Media celebrities are now those running social media-driven companies like Google, Twitter, Facebook and Huffington Post. But where are the PR, advertising celebrities of yesteryear? PR (and advertising) professionals need to strongly and visibly assert their influence and impact in the global business world.
Joe Honick, GMA International Ltd (May 6, 2013): The gentleman misses an essential point: it is the real PR professional who understands his or her responsibility is to make the client the "star." However, among the business and profession, one need only refer to the names of Edelman, Arthur Solomon among others. Stardom is really not relevant. Intelligent and elegant performance mean more.
Ronald N. Levy (May 6, 2013): There are fewer celebrity PR leaders because of how the PR leader's job has evolved.
Once, top-ranking corporate executives and their marketing managers went after celebrity PR execs for their media placement ability to "make known our side of the story." Celebrity PR execs were charming intellectuals trusted by the media and could deliver massive coverage.
Today the PR job is not just telling the story but deciding what the story should be and where to tell it. Star performers at Edelman, FleishmanHillard, Weber Shandwick and elsewhere are often not placement people but brilliant at polling, research, online work and counseling that is not always what the client wants to hear.
First, with some trepidation, the boldest PR counselors answered the client's "media unfairness" wails by saying "you have to stop polluting the river" (or allowing unfairness to women or a minority).
It got more sophisticated so instead of "you have to" it became "we have to" and then "our financial and legal people think it may be MORE PROFITABLE if we avoid polluting the river."
No longer are the most important drinks consumed with media reps in flamboyant settings with a "look how great we are" message. more crucially important now may be a drink, perhaps coffee, on Sunday in the CEO's kitchen with the message that "moderation and communication skill can protect our corporate reputation and management's ass."
Like a general counsel or CFO, the PR leader who gives respected counsel is not a celebrity but a fame-avoiding professional.