Pretending I'm powerful

At this time of year, as PRWeek UK unveils its annual Power Book, Steve Barrett indulges himself by pretending he is influential enough to be included.

PRWeek UK invented a great concept a few years ago called the Power Book, which has since been extrapolated globally.

The concept is simple: question the top people in the industry about their likes, dislikes, peccadillos, business, and personal preferences, then aggregate the surveys to produce interesting and fun trends.

The UK has just released the 2016 version of its Power Book, so I thought I would put myself in the shoes of our powerful readers and try my hand at the survey.

Where were you born?
Hammersmith in west London, England.

Where do you live?
New York City.

To which medium do you turn for breaking news?
PRWeek of course.

What did you learn about yourself in 2015?
Our time on this planet is short and you have to make the most of every single minute.

My greatest challenge for 2016 is…
Turning what I learned about myself (see above) into reality.

How should the PR industry address the gender pay gap?
It’s very simple really, or at least, it should be – pay women more.

What is your favorite campaign of the past year?
I loved two campaigns produced in Asia. Ogilvy Public Relations in Beijing’s Great Chinese Names for Great Britain work for the VistBritain tourism agency resulted in a 27% rise in visitors, a data point with which any C-suite executive can empathize. And FleishmanHillard subsidiary Blue Current’s Nou-Ikumin campaign for Pampers’ 12-hour protection diaper in Japan.

Which word or phrase would you ban from the PR lexicon?
Spin. Good PR has nothing to do with spin – it is about authenticity and transparency. There are enough people out there willing to trot out tired clichés about spin and spin doctors without the industry itself indulging in such nonsense.

Does the term PR still retain any value?
Absolutely. The scope of PR has been widened and enhanced as social media and digital channels transform media and marketing, but the need to tell stories and produce communications that influence, entice, and change behavior are more important than ever – and that’s right in the sweet spot of public relations.

Which businessman or woman has the best comms prowess?
I’m a massive fan of Michelle Obama, who may not strictly be in business, but who communicates effectively around every issue she touches in a compelling and empathetic manner.

I get annoyed by…
TV advertising.

If you weren’t in journalism what would you do for a living?
Something that pays better.

PRWeek is buying a round. What are you having?
A Chimay Rouge please.

Look out for PRWeek’s Global Power Book, which will be released next summer. Let me know if you think you should be included – and why.

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