject materials, but also the other broader issues of a university education, such as critical thinking, ability to work in teams, and professional and personal ethics. My classroom approach is to design innovative assignments where I am able to interact with students one-on-one and in groups. In essence, I make efforts to create and demonstrate a personalized, ethical, and “learning friendly” environment for my students.

I think students should be encouraged to question what they have learned and challenged to uplift their standards constantly. My syllabi and assignment sheets are clear and extensive. I incorporate use of visual materials from C-SPAN and other sources when appropriate. Graduate and undergraduate curriculum development is reflected in continuing upgrading of the existing courses and efforts to increase appropriate examples illustrating individual dignity, minority contributions and multi-cultural diversity.

I also actively encourage student participation beyond the classroom and stress the value of internships, outside lectures, and student national competitions. Teaching and research are also complementary. Research informs and guides teaching, while through teaching one can discover intriguing ideas and develop new research topics. Graduate student theses and published articles are evolving out of papers originally prepared for advanced classes I’ve directed.

Another goal is to work with other faculty to develop collegiality, collaboration, and interdisciplinary sharing.

In sum, I am deeply committed to faculty excellence and I value the enthusiastic participation of students. My participatory teaching style is both challenging and encouraging, focused on helping students develop their critical thinking, listening, and writing skills. All of my public relations, advertising, and other business-oriented courses give my students the opportunity to do legitimate work so that each student has evidence of professional skills. These can then be compiled into a portfolio and shown at future employment interviews. Over the years, students have repeatedly told me that these course assignments are impressive to potential employers.


I am committed to research and regular publication in books and peer reviewed journals since it is through such study and sharing that we find commonalities that advance our culture. My background is primarily in business communication, especially advertising and public relations (integrated marketing communications). As my CV indicates, my research focuses in two broad areas: (1) media history/ethics, and (2) business practices and strategic planning studies in advertising/marketing, public relations/public affairs issues management, and propaganda/political communication.

My research philosophy stems from the belief that these related fields are interdisciplinary and cannot be understood in isolation. In all my research, it is the problem or issue explored that drives the method and not vice-versa. This pragmatic approach to the adoption of technique in exploring solutions across disciplinary borders means I am familiar with various theoretical perspectives and a variety of qualitative and quantitative methodologies.

It should also be noted that the focus of study within integrated marketing communications today is as a managerial social science (rather than simply a writing-based) discipline. Given the seriousness of most topical controversies and the implicit call for legislative remedies found in issue-oriented communication, there is particular public policy importance to such research. Growing numbers of scholars in business, communication, political science, sociology, and other academic disciplines have begun to study and critique the field. Unfortunately, a limiting factor is that most of the literature and original source materials pertinent to studying integrated communication are widely scattered physically and philosophically, requiring interdisciplinary facility on the part of investigators. On the other hand, having to be broad can prove a genuine research strength, for such work creates familiarity with many disciplines as has been true in my case. This diversity has also proved helpful in finding common ground with a variety of external and internal constituencies, and I work well with both research- and practitioner-oriented individuals.

A bonus of this research expertise is that it shows up not only in publications, but the classrooms and businesses where my graduates are proving themselves well qualified.

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