March 14, 2014

SIU alumnus to discuss ‘marketing the moon’

by Christi Mathis

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Richard Jurek, a two-degree Southern Illinois University Carbondale alumnus and space artifact collector, returns in early April to discuss the marketing behind the Apollo program. 

Jurek, a marketing and public relations executive, will talk at 5 p.m. on April 2 at Morris Library’s John C. Guyon Auditorium.  He will discuss “Marketing the Moon: The Selling of the Apollo Lunar Program,” a book Jurek co-authored with David Meerman Scott.  The MIT Press is publishing the book that explores how astronauts, rocket scientists, defense contractors, space enthusiasts and even the flavored-drink mix Tang played roles in one of the most successful marketing and public relations campaigns in history. 

The book is already set for a second printing due to pre-release sales and Jurek’s presentation will essentially serve as the launch event for the book.  A reception will follow.  Everyone is welcome to attend and there is no cost.    

Copies of the book will be available for purchase at the event with 20 percent of the proceeds going to the Friends of Morris Library.  Sponsors of the presentation include the Friends of Morris Library, Barry W. Birnbaum of Chicago and Robert and Melissa Jensen of Carbondale. 

University Museum plans to host an exhibit of Jurek’s historic space memorabilia later this year.  A lifelong space enthusiast, Jurek has what purports to be the world’s largest collection of $2 bills to fly in space.  

Jurek earned a bachelor’s degree in English with a minor in advertising and a master’s degree in creative writing.   In addition, he completed a master’s of international management at Schiller International University in Heidelberg, Germany. 

Jurek is president of Inland Marketing and Communications Inc., near Chicago, and has more than 23 years of professional marketing and marketing communications experience.  Prior to joining his current firm in 2008, Jurek was the global director of corporate communications for The Northern Trust Company and has held several other marketing and communications roles in the corporate world.  His career also includes a stint at SIU Press.   His expertise includes business-to-business and business-to-customer experience in global banking, finance, insurance, investments and real estate.