In 2009, the PR industry is down to business. No individual represents the shifting meaning of the power in PR better than Harris Diamond, particularly in this tough economy. He arguably holds the fate of more PR pros and brands in his hands than anyone still directly working in the business. There are 3,500 PR pros working for CMG agencies, which include GolinHarris, MWW Group, and DeVries.
Diamond also has dominion over a broader range of services within IPG, including sports marketing agency Octagon and events firm Jack Morton. CMG revenues totaled $1.1 billion in 2008. As integration is now a stark reality, his leadership across this discrete, but broader marketing realm becomes vital for securing a range of key business.
In thought leadership, Diamond has taken as his stump speech dual themes of reputation and leadership. Though less trendy than the focus on innovation that at least in part propelled Richard Edelman to the top spot in the past two years, his perspectives on these two issues is in step with client pain points at a time of huge business uncertainty.
Part of the power proposition for Diamond is also in the continued strengths of WS, the core brand of his empire building, and in his blunt and business-focused style, which gives no quarter to detractors and naysayers. WS' consistency of leadership, including president Andy Polansky and chairman Jack Leslie, has been a critical USP for the firm, which has achieved blue-chip status in the PR world. This brand value has been driven from the top.