At next month's ICCO Summit 2003, six leading lights of international PR will be honoured with an important new accolade. The International Communications Consultancy Organisation has selected these leading practitioners to become the inaugural members of the ICCO International Hall of Fame.
The objective is to establish a group of widely respected senior consultants as international ambassadors for the profession.
Selected by the ICCO Board with support from the editors of PRWeek and its sister titles, the entrants include stellar names from the PR world.
Burson-Marsteller founding chairman Harold Burson; Ketchum chairman David Drobis; Golin/Harris International non-executive chairman, Asia, Anne Forrest; former Porter Novelli International chairman Peter Hehir; Edelman deputy chairman Michael Morley; and Interel CEO Jean-Leopold Schuybroek will all be honoured at a special dinner at the Summit, which takes place in Berlin from 16-17 October and, for the first time, has been produced in association with PRWeek.
'These people made exceptional progress in the internationalisation of the industry,' says ICCO secretary general Chris McDowall. 'They combined cultural sensitivity with commercial acumen to create agencies that share global reach with local relevance. They have provided vision and leadership necessary for the PR industry to develop around the world.'
The Summit will also feature speakers from the world's leading media, government bodies and NGOs.
Ex-assistant US secretary of state James Rubin, Shell vice-president of group external affairs Mary Jo Jacobi, Starbucks worldwide head of marketing Thomas Yang and McDonald's France CEO Denis Hennequin will be among the speakers to address the critical issue of 'Building Brands and Relationships in a Changed World'.
Below, PRWeek reviews the first six entrants to the ICCO Hall of Fame.
HAROLD BURSON, FOUNDER, BURSON-MARSTELLER
World War II veteran Burson was described as 'the most important PR professional of the 20th century' in a survey conducted by our American sister title (PRWeek, 22 October 1999). This recognition is a culmination of more than 50 years of working closely with corporate CEOs, government leaders and heads of public sector institutions.
The story of how the ex-local newspaper reporter and wunderkind 19-year-old graduate (Burson) linked up with a successful Chicago ad man (Bill Marsteller) has entered industry folklore. Burson had a troublesome client who, it later transpired, was using Marsteller's services for advertising.
A chance meeting between the two provided the spark for what became - and may yet be again - the biggest PR consultancy in the world.
His contribution to the PR industry worldwide as a member and leader of organisations cannot be overstated. The honours Burson has received over the last five decades - from PR Professional of the Year to various academic and charitable boards - are too numerous to mention.
They are all significant, of course, but to the man himself, of greater significance is surely the fact that despite being over 80 years old, he is still advising clients and inspiring the next generation of PR professional in how best to realise their ambitions.
DAVID DROBIS, CHAIRMAN
After joining Ketchum in 1967 as an account executive in the firm's Pittsburgh office, Drobis has spent his career helping it to grow from a small, specialised firm into one of the top agencies in the world.
Under his leadership, Ketchum expanded from North America to Asia-Pacific, Europe and Latin America, organising existing vertical industry categories and key communications disciplines into six global practices: Brand Marketing, Corporate, Food & Nutrition, Healthcare, Technology and Ketchum Inside.
Drobis is an accredited member of the Public Relations Society of America, a past board member of PRSA's Counselors Academy, a member of its International Committee and College of Fellows, as well as a past president of the New York Chapter of PRSA.
He was named among the top ten most influential people in public relations in the 20th century by PRWeek, and was presented with the National Public Relations Professional Achievement Award for 2001 from Ball State University.
He has spent the last three years as president of ICCO, working as tirelessly as anyone to build links between practitioners around the world, to share best practice among consultancy organisations in different geographies and to raise and improve the profile of public relations consultancy in general.
ANNE FORREST, NON-EXECUTIVE CHAIRMAN ASIA, GOLIN HARRIS
Having won PR Professional of the Year at the PRWeek Awards Asia in 2002, Forrest is firmly positioned as one of the Asia-Pacific region's foremost PR practitioners.
She has counselled many Hong Kong and international corporations on how to develop and implement comms strategies and manage corporate reputations.
After two decades in the PR sector - including establishing her own successful consultancy business - Forrest became non-exec chairman, Asia, for Interpublic's Golin/Harris International, focusing on senior client counsel and new business development chiefly in Hong Kong and Indonesia.
In addition, Forrest has been made a Fellow of the International Association of Business Communicators and the Institute of Management Consultants, Hong Kong.
PETER HEHIR, FORMER CHAIRMAN, PORTER NOVELLI
Currently living in New Zealand, Hehir began his working life as a journalist, before setting up Countrywide Communications in 1973 with just a single employee. When the company was eventually sold to global marcoms holding company Omnicom in 1993 it had built up a staff of nearly 300.
The UK arm of the company became Countrywide Porter Novelli in 1996 as the business expanded its owned offices to include Belgium, France, Spain, and the Netherlands.
As Porter Novelli Europe, the firm became the largest in Europe, and its sister company, GPC, which Hehir formerly developed and chaired, became the largest public affairs business in Europe. Hehir was also responsible for bringing together, acquiring or opening offices in 100 cities in 50 countries.
In 1987 Hehir began a stint as chairman of the PRCA, which is affiliated to ICCO. He became the UK delegate to ICCO in the early 1990s, and its president from l998 to 2000.
Hehir was awarded the Stephen Tallents Medal from the UK's Institute of Public Relations in 1998, was made a fellow of the IPR four years later and is a fellow of CAM - the UK's Communications, Advertising and Marketing examination body.
Proving that his ability has been recognised outside his home market, three years ago the early-retired Hehir became the first recipient of the American Industry Awards prize for the 'outstanding international PR professional'.
MICHAEL MORLEY, DEPUTY CHAIRMAN, EDELMAN
Former Royal Artillery officer and journalist Morley has worked for Edelman since 1967, when he started up the firm's first overseas office in London.
He went on to be named president of Edelman's International Operations and established Edelman offices in Europe, Asia-Pacific and Latin America.
Between 1995 and 1998 Morley was president of the firm's New York office.
Although his primary achievement may have been the building of a successful international public relations business, like the other Hall of Fame entrants, he is also a practitioner.
At Edelman, Morley has managed multinational PR programmes for companies that include United Parcel Service, VISA International, British Airways, Ernst & Young, Schering Plough and the Hertz Corporation.
He is also a political animal, and has counselled the European Democratic Party in two European Parliament elections.
Underlining his international credentials, Morley has advised Finland's FinnFacts Institute on their programmes in English, French, German, and Spanish-speaking countries. In 1978 he was made a Knight First Class, Order of the Lion of the Republic of Finland by President Urho Kekkonen.
He lectures extensively on PR, holds the CAM Diploma, and in 1981 was one of the first two PROs to be made fellows of the UK body responsible for PR education and examinations. Finally, he is also author of the well-received How to Manage Your Global Reputation.
JEAN-LEOPOLD SCHUYBROEK, INTEREL CEO
Schuybroek heads Belgium's largest independent public relations and public affairs consultancy, Interel.
He was educated in Belgium, graduating from the University of Louvain in economics before going on to scholarship programmes at Harvard Business School.
Since founding Interel in 1983, CEO Schuybroek - a polyglot fluent in French, Dutch, English and Spanish - has built up extensive experience within the public relations and public affairs arena, covering all communications disciplines from corporate and institutional communications to employee communications, crisis comms and issue management.
In addition, he heads Interel's issues and crisis communication practice, managing some of the most complex and difficult crises and issues in Europe, ranging from environmental matters to issues in labour relations, legal and regulatory sectors and health.
Schuybroek started his career as a special adviser to UNESCO in Trinidad and Tobago. He went on to serve as the managing director in the South American, Caribbean and Pacific region of Teleprint International, a Swiss telecommunications and information company.
A regular speaker at both PR and general industry events, Schuybroek's work extends behind his official role at Interel. In addition to holding the vice-presidency of ICCO, he is president of ABCRP, the Belgian association of public relations consultancies.
For further information on the ICCO Summit see www.iccosummit.com or telephone 020 8267 4225.