Steve Barrett on PR

Steve Barrett is editor-in-chief of PRWeek US. Each week he shares his views on the trends and stories that are shaping the PR industry.

Contact Steve at steve.barrett@prweek.com

Edelman slowdown highlights continued agency revolution

Edelman slowdown highlights continued agency revolution

As the world's largest PR firm reports its lowest annual growth for seven years, everyone in the agency sector is retooling for an integrated and converged future in a bid to avoid becoming marginalized.

Spicer: An impossible job

Spicer: An impossible job

White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer has found himself one of the most recognized people on the planet after last weekend's Saturday Night Live - no matter how funny the sketch was, it can't be good for Spicer or the perception of public relations.

Integration is a double-edged sword

Integration is a double-edged sword

As marketing and communications disciplines continue to merge, holding companies are tweaking their agency service offerings accordingly - but this will open up opportunities for small to mid-sized firms.

Dude, just stop

Dude, just stop

An extraordinary first week under the new Trump administration in Washington, DC throws up a number of lessons for communicators.

Spicer must let truth get in the way of a good story

Spicer must let truth get in the way of a good story

PR pros were outraged by White House press secretary Sean Spicer's demonstration of the communications art on Saturday, but he went some way to redeeming himself Monday with a more measured performance.

Gray Lady can spearhead future of media

Gray Lady can spearhead future of media

The New York Times has got its mojo back and sounds more optimistic than ever about its future - but it is determined not to rest on its laurels and that philosophy is one everyone in PR and media should aspire to emulate in a volatile world.

Time to end the Trump myopia

Time to end the Trump myopia

PR pros are set for a busy few months as CEOs return from holiday asking their communications teams to prepare proactive plans to address what happens if they get "Trumped".

PRWeek Awards truly represent the cutting edge of the industry

PRWeek Awards truly represent the cutting edge of the industry

This year's batch of shortlisted submissions are a particularly strong group of contenders across the board.

Editor's Choice: Learnings from a tumultous year and a glimpse into 2017

Editor's Choice: Learnings from a tumultous year and a glimpse into 2017

No one will forget 2016 in a hurry, on so many levels. But what lessons should the communications sector take from a turbulent 12 months and how is the political and business landscape going to shake out in 2017?

And that's the way it was in 2016

And that's the way it was in 2016

Twelve months have flown by and a tumultuous year has thrown up numerous lessons and challenges for PR pros.

Post-truth tests PR's mantra on authenticity

Post-truth tests PR's mantra on authenticity

Why the role of PR and communications is more vital than ever in our "post-truth" environment.

Comms can help prove Silicon Valley isn't an empathy-free zone

Comms can help prove Silicon Valley isn't an empathy-free zone

Businesses on the West Coast may lack empathy and have been slow to wake up to their wider social responsibilities, but they are still on the positive side of the balance sheet in terms of value creation.

Time to end navel-gazing and for business to lead

Time to end navel-gazing and for business to lead

The post-election landscape is going to be very different and challenging - but the Earth didn't stop spinning. Business must grasp the opportunity to lead and be genuinely authentic.

Dark arts or a peek under the hood of business as usual

Dark arts or a peek under the hood of business as usual

The "dark arts" of PR and "spinning" have been top of the news agenda this week, as more leaked emails and documents emerge relating to the Clinton Foundation and strategic consultancy Teneo.

London calling from a creative world

London calling from a creative world

This week's PRWeek UK Awards provided a refreshing insight into a world that is certainly not dominated by the big global PR firms and that places a premium on creativity and punching above your weight.

PR's value proposition is now undeniable

PR's value proposition is now undeniable

The presence and perspectives of CEOs and CMOs at PRWeek's annual conference in New York yesterday proved once and for all that PR now has a seat at the table - now it must use it effectively.

Welcome to the new diverse reality

Welcome to the new diverse reality

Progressive clients such as HP and General Mills are blazing a trail in requiring their agency partners to be truly diverse - could this finally mark the tipping point in the drive toward inclusion at all levels of the agency sector?

Meet the C-suite courtesy of PRWeek

Meet the C-suite courtesy of PRWeek

PRWeek's annual conference in NYC is set to be the best yet - don't miss the chance to learn from the man who discovered Taylor Swift, the leader of an $8 billion healthcare system, and the CEO of the original girl power organization.

Everything's up for grabs for the agency of the future

Everything's up for grabs for the agency of the future

McDonald's has foregone a 35-year relationship to throw in its lot with the "agency of the future" - it's a sign that clients are considering all options to save money and supercharge their marketing.

Publicis restructure continues as it merges Middle East PR brand into MSLGroup

LeoComm PR, the six-office Middle East agency owned by Publicis and formerly aligned with Leo Burnett, is to become part of MSLGroup, the global network's main PR operation.

Where does Springsteen end and Trump begin?

Where does Springsteen end and Trump begin?

The febrile atmosphere and confrontational debates conjured up by this year's divisive general election campaign are being played out across all elements of U.S. society, including music and sport.

Case for sustainable Obamacare rests with cost narrative

Case for sustainable Obamacare rests with cost narrative

Proponents of the Affordable Care Act have failed to get the message across that the current spike in chronic care provision and high costs will not last forever.

The personal story behind #22Kill social media phenomenon

The personal story behind #22Kill social media phenomenon

A humbling conversation with one of the U.S. Army veterans behind the #22PushupChallenge highlights the power of media and social media in driving brands, causes, and organizations.

Olympic tales make the best stories

Olympic tales make the best stories

Rio 2016 demonstrates why the Olympics are such a compelling environment within which brands can embed themselves and establish their own narratives.

Is 22 Pushups this August's Ice Bucket Challenge?

Is 22 Pushups this August's Ice Bucket Challenge?

A new phenomenon has taken root on social media in August, the same month the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge proliferated two years ago, to demonstrate the power of the internet as a viral communications platform.

Clinton nomination was a seminal moment for every American

Clinton nomination was a seminal moment for every American

Whatever your political persuasion might be, Thursday's acceptance speech by Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton was a groundbreaking landmark for everyone in the United States - especially women.

The revolution will not be television

The revolution will not be television

Consumer companies of all types are assessing their big broadcast and print media buys to see if there are more effective ways to spend their marketing money.

Brexit demystified

Brexit demystified

PRWeek editor-in-chief Steve Barrett tries to explain a crazy last month in British politics to the rest of the world.

PR is set to trump advertising

PR is set to trump advertising

Controversies over the poor showing of mainstream PR firms in their core Lions categories at Cannes masked concerns from the ad sector about the tide of change moving firmly into the realm of earned media and earned influence.

Cannes curated

Cannes curated

As the warm glow of Le Cote D'Azur fades into the distance and delegates return to disparate locations across the globe PRWeek wraps this year's festival and gives you the full skinny and top takeaways from Cannes 2016.

Inside the minds of PR's top power players

Inside the minds of PR's top power players

PRWeek's Global Power Book is a fascinating compendium of fun and serious insights from 350 of the top PR pros around the world.

Yes you Cannes

Yes you Cannes

A roundup of PRWeek at Cannes and nine top tips for getting the best out of the annual festival of creativity.

The times they are a-changin'

The times they are a-changin'

Former Mike and the Mad Dog front man Mike Francesa proved this week he was resistant to change others see as inevitable - modern communicators and marketers don't have that luxury, as this week's social media Wookiee viral show illustrated.

Diversity matters

Diversity matters

Let's build on the achievements of The Lagrant Foundation as we celebrate an organization that has been at the forefront of PR's diversity efforts for nearly two decades.

I have seen the future of PR -- and it works

I have seen the future of PR -- and it works

A visit to one of the top schools for PR education convinces PRWeek editor-in-chief Steve Barrett that the future of the industry is in good hands.

The soundbites that define a $10 billion industry

The soundbites that define a $10 billion industry

The 2016 PRWeek Global Agency Report is in the can and the largest survey of PR firms ever produced has thrown up some fascinating data, trends, and analysis.

How a guy with a 'z' at the end of his name ascended to the top in PR

How a guy with a 'z' at the end of his name ascended to the top in PR

Cargill's Mike Fernandez used his acceptance speech at the PRSA Paladin Award Ceremony to send out a call to action to the industry on diversity.

Millennial is not a catch-all term

Millennial is not a catch-all term

The much sought-after millennial demographic was firmly under the microscope at this week's Arthur W. Page Spring Seminar, where delegates discovered it is not a group that can be defined using lazy generalizations.

Time to move from talking to doing

Time to move from talking to doing

As the elite of the CCO profession prepares to gather in New York City for the Arthur W. Page Society Spring Seminar, the time has come to move the agenda beyond academic debates into real actions.

Happy Birthday Twitter - hope you survive the next decade

Happy Birthday Twitter - hope you survive the next decade

Twitter has become an essential part of the media and communications landscape since it launched a decade ago - but it is still bedeviled with doubts about its long-term commercial sustainability as a business.

Raw emotion characterizes the Oscars of the PR world

Raw emotion characterizes the Oscars of the PR world

The 2016 PRWeek Awards were handed out last night in a fantastic evening that underlined the quality, depth, and scope of an industry that is really demonstrating its effectiveness to companies and organizations of all types.

A call to action on gender diversity

A call to action on gender diversity

This Tuesday's global celebration of women and call for gender equality is a stark reminder that affirmative action is required to make genuine changes to the marketing and communications industries.

Brand Trump threatens accepted thinking on authenticity

Brand Trump threatens accepted thinking on authenticity

Does the circus that is the 2016 GOP presidential campaign call into question whether brand authenticity, transparency, and values are really as important as we think they are?

Strong culture is just as important as money in today's PR talent war

Strong culture is just as important as money in today's PR talent war

Talent recruitment and retention remains the single most problematic and debated topic in PR, especially in agencies.

Omnicom goes Dutch in bid to improve sharing

Omnicom goes Dutch in bid to improve sharing

Porter Novelli's well-regarded global CEO Karen van Bergen has landed a new gig as CEO of Omnicom's Public Relations Group. One of her main tasks will be to unblock the network's hierarchy and decision-making chain.

PR agencies face mixed future

PR agencies face mixed future

Early indications from marketing services holding company group financial reports for 2015 suggest a mixed year for PR agencies - PRWeek is tracking down the essential knowledge you need to plan your 2016 strategy.

In honor of a PR legend

In honor of a PR legend

As PRWeek's PR professional of the 20th century Harold Burson celebrates his 95th birthday, editor-in-chief Steve Barrett looks back on some of the wisdom and achievements of the great man.

Roll up for the greatest marketing show on earth

Roll up for the greatest marketing show on earth

Brands invest millions attempting to reach consumers during the annual Super Bowl and this year's clash between Carolina and Denver is no exception. But marketers will hope the Broncos aren't blown apart in a trademark first-half charge by the Panthers charismatic QB Cam Newton.

Understanding how new generations operate is key for today's PR pros

Understanding how new generations operate is key for today's PR pros

Editor-in-chief Steve Barrett delves into what the PR industry needs to understand about influence in the digital sphere, and the influencers behind new trends.

Facebook cashes in on the branded content revolution

Facebook cashes in on the branded content revolution

Figures released this week by Mark Zuckerberg's brainchild prove the impact that video and film has on the way people consume information and receive brand messages.