UK Happenings

Yum! Brands Executive to Speak on Reputation Management and Global PR Strategy

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 22, 2012) — Jonathan D. Blum, chief public affairs officer for Yum! Brands Inc., will deliver the 2012 James C. Bowling Executive-in-Residence lecture at 6 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 1, at the University of Kentucky Student Center’s Worsham Theatre.

Blum will speak on "Reputation Management and Global PR Strategy." The program, which is free and open to the public, is sponsored by the University of Kentucky School of Journalism and Telecommunications Alumni Association.

Yum! Brands, based in Louisville, is the world's largest restaurant company in terms of system units, with nearly 38,000 restaurants in more than 120 countries and territories, and more than 1 million associates. Yum! is ranked No. 213 on the Fortune 500 List, generating more than $12 billion in revenue in 2011. Its brands, KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell, are global leaders of the chicken, pizza and Mexican-style food categories.

"We’re very pleased to welcome Jonathan Blum as our James C. Bowling Executive-in-Residence this year," said Beth Barnes, director of the UK School of Journalism and Telecommunications. "The school sends students and faculty members to areas around the world, and the one constant everywhere we travel seems to be KFC.  Given the school’s increasing focus on internationalization, the opportunity to hear from the senior public affairs person at one of Kentucky’s most globally engaged companies is particularly beneficial.”

In addition to the lecture, Blum will be speaking in an Integrated Strategic Communication class and meeting with students in the UK Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) chapter earlier in the day.

Blum reports to the Yum! chairman/CEO and serves on the Partner’s Council that sets the corporation’s overall strategy.  He also serves on the company’s Compliance Oversight Committee, leads its Nutrition Policy Committee, and co-leads its Food Safety Committee and Quality Assurance Task Force.

His global portfolio includes public policy issues management, internal and external communications, corporate social responsibility, community diversity, government affairs, community relations and philanthropy. Blum was vice president of public affairs for Taco Bell Corp. before PepsiCo spun-off its restaurant companies in 1997.

Before joining the company, Blum served as Asia-Pacific regional director for Ogilvy & Mather Public Affairs. He also was managing director for Ogilvy’s public affairs offices in Chicago, Singapore, Hong Kong and China.  He held a congressional internship, served in the Carter White House, and later assisted President Carter with his transition to the private sector.

Blum is an executive-in-residence at Northwestern University’s Medill Graduate School, where he regularly lectures on integrated marketing communications and organization development. He serves as a director of Kindred Healthcare Inc. (NYSE:KND), a leading health services company. Additionally, he serves on a number of philanthropic boards, including the Muhammad Ali Center (Executive Committee and Past Chairman), Fund for the Arts (Executive Committee), YUM Foundation (Vice Chairman) and Discovery Science Center of California (Emeritus) and is also on the Board of Business Leaders in Education, Ad Council and Thorntons Inc. Advisory Board of Directors. 

He earned his bachelor’s degree at the George Washington University and his law degree at the Western New England College School of Law. He and his wife, Jennifer, have twin teenage sons and reside in Anchorage, Ky. He enjoys golf, tennis, sailing, skiing, historic architecture, horology and traveling with his family.

The Bowling Executive-in-Residence Program began in 2000 and brings to UK nationally-known public relations practitioners to not only deliver an address, but also meet with students interested in public relations careers. The program also includes presentation of a scholarship for a senior integrated strategic communication major with an emphasis in public relations. The 2012 scholarship recipient will be announced at the lecture.

The series honors James C. Bowling, the late retired assistant chairman of Philip Morris Companies Inc. He attended UK and later served the university as a member of the UK Development Council. In addition to serving on several national boards, Bowling also worked with UK's colleges of Agriculture and Business and the UK Sanders-Brown Center on Aging.

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