The industry benefits greatly from PRWeek's terrific team

My first PRWeek column was published on September 30, 2002, rife with references to Enron and WorldCom. My focus is more local now, as I think about how fortunate the PR industry is to have this group of people focused so closely on it.

My column is very late and production is getting squirrely. This is predictable. When you don't write a column, you think, "If I only had somewhere to express all these wonderful thoughts and ideas!" When it's your platform, however, every word is agony.

My first PRWeek column was published on September 30, 2002, rife with references to Enron and WorldCom. My focus is more local now, as I think about how fortunate the PR industry is to have this group of people focused so closely on it.

This applies not only to the editorial team, but the entire brand, including sales, circulation, Web development, and production. It's not just me that thinks so. PRWeek received parent company Haymarket's Chairman's Award and Best Business Brand award this year for its highly successful publishing transition.

PRWeekers can be found everywhere. We have seeded great people to other areas of journalism, including Bloomberg, Advertising Age, Fairchild, The New York Post, Gawker.com, Fortune, Breaking Media, the Financial Times, and Forbes.com, and at brands such as WeightWatchers. How fortunate for PR that these professionals learned about the industry in a nuanced and sophisticated media environment. They can - and do - influence the way people view the profession.

We've also been a talent pipeline to PR itself, and firms including MS&L, Burson-Marsteller, Attention, Access, and March Communications have all benefited from our former staffers' perspective.

The current team, under the editorial leadership of Steve Barrett and the sales direction of Joanna Harp, is strong and brilliant. It will continue to surprise. I can hardly believe I will soon observe it only from the outside.

But before I get to that point, I want to call out two people who have been such an important part of my life for a long time now. Erica Iacono, executive editor, started as a reporter nearly six years ago and took on everything that came her way with grace, super smarts, and humor. She is a star, and I know many of you agree.

Then there's Gideon Fidelzeid, senior editor of production and special projects, who is currently waiting not-so-patiently for this column so he can edit it and get on with everything else. Gideon has been my daytime husband for nearly 10 years, my sounding board, my candid confidante, and my rock. It's impossible to imagine daily life without him, frankly.

Every column needs a takeaway, so here it is: loving your job is great; loving those you work with is even better.

Julia Hood is former publishing director of PRWeek and now president of the Arthur W. Page Society.

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