Effective, smart communicators valued more now than ever before

All these disparate elements and much more make up the rich tapestry of this month's issue of PRWeek. It's a reminder of the vast reach, scope, and scale of the modern PR and communications industry.

A duck with a catchphrase, a bible, bleach, baseball, bone marrow donors, Marissa Mayer, insomnia, an influential blogger with the fantastic sobriquet Hungry Girl, a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, PRWeek reporter Brittaney Kiefer's grandmother, South Africa/Indonesia/Abu Dhabi/Turkey/Vietnam/Mexico/Romania, Girl Scouts, RadioShack, Skinnygirl Margarita, Julia Child, HootSuite, and Don Spetner's life-changing stint on the Ruder Finn softball team.

All these disparate elements and much more make up the rich tapestry of this month's issue of PRWeek.

It's a reminder of the vast reach, scope, and scale of the modern PR and communications industry. But beneath all these subjects and stories lie common threads that draw the whole construct together, including strategy, insight, tactical awareness, entrepreneurialism, and quick thinking.

Take our Newsmaker subject this month, Aflac's VP of corporate communications Laura Kane. When the voice of the Aflac duck, comedian Gilbert Gott-fried, plunged the insurance provider into one of those social media and reputational maelstroms all communicators and CEOs dread, Kane reacted lightning fast to remedy the situation.

A release announcing the firing of the errant comedian was quickly distributed and a contest to find the new voice of the duck launched. Soon, Aflac's CEO was listening to auditions in his local grocery store; its CMO was getting quack phone calls. Web traffic soared 20% and a Cannes Lions award followed. Most importantly, Aflac's quarterly sales rose for the first time in over two years.

That's the power of PR. And that's why smart communicators such as Laura Kane are valued more now than ever before.

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