EDITORIAL: PR - it's not rocket science, it's better

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

PR-driven perspective.

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

countless agencies.

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

esteemed readers.

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.

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