Terry Denbow, vice president of University Relations at Michigan State University, is retiring after nearly 30 years as the official spokesman for the Spartans of East Lansing. He was the guest of honor at a Central Michigan Public Relations Society of America luncheon on Sept. 30.
Russ White from MSU’s University Relations Department hosted the “fireside chat sans fireplace.” Russ did a great job getting Terry to talk about several big-picture issues facing the public relations profession and higher education today.
I decided to record the chat both for posterity and to show others who couldn’t make it to the luncheon. Unfortunately, I left my tripod behind so you’ll have to deal with a few more camera movements than I prefer. Nevertheless, I don’t think any of them are distracting enough to detract from Terry’s messages.
I have known Terry since the late 1980s when I came to campus as a wide-eyed freshman who was lucky enough to land a job working in the President’s Office. At the time, I saw Terry as a larger-than-life figure who knew his craft incredibly well. I was a journalism major with my eyes set on being a newspaper reporter. I accomplished my goal but later, when I shifted to a career in media relations, I often thought about how Terry did his job at MSU.
Terry’s abilities, experience, professionalism and willingness to help others succeed will be missed at MSU. I feel bad for the next person to step into Terry’s big shoes. Maybe watching this video will help them understand how a master public relations craftsman operates.
With topics including how PR has evolved, how technology has impacted public relations and what PR practitioners need to master, I present to you an eight-and-a-half minute perspective titled, “Terry Denbow- 30 Years Later.”