Behind The Scenes With PR News’ PR Professionals Of The Year

Doug Dome has a sweet tooth, and he's not afraid to admit it. He's also an equal-opportunity PR pro. As the principal of Dome HK, which was acquired by Hill & Knowlton in 2004, Dome has represented clients Hershey and Cold Stone Creamery, and both admittedly were symbiotic relationships. "My favorite dessert would have to be an "I gotta have it" - Cold Stone's version of a large size - with all of my wonderful Hershey's fixins'," Dome says. "If I'm going to have a guilty pleasure dessert, it's definitely Cold Stone, and it's definitely with Hershey's candies." Fair enough. But beyond reaping the benefits of sweet-tooth indulgences, Dome gives back to clients with creativity-focused plans to prevent the profession from becoming stale - and to emphasize the expanding role PR pros play in the overall mix. "In many ways, our profession has commoditized itself," he admits. "That's the only different approach we can provide: creative ideas." Dome's penchant for creative thinking doesn't escape his personal life either. Once on track to attend law school, he instead finished his undergraduate studies early, took a job at Chicago's Marshall Field department store and fell in love with PR. His job, his four children (between the ages of 4 and 14) and his Harley V-Rod keep the inspiration coming. "There's always a defining moment," he says. "The magic happens, and then you decide that it's something you want to do for the rest of your life." Kevin Burr may work in the trenches of technological development, but he has a confession to make: "I really don't enjoy technology. I like what it does, but I'm just not very good at it. That said, I am what I would call a photography hobbyist. I really enjoy what I - a mere mortal - can do on Adobe Photoshop." He may not be the most technologically literate guy out there, but this sports-reporter-cum-corporate-communicator sure knows his PR. And despite the challenges facing the industry, especially the corporate scandals of late (when asked what he thinks of the statistic that only 17% of moms want their kids to become CEOs, he laughs and says, "And here I thought it was lawyers at the bottom of the barrel"), Burr has high hopes for the future of the profession. "The biggest challenge is our overall credibility," he says. "In general, my experience and my belief is that most corporations, like people, are pretty honest, but it obviously requires effort on [PR execs'] part to educate the public on the value we bring to society." Speaking of educating, one day he may have a new title to add to his resume of reporter, PR pro, father, photographer and fisher (one of his favorite pastimes): teacher. "I've always had a desire to teach," he says. "It is my intent that, before I'm said and done in this world, I'll have the opportunity to teach, hopefully at the college level." And what subject would be on the syllabus? "Public relations," he says. Of course.

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