Alexander V. Laskin is a professor of strategic communication at Quinnipiac University. He is an author of over 50 publications, focused primarily on investor relations, international communications, and measurement and evaluation. His most recent book, Handbook of Financial Communication and Investor Relations, offers state-of-the-art thinking and practice in investor relations and financial communication. Dr. Laskin previously worked in investor relations, international mergers and acquisitions, and market research. Today, he offers consulting services in investor relations, research and evaluation, and international communications.
Join us for an opportunity to meet Dr. Laskin, and other world-class speakers, at the 2017 PRSA International Conference in Boston October 8-10.
1) What, in your view, is the biggest challenge facing the PR industry today? Why?
Well, I do not think it is a brand-new challenge, but it is more exaggerated now – the focus on tactics. Whatever the big next shiny sexy thing is – Facebook, Snapchat, OTT, 3D, virtual reality – PR people seem to be eager to jump on it and start selling it to their clients. What often gets left behind is the strategy – what objectives are being accomplished and how it helps the client achieve the organizational goals, enhance the bottom line. And without strategy even the best, most sophisticated tool can become absolutely useless – it is like hammering a nail with a microscope.
2) What industry trend is hot now? Do you think the trend is here to stay?
As I said above, the current toys are social and mobile media. They won’t go away, but they will stop being the new sexy things eventually – same way as newspapers, magazines, radio, and TV – they did not go away, but they stopped being new shiny things. Social media will be just one of the items on the long list of tactics available.
3) If you could go back in time and meet yourself 10 years ago, what advice would you offer him?
Ignore what you have to do and do what you want to do!
4) Please tell us a little about your session.
The session “Telling the Financial Story: Basic Financial Knowledge for Communicators” runs on Sunday, Oct. 8, 4:45-5:45 p.m. The idea of this session is to introduce PR pros to the world of financial statements – I will talk about what kind of financial reporting corporations provide and how to understand it, while my colleague, Stacy Schubert from Alaska Housing Finance Corporation, will talk about financial statements provided by non-profits. In public relations we do not have to be financial analysts, but having basic ability to speak the financial language can help PR pros elevate their status in the organization.
5) What are you reading?
I just finished writing my edited book, Handbook of Financial Communication and Investor Relations – so, I was reading, re-reading, and then reading it again for more than a year. But now as it went to print, I am starting to read “All Quiet on the Western Front” by Erich Maria Remarque. I do not know much about World War I – so, this book is a good starting point on the subject.