As the company celebrated its 60th anniversary this month, CEO Richard Edelman told PRWeek of his plans to grow Edelman’s research work, from three per cent to ten per cent of the business globally within the next ‘five or so’ years.
‘We’re going to be able to have insight into the new influencers, such as passionate employees and really engaged consumers. Hopefully, this will translate into good PR campaigns,’ he said.
The plans follow Edelman’s recent appointment of Michael Berland to head the firm’s new research and an-alysis business Edelman Berland, which Edelman said was part of a broader strategy.
Edelman, who is the son of founder Daniel Edelman, dismissed any possibility of selling the agency and revealed ambitious growth plans. He said continuing to develop digital work in Europe was a priority, with Germany and France in particular seen as ‘growth markets’.
There are also plans ‘to go into Africa’ in the near future, while the developing markets of Indonesia, Turkey, Vietnam and the wider Middle East are seen as strategically important alongside the BRIC countries.
Edelman said that during the past 60 years, PR had moved from being ‘the tail of the dog’ to the ‘brain of the dog’ within the marcoms spectrum. However, he acknowledged that PR professionals had been ‘too deferential’ in submitting ideas, adding that the ‘industry still had a long way to go’ before it reached its potential.
Edelman shot to second place in this year’s PRWeek Top 150 UK Consultancies list, with growth of 22 per cent. The firm has more than 4,500 staff across 65 offices worldwide.