It was great to get back to Syracuse University and speak with some talented young students about the entertainment public relations course I teach for the school each spring in Los Angeles. I had a blast connecting with fellow Newhouse faculty as well. I'm proud to be a part of this team.
Christopher D. Cathcart is a renowned branding and public relations expert with more than 30 years of experience across a host of professional and non-profit arenas. He is also a published author, inspirational public speaker, college professor and proud advocate of our Historically Black Colleges and Universities. In fact, one of his latest projects is HBCU Experience – The Book, a collection of essays celebrating the Black college experience he co-edited with Howard University professor Tia C.M. Tyree, Ph.D.
A graduate of Howard University's School of Communications, Cathcart has excelled as a key PR executive at some of the world's leading media and entertainment companies, including CNN/Turner Broadcasting, Motown Records and Warner Bros. Television. In 1995, the New Jersey native launched OneDiaspora Group, a communications consulting firm, where he serves as president and founder. His clients have included Jaguar Cars, Hidden Beach Recordings, Virgin Records, Interscope Records, Muse Communications, Heart & Soul magazine and UniWorld Group.
Over the course of many years as a PR pro, Cathcart has worked with a host of prestigious individuals, organizations, events and businesses. Specifically in the realm of music and entertainment, he as worked with such icons as Stevie Wonder, Jill Scott, Queen Latifah, Boyz II Men, the Temptations, Brenda Russell and Take 6, as well as many other talented performers. Through his work as a media trainer, he has helped improve the interview skills of well over 60 recording artists, both established and up-and-coming, as well as leading businesspersons and political figures.
As an inspirational speaker, Cathcart has addressed a broad variety of audiences, from students of all levels to industry professionals and community activists. His diverse speaking client list includes such entities as Verizon, the U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services, the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, Viacom and the Thurgood Marshall College Fund. He’s also a sought after expert on the college circuit, frequently speaking at well-respected institutions such as USC, UCLA, Howard University and the City College of New York. Additionally, Cathcart serves as an adjunct/part-time communications instructor for both Syracuse University and California State University/Northridge, and was a 10-year (2007-16) faculty member at Columbia College Hollywood, a leading film/TV school in the Los Angeles area where he taught marketing/public relations.
Closest to his heart, however, is an unyielding drive to encourage volunteerism and community service. In 2007, Cathcart published his first book, The Lost Art of Giving Back, a how-to guide for those seeking to empower themselves through service to others.
A strong advocate for HIV/AIDS awareness, he helps educate groups on the disease's continuing impact and the role all can play in combating it. In particular, he takes pride in encouraging heterosexual men to join the fight against HIV/AIDS and reject the crippling effects of homophobia. He served for 10 years as a board member for the Black AIDS Institute (BAI), a group committed to ending AIDS in the Black community. Through his work with BAI, he founded Ledge magazine (2004-2010), the first and only HIV/AIDS awareness magazine written by and for Black college students.
Cathcart tirelessly promotes mentoring, and he regularly visits schools and colleges, including his alma mater, to speak on a variety of issues—from leadership and volunteerism to branding and excellence in the field of public relations. He has personally mentored scores of young people through a variety of ways, including coaching sports and sponsoring internships for Howard University communications students.
In addition, he has been a Big Brother/Mentor for Big Brothers of Los Angeles for more than 16 years, and was named LA's School-Based Mentor of the Year in 2002. Some of his other honors include receiving the Martin Luther King Achievement Award from D.R.U.M., a community assistance organization comprised of Black telecommunications professionals; being presented with the Key to Brown, from Brooklyn, NY’s Brown Memorial Baptist Church for “Dedicated Service to the Community”; and receiving an Howard University School of Communications Alumni Legacy Award (2016), among others.
His speaking topics include (but not limited to):
"Self Empowerment Through Volunteerism"
"Communicating Your Message Effectively"
"PR Techniques for Business and Beyond"
"Branding Yourself for Success,"
“Overcoming Homophobia in the Fight Against AIDS”
“Messaging and Branding -– Tools for Sound Leadership”
"Why we still need our HBCUs"
Cathcart lives in Los Angeles and works out of both LA and Washington, DC.