Steve Barrett on PR

Steve Barrett is VP, editorial director of PRWeek US. Each week he shares his views on the trends and stories that are shaping the PR industry.

Contact Steve at steve.barrett@prweek.com

Communicators: 'It’s our time'

Communicators: 'It’s our time'

The latest edition of PRWeek’s seminal industry survey shows the PR function is more valued than ever at organizations, but that brings with it additional pressure to deliver.

Strength through adversity

Strength through adversity

So many things have fundamentally changed in the past two decades since 9/11, but the most important thing is for us to remember those who perished and make sure we all honor their memory with a renewed spirit of togetherness.

A PR legend, centenarian and a gentleman

A PR legend, centenarian and a gentleman

David Finn is one of the founding fathers of PR and a throwback to the genesis of the communications industry.

Healthcare fueled PR’s recovery over the past 12 months

Healthcare fueled PR’s recovery over the past 12 months

The continued impact of COVID-19, vaccine roll-outs, booster shots and health equity plus groundbreaking technological innovation mean healthcare is a more ubiquitous factor than ever across communications.

Milton Friedman got it wrong

Milton Friedman got it wrong

Two years ago, America Inc. signed up to a purpose agenda that aims to return capitalism to its responsible roots rather than solely lining shareholders’ pockets, but the reality doesn’t yet match the rhetoric.

Olympics restored faith in a troubled world

Olympics restored faith in a troubled world

Initially much-derided in its host country and around the globe, the Tokyo games eventually demonstrated the enduring strength of the Olympic spirit and its unique appeal to brands.

Just when we thought we were out, it pulls us back in

Just when we thought we were out, it pulls us back in

The coronavirus Delta variant is making everyone feel like it is déjà vu all over again in terms of hybrid working and a return to the office.

40 Under 40: The diverse faces of the next generation of PR leaders

40 Under 40: The diverse faces of the next generation of PR leaders

PRWeek’s most popular honorific program increases in significance year after year because it holds up a mirror to the values shaping a profession that has never been more important.

Going for gold - the Olympic dream lives on

Going for gold - the Olympic dream lives on

As one of the most unusual and problematic Olympic Games gets set to start in Tokyo, communicators and marketers are tweaking their normal playbook to take advantage of what is still a unique branding opportunity.

Power players drive effective communication

Power players drive effective communication

Pfizer’s Sally Susman tops a Power List of 50 individuals making a real difference to business, brands and society.

Say hello to the new PRWeek

Say hello to the new PRWeek

As we prepare to reintroduce in-person events, we’ve modernized our logo and refreshed our website to bring you even more of the best information and insight about the increasingly important worlds of PR and communication.

Declan Kelly affair is not a good look for the PR profession

Declan Kelly affair is not a good look for the PR profession

The Teneo CEO’s resignation this week following revelations about inappropriate behavior at a fundraiser in May has put the advisory firm’s whole modus operandi in the spotlight.

9 top takeaways from the Cannes PR and other Lions

9 top takeaways from the Cannes PR and other Lions

The annual smorgasbord of creativity and case studies is taking place virtually after a two-year hiatus – here’s what every PR pro needs to know about the results and trends so far.

Cannes Lions PR shortlist tells a familiar tale

Cannes Lions PR shortlist tells a familiar tale

If the PR shortlist is any indication of overall trends, PR firms once again struggled to compete with their advertising colleagues when it comes to recognition at this virtual renewal of the Festival of Creativity.

Press conferences: It’s complicated

Press conferences: It’s complicated

From Naomi Osaka, to Ronaldo, to Paul Pogba, to Biden and Putin, recent weeks have seen several examples of the influence of press conferences and the evolution of their place in communications and marketing strategies.

Hall of Femme is testament to the resilience of PR

Hall of Femme is testament to the resilience of PR

The Class of 2021 represents an industry that reacted admirably to the challenges of the past 15 months while juggling multiple other responsibilities simultaneously.

Brand film comes of age

Brand film comes of age

The work on display in PRWeek, Campaign and MM+M’s celebration of brand filmmaking is a testament to a format that is increasingly driving return on marketing and communications investment.

CDC botched mask guidance

CDC botched mask guidance

Last week’s announcement on mask-wearing by the CDC led to more confusion than clarification, and underlined the fact that health issues will be on every PR person’s radar for the foreseeable future.

LGBTQ visibility leads to acceptance

LGBTQ visibility leads to acceptance

The latest phase of Procter & Gamble and GLAAD’s Visibility Project demonstrates that inclusion in marketing is a powerful force for social change – as long as it is authentic.

The big return to hybrid work has many nuances

The big return to hybrid work has many nuances

As "le grand retour" looms on the horizon for the people business that is PR, employers and employees alike are working out the full implications of the new normal.

Not so super communication disrespects sporting heritage

Not so super communication disrespects sporting heritage

The recent abortive attempt to upturn the structure of European soccer was an object lesson in how not to treat consumers and how not to safeguard a brand.

8 takeaways from the Agency Business Report

8 takeaways from the Agency Business Report

PRWeek’s annual review of the agency sector profiled an industry that showed its mettle in a super-challenging year.

Strategic PR counsel is valued more than it’s ever been

Strategic PR counsel is valued more than it’s ever been

This week’s statement by America plc on the voting laws issue was another example of the central role of communications in determining business strategy and shaping corporate reputation.

Life is not what happens but how you deal with it

Life is not what happens but how you deal with it

Communications leads at major companies are overseeing one long political-style campaign in which their brand is the candidate and the electorate is unforgiving.

Do the right thing

Do the right thing

With the anniversary of George Floyd’s killing approaching, business is being asked to show the receipts for its initial responses to last year’s racial reckoning in the United States.

Racism is a virus, not Asians: #StopAAPIHate

Racism is a virus, not Asians: #StopAAPIHate

Recent egregious events in Atlanta are the culmination of centuries of discrimination against Asian-Americans – brands have a responsibility to step up and take action in the same way they did around the Black Lives Matter movement.

Work and an industry to be genuinely proud of

Work and an industry to be genuinely proud of

The 2021 PRWeek Awards winners reflect an industry that really stepped up to the plate and demonstrated its effectiveness after the country was poleaxed by COVID-19.

Staffers will remember how employers treated them during COVID

Staffers will remember how employers treated them during COVID

As the first anniversary of the coronavirus lockdown looms, PRWeek’s Salary Survey provides a revealing insight into how the pandemic impacted the PR industry.

NFTs could revolutionize marketing and communications

NFTs could revolutionize marketing and communications

Blockchain underscored virtual non-fungible tokens are currently dominated by digital art, but it won’t be long before brands get on board and explore the myriad possibilities of this new storytelling environment.

If Biden Administration is serious about respect, Ducklo had to go

If Biden Administration is serious about respect, Ducklo had to go

Egregious behavior by Jen Psaki’s deputy press secretary TJ Ducklo ceded much of the moral high ground Biden’s comms team assumed when it took over last month.

Moms facing a crisis during the COVID-19 pandemic

Moms facing a crisis during the COVID-19 pandemic

As the coronavirus lockdown approaches its one-year anniversary, the intense pressure on women in PR and the general workforce is starting to take its toll.

Join the Clubhouse

Join the Clubhouse

PR pros take note: the latest social media sensation is nothing to do with golf and it’s a much more engaging and diverse place to hang out than the 19th hole.

The power of the crowd

The power of the crowd

Access to information and communication channels is no longer monopolized by the privileged few – and this democratization has big implications for PR pros.

White House press secretary confronts war on truth

White House press secretary confronts war on truth

Obama era press veteran Jen Psaki quickly demonstrated that communication with the American people and the rest of the world will be very different under the Biden administration.

Business can combat existential threat to democracy

Business can combat existential threat to democracy

The latest Edelman Trust Barometer places business above the other three major institutions - it must use this trust credit to aggressively combat misinformation and erosion of truth.

It’s on all of us to stop this, right now, before it’s too late

It’s on all of us to stop this, right now, before it’s too late

The disinformation driving Wednesday’s insurrection in Washington can be stopped, but everyone must do their part.

Stunning demonstration of white privilege desecrates Brand America

Stunning demonstration of white privilege desecrates Brand America

The heinous mob attacks on the U.S. Capitol building on Wednesday finally provided a wake-up call to those who have enabled a poisonous level of social discourse over the past four years.

Steve Barrett on PR: Let’s make America healthy again

Steve Barrett on PR: Let’s make America healthy again

If 2021 is to be a better year than 2020, federal, state and local government and other institutions need to step up and do a lot better.

Steve Barrett on PR: 10 snapshots from 2020

Steve Barrett on PR: 10 snapshots from 2020

The essential images that defined a year nobody anticipated.

Steve Barrett on PR: It’s time to be comfortable being uncomfortable on racial equity

Steve Barrett on PR: It’s time to be comfortable being uncomfortable on racial equity

Recent moves by Nasdaq and a series of passionate discussions at PRWeek’s Racial Equity Summit signpost the road ahead for real progress to be made on diversity in the PR industry.

Presidents, Hollywood stars and high-profile CEOs all value PR highly

Presidents, Hollywood stars and high-profile CEOs all value PR highly

The caliber of individuals paying tribute to this year’s PRWeek Hall of Fame honorees is a testament to how highly communications is regarded by powerful individuals and organizations.

Communicating in a divided America

Communicating in a divided America

In such a polarized environment, smart communications counsel is required more than ever before – but it has to be extremely nuanced and take account of all viewpoints and stakeholders.

Steve Barrett on PR - Note to Trump: “Enjoy your night mate”

Steve Barrett on PR - Note to Trump: “Enjoy your night mate”

President Trump’s response this week to the prospect of losing the election may have been authentic and on brand, but it was unbefitting of the office and not what the country needs right now.

Steve Barrett on PR: Sky’s the limit for PR within agency holding companies

Steve Barrett on PR: Sky’s the limit for PR within agency holding companies

As the U.S. contemplates the next administration, recent Q3 financials show PR performing relatively well and holding companies targeting aggressive real estate realignments to reflect future working models.

Steve Barrett on PR: 6 degrees of “How the hell do I keep up…?”

Steve Barrett on PR: 6 degrees of “How the hell do I keep up…?”

Seven months of lockdown have turned even the most placid, measured and calm PR professional into a frazzled mess of contradictory feelings. But the work must go on and the pace of change and information deluge is faster than ever.

Profits and purpose are inextricably linked

Profits and purpose are inextricably linked

The work honored at this week’s PRWeek Purpose Awards and the sessions at the PRDecoded: Purpose – Time for Action conference provide the templates for future communicators and businesspeople.

Steve Barrett on PR: 5 reasons you can’t afford to miss PRDecoded

Steve Barrett on PR: 5 reasons you can’t afford to miss PRDecoded

Next week’s PRWeek PRDecoded: Purpose in Action conference and the Purpose Awards have never been more relevant for ambitious PR professionals.

Steve Barrett on PR: Fred Perry fights back against extremist adoption

Steve Barrett on PR: Fred Perry fights back against extremist adoption

The iconic British clothing brand has halted sales of its black and yellow shirt in the U.S. due to its uptake by neo-Nazi thugs – but how should marketers respond when their brands are subverted?

SWAT mentality will persist after COVID-19

SWAT mentality will persist after COVID-19

Communications teams have led a change in culture at organizations that is a necessary and overdue disruption.

PR can flourish in these trying times by swiftly pivoting

PR can flourish in these trying times by swiftly pivoting

PRWeek has doubled down to reflect all aspects of lockdown life, PR’s diversity conundrum and the primacy of purpose in producing real change.