Robert French teaches public relations at Auburn University. He has over 25 years of experience in public relations, broadcasting and university administration.
Robert became interested in social media for the benefit of his students. He saw the change in PR coming and got in early.
Social media has proven to be a powerful educational, networking and mentoring path for Auburn students. They have landed interviews and jobs with the top public relations, marketing and advertising firms in the world, in part, because of their class social media experiences. Auburn graduates are now actively weaving social media into PR practice for governors, state agencies, PR/marketing agencies, corporations, nonprofits and churches.
Robert has been interviewed by the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, Inc. magazine and many other news organizations.
Philosophy on Teaching
- Teaching students the latest in software and social media practical applications via projects is key for students to succeed in the new world of public relations practice.
Master of Arts, Auburn University 1991
Communication and Public Relations
Bachelor of Arts, Auburn University 1985, Communication
Professional ExperienceAuburn University, Auburn, AL
Adjunct, Department of Communication and Journalism
- Created the first Multimedia Production and Style & Design courses in the department.
- Developed the first student built digital resumes and portfolios offered to students on the Auburn campus. Students build and design HTML and CMS versions of their resumes and work and host them online in their own personalized domain. See prprospects.
- Founded and built Eagle Eye News, Auburn’s student run television station.
- Arranged student interviews, via Skype, with renowned public relations practitioners in order to further develop student interest in the field.
- Frequently inform students about the recent trends in public relations on a periodic basis.
- Regularly provide twice as many required office hours for my students, particularly in the computer lab environment, to allow for individual guidance and aid. Providing these hours helps students overcome their lack of familiarity with computers and software.
Past WorkFlorida State University
Director of Student Activities / Associate Director of Oglesby Union
- January, 1997-September, 1999 - Student Affairs, Tallahassee, FL
Responsible for a $1.5+ million budget. Supervised Student Activities, Seminole Student Leadership, Art Center, Bowling Center and advised all organinzations. Staff supervised: 6 professional & 5 full-time staff [1 AD, 5 Coordinators, 3 Program Assts, 2 Secretaries, 11 GAs, 50+ paid students & many volunteers] Budgets: 52% activity fees, 38% revenue & 10% university.
Director of the University Program Council / Associate Director of Foy Union
- 1990–1997, Student Affairs
Produced concerts and hundreds of events each year. UPC and numerous other co-curricular programs served approximately 250,000+ people each year. Built budget from $185,000, when I started, to a level of $1,000,000+ in seven years.
In 1992, I founded Eagle Eye Television by obtaining funding of $250,000 and developed an agreement that all pertinent campus administrators signed. 2012 is Eagle Eye's 20th anniversary.
Station Manager, WEGL
Camp ASCCA / Easter Seals
Director of Public Relaitons and Development
Awards and Recognition
- 2010 recipient of The Instructional Excellence Award, as part of the Promotion of Excellence in Teaching and Learning (PETL) Award program in the Auburn University College of Liberal Arts.
- Fall 2009 PR Style & Design class won the Silver Medal in the 2010 Service Industry Advertising Awards (SIAA) for the Auburn Family Network - family.auburn.edu, the official Auburn University social network. Our competition was advertising, marketing and PR agencies.
- The 2009 PR Week PR Power List included Robert French as a "Supporting Power Player" for preparing students for the new professional requirements in public relations.
- In 2008, listed in PR Week's Editors' Choice list. PR Week noted, “For eight years, French has been at the forefront of the educational revolution, integrating new media tactics like blogs and Twitter into traditional PR courses. Such strategy has undoubtedly helped his students as they prepare to enter the workforce. Here’s hoping that more PR educators will follow French’s example.”
- Founding Fellow of SNCR, the Society for New Communication Research.
- Interviewed by the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, Inc. magazine and many other news periodicals.
- 2006, featured in his own chapter in the Ted Demopoulos book, What No One Ever Tells You About Blogging and Podcasting: Real-Life Advice from 101 People who Successfully Leverage the Power of the Blogosphere.
- 2012, featured in Mark Story's book - Starting Your Career as a Social Media Manager.
- PRCA Medallion Awards for PSAs and Video Production
Recent Public Speaking and Presentations
- Alabama Hospital Association
- Arkansas Hospital Association
- Alabama Cattlewomen’s Association
- Troy University
- PRSA College of Fellows Conference
- Numerous university divisions and departments, Student Associations, Civic Clubs and Chambers of Commerce
|Adobe Creative Suite|
|HTML5 / CSS3|
|Event Planning & Management|
|Strategies & Tactics|
|Organizing & Managing Groups|
|Adobe After Effects|
|Content Management Systems (CMS)|
|WordPress | CMS|
|Expression Engine | CMS|
|yoURLs | LInk Shortener|
|Drupal | CMS|