Robert Brown

Professional Details

Title Professor Emeritus
Department Media and Communication
Office Classroom Building 131
Phone 978.542.6463
Resume Robert Brown
Photo of Robert Brown

Professional Biography

Robert E. Brown, Ph.D.Professor, Communications Dept, Salem State CollegeSalem, MA 01970 978 542 6463 e:; @gatheringlight (Twitter)

Dr. Brown is professor of Communications at Salem State University and the author of The Public Relations of Everything (Routledge, 2014; available on Amazon and at the site). PRe re-classifies public relations as a humanity; its current academic silo is as an applied social science.

His career combines scholarship and teaching with positions as a corporate speech writer, magazine editor and public relations practitioner. He has held full-time faculty positions for 20 years; was selected by Student Government Association as Advisor of the Year [to PRSSA] (2013/14). He has served on the fulltime faculties of Bentley University, Boston College, Boston University, California State University, California State University-LA, Emerson College, and is on the graduate faculty of the Blanquerna School of Communications, Barcelona, Spain. In Bogota, Colombia, he has taught crisis management to executives, and to graduate students at UExternado, a private university

At Harvard University Extension, where he taught  Writing for P.R. and Marketing for 24 years,  he was recognized in 2004 as a Joanne Fussa Distinguished Teacher, on the basis of student evaluations. He has also taught as an adjunct at Boston College and University of California-Riverside.

Professor Brown's private-sector background includes speech writing positions for CEOs at two former Fortune 500 companies, Atlantic Richfield (now BP) and W.R. Grace & Co. He was also Director of the Publications department at Price-Coopers, the consulting and accounting firm. His speeches for corporate chief executives, including public policy speeches for two former CEOs of John Hancock have appeared in Vital Speeches of the Day. He was a copywriter, instructor and consultant to Sharon Merrill Associates, Inc. (, a financial communications firm, from 1986 to 2001.

Professor Brown is the author of scholarly essays on public relations, propaganda and persuasion including "Saint Paul as a Public Relations Practitioner" (Public Relations Review, March 2003, and a case study of the crisis of Rosarito Beach, Mexico). He is a member of the editorial boards of peer-review journals, Public Relations Review and Public Relations Inquiry. Dr Brown teaches now in both the Communications and Management departments (Interpersonal Relations for Managers  at Salem State University. His book chapter on PR and religion (in Pathways to Public Relations (Routledge, 2014) has been nominated for a history prize for AY 2013/14.

Professor Brown's byline has appeared 13 times on the op ed page of the Boston Globe, and was excerpted by Readers Digest. His writing has appeared in the Los Angeles Times, Toronto Globe & Mail, Honolulu Advertiser and Salem News. His feature article on economist Milton Friedman for Human Behavior was anthologized in the first issue of The Best of Business, published by Esquire Magazine and Xerox Corp.

Dr. Brown's creative publications include a chapbook of poetry, Gathering the Light (Red Hill Press: 1977), openspaces (Laurel Press, 1973), a small-press poetry magazine, and The Little Madness (Laural Press, 1974). Professor Brown co-authored (with Colleage and lead author Kristine Doll) Alcover: Elegies (Merrick, NY: Cross Cultural Communications: 2004), the first book of English translations of Joan Alcover, an early twentieth century Spanish poet who wrote in Catalan. The book was named best faculty publication of 2004 by Salem State.

Professor Brown is a member of the Public Relations Division of the National Communication Association (N.C.A.), P.R.S.A. (Public Relations Society of America) and the Publicity Club of New England. For ten years, he served as a judge in the annual JFK Profile in Courage High School Essay Awards. In l998, Professor Brown received a Leadership Award in Public Service from the Multiple Sclerosis Foundation of Florida.

Dr. Brown is Ph.D., English, University of Rochester and B.S., Economics, The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.


Professional Interests

Research interests include theory and of applied communication, including public relations. Other professional interests include assessment of higher education.Creative interests include American Studies, poetic composition, poetry translation


Professor, Communications DepartmentFaculty Advisor, PRSSA (Public Relations Students Society of America)Internship Coordinator, Communications DepartmentSearch Committee Chair, Communications Department (AY 2007/08)Assessements Coordinator, Communications Department (Fall 2007)Program Review Coordinataor, Communications Department (AY 2004/2005)Diversity Subcommittee, Foundations of Excellence All-college committeeRWI Research and Writing Peer-faculty Mentor (2005-present)

Selected Publications

Most recently:


(2014). The Public Relations of Everything. London: Routledge.

(2014)/ The Nearly Mutual Embrace of Religion and Public Relations. In B. St John III, M.O. Lamme & J. L'Etang (Eds.), Pathways to Public Relations. London: Routledge.



Selected Presentations

"Twitter in the Classroom." With Cathy Fahey, colleague. Presented to NERCOMP (Northeast Regional Computing Program). May 2012.

Can Public Relations Be Ethical? A Presentation on Crisis Management. To California Institute of Advanced Management. August 2014.



Personal Interests

The Red Sox, Patriots and Celtics; the monologs of Lenny Bruce; Jazz: Miles Davis, James Moody, Cecilia Bartoli. Movies: Truffaut's "The 400 Blows." James Dean and Julie Harris in "East of Eden."  Paul Scofield in "A Man for All Seasons." Mary Martin singing "Cockeyed Optimist" in "South Pacific."  Doc Watson: accoustic flat-picking genius. The voices of Patty Loveless, the songs of Patti Griffin, Sarah Vaughan, James Taylor; the stories of Alice Munro; the novels of Richard Ford; "Letter From a Birmingham Jail" (Martin Luther King); I Corinthians 13 & the films of Ingmar Bergman; Ecclesiastes; the ability of Boston Celtics Larry Bird to get fouled, sink free throws and win championships; the 565-foot home run by Mickey Mantle in Griffith Park, against the Washington Senators; the poetry of William Carlos Williams, John Donne, Marianne Moore and Emily Dickinson; the mind of Jack Miles (God: A Biography); the courage of Dr. (Samuel) Johnson; the heart of Robert Coles.