PR Masters Series Podcast, Episode #50 – Bill Nielsen


About the Podcast

The Stevens Group has been presenting the PR Masters Series Podcast for almost two years now.  This series is part of the ongoing partnership between The Stevens Group and CommPRO to bring to PRdigital/interactive and marketing communications agencies the wisdom of those who have reached the top of the PR profession.  Today’s special guest is Bill Nielsen, a public relations and corporate communications authority.


About Our Guest

Bill Nielsen, a public relations and corporate communications authority, is currently a consultant to management of for-profit and not-for-profit organizations.

He retired as corporate vice president of Johnson & Johnson (J&J) in December 2004, after serving l7 years with the company, where he was the chief public relations and corporate communications officer. He joined J&J in 1988, following l8 years as a public relations agency consultant with Carl Byoir & Associates and Hill and Knowlton. In addition to executive roles in agency management, he specialized in corporate communications and crisis management in such industries as consumer finance, insurance, defense, biotech, and airlines.

Nielsen was elected to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Board of Trustees in January 2011. He also serves as Chairman of the Board of Advisors to the Arthur W. Page Center for Integrity in Public Communications at Penn State University.

Nielsen served two terms as president of the Arthur W. Page Society and was inducted into that organization’s Hall of Fame in September 2003. He served on its board of trustees for 17 years and continues as chair of the Society’s Honors Committee. He also chaired the boards of The Seminar and the Institute for Public Relations and continues as an emeritus director. He is a member of The Wisemen and the Public Relations Society of America.

In addition to his consulting work, Nielsen is a frequent guest lecturer at public relations and corporate communications graduate programs at universities across the country. He was inducted into the PRWeek Hall of Fame in December 2014, and was honored by The Plank Center with its Milestones in Mentoring Legacy award in 2017.

Following graduation from Oregon State University, Nielsen served in the U.S. Air Force as a public information officer in Washington, D.C., and Japan. He and his wife, Doris, reside in Maryland, where they are both active in community affairs.