Our annual Book of Lists issue is often considered one of the most entertaining of the year - not only for the readers, but also, and perhaps even more so, for the reporters and editors.
It isn't every day that PRWeek gets to take a snarky and irreverent approach to the news, or feature mainstream characters like Mel Gibson, Lindsay Lohan, and Paris Hilton on its pages. In the never-ending crop of year-end issues that are published this month, we'd like to think that our Book of Lists issue can hold its own.
But while the tone of the feature is lighthearted, there is a serious underlying theme: PR is at the heart of nearly every corporate success or failure, particularly with information moving as quickly as it does around the world. The stories that captured the business press' imagination often, at their roots, stemmed from communications problems, both internally and externally.
At the same time, we don't forget that there are pros dealing with these real-world issues every day, at companies large and small. Some crises we've heard about, many others never see the light of day. The latter is, of course, the best-case scenario. PR pros have played a substantial and ongoing role in making sure many crises don't reach a fever pitch and in minimizing the long-term impact of problems when they do erupt.
As 2006 draws to a close, the industry's prospects have never been brighter in terms of the strength of the business and the relevance of the communications discipline at the top echelon of every smart company.
Some still believe that it takes a crisis for a company to wake up to the importance of PR. That perspective is out of step with the daily experiences of our readers, in-house and agency, marketing, and communications. The relevance and power of PR is a story that goes far beyond the problem of the day.