Writing this from the south of France at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, it is particularly pertinent to debate the meaning of power in the context of marketing and communications.
Richard Edelman, who is ranked number one on our annual Power List this year, has had a self-confessed change of heart in his attitude to advertising during the last 12 months, causing him to reappraise the role of the paid part of the paid, earned, shared, and owned media mix (PESO).
For someone who told me at a panel at the PRWeek Conference in 2011 that “advertising is the enemy,” that is a shift in priorities that demonstrates the mark of the man.
As leader of the largest PR firm in the world, Edelman's words and views are scrutinized extremely closely, and he is not afraid to adopt a thought leadership approach.He says: “The new mantra at Edelman is that the paid ought to support the earned and owned content, to make it work harder and more intelligently than a classic media buy that stands on its own.”
As always, Edelman, who took the reins of the agency in 1997, isn't resting on his laurels as he bids to grow the empire his late father founded into the first $1 billion PR agency.He is exhorting the industry to flip the traditional model on its head and for CCOs and, increasingly, CMOs to trust PR firms to pioneer this new approach.
His energy and pursuit of the next milestone are relentless.That's why Edelman is the best known PR person in the world – and that's why he tops the PRWeek Power List in 2013. Enjoy the issue.