This is my last PRWeek editorial. So please allow me a final moment
of nostalgic reminiscence.
Quite apart from the roller-coaster ride of launching a weekly magazine
into a market in the enraptured thrall of dot-com mania (funnily enough,
we no longer get Thinkpieces that start: "The internet has changed
everything"), it's been fascinating to observe American life from a
I've been privy to some fascinating stories. There were the
extraordinary PR foul-ups (Clinton, Coke, Condit, Ford/Firestone), some
brilliant PR campaign executions (the China Olympic Games win, the
Florida teen smoking campaign, the Apple relaunch), not to mention the
excitement of the presidential election, and its bizarre conclusion.
I've also witnessed the most extraordinary economic boom, a period in
which the PR industry made great strides, and the PR landscape was
changed dramatically by the aggrandizement and globalization of
In all this time, the PR community has been immensely rewarding to work
with: a colorful kaleidoscope of people, and challenges of every size,
shape and level of seriousness.
Of course, it's also had its frustrations. Too many PR people take
themselves too seriously (never an attractive quality in anyone), and
despite the best efforts of certain PR practitioners to persuade me
otherwise, PR is not rocket science. It's a creative business, and long
may it remain so.
But neither is PR as simple as "telling the truth," as is commonly held
by even some of the most seasoned PR people. For example, what is the
truth of the Ford/Firestone tire crisis? It's a highly complex
situation, involving mechanical and chemical engineering issues, and the
"PR fix" requires a further grasp of legal, business and psychological
If PR were as simple as black and white (as some PR people like to paint
things), Jason Vines and Christine Karbowiak would have an easier job,
but I doubt it would be so well-paying, and neither would the PR
industry be where it is today.
Indeed it's this complexity that has made PRWeek such an interesting
read. I never cease to be surprised and delighted by the range and scope
of our readership, which includes not just PR practitioners, but
marketers, lawyers, journalists and more. I consider it a tribute to the
scope, influence and importance of PR in American business that it has
such a diverse readership.
Finally, a word of thanks. PRWeek is now firmly embedded in the hearts
and minds of the US PR community. That's not just my opinion, it's an
opinion that is repeated over and over to me and my team by you, our
I am immensely proud that the PR industry has responded so positively to
the magazine. To those who said it wouldn't work - that the industry
wasn't big enough or too diverse - I'm pleased to report that PRWeek is
not only popular, but profitable.
And to those who have helped me and my staff - and there are many -
thank you. I leave behind many happy memories, and a team - led by new
editor-in-chief Jonah Bloom - that will continue the mission and ensure
that PRWeek grows even stronger.