Now hear this: When senior-level media veterans sit on corporate boards, companies get better press, and more favorable press, in the wake of sensational events. That’s not conjecture but fact, according to a new research paper entitled, “Price of Publicity,” by Umit Gurun, an associate professor at the University of Texas in Dallas. Even in the advent of new media, this edge persists.

Institutional Investor contributor Steven Mintz spoke with Gurun recently about his research and its implications.

1. What started you down this road?

Earlier academic literature shows that board members with special qualifications bestow advantages. Scrutiny is more informed and networks are more extensive. Companies with bankers on their boards, for instance, enjoy an edge when dealing with banks generally, from an advisory or monitoring standpoint. Attorneys often confer beneficial effects on legal matters before companies.

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