Global Power Book: Challenging, fun, Orwellian... the world's top PR chiefs look back on the last 12 months

'Challenging' - that word best describes the past 12 months for the international PR elite, according to the PRWeek Global Power Book.

Entrants to the Global Power Book 2017 - PRWeek's directory of the most influential people in global PR industry, which will be launched later this week - were asked to describe the past year in four words.

There were a huge number of responses, but many referred to the era of change ushered in by seismic events as the Trump presidency and the vote for Brexit, and changes in the PR industry itself.

'Challenging' was chosen by 30 PR chiefs, and there was significant support for words such as changing, transformative, surprising, uncertain and volatile.

"Twitter account wins presidency," is the answer from Hill+Knowlton US CEO Alex Jutkowitz, while Starbucks global comms chief Corey duBrowa offers this: "Fake news, real consequences."

McDonald’s vice-president, global policy and engagement, Julian Hilton-Johnson says it was "Eurovision gone horribly wrong"; a reference, presumably, to Brexit and the Eurovision Song Contest.

There were plenty of positive adjectives too; exciting, fun, exhilarating and rewarding were chosen by multiple Global Power Book members.

Less common answers included Orwellian, mind-blowing, melodramatic and tumultuous.

Last comment on the 12-month period goes to Ketchum’s Ray Kotcher: "I can describe it in two words, but you wouldn't print it."

The most common words use to describe the past 12 months:

  1. Challenging: 30 mentions
  2. Changing: 20
  3. Transformative: 12
  4. Disruptive; unpredictable: both 11
  5. Exciting; fun: both 10
  6. Fast-paced: 9
  7. Successful; suprising, uncertain: all 7
  8. Dynamic, exhilarating, exciting: all 6
  9. Innovative; invigorating; inspirational; busy; rewarding; game changing: all 5
  10. Relentless; evolving; energising; volatile: all 4

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