Public Relations Founding Fathers

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Chester Burger

A pioneer in the field of media consultancy, Chester Burger wrote a report (Telephone News on Television) in 1955, expressing the importance of public relations in television. This guidebook, written to AT&T, observed the potential of television as being a highly marketable medium. "A medium as important as television, therefore, should receive important consideration in any public relations program," said Burger.

He examined the unique communication medium that televison had and recommended that shorter "bites" be used instead of the average newspaper story, expressing the need for brevity. He suggested the simplified sentence structure that many newscasters use today, with use of familiar words and casual story telling. He also advised companies that newscasters role would become essential in representing the company on television, all of which has proved to be true.

Burger founded a communications management consulting firm in 1964 properly named the Chester Burger Company. Burger, the nations first CBS television news reporter (1946), has worked in radio, as a "visualizer" in television news, as a news editior and as national news film manager. Now a retired public relations and advertising executive and Past President of Communications Counselors, a public relations firm, Burger has left his mark on the public relations field in the media.

He received the Gold Anvil in 1987, which is the Public Relations Society of America's highest award, for "unusually significant contributions to the public relations profession." Other awards include the U.S. Information Agency "Award for Outstanding Service," the United Negro College Fund Distinguished Service Citation and Honorary Member of the Telephone Pioneers of America.

Burger wrote the first guidebook on the tactical uses of television as a medium of persuasion. He has written five books on corporate management, namely "The Chief Executive." In addition, he has had several management articles published in the Harvard Business Review and many other publications.

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