University of Southern California professor — and former Bite GM — Burghardt Tenderich has taken a strategic advisory role within Edelman’s tech practice.
Joe Paluska, Edelman’s recently-appointed global tech lead, says Tenderich’s part-time position involves client advisory and a new business role.
“You want senior people who you can put in front of a CMO or CTO — and who understand how communications drives the business forward,” Paluska says. In its tech practice, Edelman works with large brands like Microsoft, Symantec, Adobe and eBay, as well as emerging standouts including Hootsuite and the recently won SnapLogic.
Tenderich will continue his work as an associate professor at USC’s Annenberg School for Communication, where he’s also the faculty lead at the school’s Innovation Lab.
“It’s important to keep one toe in the industry because PR and communications are changing so rapidly,” he says.
Much like his work at Annenberg, Tenderich plans to advocate for ways clients can use transmedia storytelling, citing examples like Intel’s The Beauty Inside campaign.
“It’s having one central storyline and breaking it into discrete chunks,” says Tenderich. While transmedia initiatives tend to be advertising-led, Tenderich points out PR’s advantage in one-to-one engagements, especially if campaigns incite controversy.
“And PR needs to grow up and become real content creators,” he adds.
Tenderich has a long history with Paluska, formerly as his boss at Applied Communications in the early 2000s. After Next 15 bought Applied and turned the firm into Bite North America, Tenderich held the GM post until 2007. Since then he’s worked on projects with Edelman and occasionally with Paluska during his stint as head of comms at the struggling electric car maker Better Place.