Saturday, November 1, 2008

Bill Donovan

Bill Donovan died Thursday. He taught a few public relations/advertising courses during my time at Marywood.

You may find this hard to believe, but I was once a wise-arse, know-it-all kid. Way back then, I thought Bill Donovan's ideas and methods were a bit archaic. I was wrong.

He was a huge proponent in direct mail advertising. Huge. Have you checked your mail box lately? A lot of businesses still believe in direct mail. Candidates for president and congress have kept the post office in business in recent months.

I occasionally recall some things I learned in Bill Donovan's classes, even after more than 25 years. That's the sign of a good teacher. He was a smart man, a wise man, and more importantly, a very nice man-- one who put up with know-it-all kids in his classes.

I minored in public relations and advertising, hoping learning how the other side worked would make me a better journalist. I think it helped, and Bill Donovan is one of the people responsible.

My sympathy to Bill Donovan's family, friends, and all those students he aided along the way.