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Taylor Lecture features former Dallas mayor

April 7, 2010 By Stacy Forster

While the public relations business took a hit in the recent economic recession along with many other industries, the surge in social networking and new technology gives public relations professionals more opportunities than ever to make their messages resonate.

Later this month, Laura Miller, a former Dallas mayor and graduate of the University of Wisconsin–Madison, will deliver the 2010 Taylor Lecture in Public Relations on “Finding Public Relations Work in the Worst Possible Economy.”

“In the high-unemployment world of blogs, tweets, YouTube, camera phones and declining old-school media, let’s talk about how in the world you’re going to get a job,” Miller says.

The lecture will take place on Thursday, April 15 at 4 p.m. in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication’s Nafziger Conference Room, 5055 Vilas Hall, 821 University Ave. It is free and open to the public.

Each year, the Taylor Lecture, hosted by the School of Journalism and Mass Communication, brings to campus a person with in-depth knowledge of public relations to deliver a lecture of broad interest to the campus and School of Journalism and Mass Communication students.

“We know our students are well prepared to meet the challenges of today’s job market, and we want to help them learn how to put their skills and talents to use in new avenues available in public relations,” says Stephen J.A. Ward, James E. Burgess Professor of Journalism Ethics and director of the Center for Journalism Ethics.

The lecture honors Robert Taylor, a longtime journalism professor, former chief public relations officer for the university and a one-time university vice president, who died in 2002 at age 86. Taylor’s widow, Judith, provided funding for the regular event, which started in 2007.

Miller, 51, graduated from UW–Madison in 1980 with majors in political science and journalism. She received a Distinguished Alumni Award from the journalism school in 2003, and is a member of the political science department’s Board of Visitors.

Before joining the Dallas City Council in 1998, Miller worked for 18 years as award-winning investigative reporter and columnist in Dallas, New York and Miami. She is currently working with Seattle-based Summit Power to build the Texas Clean Energy Project, a clean-coal IGCC (Integrated Gasification Combined Cycle) project with 90 percent carbon capture near Odessa, Texas.

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