Religion, Politics & Sex (Part Three)
Religion, Politics & Sex (Part Four)

Chet Burger

Chet_flag Another friend and mentor passed away yesterday.  

Chet Burger was the inspiration, and provided most of the material, for my first book, published in 1975 when I had all of five years experience under my belt. 

The Executive's Guide To Handling A Press Interview was an exceedingly thin volume by an as-yet unseasoned PR guy, and any good advice it contained came from Chet to whom the book was dedicated. 

 Chet's fundamental advice boiled down to three perhaps obvious points: know what you want to say, make sure it's the truth, and then say it in a compelling way. Nevertheless, he made a good living imparting it, realizing that knowing what to do and actually doing it are two different skills.  He was typically graceous in letting me ride on his coattails with my little book. 

Looking back, I can't believe how presumptuous I was. And how generous Chet was. He was many things -- the first TV news reporter for CBS, the first president of the Radio-Newsreel-Television Working Press Association of New York, founder of the first communications management consultancy, the author of eight books, and -- we now know -- a covert agent for the CIA.  

He counted some of the country's biggest firms, including AT&T, among his clients. He was both book smart and street smart. But above all, Chet was a gentleman. He knew how to deliver bad news in a way that almost guaranteed a client would embrace it.  

I owe him a lot and I will miss him.

 

 

 


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