Middle East Media Educator


When I was invited to teach a fourth year class at Zayed University in March 2008, I accepted with some trepidation as I am CEO of a small but busy advertising agency and supervisor of a healthcare events company. The three hour per week course was called COM 401: Strategic Planning in PR/Advertising. The class included about 30 students, a number that had grown after an instructor departed and left a vacuum for several semesters. Although the class was called Strategic Planning in PR and Advertising, the textbook I was given was Project Planning, Scheduling & Control by James P. Lewis, a book that I thought more suited to a Project Management Professional course. As a long term practitioner of both PR and advertising, I couldn’t reconcile the objectives of the course and the content of the book. I told the dean of communications that I would teach the course provided I could develop the coursework so it was more in tune with the kind of strategic planning associated with marketing. I promised I would show the presentations and accompanying handouts and assignments prior to the start of the class. Thus, I developed 12 weeks of course material and began teaching.