THE former head of Charles Sturt University’s Bathurst-based School of Communication has been honoured by the UK’s Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) for his outstanding contribution to public relations sector.
The CIPR, which celebrates its 70th anniversary this year, has named Professor Tom Watson as one of its “70 at 70” who have made a major impact on the Institute and the PR industry since it was founded in 1948.
Dr Watson’s nomination came from the CIPR’s membership and judged by an independent committee.
CIPR president Sarah Hall said the Institute “wanted to celebrate the practitioners who regularly go above and beyond.”
In 2017, Dr Watson was given the rare honour of being appointed an Honorary Fellow of the CIPR for his research.
He was Associate Professor and Head of School at CSU’s Bathurst campus from 2003 to 2006 and joined Bournemouth University in England in 2007 where he developed a wide range of research into public relations practice and history.
He was promoted to professor in 2010.
Dr Watson’s book, Evaluating Public Relations, is in its third edition and is a standard reference around the world.
Another initiative by Dr Watson was the International History of Public Relations Conference which has its 10th anniversary in June 2019.
Since retiring from Bournemouth University at the end of 2015, he has continued to research, publish articles and book chapters, edit academic journal special issues and books, give guest lectures and organise the annual PR history conference.
Dr Watson fondly recalled hi time in Bathurst.
“I had a really enjoyable time in Bathurst, with many CSU colleagues still counted as mates,” Dr Watson said.
“At CSU, I was able to start important research which carried on through the rest of my academic career.
“The first edition of Evaluating Public Relations was written there and gave an international profile to the school and me.”
Dr Watson and his wife Jenny now live in the English city of Winchester.
They are planning a trip to Bathurst in February to visit friends.