OUR FIRST YEAR: We were told it couldn’t be done. We were told it wouldn’t work - Twelve months later, PRWeek is still here - and what’s more, we’re here to stay

Seven weeks to launch a national weekly magazine. We were told it couldn’t be done. We were told it wouldn’t work. ’There’s not enough to write about.’ ’Who will want to read it?’

Seven weeks to launch a national weekly magazine. We were told it couldn’t be done. We were told it wouldn’t work. ’There’s not enough to write about.’ ’Who will want to read it?’

Seven weeks to launch a national weekly magazine. We were told it

couldn’t be done. We were told it wouldn’t work. ’There’s not enough to

write about.’ ’Who will want to read it?’



What can we say? We proved them wrong. Twelve months later, we are the

number one weekly public relations publication in the US, with a

circulation of more than 10,000 and a readership of well over

25,000.



We are the number one preferred read: 84.6% prefer PRWeek to any other

PR marketing title. And PRWeek is already the number one source for PR

jobs, with a greater volume of jobs than any national newspaper,

including The New York Times.



We launched on Nov. 16, 1998 with a national exclusive about Mike

McCurry’s much-awaited first job after leaving the White House and a

report on CEO attitudes to PR. It was the start of an exciting year of

news exclusives, including dollars 50 million account wins, the biggest

year of PR agency mergers and acquisitions in history and coverage of

several important crises and PR problems.



We commissioned more than dollars 100,000 of original research to

produce some spectacular surveys, including a Salary & Benefits Survey

(April 19); the Top 200 Agency rankings (June 14); two CEO reports (Nov.

16, 1998 and Nov. 15 1999); a Journalist Spin Survey; and countless

rankings of major sectors and markets, including healthcare and hi-tech,

the PR industry’s hottest scenes.



We covered a number of compelling topics in-depth such as HMO reform, PR

education, reputation management and stock ownership.



Some of the most enjoyable and popular issues have been the

specials.



The ’40 under 40’ (June 21) identified some of the young stars making an

impact in the industry. The 50 Most Powerful Women in PR (August 9)

celebrated the achievements of women in the industry, while pointing out

that although the glass ceiling is starting to shatter, it still

exists.



And our recent ’Top 100 Most Influential PR People’ feature generated

8,600 hits on our web site in 24 hours.



PRWeek also launched a number of important campaigns. The ’Power of PR

Campaign’ kicked off with a provocative feature called the ’Super Bowl

Fantasy’ (March 29), which challenged four top PR agencies to devise

’alternative’ PR campaigns for advertisers seeking exposure during the

Super Bowl. And over the next six months, we wrote about the importance

of PRand how it tied in to several key events in the history of the

US.



We also launched the ’Proof’ Campaign (May 17), an initiative by

PRWeek’s sister title, PRWeek UK, to provide a standard tool for the

measurement of PR effectiveness. This tool is currently being tested by

GM and AT&T.



As the magazine gained momentum, the media world sat up and began to

take notice. Our editor-in-chief Adam Leyland appeared on CNN’s Inside

Politics with Bernard Shaw to discuss a report in PRWeek ranking the

communications teams of the presidential candidates.



PRWeek journalists have also become a useful source of comment for the

media in crisis situations: when controversial superstar Michael Jackson

failed to appear at a rock concert in late May, we were asked to comment

for a story on Entertainment Tonight. And when a Coca-Cola product

recall was issued in Belgium, France and Luxembourg, PRWeek was

interviewed by the BBC.



In the meantime, PRWeek has been busy ensuring that readers are given

access to a wealth of international stories. The UK-based parent company

bought Asian PR News, the leading Asian PR title, and PRReport,

Germany’s oldest weekly PR title.



But no magazine launch is without some technical snafus. There have been

a few teething problems along the way. Literally. When a leaking

overhead pipe started flooding the computer systems room, two dedicated

staff members waded through six inches of water in their bare feet,

risking life and limb to save the PRWeek equipment. They later reported

’tingling sensations’ in their fillings for several hours.



And with several Brits on the launch team, there was a language barrier

to overcome in the early stages. There was widespread consternation, for

example, about spelling and word choices or expressions; for example,

use of the word ’fag’ for ’cigarette.’ The Americans also had to teach

their English colleagues about baseball and football (American, of

course).



But one year later, PRWeek is firmly established in the American PR

culture, and the future of PRWeek looks very bright indeed. There are

big plans in store for 2000, starting with the first-ever PRWeek Awards,

on Feb.



15, 2000 - a glamorous black-tie event celebrating the best of PR, at

the Marriott Marquis in New York. But there’s much more to come. Here’s

to the next 12 months.



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