James L. Horton, Director, Online-PR: 3rd February
What's your background?
and underemployed. I have three Masters degrees in
English Literature, Journalism and Business. I worked
briefly in news then made my way into PR. I started
as a documentary film director and officer in the
US Army during the Vietnam period.
did you get your break?
agency in Chicago thought I knew about financial matters
because I ghosted a story for them on bank loans.
In fact, I knew nothing. I was put into the investor
relations division and was personally humiliated that
I knew so little. I got my MBA at night to make up
for my lack of understanding.
makes a great PR man? (or person)
don't know. Some are great salespersons for ideas.
Some are good at understanding issues in depth. Some
are outstanding strategists.
give you the edge?
don't know that I have an edge, but I am known for
being able to digest complex issues and ideas and
to simplify them.
are your main products and services? (aka "solutions")
do corporate communications, but I also have a long
has the internet changed the PR business, and the
communication sector in general?
It has changed the business profoundly. We don't do
anything now without the Internet in the back of our
minds or in the forefront of research and media planning.
The Internet is at the core of the media business
-- at least in the US.
is journalism a good background for public relations
learn to ask questions, get facts accurately and write
% of American newspapers are PR, as opposed to hard
know the answer to this. PR helps in hard-hitting
news as well. Reporters need answers and PR practitioners
does the media need PR consultants?
To cut through bureaucracy and get the facts a reporter
needs and to point the reporter to stories that he
or she might have missed.
are some of the highlights of your career?
I'm not sure that I have a highlight reel. I've done
some fun things and not so enjoyable tasks. I like
mentors did you have?
One of the finest was a gentleman by the name of Phil
Dorf who is dead now. He was a former newsman, a longtime
PR pro and a stickler for getting the facts right
no matter what it took. Working with Phil could be
exasperating but it was thrilling too. I loved him
the nature of the business, how do you manage work
VS recreational and non business?
This is not a problem.
like what I do.
plans, if any, do you have for Australia?
Regrettably, I haven't been to Australia since I spent
a couple of months there in the early 1970s with the
Australian Army as a visitor. I was at Canungra then
in Northern Queensland in a hot, dry-as-dust training
area with scorpions. (One ran from under my boot.)
As I recall, the temperature was about 115 F and we
were climbing loose shale hills. One step, slide.
Another step, slide. Still, it was wonderful. After
that, we spent time in a whirlwind visit to Canberra,
Melbourne and Adelaide. We took back roads some of
the time and drove the dirt. We drove through the
Snowy Mountain district as well but the water levels
were way down. I'd love to come back someday.
do you do to relax?
lawn care, house repair, web updating, blog, playing
flute with daughter. Not sure of this order.
hope this helps.
note: James Horton knows PR. If your looking for the
right man for the job, James Horton might be just
the person you need to make contact with. PS: If you,
the reader, are based in Australia, contact me first
49 Collinwood Road
Maplewood, NJ 07040
Man Australia: Media News