Practitioners' rising status means more influence in the boardroom

Welcome to my first editor's letter since taking over as editor-in-chief of PRWeek.

Welcome to my first editor's letter since taking over as editor-in-chief of PRWeek. I join at a most exciting time for PR and communications, as practitioners play an increasingly vital role in the strategic direction of companies, brands, organizations, and governments at the most senior levels.

Communications leaders are now trusted boardroom advisors whose counsel and opinions are taken into account before major decisions are made. And the agencies that service those clients have plowed a steady furrow through the economic downturn by providing counsel recognized as more important than ever in difficult times.

Our annual Agency Business Report demonstrates this. Headcounts, profitability, and turnover have been hit hard in the past 12 months, but PR has held up remarkably well, which is a tribute to everyone involved. The cliché about PR needing to dine at the top table to prove its effectiveness is becoming reality in blue-chip corporate America.

Kraft's SVP of corporate affairs Perry Yeatman demonstrated this when helping the food manufacturing giant navigate its convoluted - and controversial - acquisition of centuries'-old British institution Cadbury. And PR's vital role in establishing effective digital communications channels and encouraging interactivity through social networks was highlighted in our high-powered tech roundtable.

I look forward to working with and building on the great efforts of executive editor Erica Iacono and PRWeek's team to deliver even more timely and business-critical content when, where, and how you want it. I hope to meet many of you in person in the coming months and welcome your thoughts at the e-mail address below on what we are doing well and how we can serve you even better.

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