EDITORIAL: Industry champs are much needed

News that both Brunswick and Bell Pottinger, two of the most

high-profile names in the PR industry, have hired their own marketing

managers raises tantalising hopes of a new level of public debate about

PR and corporate communications.



They are not the first to go down this line. Edelman and Weber Shandwick

have had marketing managers for years - and it is not clear how far the

marketing role will also encompass proactive public relations. But for

Brunswick in particular, this move is little short of a revolution, the

consultancy having built its reputation almost entirely upon the policy

of non-attributable briefings.



Alan Parker's decision is prompted primarily by a desire to expand the

brand's presence overseas, but hopefully this will not preclude a higher

profile for Parker himself in the UK.



The media's sustained wilful misrepresentation of the PR industry is not

helped by the tardiness of the PR industry in fielding high-profile

thought leaders to counter the all too common misconceptions about

PR.



The industry needs more high-profile champions, who can illustrate the

role that corporate communications advisers play in the fortunes of some

of the world's leading brands.



Lord Bell has already captured the media imaginaion but, such is the

mystique that surrounds Parker, if he were to make a radical move and

decide to go on the record to the media, the inevitable interest would

provide a valuable window of opportunity for the PR industry.



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