I have had many mentors throughout my career, but the people that really shaped my career were my supervisors* at Edelman Public Relations. Daniel J. Edelman, the Founder of Edelman Public Relations, passed away Tuesday. Is this the end of an era?
Dan made so many valuable contributions to PR, including media tours with the Toni Twins, Morris the 9-Lives Cat, KFC and others. I remember calling the press for the Butterball Turkey Talk Line, touring with Eddie, the dog from “Mad About You,” and traveling with Morris, the 9-Lives Cat. Imagine media training a cat. Not easy.
But, what I really remember about Dan Edelman is how he always recognized his staff for doing great work. In a post I wrote a couple of days ago, I indicated that sometimes a PR firm’s results don’t sync with a client’s expectations, thus a frustrating outcome. However, Dan seemed to always recognize hard work and wrote ‘Edel-grams’ in handwriting when an account person/team deserved the praise. Twenty years later, I dug out those notes, as seen here:
Thank you Dan, for always appreciating the hard work that goes into Public Relations. Thank you for establishing the amazing firm that helped launch my career in public relations and media training, and for running a respected family business that continues to thrive today. Your memory will live on.
* Thanks to Nancy Ruscheinski (who credits my work with her addition to Dan’s hand-written note, showed me how to work hard and have fun, and always supported my work) and Alix Salyers (who probably is cringing at the typOS made in this post), but taught me about being tenacious, yet respectful, with the press, clients and peers.