Prince of the Press Agents and Titan of Modern Public Relations
by Michael K. Townsley, PhD
Pub Date 27 Jul 2018
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Steve Hannagan, a highly successful pioneer of public relations, built groundbreaking publicity campaigns for Coca-Cola, the Indy 500, Miami Beach, Sun Valley, Las Vegas, Union Pacific Railroad, and the 1940 presidential campaign. Yet Hannagan, whose personal friends included the likes of Ann Sheridan, Ernest Hemingway, Eddie Rickenbacker, Gloria Swanson, Gene Tunney, Morton Downey, Pop Myers, and Toots Shor, feared he was an abject failure who had contributed little and would leave the world forgotten.
With Steve Hannagan: Prince of the Press Agents and Titan of Modern Public Relations, Michael Townsley seeks to put the man back on the map, introducing readers to the gregarious, charming, whipsmart press agent who never pulled a phony deal while becoming the toast of Hollywood, Broadway, and executive suites across America. Learn how an Irish kid from Bloody Plank Road rose to become a major power broker who shaped the history of marketing, public relations, and business—and how his commonsense approach to press relations, called the Hannagan Way, became deeply embedded in the ethics of modern advertising.
Dr. Michael Townsley’s career dealt with studying, managing, and developing financial tools for colleges and universities. He was the senior vice president for finance, marketing, and administration at Wilmington University in Delaware After leaving Wilmington University, Dr. Townsley was named professor of business at Becker College in Massachusetts. Later, he was named dean of the Business Program.
Dr. Townsley has authored Financial Strategy for Higher Education, Weathering Turbulent Times, and Small College Guide to Financial Health: Beating the Odds, Financial Strategy for Higher Education. In addition, he has contributed chapters and numerous articles on finance, management, IT systems for financial management, and higher education marketing.
Dr. Townsley holds a PhD from the University of Pennsylvania, a master of arts from the University of Delaware, and a bachelor of arts from Purdue University.
“With its behind-the-scenes views of the newspaper world during the first half of the twentieth century, the book is a valuable historical record of a time prior to seismic journalistic shifts. On-point descriptions impart Hannagan’s keen understanding of what stories appeal most to editors and readers. Accounts of his agility at straddling the sometimes fine line between journalism and publicity deliver insights into navigating this complex territory.” Foreword Reviews
“Townsley explores the details of Hannagan’s life and times, emphasizing his charm, creativity, work ethic, and devotion to truth … [Townsley] evokes 1930s and ’40s America with particular precision and skill ... A well-researched, entertaining story of one of history’s forgotten standouts.” Kirkus Reviews