Roger Martin named MSU College of Communications Arts & Sciences outstanding alumni

In News, Professional/Networking by martinwaymire

Here at Martin Waymire, we are proud of the work we do for all of our clients who are dedicated to making Michigan a better place. Today, we’re especially proud of one of our own.

Martin Waymire president and co-founder Roger Martin, APR, has been recognized for his long and distinguished career in journalism and public relations with a 2020 Outstanding Alumni Award from the Michigan State University (MSU) College of Communications Arts & Sciences.

Roger is among six alumni selected for the honor recognizing ComArtSci graduates who have obtained the highest level of professional or academic achievement and demonstrated service to the college and community.

Read more in the press release announcing Roger’s achievement below.

Roger Martin Named MSU College of Communications Arts & Sciences Outstanding Alumni

EAST LANSING, Mich. — Martin Waymire president and co-founder Roger Martin, APR, has been recognized for his long and distinguished career in journalism and public relations with a 2020 Outstanding Alumni Award from the Michigan State University (MSU) College of Communications Arts & Sciences.

Roger is among six alumni selected for the honor recognizing ComArtSci graduates who have obtained the highest level of professional or academic achievement and demonstrated service to the college and community.

A 1981 graduate of MSU, Roger parlayed his education and experience covering the university for The State News into an internship at the Detroit Free Press and later a reporting position at The Detroit News. At the News he rose to become chief of the paper’s Lansing Bureau, covering state and national politics. Roger won numerous awards for journalism excellence, including being named Michigan’s Best Reporter in 1986 and receiving three Pulitzer Prize nominations, including one as part of the reporting team covering the 1987 crash of Northwest Airlines Flight 255 at Detroit Metro Airport, the deadliest crash in Michigan history.

Roger joined Lansing PR veteran Kelly Rossman-McKinney to create Rossman Martin & Associates Public Relations in 1991, becoming partner and president and helping that company grow into one of the largest public affairs-public relations firms in the state. At Rossman Martin, Roger led the company’s team that received a national Silver Anvil award – the “Oscar” of the public relations world for a successful school millage campaign in 1995.

Roger also served as an instructor in the MSU School of Journalism on and off for nearly a decade, teaching undergraduate and graduate-level writing and reporting classes. Several of his students have gone on to long and distinguished careers in journalism.

In 2004, Roger joined David Waymire to co-found Martin Waymire, the largest public relations firm in Lansing today, and one that has won three more Silver Anvils and numerous state and regional communications awards under his leadership. The firm played an important role in getting the law passed creating the “Healthy Michigan Plan” that now provides health insurance to 500,000 to 600,000 low-income workers in Michigan every year. It also provided strategic communications to help MSU win the Facility for Rare Isotope Beams and handled strategy and communications for statewide ballot proposals, including one blocking an effort to impose minority rule on state tax policy and another ending partisan redistricting at the legislative and congressional levels in Michigan.

The nomination letter submitted by his Martin Waymire colleagues noted that ,“Thanks to his education at ComArtSci, Roger learned how communication is vital to our democracy, coming to understand and deeply respect why freedom of the press was placed in the First Amendment. Roger continues to be a passionate defender of press rights. In late 2016, when it became clear that our nation’s free press was literally under attack, Roger led our agency’s effort to provide a full-year subscription to The Detroit News, Detroit Free Press and the Lansing State Journal to 200 random people.”

The April ComArtSci Outstanding Alumni awards dinner was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but the college continues to honor those selected as this year’s winners. Efforts are underway to reschedule the event for fall 2020.

“Each and every day, ComArtSci Spartans are making a difference and affecting complex and critical issues,” said Alumni Board President and telecommunication alumnus Jeff Genthner. “We are proud to recognize this class of alumni for their creativity, innovation and research.”

Martin Waymire has a number of MSU ComArtSci graduates on its staff and welcomed what it called a well-deserved honor.

“The entire Martin Waymire team couldn’t be prouder of Roger, his accomplishments over the many years, and his commitment to Michigan State University,” said company co-founder Waymire. “Roger has been a driving force for our firm and an inspiration to the many young Spartans who have worked at our firm in permanent or student practitioner (intern) positions. As someone who has made many positive contributions to MSU and to our state, he has earned this award.”

Martin Waymire is a public relations and marketing company that focuses on public policy issues for clients in health care, finance, education, environmental matters, utilities, nonprofits, social policy and gaming around the Midwest.