The UK’s decision to leave the EU was the top choice, chosen by 47 entrants in their profiles in the UK Power Book, which went live last week. Many linked this challenge to that posed by the new Presidential regime in the US.
The perennial challenge of recruiting and retaining talent drew the second-highest response (33 votes), with many saying that the key is diversity.
The ‘post-truth’ world and dealing with ‘fake news’ was also a popular choice, garnering 32 votes.
Meanwhile, 30 entrants plumped for a more general sense of foreboding, or global instability, making for an uncertain 2017.
Adapting to new technology and new media was also high on the agenda (28 votes), as was adapting in the era of marcoms integration, working out who is genuinely influential, and making a profit.
David Nicholas, head of group press office at BP, said the biggest challenge for 2017 is "understanding what the hell happened in 2016". Exposure founder and CEO Raoul Shah's answer to the question was simply: "The US. Hold tight."
There were more leftfield responses. For Airbus UK comms chief Jeremy Greaves, the biggest challenge is "the impact on French wine at lunch with sterling’s devaluation", while Media House International executive chair Jack Irvine pointed at "pile ’em high, sell ’em cheap consultancies".
Ryanair head of comms Robin Kiely was blunter still. For him, PR’s biggest challenge is "believing its own nonsense".
The industry's biggest challenge for 2017 is...
1. Brexit (47 votes)
2. Staff/talent (33)
3. Fake news/the 'post-truth' era (32)
4. Global instability (30)
5. Adapting to new technology/media (28)
More from the Power Book:
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