Harold Burson and Burson-Marsteller

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This case study was compiled from published sources, and is intended to be used as a basis for class discussion. It is not intended to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of a management situation. Nor is it a primary information source.

Case Details:


Case Code : LDEN044 For delivery in electronic format: Rs. 300;
For delivery through courier (within India): Rs. 300 + Rs. 25 for Shipping & Handling Charges


Entrepreneurship, Public Relations

Case Length : 15 Pages
Period : 1996-2006
Organization : Burson-Marsteller
Pub Date : 2006
Teaching Note : Not Available
Countries : US
Industry : Public Relations


The case describes the contributions of Harold Burson (Harold) to the field of international public relations. Harold is the founding Chairman of one of the world's leading PR firm - Burson-Marsteller (BM). The case includes a brief note on Harold's initial struggles as an entrepreneur and how he established himself as a prominent PR practitioner.

It also describes the growth of BM and how it went on to become one of the world's leading PR firms. The case highlights some of the well-known PR crises that Harold successfully handled including those faced by General Motors, Johnson and Johnson and Coca-Cola.


Gain insights into the contributions made by Harold Burson to the field of international PR

Appreciate entrepreneurial capabilities of Harold

Understand PR as an important corporate function

To realize the importance of PR in developing and sustaining the image of the organization


  Page No.
Introduction 1
Background Note 2
The Growth of Burson-Marsteller 5
Handling Public Relations Crises 6
Life Beyond Burson-Marsteller 10
Exhibits 11


Harold Burson , Burson-Marsteller , Public Relations, Entrepreneurship, PR Crises, Crisis Management, General Motors, Unsafe at Any Speed, Corvair, Johnson and Johnson, Tylenol Controversy, Coca-Cola, New Coke, Pepsi Challenge Campaign, Advertising, Business-to-Business Communications

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