PR OPTIMISTS

PR OPTIMISTS

A Thing About My Favourite Superheroes in PR

A few weeks ago, a fresh issue of TIME magazine landed on the shelves. For the first time in 90 years, it has been edited by a guest editor. And not an ordinary editor, for this time it was Bill Gates himself. The main theme of this issue is the widely understood optimism towards the world around us, while the heroes it presents are the people who contribute to making it a better place. In his opening letter, Bill says:

Reading the news today does not exactly leave you feeling optimistic. […] Your heart breaks for every person who is touched by these tragedies. […] But these events—as awful as they are—have happened in the context of a bigger, positive trend. On the whole, the world is getting better. This is not some naively optimistic view; it’s backed by data. […] So why does it feel like the world is in decline? I think it is partly the nature of news coverage. Bad news arrives as drama, while good news is incremental—and not usually deemed newsworthy.

BILL GATES.

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I highly recommend reading the whole issue. The stories of the people it presents are incredibly inspiring, and they are channeling our energy into good things, which—as Gates says—drive even more progress.
I’ve read this issue from cover to cover in one sitting, and it inspired me to reflect on our small PR world. Just think about how many times in your career you have come across headlines reading “PR Struggles to Handle its Image,” “Inside the Problems Polish PR is Facing,” “Why is PR so Hard?” etc. How many times have you bumped into opinions by experts representing other fields saying that PR is dying? I read such statements every day. In fact, I often get the feeling that the market lacks the role models and superstars who would lead us towards changing not only our own attitudes as the people representing the industry but also the attitudes of those who look and judge.
But (for crying out loud!) it’s not like we’re doing so bad. The media market is evolving, so the needs are piling up. The needs are growing, so the competencies are expanding. And expanding competencies mean bigger budgets. As budgets grow, PR grows too. Do you think PR is still about building relations with journalists? There’s no better way to explain this is not the case than how Gini did it.
Following in the footsteps of Bill Gates (why the heck not, we should be reaching high), I’d like to share my subjective review of PR superheroes who instill optimism as to the future of the industry and give me the power to take action. These are the people who make it easier to move forward.

Stephen Waddington

Stephen Waddington, Partner and Chief Engagement Officer at Ketchum

Stephen Waddington, Partner and Chief Engagement Officer at Ketchum

For me, Stephen is a synonym for a modernized approach to PR. Think expert knowledge, experience, vision, and optimism, and you get “Stephen.” As Partner and Chief Engagement Officer at Ketchum, he is responsible for driving the integration of activities in the area of PR, digital and social media to build client engagements across the agency’s international network. As the author of the blog wadds.co.uk, he dissects and analyzes the key aspects of a modernized approach to PR. As a social media influencer, he encourages discussions around these topics. If Stephen had the same massive influence in every country in the world as he does in English-speaking countries, we would be looking at the future of PR with confidence.

Iliyana Stareva

Iliyana Stareva, Global Partner Program Manager at Hubspot

Iliyana Stareva, Global Partner Program Manager at Hubspot

As an experienced PR professional, Iliyana is responsible for developing the Global Partner Program at Hubspot. Owing to the combination of competence and responsibility, she has been successfully developing the concept of inbound PR. She is sharing her knowledge and experience in this field via her blog and at various conferences she attends. Iliyana is the citizen of the world, and a very positive person whose mission is to build synergies between media, blogger, and social media relations.

Gini Dietrich

Gini Dietrich, CEO of Arment Dietrich, founder of SpinSucks.com

Gini Dietrich, CEO of Arment Dietrich, founder of SpinSucks.com

If you’re following English-speaking media covering PR, I’m pretty sure that SpinSucks is somewhere at the top of your list. Gini, who deals with the daily management of the Arment Dietrich agency, makes sure that every day we’re provided a solid portion of information and knowledge from this source. She’s an advocate of a marketing approach towards PR, the PESO model, and changing the way people think about Public Relations. For me, she’s one of the key icons of the new generation of PR pros.

Tilo Bonow

Tilo Bonow, Founder and CEO at Piabo

Tilo Bonow, Founder and CEO at Piabo

Tilo is for me a true businessman in the world of PR. Thanks to a great deal of experience in running a technological business, he has been extremely successful in introducing PR into startup circles. Through the activities of the Piabo agency, he has proven that effective operations in new PR areas (combining PR, social media, and content marketing) are paramount to the success of innovative technological projects.

Wendy Marx

Wendy Marx, President at Marx Communications

Wendy Marx, President at Marx Communications

I don’t know Wendy personally, but I’m incredibly impressed by her experience as a recognized thought leader in B2B communications. You can read Wendy’s pieces, e.g., on the Marx Communications Blog. The work and achievements of Marx Communications and its ability to adapt to changes in the communications industry over the last 20 years simply cannot go unnoticed.

Rich Leigh

Rich Leigh, Founder at Radioactive PR, author of the book “Myths of PR”

Rich Leigh, Founder at Radioactive PR, author of the book “Myths of PR”

You probably know Rich as the author of the book “Myths of PR,” which became one of industry bestsellers worldwide. In addition to writing books, Rich also manages Radioactive PR, an agency that deals with synergies between PR and SEO, social media, marketing, and crafting valuable content. If you’re working at an agency, Rich’s publications will help you understand the changes happening in the industry and their effects in the context of the approach to working with customers. Besides, Rich seems like a very cool and open guy 😊
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