B.A., Journalism, University of South Carolina
M.A., Organizational & Strategic Communications, Queens University
For 27 years, Robert Butt has used his talents in marketing, advertising and public relations to change the companies and clients for whom he has worked and to attain the positive bottom-line results for which his company is known.
Butt began his career as an advertising director for Belk Department Stores in 1984. After years of successfully “beating last year’s sales” and amassing awards from organizations such as the American Advertising Federation and the Television Bureau of Advertising and gaining national notoriety for eye-popping special events for brands such as Giorgio Beverly Hills, Butt packed up and moved into the ad agency world. After a few stops, working primarily with clients in the luxury real estate, non-profit, and hospitality markets, he formed Marketing Performance, LLC which serves a diverse clientele from local non-profit organizations to international manufacturing concerns and niche luxury brands.
A recipient of the American Advertising Federation's G.D. Crain Award for Public Service and one of only two University of South Carolina's “Aid to Advertising Education” Award recipients, Butt also serves on the faculty as an adjunct professor in the College of Mass Communication & Information Studies at USC –Columbia.
Dr. Erik Collins previously served in senior corporate communications management for
Miller Brewing Company in Milwaukee, Wis. and Philip Morris Incorporated in New York
Dr. Collins' research interests are mass media law, campaign finance regulation, not-for-profit public relations management, crisis communication management and corporate social responsibility.
Dr. Collins' teaching style is the socratic method. He is the receipt of the Michael J. Mungo University-wide Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Instruction and numerous Mortar Board awards for teaching excellence. Dr. Collins regularly teaches Media Law and Ethics at the undergraduate and graduate levels, Quantitative Research Methods at the undergraduate and graduate levels and Public Relations Management and Advanced Public Relations Writing at the undergraduate and graduate levels. He also chairs or serves on master's degree thesis and doctoral degree dissertation committees.
Jo-Yun (Queenie) Li
B.A., Journalism, University of South Carolina
MBA, Darla Moore School of Business, University of South Carolina
As an accredited public relations practitioner (APR) with more than 25 years experience, Marcia Purday is a crisis conqueror, brand builder and master strategist.
She retired from BellSouth as director of corporate and external affairs where she was responsible for developing and implementing statewide media relations and strategic communications plans, employee communications, crisis communications and focused community and educational programs, such as the South Carolina African-American History Calendar.
After her retirement, Purday served as the vice president of communications and public relations at the South Carolina Chamber of Commerce. She led the Chamber’s branding efforts and streamlined the chamber’s many publications into an award-winning four-color magazine, South Carolina Business.
Since leaving the Chamber, she has worked on diverse projects such as the creation and launch of a sustainability brand for an international packaging company, a strategic communications plan to integrate five companies and technologies under a single brand, and a crisis communications plan for an international chemical company.
Purday has received numerous awards including the Distinguished Public Relations Practitioner of the Year from the South Carolina Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America.
Bertram Rantin is a USC journalism school graduate and has taught Mass Media Writing, reporting and editing the past 17 years.
Rantin is a communications specialist for the Palmetto Health-USC Medical Group and the public relations coordinator for the South Carolina State Fair.
He previously worked at The State newspaper in Columbia, including 15 years as the paper’s metro columnist. His reporting experiences include local government, education, healthcare, the military, transportation, nonprofits, features, the arts and sports. While at the newspaper, he also worked as an assistant metro editor, assistant sports editor and special projects coordinator.
Rantin has conducted public relations and communications training seminars for local governments and institutions, including Richland County and the University of South Carolina. He is a former member of the Lt. Governor’s State Essay Writing Competition task force.
He has lived in South Carolina his entire life.