With the profession continuing to grow both in size and influence, this year's is, not surprisingly, the biggest Power Book in this project’s 12-year history, with more than 420 professionals profiled. We’ve also expanded the number of Top 10 lists, which identify the most powerful comms experts in particular niches.
I hope you enjoy reading the 2020 Power Book. I’ve had a go, below, at answering some of the questions that we put to the country’s PR elite.
Describe the past year, and make predictions for 2020...
Another year of political and social turmoil, which has driven public affairs, corporate risk and comms activities. Meanwhile, big brand owners are reducing their overall promotional spend for reasons of cost efficiency and concerns over the economy. Sadly, expect more of the same for 2020, particularly with the emergence of Coronavirus.
What’s your big professional challenge in 2020?
Continuing to build understanding and appreciation of the value that the best comms professionals bring to organisations. PRWeek must strive to champion responsible, open and professional communications, while maintaining a journalistic edge that calls out poor ethics, obfuscation and anti-democratic practices.
What’s the most important aspect of debate on corporate purpose?
Defining what we mean by ‘purpose’: do we mean sustainability, which is fast (and rightly) becoming a hygiene factor?; cause-led marketing (which can be powerful but risky unless authentic)?; or do we mean the central mission and values of an enterprise? Ideally organisations and brands need to be addressing all these challenges.
What key thing should the industry do to encourage diversity?
To embrace a broader audience, both in terms of its talent intake and the targeting of campaigns. The growing inequality in wealth, education and career opportunities in the UK, and much of the developed world, is behind the anger that we feel in society of late. PR professionals ignore this at their long-term peril – including the success of their own organisations.
I can’t start the day without…
A cup of tea and reading a proper newspaper. Newspapers, even if consumed digitally, are still invaluable curators of the news and opinions that matter in the world.
Danny Rogers, editor-in-chief, UK & EMEA
More from the 2020 Power Book: