Diary: WS's Joy makes Observer grade

Considering popular cynicism that PROs play far too much of a role in shaping our opinions, tastes and habits, its seems odd that The Observer could only find one star of the future from PR, in the form of Weber Shandwick chief operating officer Larissa Joy, for its list of 80 up-and-comers. 'The Observer is one of those papers that "pooh-poohs" the idea of PR as a creative industry,' claims WS CEO Colin Byrne. 'We don't need The Observer but it's good to have recognition for back-office talent, the unsung heroes of PR.'

One wonders whether the PR-shy Observer deferred to Management Today's 20 most powerful women under 35 and the World Economic Forum's 100 Global Leaders for Tomorrow, which both featured Joy last year.

GQ seemingly has a much higher opinion of the PR industry, recently naming Matthew Freud and Byrne himself as the 19th and 20th most powerful men in the UK.

It remains to be seen whether Joy attains the heights of Kate Bush, Nigel Mansell, Jack Straw and Neil Kinnock, some of the entrants in The Observer's original 'Eighty for the Eighties' in 1979. Fortunately for WS, Byrne says Joy has already been in his office assuring him she will not be demanding a pay rise just yet.

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