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March 22, 2007

Former corporate exec explores anti-Americanism in talk at Purdue

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. -
Dick Martin
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Former AT&T executive Dick Martin will discuss anti-Americanism overseas and will challenge business leaders to accept their share of responsibility during a lecture on April 12 at Purdue University.

The lecture, sponsored by the Purdue Center for International Business and Research (CIBER), the Krannert School of Management and the Department of Communication, will be from 2:30-3:45 p.m. in Rawls Hall, Room 3082.

Martin will discuss his book "Rebuilding Brand America: What We Must Do To Restore Our Reputation and Safeguard the Future of American Business Abroad," which explores anti-Americanism from its causes and earliest manifestations to current efforts at its mitigation.

"As the latest speaker in our CIBER series on public diplomacy, Dick Martin will explain how businesses and other institutions play essential roles in the urgent business of restoring America's image around the world," said Greg Hundley, CIBER director and Krannert professor. "This objective is important to both national security and continued success in global markets; however, it cannot be achieved by governmental diplomacy alone and especially is not amenable to short-term advertising initiatives. It requires the involvement of major American institutions, notably U.S businesses in long-term strategies of engagement with populations of other countries."

Martin was executive vice president of public relations, employee communications and brand management for AT&T from 1997 to 2002, capping a 32-year career with the company. His previous books include "Tough Calls: AT&T and Hard Lessons Learned in the Telecom Wars."

Martin will explore why many efforts failed to restore America's reputation. He also will review the numerous prescriptions formulated by more than a dozen task forces. He challenges business leaders to accept their share of responsibility for reaffirming the nation's core values and competence.

He also cites data from international surveys and draws policy recommendations from a consensus across 29 studies of public diplomacy conducted by the Government Accountability Office, the Council on Foreign Relations, the Brookings Institution, the Heritage Foundation and the Center for the Study of the Presidency.

"Dick Martin presents a strong and important case that businesses can make a difference in America's reputation overseas," said Jian Wang, an assistant professor in the Department of Communication who is leading the project on corporate public diplomacy for CIBER.

As a national resource center for the study of international business, Purdue CIBER works closely with CIBER programs at other major universities. Headquartered in the Krannert School of Management, Purdue CIBER programs also involve faculty from other units across campus, including the colleges of agriculture, engineering and consumer and family sciences, as well as the departments of foreign languages and literatures and communication in the College of Liberal Arts.

Writer: Maggie Morris, (765) 494-2432, maggiemorris@purdue.edu

Sources: Greg Hundley, (765) 494-4508, ghundley@purdue.edu

Jay Wang, (765) 494-3325, jianwang@purdue.edu

Greg Cutchin, managing director of CIBER, (765) 494-4467, cutchin@purdue.edu

Purdue News Service: (765) 494-2096; purduenews@purdue.edu

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