Britain’s Chartered Institute of Public Relations has awarded Harold Burson, Burson-Marsteller’s founding chairman, its President’s Medal for having “shaped contemporary public relations more than any person alive today."
CIPR praised 96-year-old Burson for setting the “template for the public relations agency as a global business, creating bright horizons for the practice as it grows worldwide in the 21st century."
Bob Leaf, B-M’s former international chairman, accepted the award on Burson's behalf at CIPR's annual general meeting in London.
CIPR established the President’s Medal to honor those who played a role in developing PR’s "ability to engage, communicate and to campaign, or whose actions have highlighted the role and benefit of PR to society."
Edward Bernays, Richard Branson, Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Tim Berners-Lee received the President’s Medal.
Burson said he’s “truly humbled” to join so many highly accomplished and distinguish honorees.
“I am extremely grateful to be recognized for seeing the opportunity to make PR a global enterprise, which is what I call one of my 'defining moments.'
"But, as I look back on Burson-Marsteller's 64 years, I am most grateful for having had the opportunity to work with and employ many of the brightest minds in our industry," he said.