Since 1941 PCC Has Sponsored Some Amazing Events
By Dominic Calabrese, PCC President Senior Vice President, Public Relations, The Chicago Lighthouse Adjunct Professor, Public Relations, Columbia College Chicago
Since our founding, we attracted such A-listers to our member events as comedian Phil Silvers who starred as Sergeant Bilko in his own hit series, “The Phil Silvers Show;” jazz composer/band leader extraordinaire Duke Ellington; and the acknowledged “father of public relations,” Edward L. Bernays, who traveled from New York City to address the club.
The 1955 election of PCC board officers gained notoriety for having 17 candidates vying for 8 seats! The slate included such colorful characters as a self-described “whiskey-drinking Kentuckian,” while another candidate boasted of promoting a carnival attraction called the “Texas flea.” The winner as club president was Bill Peak who handed out cards with a rhinoceros that proclaimed “Pick Peak!”
Our long-standing and highly regarded Practical Publicity course begins during the 1956-57 period.
Also in 1956, recently elected Mayor Richard J. Daley receives a special PCC citation, consisting of a montage of the Daley family. The first Mayor Daley gains acclaim as one of the nation’s most powerful big-city mayors who would later be credited with helping John F. Kennedy win the presidency in 1960.
Hugh Hefner, founder of Playboy, is a big hit at a club luncheon in 1957. Mr. Hefner’s daughter, Christie, who succeeded him as CEO, also was a PCC speaker. She gave the keynote presentation at the Golden Trumpets dinner in 2013. So both father and daughter addressed the club!
In 1959, PCC unveils an awards dinner saluting excellence in public relations work. The program is renamed the Golden Trumpets Award Dinner in 1967. It gains fame as the “Oscars” of public relations! The Trumpets were hand made by RS Owens, the Chicago-based firm that previously produced the annual Academy Award statuettes. We will cover key PCC moments from the 1960s and beyond in future columns. Thanks again for your interest in the Publicity Club of Chicago! We hope you will join us at upcoming events.
Free Press & Free Speech Must Be Preserved
CHICAGO – As the nation’s largest independent association of communication professionals who represent a diverse group of clients and organizations, we avoid getting involved in partisan politics.
However, the position the new administration has taken on the mainstream media by characterizing it as “the opposition” and its attempts to limit access to several key press outlets has sent chills up our collective spines.
Not only is freedom of speech the bedrock of our profession, it is one of the most cherished American values that is essential to the success of our democracy.
It goes without saying that a free and energetic press serves as a watchdog on both government and business, reinforcing our fundamental right to know. This is what makes us different from Russia, China, North Korea and other countries where free speech is severely restricted.
We strongly encourage the president and his advisers to respect the critical role that the media plays and to engage in a civil, open and transparent relationship for the good of the American people.
Board of Directors,
Publicity Club of Chicago (PCC)
Welcome to PCC!
Welcome to the Publicity Club of Chicago (PCC), the finest public relations organization in America!
Since our founding back in 1941, it is fair to say anyone who is anyone in Chicago public relations has been a member or participated in PCC activities during the past 75 years!
From our earliest days to the present, the club has offered members luncheon programs featuring an outstanding variety of guest speakers from the media and communication worlds; informative seminars and educational programs for professional development; and unparalled networking opportunities.
Here are highlights of some of PCC’s most memorable moments during its early years in the 1940s. Future articles will cover the 1950s to the present.
The legendary Chicago columnist Irv Kupcinet, who at the time was a young sportswriter at the old Chicago Times, addressed the club for the first time in 1943.
In 1945, the year World War II ends, Miss America, Bess Meyerson of New York City, drops in at a PCC lunch.
During the rest of the 1940s, the club attracts show business guests to its meetings. Among them are Hugh Marlowe, who was TV’s “Ellery Queen” detective, and had a major role in the classic film, “All About Eve;” and distinguished actor Walter Huston, father of Academy-Award winning director John Huston. Providing entertainment were such notables as celebrated singer Lena Horne; and Ray Bolger, who played the Scarecrow in the “Wizard of Oz.”
Stay tuned for more of PCC’s rich history in future columns!
2017 PCC President
Senior VP, PR, Chicago Lighthouse
& Adj. Professor, Columbia College Chicago
About the Publicity Club of Chicago
The Publicity Club of Chicago is the network of inspired Chicago-area professionals making up the nation’s largest independent public relations membership organization.
Our hundreds of corporate and individual members represent PR, marketing and communications practice at boutique to worldwide firms, corporate offices and businesses, associations, non-profit organizations and independent consultancies throughout the metropolitan region.
We provide year-round education, networking, recognition and more for the Chicago region’s communications industry through:
- The popular PCC Monthly Luncheon Series, featuring panel discussions with top practitioners, journalists and other experts on hot-button communications issues, trends and challenges.
- The Golden Trumpet Awards, the Midwest’s most prestigious awards program honoring distinguished achievement in public relations and communications. Judged and selected from hundreds of entries by Chicago’s top practitioners, these coveted awards are presented annually for excellence in categories representing the full range of PR, marketing and communications practice.
- Ongoing personal and online networking through our programs, events, online communities and PCC offerings including Jobs in PR, membership directory and more.
All of these programs are provided through our members providing their time and expertise on the PCC Board of Directors and committees; serving as speakers, panelists and awards judges; engaging in our online communities and events; and much, much more.
Established in 1941, PCC and its members are Chicago’s public relations community. If you’re not a member, we invite you to join us today.