In a 2011 article about Edelman, Jack O’Dwyer wrote that ours was “the only big firm that stayed true to its craft and didn’t sell out.”
The same can be said about Jack. Over 50 years he has demonstrated an unwavering commitment to the profession of journalism and to holding everyone connected to the PR industry accountable for their actions.
I started in the industry and at Edelman 40 years ago, so it’s not overstating it to say that much of what I learned in the first half of my career came from my father, Dan Edelman, and Jack.
This article is featured in O'Dwyer's Jul. '18 50th Anniversary Magazine
And for most of you reading this, Jack more than likely served as your mentor and guide through the industry via Jack O’Dwyer’s Newsletter and O’Dwyer’s magazine.
For five decades Jack has served as Chronicler-in-Chief of our industry. He’s reported on our evolution from media relations gurus to crisis communicators to strategic counselors, and on the progression of agencies from product marketing to digital marketing to communications marketing.
He’s covered the acquisitions by the conglomerates and has remained a fierce advocate and voice for the independents. Jack is committed to ensuring transparency. His list of agency rankings was the first of its kind, and it made us all accountable for our financials.
He’s a gadfly in the best possible way, in pursuit of the truth. He’s an old-school reporter who digs for the facts and calls it like he sees it.
Jack’s a bon vivant who loves a laugh and a glass of whiskey. And he’s a true family man who, like my father and me, has led a family-owned business working alongside his wife Lucille, his strongest supporter; his son John, who serves as publisher; and his daughter Christine, director of marketing.
Jack’s never lost his zeal for PR or reporting on it. Here’s to you, Jack, on a remarkable half-century. Thank you for being a voice for us independents and the best source of real news about the industry we love.
Richard Edelman is president and CEO of Edelman, the No. 1 independent PR firm.