Brian Taylor '89
Brian Taylor attended Towson University from 1985-1989, graduating with a degree in mass communication. During his time at Towson, Taylor maintained a very ambitious daily schedule, balancing his classes, fraternity life (Phi Sigma Kappa) and a job at B-104 radio, as well as being Towson’s radio play-by-play sportscaster for Tiger basketball and lacrosse games on WTMD. A typical day for Brian started at 4 a.m. when he headed downtown to B-104 radio to work on the “Brian & O’Brien” morning show, where one of his duties was to drive around town looking for cars with B-104 bumper stickers and give away $104 in cash to listeners on the air. That’s how he got the nickname “Cash Taylor.” After the show, Taylor returned to campus for classes from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., grab a bite to eat, and head over to the fraternity house, his dorm or uptown for some evening festivities until midnight. That meant little sleep and a lot of stress. “I learned a lot about time management, organization and sleep deprivation during my years at Towson,” Taylor jokes.
After graduation, Taylor was hired full-time as public relations director at B-104, where he developed and ran promotional campaigns, media relations and community events, and performed as an on-air personality. Among his favorite job perks were hosting movie premieres around the city for the station and taking lucky listeners backstage to meet the bands before and after concerts.
After two years at the radio station, Brian took a new position as promotions director with Harborage, Inc., a management company that operated hospitality properties in what is now Power Plant Live in downtown Baltimore. After a few years of more long days and nights, Taylor decided to make a career change and combine his marketing and PR skills with his interest in media and current events, joining U.S. Newswire in Washington, D.C., as director of sales & marketing. Taylor helped grow the company from one office and $1 million in annual revenue in 1995 to an international business with operations in Washington, Chicago, New York, Los Angeles and London by 2006, when the company was acquired by PR Newswire for $23 million. Taylor became vice president of PR Newswire’s North American business, focused on politics and advocacy, following the acquisition.
In 2014, the company’s former president sought out Brian to oversee all sales, marketing and communications initiatives at the world-renowned National Press Club in Washington, D.C. There, Brian works to grow the NPC’s businesses, which include events venues, multimedia communications services, hospitality properties, and membership.
“What excites me most about the NPC is that the brand has a rich tradition and history, but there is also a great opportunity to leverage the continuing evolution of today’s digital media and journalism,” Taylor says. “The media industry is digital and global, and the key influencers and mediums of delivering messages and content are constantly evolving. This creates tremendous opportunities for the NPC.”
The National Press Club hosts more than 3,000 news events annually. A typical day features dozens of on-site or virtual events including business meetings, news conferences, awards programs, industry conferences, alumni networking events and cocktail receptions, all managed by the NPC’s sales and events teams. In addition, there are featured speakers like Donald Trump, Lewis Black, Eva Longoria, M. Night Shyamalan, Sen. Marco Rubio, Dr. Ben Carson and IRS Commissioner John Koskinen, among many others.
Taylor says his experiences and professors at Towson continue to have a key influence on him and his career success.
“I was very fortunate during my time at Towson to have great professors who had real life experience in the industries they were teaching about, so they were able to educate me not only about the content, but also the subtle nuances of business and how to achieve success far beyond what a textbook could teach you.”
He specifically acknowledges the late Jim English, former general manager of Towson University’s WTMD radio station and broadcasting professor, for his accomplishments.
“He is someone I think of all the time,” Taylor says. “He had a great knack for knowing just what to say and when – like when I thought I did a great a good job on a radio broadcast and was proud of myself, he would point out all the things I did wrong and what I needed to work on. But when I had a bad broadcast and was down on myself, he’d always find the silver lining and focus on what I did well to keep me driven and focused. You can’t get that out of a textbook, and those lessons have been so important to how I have been able to achieve success in my career.”
Richard Vatz also had a strong influence on Taylor.
“Dr. Vatz’s Persuasion class was my all-time favorite,” Taylor says. “You got to play devil’s advocate every day and argue different sides of issues and subjects where the facts were always the same, but you could ‘spin’ the facts to make an argument for or against anything, and you were never wrong. I didn’t know it at the time, but it really prepared me well for life in Washington.”
Brian says his experiences at Towson helped to guide him in his successful career path, and he continues to maintain and grow his TU network, which is not only personally satisfying but also professionally advantageous Taylor continues to be an avid Tiger fan; he even went to Frisco, TX this past January for the Towson-NDSU national championship football game. He gets back to campus a few times each year for athletic events or to visit with faculty.
“I am very proud to say I went to Towson University. Towson was a great experience for me, and I am excited to see how the campus and alumni network continues to grow and what Towson has to offer when my own three daughters start looking at universities.”
For more about The National Press Club: www.press.org
To connect with Brian Taylor: