Changing times have brought new meaning to true PR power

Power in the PR industry has typically been defined by the relative prominence and profiles of the client, company, or brands themselves, not always the communicator individually.

Power in the PR industry has typically been defined by the relative prominence and profiles of the client, company, or brands themselves, not always the communicator individually.

There have always been exceptions, such as Harold Burson, founder and chairman of Burson-Marsteller. He is in the Hall of Fame of power, influence, and relevance, certainly in terms of the PRWeek Power List.

When the Power List debuted, Richard Edelman, CEO of Edelman, had set the PR universe on a new axis, primarily by laying claim to social media. Edelman topped the list two years running, in part, for his innovation and unabashed aggression toward other marketing disciplines asserting dominance over digital strategy.

Now, given the recession, the PR industry is looking not just for inspiration, but enterprise leadership.

Harris Diamond's dominion over a clutch of brands in PR, and 3,500 PR pros, means the fortunes of a larger community of professionals – including clients – depends on his keen stewardship.

This year's Power List puts the business story first. I hope you find the profiles inspiring and provocative. I welcome you to challenge us on our selections by logging on to prweekus.com.

Leadership is a running theme in this issue, including Kimberly Maul's integrated marketing feature, and Jaimy Lee's profile of GlaxoSmithKline's Nancy Pekarek. Join us online to comment on our July stories, via prweekus.com, as well as Twitter and Facebook. I look forward to continuing the discussion.

Julia Hood

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