Inside the minds of PR's top power players

PRWeek's Global Power Book is a fascinating compendium of fun and serious insights from 350 of the top PR pros around the world.

Apparently, if a film was produced of their lives, many of the men named in PRWeek’s Global Power Book 2016 think George Clooney is the actor they would like to play them in that movie.

Er, way to go guys — there’s nothing like being aspirational…

The most popular choice among women was Helen Mirren, who is nothing if not transparent and authentic (so is Mr Clooney to be fair.) She would certainly speak truth to power.

A warning to Weber Shandwick, Kovert Creative, and the firms pitching for the rest of GM’s business this year, head of global comms Tony Cervone would be played by Joe Pesci, so be prepared to dance higher than Spider in Goodfellas and have a very careful answer prepared if he asks whether "I amuse you."

Leslie Gaines-Ross would be played by Frieda from the Peanuts cartoon strip, Lisa Caputo by Anne Hathaway, and Barri Rafferty by a younger Meryl Streep — and by the way, it’s good to see Barri is a Manchester United fan. H+K’s Roz Thomas would also be played by La Streep.

Veep star Julia Louis-Dreyfus was also a popular choice, with practitioners such as FleishmanHillard’s Asia-Pac president Lynne Anne Davis, "to properly capture a multitude of comedic moments," as she puts it. And, "of course," Kerry Washington would portray Bechtel’s Charlene Wheeless. Encore Capital’s Harshita Varma would rather be a book by JK Rowling.

Richard Edelman would be played by Matthew Modine, and Don Baer has already been portrayed by Richard Schiff — Peppercomm’s Ed Moed would be played by Kevin Spacey. ICCO president Max Behar picked Robert de Niro.

Weber Shandwick’s Colin Byrne would be portrayed by Christopher Eccleston, "another Salford boy, but better looking." Waste Management’s Barry Caldwell "just doesn’t think about that stuff."

It’s a fascinating compendium of information that you can dive into and immerse yourself for hours, featuring comms professionals from all seven continents around the world.

Much is surprising, some things less so. The RNC’s chief communicator Sean Spicer thinks the Republican nominee will be the next U.S. president (in case there were any doubts) and that Brand Hillary Clinton has had the worst year reputation-wise (again, no surprise there.)

Overall, our Power Book members picked Clinton as their preferred next president of the U.S., if slightly reluctantly and mainly in an "anyone but Trump" way, apart from Lord Bell, who would be portrayed in a film by Michael Fassbender by the way.

Citi’s Ed Skyler would like his former boss Michael Bloomberg to be the next president and is less bullish about the year ahead for his business and the PR sector, as well as the future of print newspapers.

And while Twitter is undoubtedly having a tough time at the moment, senior PR pros still picked it alongside Facebook as their most useful social media platform. And on balance they think there’s life in print media.

PR pros are generally optimistic for the next 12 months, with some caveats, including global economic uncertainty and Brexit in Europe. VW and FIFA were considered to have had very poor years reputationally. Their favorite campaign not produced by their brand or agency was Always #LikeAGirl.

These were just some of thousands of insights, both fun and serious, into the psyche of the senior players in the communications sector that came out of this survey of 350 of the most senior PR pros around the world.

Please enjoy – and if you’re not on the list and think you should have been, drop me a line and tell my why.

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