If I were in the Power Book

PRWeek UK just released the 2014 edition of its excellent Power Book. US editor-in-chief Steve Barrett pretends he's important enough to get on the list.

The Power Book is our sister title PRWeek UK’s annual round-up of the top movers and shakers in the PR industry across the pond.

It is conducted in a lively questionnaire format that mixes serious observations about the industry with light-hearted details about the individuals’ backgrounds and personal lives.

Next year, PRWeek is evolving the Power Book into a global product for the first time and extending the concept to top PR pros in the US, Asia, and beyond.

In advance of this, I thought I would take the opportunity of introducing the format to a US audience by imagining what my Power Book profile would look like, in the unlikely event that I was important enough to make the cut. (It also stimulated a fierce debate in the newsroom about whether the above headline should read "If I was" or "If I were" - we ultimately settled on the latter.)

We look forward to introducing this informative but fun product to a wider audience in the coming months but, in the interim, here goes…


Steve Barrett, editor-in-chief, PRWeek


Edits the US edition of the top business publishing brand for the PR and communications industries.

How did you get into PR journalism?

I had edited or held senior editorial roles on PRWeek parent Haymarket Media titles in the UK such as Media Week, Young People Now, and Revolution. Five years ago, I moved to New York City to edit PRWeek US.

Favorite PR campaign of last year

Don’t know if you’d call it a campaign, but Chevron has conducted a remorseless and pretty successful battle to protect its reputation amid allegations of causing social and environmental harm in Ecuador, culminating in a case brought by Ecuadorian farmers, supported by their government, being thrown out by a federal judge in Manhattan earlier this year.

Favorite PR campaign ever

It’s not just PR, but I’ve always loved the Scottish soft-drink Irn-Bru’s branding. In Scotland, Irn-Bru often outsells Coca-Cola, and its cheeky marketing and communications is classic challenger brand positioning. (Full disclosure: way back in the day, when I worked at a digital agency, Irn-Bru owner AG Barr was a client.)

PR’s greatest weakness is...

Talking about weaknesses instead of emphasizing its strengths and the value it delivers.

The biggest opportunity in PR over the coming year will be...

To rise above its insecurities and seize the opportunities to lead in marketing communications.

I get nostalgic about...

Rhubarb crumble and custard on a Sunday... and Manchester United winning the Premier League.

My must have item is...

A Fred Perry shirt.

An app that should have been invented by now is...

One that can find me a cheap flight to Manchester during the holiday season.

Best thing I got without spending money

Advice from my mom: "If you don’t do something, you’ll never know what would have happened if you’d done it."

The best fictional PR character is...

C.J. Cregg, The West Wing.

I would tell my 25-year-old self...

It’s probably time to stop enjoying yourself so much now… and, by the way, get a proper job. (I wouldn't have listened.)

How many people report to you directly?


To whom do you report?

Julia Hood, EVP, Haymarket Media, and former editor-in-chief of PRWeek.

Read all the UK Power Book profiles at www.prweek.com/powerbook

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