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  Issue Date: 9 / 2017  

Gene LaNier: Renaissance Man, Not 'Mad Man,' of the Public Relations Profession

Emmet Kelly
        For Publicist/Author Gene LaNier of Daytona Beach, Fl., an individual internationally recognized and renowned in the public relations field, public relations is not only a recognized, renowned profession, but even something of a noble calling, for people of verve and vision.
        “Public relations is just as much a bona fide profession as are law, journalism, and accounting,” LaNier commented. “It also has a mission in society just as much of these professions. It has played a very significant role in the founding and development of hundreds of corporations, industries ranging from aerospace to the Internet, nonprofit foundations and similar charitable and educational agencies, social entrepreneurship for rebuilding Third World countries, and impacting and enriching culture and politics—just to name a few of its contributions.”
        Now 81 years of age chronologically and “21 years mentally”, LaNier is an icon in the public relations industry with a career stretching back to the 1960s [“Gene's career bridges the generations from the McLuhanistic global village of the Sixties to the World Wide Web of today,' remarked one colleague of his], LaNier has played a significant role in the distancing of public relations from the old, long-lingering stereotypes that the p.r. field once had, such as P.T. Barnum's brand of promotional showman buncombe; the “What Makes Sammy Run” world of sleazy press agentry; and companies using cheap publicity stunts and similar gimmicky flackery to sell products.

        LaNier continued: “Public relations is an ever-evolving, upwardly mobile vocation which offers a wonderful environment for the inquisitive mind, the creative risk-taker, the originator of a concept who can shape it into an entity of public service. And you don't just stay in step with the times, but a few steps ahead of the times, to succeed in this industry.”
        Among highlights of LaNier's life-course in the public relations vocation include:
       1.] His devising the first digital tourism promotion press kit [LaNier has long championed Florida tourism by publicizing the state's unique features to pique tourist interest];
       2.] His being a featured speaker at conferences and seminars throughout the United States, Canada, and Europe;
       3.] Having such major corporate clients as General Development Corporation of Miami, Manufacturing Life Insurance Company of Canada, and ITT (International Telegraph and Telephone) Inc. of New York, to name but a few;
       4.] Being the author of hundreds of p.r.-related articles for trade journals, business magazines, advertising and marketing publications, et al, as well as “ghosting” presentations and speeches for public figures, and disseminating advertising and marketing materials such as real estate prospectuses and annual company/agency reports; he is also author of various books, such as “How to Make Your Business Sizzle!” published in 2010 , a self-help business guide for would be entrepreneurs. A more recent book is the 2013 e-book “The Cause and Effect of Scenario Thinking.”
       5.] Besides being listed in “Who's Who in Public Relations” and having accreditation with the Public Relations Society of America, LaNier is also a member in high standing with such professional/trade organizations as the World Future Society, the National Association of Real Estate Editors, the International Association of Business Communicators, the United Kingdom-based Visit America Group, and the Society For Scholarly Publishing [the latter organization being a tie-in with his 11-year stint as an adjunct professor in public relations, marketing, and advertising with Daytona Beach Community College];
       6.] A graduate of the University of North Carolina/Chapel Hill with postgraduate studies at New York University, and a U.S. Marine Corps veteran of the Korean War, LaNier had “pre-graduate studies” during his Marine stint, “learning about the strategy and tactics of military campaigns and applying them to p.r. campaigns”;
       7.] And his most current consultant venture, as CEO/president of “My Marketing Group, Inc.”, a virtual company with affiliates from India, New Zealand, and Hong Kong, through North America, the United Kingdom, Germany, and Sweden.
        Another current project of his involves his researching and analyzing the emerging “trendy arena” of neuromarketing and its applications to the public relations network. LaNier describes neuromarketing as “a new breed of marketing that involves the study of brain science research, as well as involving several areas such as smell, attention, memory, priming, and emotion. It is much more effective than using simple logic, since we are dealing with the non-conscious mind.”
        One last proviso from the much-occupied, much-in-demand LaNier to persons wanting to explore public relations from him as a “go-to-guy” expert, LaNier quipped, “I'm always happy to share my expertise with people---when I get a minute or two.”

Emmet Kelly is a freelance author and journalist.
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