Did you know the monthly edition of PR Week just named Sir Martin Sorrell THE most powerful man in PR? That’s akin to The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame naming Ringo Starr the greatest guitarist in rock history.
Why? Because Sir Martin is a bean counter, who has never, ever practiced the art and science of PR (note: While Ringo no doubt plucked a guitar chord or two, I don’t think he ever jeopardized the reputations of Jimmy Page, Eric Clapton or Jimi Hendrix).
Ah, but the current editorial staff of PR Week is in the midst of a serious, long-term crush on Sir Martin, global holding companies and the international corporations they represent. As a result, when an ersatz list such as this most recent one is concocted, it’s almost completely dominated by the top kicks at GE, Ford, IBM, WPP, Omnicom, Publicis and Interpublic.
And, that’s OK if, by powerful, PR Week means controlling the purse strings of multi-mega dollar companies. The men and women of the PR Week 50 no doubt manage 90 percent of the total monies spent on public relations programs. That may very well make them powerful, but it most assuredly does NOT make them:
– Or, fun people with whom to toss back a few drinks at the end of the day.
For those qualities, I’d turn to people such as Daryl McCullough, Lynn Casey, Janet Tyler and Elise Mitchell. That particular Fab Four has accomplished something 90 percent of the PR Week Power 50 have NOT done: they’ve built their own businesses and weathered good times and bad to emerge as serious players in the PR world.
So, PR Week can continue its parochial, hagiographic coverage of the people who control budgets. Those in the know know that, while Sir Martin may be the Machiavelli of marketing, he is most assuredly NOT the Leonardo.
To find examples of the latter, please check the PR Week glossary for: ‘midsized’ ‘small’ and ’boutique’ agencies while cross-referencing the words ‘future’ and ‘innovative.’
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Valid point, Peter. @prweek is becoming like the One Percenters on Wall Street who speak of, by and for the elite only. It’s a shame there isn’t a competitive publication that could address more mainstream issues and represent the interests of the entire industry.
Boy, that list is one big giant log-rolling incestuous smoochie-fest of entitlement. It made me think it was still 1988 and I was still a trade journalism newbie forced to write/edit stuff like this. It also made me want to take a shower.
As PR Week becomes increasingly irrelevant, I’m not sure that acknowledging their clueless editorial choices is even worthwhile. You know, if no one hears a tree fall in the forest…