Class of 1957
Ever since he was named public relations director of Prentice-Hall Inc. at the age of 25, Art Stevens has contributed substantially to the public relations field. His background in corporate, financial, product, educational, marketing and political PR has earned him the John Hill Award for lifetime achievement from the New York Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America, the Phil Dorf Award for outstanding service to the Chapter, and the Patrick Jackson Award for outstanding service to the PRSA and the profession.
Stevens, who was born in the Bronx on July 17, 1935, attended public schools before entering City College. After forming his own firm, Stevens Public Relations, he became a partner at LobsenzStevens in 1975, becoming chairman and chief executive officer. For 15 years, he conducted a series of “AM-LS” breakfasts for clients and potential clients with guest speakers ranging from top journalists such as William Safire and Gabe Pressman to personalities such as Judy Collins and Dr. Ruth Westheimer.
|Introducing Dan Rather at a PRSA event, 2011.|
The firm was acquired in 1999 by Publicis Groupe S.A., a multinational advertising and public relations organization based in Paris. At the time, LobsenzStevens was one of the country’s top 20 independent public relations firms. Stevens was chairman and ceo of Publicis Dialog New York, the company’s public relations arm, from 2000 to 2002. In 2004, he became a managing partner in StevensGouldPincus, a merger and management consulting firm to the PR and communications industries. In 2014, he formed The Stevens Group, consultants to PR firms in merger and acquisitions. He is a past president and board member of PRSA-NY and a past secretary and board member of the national organization. He has also served as president of the Publicity Club of New York and Pinnacle Worldwide, a global network of independent public relations firms.
In an article for the Harvard Business Review in the early 1980s, Stevens put the word "brandstanding" into the PR lexicon to reflect his appraisal of dramatic changes then taking place in the use of public relations in consumer product marketing. He is the author of "The Persuasion Explosion," a 1985 book about the role and influence of contemporary PR, and has written articles in numerous financial, management, marketing and PR publications. On a lighter note, he writes humor columns for a Florida newspaper, the Sanibel-Captiva Islander. They have been collected into an anthology, "Sanibel Shell Shocked."
|Art Stevens, with scholarship students and Prof. Lynn Appelbaum (far left, top row), the Ad and PR program director.|
Stevens’s counsel on tourism and business development for the State of Florida led to the formation of a commission to promote common business interests between that state and New York. His experience in educational public relations was put to use at the former Department of Health, Education and Welfare, where he served as a special consultant. Stevens has also taught public relations and management case studies at Fairleigh Dickinson University and has lectured at the New School, New York University and other colleges and associations. He also redesigned the American Management Association course for corporate public relations managers.
In 2009, he established the Art Stevens CCNY/PRSA NY Scholarship, an annual gift of $5,000 for tuition assistance for the College’s Ad PR majors who have an interest in pursuing careers in public relations.