MSUToday
Published: Oct. 11, 2012

Faculty conversations:
Robert Kolt

Contact(s): Courtney Culey Media Communications courtney.culey@cabs.msu.edu, Andy Henion Media Communications office: (517) 355-3294 cell: (517) 281-6949 Andy.Henion@cabs.msu.edu

Are political television advertisements successful? Are they truthful and precise? Do they relate to the American public opinion? Do they have a lasting impact?

Show Robert Kolt, instructor in the Department of Advertising, Public Relations and Retailing, a television ad relating to the presidential election, and he can answer these questions.

"Television ads are a very useful tool for people to gain information, but I always tell people to be suspect of the information that is communicated," he said. "Validate it and confirm it with other sources."

But Kolt's expertise goes beyond examining political ads. He's also an experienced instructor.

When Kolt joined the MSU faculty in 1993, public relations was just a class.

"Within a few years, it evolved to really become an important part of the advertising department and program," he said. "As the profession of public relations gathered popularity as a social science, we created a specialization program."

And the public relations field has continued to evolve.

"There seems to be a greater popularity and certainly more respect for public relations as a management tool," he said.

Kolt's resume doesn't end with teaching – he's a practicing professional and conducts research for large corporations. He uses his diverse background to improve his teaching methods.

"I'll have real life stories that I can bring into the classroom and share with students," he said. "If my training had only been academic, and it is also academic, then I may have missed those real life stories. They can become an important part of the focal point of a discussion that students appreciate and really learn from."

Robert Kolt, instructor in the Department of Advertising, Public Relations and Retailing, discusses the evolving field of public relations and his expertise in examining political ads.

Robert Kolt, instructor in the Department of Advertising, Public Relations and Retailing, discusses the evolving field of public relations and his expertise in examining political ads.

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