EDITORIAL: Prescott hire sets the benchmark

The hiring of Sunday Times political editor Michael Prescott as

vice-chairman at Weber Shandwick Worldwide's London office is a major

coup. His appointment is the highest profile switch from journalism to

PR since former News of the World editor Phil Hall (briefly) joined Max

Clifford Associates.

When calls are increasing for high-profile thought-leaders to act as

ambassadors for the PR profession, it is to be welcomed that a reporter

of such distinction should want to join the sector.

Without the influx of new blood, the industry would be too


And there is little to be gained from a sector that only feeds off

itself, in which staff only ever seem to come straight from university

or from other PR agencies.

It is no doubt beneficial to Weber Shandwick to present clients with

someone who was recently involved in editorial decision-making for the

biggest-selling quality Sunday newspaper. But the move also raises the

bar for other consultancies, and sets a benchmark for future hires.

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