PR Masters Series Podcast, Episode #53 – Lynn Appelbaum


PR Masters Series PodcastAbout 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 PR, digital/interactive and marketing communications agencies the wisdom of those who have reached the top of the PR profession.  Today’s special guest is Lynn Appelbaum.

Lynn is one of the great PR educators of our times.  As head of the City College of New York Ad/PR program, which she largely built as its head for more than twenty years, she has spawned a generation of diverse PR professionals entering our industry. 

In this PR Masters Podcast, Lynn shares her views on diversity, the threat of burn out, the way PR has changed and grown – and above all how the training of our aspiring professionals has helped shape the PR profession. 

Lynn was PR director of “The Today Show” before joining CCNY as its first professor of public relations and brings the perspective of both a practitioner as well as an educator.  Lynn is a familiar face in PRSA, PRSA-NY and the PRSA Foundation.  You won’t want to miss what she has to say.


Lynn AppelbaumAbout Our Guest

Lynn Appelbaum, APR, Fellow PRSA, has over 30 years’ experience as a public relations professional and educator, working in public and private sectors in media relations, strategic planning and communications. Through her research and advocacy for her students, she is a long- time proponent of fostering diversity within the PR profession.

Lynn joined the City College of New York faculty in 1993 as professor in the Advertising and Public Relations in the Department of Media & Communication Arts.  As Ad/PR program director (2001-2016), she built a highly competitive program with 200 majors. She created significant scholarship opportunities for talented students, in addition to building strong relationships with leading agencies for student internships and entry-level hires. She is a founding faculty member of CCNY’s master’s degree program in Branding and Integrated Communications (BIC), which launched in 2013. Lynn organized CCNY’s first PRSSA chapter in 1996 and served as faculty advisor for 20 years. In 2008, she received The City College Alumni Association’s Faculty Service Award and CCNY honored her in 2014 by creating a scholarship in her name. Lynn retired from CCNY in January 2021. She continues to mentor students and young professionals independently, and through the CO OP Apprentice Program.

A strong advocate for diversity, equity and inclusion in PR, Lynn co-authored a national study in 2014 (with Dr. Frank Walton) on the experiences of young black and Hispanic PR professionals in the workplace, funded by a PRSA Foundation grant.  The study updates her 2004 research (with Dr. Rochelle Ford) on diversity in the PR profession. She has written about mentoring and crisis communications for PRSA’s Strategist and Tactics and is co-author of a textbook chapter on global corporate reputation. 

Prior to coming to City College, Lynn was Press Manager for NBC News Today show, Director of Public Affairs for The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art, and Marketing Director of Merkin Concert Hall. Other clients have included MSNBC, The New York Public Library, Lighthouse International, New York Road Runners Club and Hudson Guild Settlement House.

Lynn served on the PRSA Foundation Board of Directors (2014-17) and has held director posts for PRSA’s national board (2008-10), and on PRSA NY’s Board of Directors, where she chaired the committee for New York metro-area PRSSA chapters.

In 2015, she was honored by PRSA as Outstanding Educator of the Year and with PRSA-NY’s President’s Award. Lynn is the recipient of the 2016 HPRA BRAVO Award for her contributions as an educator to promote inclusivity in the PR profession and is the recipient of PRSA-NY’s 1999 Dorf Mentoring Award.  She holds a BM from Ithaca College and MA in Arts Administration from Indiana University. She lives in New Jersey with her husband Joe Spivack with whom she has two daughters.