David Harrison is founding partner of Harrison Communications, a public relations, marketing and communications firm in Owings Mills, MD, which offers services focused on using Harrison’s journalistic experience and the power of new technologies to create effective media campaigns for a variety of clientele. Harrison graduated from the University of Maryland with a B.A. in English and a liberal arts degree in business. He later worked as a reporter for both the Baltimore Business Journal and The American Banker and spent several years with a private public relations firm before starting his own company.
What led you to journalism and why did you leave to go into public relations?
“One of my earliest professional inspirations was the reporting work done by Woodward and Bernstein in the Watergate episode in 1972. I credit my solid roots in journalism in helping me become an effective public relations professional, because I use this experience every day. Working as a reporter for many years helped me understand what makes a story compelling, and this training prepared me to advise clients on sound media relations strategies.”
How does your educational background relate to your current role?
“Writing is the core skill in public relations. Distilling the core message and delivering it efficiently are critically important. Studying literature is the starting point for a writing career. I was also fortunate that my university offered business classes to liberal arts students, which provided a foundation in economics, marketing and communications.”
How has your education helped to further your career and contributed to your success?
“That first attraction to journalism through studying Watergate inspired a secondary interest in American history, which I focus on by historic period or by reading biographies. I believe that by doing so, we learn about ourselves, our times and leaders, and we create opportunities to improve based on the lessons we learn from what we read.”
What is some advice you can offer others looking to go into public relations or media relations?
“Three essential skills to be successful in public relations: reading, writing and consuming the news. Read anything and read as much as possible. Strong writing is essential in the digital age; messages must be compelling, motivational, short and to the point. Consume the news: broadcast, online news sites, blogs, radio, and print.”
Susan Brown originally spent many years in banking/finance before confronting her addictions. She has now been in recovery for 20 years.
Primary interests include metaphysics and energy healing in which she has several certifications. She has written for Examiner.com since 2009 and also writes for Om Times. Sue lives in Baltimore.