MEDIA: Profile - Biting into the Big Apple/Adam Leyland, editor, PR Week US

Given that PT Barnum practically invented PR in New York in the late 1880s, it does seem a startling omission for the oldest PR industry in the world to be bereft of a weekly trade magazine. So it is that PR Week’s publisher Haymarket plans to launch a US sister title to fill this obvious gap. To head up this multimillion dollar, high-profile launch, Haymarket has recruited Adam Leyland, editor of UK title Press Gazette.

Given that PT Barnum practically invented PR in New York in the

late 1880s, it does seem a startling omission for the oldest PR industry

in the world to be bereft of a weekly trade magazine. So it is that PR

Week’s publisher Haymarket plans to launch a US sister title to fill

this obvious gap. To head up this multimillion dollar, high-profile

launch, Haymarket has recruited Adam Leyland, editor of UK title Press

Gazette.



’It is going to be a challenge,’ he says. ’I have got no office, nowhere

to live, no printer and no journalists. The magazine launches in

mid-November and I am not going to be out there until mid-September.



’I expect to recruit ten editorial staff, most of whom we will get out

there. New York is the obvious place to be, since nine out the top ten

US agencies are there and the tenth is about to move there.’



Leyland is no stranger to New York. As something of a Yankophile, he

spent the summer of his second year at University working as a waiter in

Manhattan. After graduating in 1986, he took a year off which started

with him teaching English in Egypt but ended with him back in the

US.



He took a job as a salesman hawking dead butterflies mounted in glass

cases around department stores and curiosity shops.



’We told our customers they were grown on farms, but I have a feeling

they might have come from the rain forest,’ he admits, guiltily. ’I was

a young, thrusting graduate who only cared for himself and not for the

environment in those days. It did mean that I got to see 36 of the 52

states. When I go back, I plan to see the remaining 14 starting with

Hawaii.’



Leyland plans to travel the country on business as well, pointing out

that Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Boston and Washington all have

thriving specialist PR industries. ’I think that, if the 1980s was the

decade of advertising with all its glam and dram, then the 1990s is the

decade of PR. The role of PR has grown beyond all recognition.’



Those who have worked with Leyland praise his journalism and describe

him as ambitious and driven. He has experience in launching new titles.

Seven years ago he helped set up Publishing, a monthly title aimed at

the the magazine publishing industry. Brian Denyer, managing director of

Publishing’s owner, Forme Communications, believes he is suited to the

Haymarket environment and will succeed in the US.



Denyer says: ’He is a good big company person. He likes working with a

big group, whereas at Publishing it was more of a smaller, team effort.

I can see him doing well in the big country.’



While he admits he is not up on the day-to-day PR issues in the US,

Leyland does not see it as a problem. ’I’m sure I will pick up the

agenda quite quickly. I want to edit a paper with bite, analysis and

opinion so that people who have to read a zillion papers every day will

want to read this one too.’



HIGHLIGHTS

1987: Researcher, Enquire Within

1991: Editor, Publishing

1993: Editor, Print Week

1998: Editor, Press Gazette

1998: Editor, PR Week US



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