'29 under 29' reveals tomorrow's leaders

The pages of PRWeek regularly exalt the achievements of the senior people - often in age as well as in rank - in the industry. It is the personalities with the grey, or greying, hairs that tend to serve as the more interesting role models - they invariably have stories to tell and experience to impart. But the industry's high-achievers are not limited to those with one eye on retirement, a villa in Tuscany or a 'portfolio lifestyle'.

Our '29 under 29' feature this week identifies some of the rising stars, from agencies and in-house, who will be calling the shots in years to come. This 20-something brigade of acute talent have some impressive, and tangible, achievements under their belt, in spearheading campaigns and in running effective teams.

They possess a combination of youthful exuberance and maturity beyond their years. As tomorrow's industry leaders, they have the instinct to grab responsibility wholeheartedly and take control of their own career development, rather than looking for someone to spoon-feed them. The 29 can expect a few complimentary emails and phone calls as a result of making it into the list. But their bosses needn't worry too much that exposing them in this way will lead to them getting poached (of course, this doesn't apply to the handful who have set up their own consultancy).

Despite being tender in years, more than half of the line-up have been at their current place of work since at least 2003, while nine have spent their entire career in PR at their existing employer. This loyalty discredits the notion that it is necessary to move around early in one's career in order to progress quickly and develop different skills.

It also shows that there are organisations willing to promote young talent and push people to take on significant areas of responsibility. Long may their employers provide them with the environment in which to thrive.

Danny Rogers is hosting the PRWeek Summer Forum in Chepstow.

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