St. Charles couple combines talents in P.R. textbook

St. Charles couple Bill and Janis Page combine talents in P.R. textbook

Posted2/21/2019 9:45 AM
  • Former newspaper columnist Bill Page of St. Charles has continued to write and is currently working on a book about ACE award winners.

    Former newspaper columnist Bill Page of St. Charles has continued to write and is currently working on a book about ACE award winners. Courtesy of Bill Page

  • Janis Page teaches a public relations and social responsibility class at University of Illinois-Chicago.

    Janis Page teaches a public relations and social responsibility class at University of Illinois-Chicago. Courtesy of Bill Page

During his 10 years of writing local newspaper columns, Bill Page of St. Charles touched on a lot of different topics. He made people glad, mad and sad, depending on what he was digging into at the time.

Mostly, he was concerned about the drug and alcohol abuse spreading throughout the schools. His first columns in the mid 1990s focused, in part, on his role with the St. Charles Drug and Alcohol Task Force.

He had a lot of information about that and other school board issues, including the now infamous mold infestation at St. Charles East High School.

To the delight of some who didn't care for his probing and the disappointment of his loyal readers, he eventually left his role on the newspapers. He did it mostly because he and his wife Janis were going to venture into their own communications business and Janis was a prolific teacher.

It was not surprising to find out both are still busy writing -- mostly textbooks or research reports.

Janis has co-authored and published "Introduction to Strategic Public Relations" with an emphasis on socially responsible communication. It's a topic Janis currently teaches at UIC.

Janis and Bill authored a chapter in a recently released textbook titled "Cases in Public Relations: Translating Ethics into Action."

Currently, Janis is working on the final edit of a new textbook on visual communication, and Bill is working on a book about ACE award winners, those being companies honored by the U.S. State Department that implement programs that benefit citizens, their workers and the environment.

In other words, the Pages are still hitting on all of the hot-button issues that mean something in this day and age.

"Janis is the real star here," Bill says of his wife.

"As you can see from the writing credits, a particular interest for us now is corporate social responsibility," he added. "In Europe, that is not a 'maybe' thing, it is required. The U.S., while full of companies that do good works, does not actively promote CSR as a corporate necessity."

Mostly, the goal is "trying to show companies that good works are something that should be a part of its everyday messaging," he said.

Bill and Janis Page have lived in St. Charles for three different periods of time since 1992, calling it their home despite Janis' teaching career taking them to other regions, such as Abu Dhabi.

While there, Janis was a professional lecturer at a state-sponsored university and Bill ran a program to train diplomatic corps in press relations.

For the most part, Bill marvels at his wife's dedication to her trade. "In most cases, a professor is free to choose the text for a course, but so many will get a copy to review as well," he said.

Calling it a "torturous path" to ultimately get a textbook on a student's desk, Bill said, "These days anyone can pay an online 'publisher' and declare themselves an author, but the real deal takes a lot of work."

Just 'over the moon':

In a lifetime of being a Catholic and 45 years of writing and editing newspapers, I've picked up on the many things that excite a congregation of any denomination.

For many, it seems, that has been Holy Week during the Easter season, but certain events along the way also trigger a lot of enthusiasm from clergy and parishioners.

That might be the best way to describe the "Cross and Light" musical and video experience that delivers a modern theatrical version of Christ's Passion, Resurrection and delivering of the Holy Spirit.

St. Peter Church in Geneva is hosting this production March 15-17 at the church on Kaneville Road.

In attending Mass there, we've, of course, heard the pitch that this will be the only opportunity to see "Cross and Light" in Illinois before it is released as a movie by Grammy Award winning producer Michael Omartian.

Pastor the Rev. Jonathan Bakkelund, who is never afraid to express his enthusiasm for something, simply says "we are over the moon excited" about this event coming to his church. He knows that, in this day and age of technology and digital messaging, this sort of presentation should resonate with much of his flock.

Tickets are being sold at

Food-restocking race:

If this is something you'd get a kick out of seeing, the public is invited to watch the 18th annual Kane County Farm Bureau Shopping Spree at 10:30 a.m. Monday at the Batavia Jewel-Osco on Randall Road.

District 33 State Sen. Don DeWitte and 70th District State Rep. Jeff Keicher are the designated shoppers for this spree, which means the two will race around the store filling their carts during a frenzy that lasts a little more than five minutes.

Everything in the carts will be contributed to local food pantries, with DeWitte representing the Tri-City Salvation Army site in St. Charles and Keicher racing around for the Hinckley Area Food Pantry.

In addition to the spree, the farm bureau will also make a pitch for its "10,000 Gallon Challenge," in which the bureau's foundation seeks the donation of 10,000 gallons of milk and dairy products for the food pantries. Bureau officials will offer a pre-Spree "milk toast" to all shoppers attending the event.

Needs some donations:

It appears the Lazarus House homeless shelter will be in need of some donated groceries as well. The shelter recently alerted its donors and supporters that two of its major grocery store donors in the past were no longer doing so because of corporate restructuring,

The shelter is calling for an all-hands-on-deck approach in asking as many people as possible to donate needed items.

Sliced breads, bagels, bagged salads, chicken wings, riblets, side dishes, cooked vegetables, and entrees made the list of needed items. The shelter can only reheat food, not cook it from scratch.

Lazarus House gave a shout-out to Blue Goose Market, Trader Joe's in Batavia and some area restaurants that continue to help.

Some different choices:

The way things are moving along, Batavians can expect to see a portion of East Wilson become another "restaurant row" of sorts this year.

The building at 107 E. Wilson St. is being transformed into Oak & Swine restaurant, while the building next to it at 109 E. Wilson is expected to become the Bocaditos Café.

But the cafe will be a carry-out-only business for Argentine cuisine, whereas Oak & Swine has plans in place for two levels of dining areas.

For those who enjoy dining out and are looking for new and different types of offerings, it seems that East Wilson Street in Batavia is grooming itself to fall right into that category.

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