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

Tragedy of Charlottesville illustrates America's deep divide

Tragedy of Charlottesville illustrates America's deep divide

Business can fill the moral vacuum created by President Trump but company CEOs have to balance a tightrope in doing so.

I, robot

I, robot

The robots may one day fulfil dystopian science fiction visions and take over the human race, but that day is still far in the future - in the meantime, marketers and communicators are working out how AI can be effectively utilized in their world.

Hey Mooch: you're not meant to be the story

Hey Mooch: you're not meant to be the story

The new White House communications director has made an immediate mark in a totally unorthodox way that isn't making anyone think of PR in a more positive light after the Sean Spicer experience.

Influencers are the changing face of marketing

Influencers are the changing face of marketing

The FTC wants to crack down on influencer marketing but, transparency aside, people increasingly turn to people like themselves when they are seeking information and entertainment.

Holding company woes represent good news for PR

Holding company woes represent good news for PR

Brian Wieser from Pivotal Research reduced price targets on agency holding companies in light of difficult trading conditions - but these structural and temporal difficulties will bring PR more central to the marketing mix.

PR's power players share their vision

PR's power players share their vision

The collected wit and wisdom of the 270 individuals in PRWeek's Global Power Book provide some significant indicators for the future of the industry.

Cannes: it's a wrap

Cannes: it's a wrap

An inspirational and energizing week on Le Côte d'Azur will reward close scrutiny by all professionals working in communications and marketing.

Tectonic plates of Cannes are shifting

Tectonic plates of Cannes are shifting

Publicis set the cat among the pigeons on its home turf when it announced it was taking a break from Cannes and industry awards for 12 months - festival organizer Ascential must ensure its upcoming consultation doesn't give everyone the hump.

Cannes talk: What's in an idea?

Cannes talk: What's in an idea?

PR firms did well at Cannes this year, but the multiple-Lions-winning Care Counts case study by Whirlpool shows just how difficult it is to give proper credits to those who work on campaigns.

9 Cannestastic things to know about next week

9 Cannestastic things to know about next week

The full skinny on Cannes as the worlds of communications, marketing, and creativity gather for the annual boondoggle/Festival of Creativity.

Lord Buckethead and Lion of London Bridge sum up crazy week

Lord Buckethead and Lion of London Bridge sum up crazy week

Triumph, tragedy, achievement, and the simply bizarre marked a week that was memorable for many reasons.

Gender equality: time for action

Gender equality: time for action

Women in PR should remain authentic and be true to themselves but exhortations to speak up and network more should be accompanied by equal pay and equal opportunities.

PR industry on verge of major breakthrough at Cannes this year

PR industry on verge of major breakthrough at Cannes this year

After years of frustration, PR is set for a new beginning at Cannes.

Detroit's bouncing back

Detroit's bouncing back

People are returning to the Motor City in droves as it reinvents itself as a hotchpotch of arts, culture, restaurants, newly thriving inner city, and affordable place to build a life and a career.

Two nations divided by a common language

Two nations divided by a common language

Visits to three top 50 global PR firms based in the U.K. provided a fresh view of the industry through a lens with many common characteristics.

Great global work from fearless PR leaders

Great global work from fearless PR leaders

Last night's winners at PRWeek's inspirational celebration of global communications represent an excellent benchmark for the industry.

Film is the form for effective brand storytelling

Film is the form for effective brand storytelling

From blockbuster action movies featuring famous Hollywood actors to moody thrillers directed by high-profile names such as Werner Herzog and Armando Bo, cinematic storytelling on behalf of brands has hit the big time.

Agency revenue still rising in era of integration and transformation

Agency revenue still rising in era of integration and transformation

PRWeek's annual Agency Business Report content is live - the big story is that PR is becoming one cog in a wheel of wider services.

It's our time - Just do it

It's our time - Just do it

The social media playbook is still being written but PR pros are uniquely positioned to take advantage of new opportunities on behalf of their brands and clients.

PR lessons from Al Golin and United Flight 3411

PR lessons from Al Golin and United Flight 3411

The last seven days goes to show just how important wise PR counsel is for every modern enterprise in maintaining reputation and mitigating risk.

United Airlines needs to do better

United Airlines needs to do better

The airline's communications response to Flight 3411 so far is tone deaf and is doing nothing to resolve the situation.

Cross-cultural marketing is the key to targeting Gen Z

Cross-cultural marketing is the key to targeting Gen Z

Snappy new terms like GenZennial are compelling buzzwords but communicating with Gen Z calls for a more nuanced approach.

YouTube's algorithms need a human touch

YouTube's algorithms need a human touch

Concerns about ads appearing next to inappropriate content on YouTube and Facebook's woes around fake news highlight the fact that, while tech is a prime driver of modern marketing and communications, machines are not perfect yet.

PRWeek Awards reflect an industry that's come of age

PRWeek Awards reflect an industry that's come of age

From an inspiring Communicator of the Year to a deep bench of incredibly inspiring campaign work, the PRWeek Awards prove the profession is not just part of the conversation - it's starting to lead it.

A tale of two CEOs

A tale of two CEOs

The nature of leadership in enterprise is more important than it has ever been and two recent CEO examples illustrate this perfectly - Travis Kalanick at Uber and Oscar Munoz at United Airlines.

Send the elevator back down

Send the elevator back down

It's time to do something about the dearth of women in senior creative positions in advertising and marketing and the continued production of sexist ads and campaigns by some brands.

Media literacy is the social issue of our time

Media literacy is the social issue of our time

An increasingly put-upon media has started to retaliate against President Trump's fake news accusations, led by The New York Times with its 'hard truth' campaign - it is in the best interests of everyone in PR to join this effort.

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.