Richard Edelman is the president and CEO of Edelman, a leading communications marketing firm.
The firm was named “PR Agency of the Decade” by both Advertising Age and The Holmes Report.
Richard has extensive experience in marketing and reputation management, having led assignments with major corporations, NGOs and family businesses in over 25 industries around the world.
Richard topped PRWeek’s list of most powerful executives (2013), was recognized as the third highest rated CEO by Glassdoor (2014) and was inducted in the Arthur W. Page Society’s Hall of Fame (2014). He is regarded as an industry thought leader and has posted weekly to his blog since 2004. Richard is consistently mentioned as one of the top 25 foremost experts on corporate trust.
He serves on the Board of Directors of the Ad Council, the Atlantic Council, the Children’s Aid Society and the 9/11 Museum. He is a member of the World Economic Forum and PR Seminar.
Richard has a Bachelor of Arts degree from Harvard College and an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School.
I presented the results of the Edelman Trust Barometer to four individual clients, met with three venture capital firms, and attended a salon dinner and breakfast briefing for 100 people with panelists from Coursera, Uber and CNet. We also unveiled some new research for California which has some very ominous signs for the industry.
Today, I delivered a keynote address on Trust and the CEO at the Executives Club of Chicago. My central theme: It is time for CEOs to come out of the bunker, be out front and lead, do more than simply focus on delivering on the numbers, and be part of the solution to society’s problems.
Edelman has been tracking trust for 16 years. This year we conducted online surveys with over 33,000 respondents in 28 countries. The survey asked respondents how much they trust the four institutions of government, business, nongovernmental organizations and media to do what is right.
This was a World Economic Forum Annual Meeting of massive mood swings, linked to the plunging global stock markets, diving commodity prices, renewed concern about the flood of refugees moving toward the European Union, the rise of populism in the U.S. and European countries, and the effect of a slowing Chinese economy.
“How do you get butts in seats for a movie about cancer?” That was the challenge posed this morning on the phone by movie producer and friend Pascaline Servan-Schreiber about her new film, “The C Word”, which is rolling out across America.
The Edelman Trust Barometer will be released in two weeks at the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. With 36,000 respondents in 28 countries, this is the largest study of its kind on trust in business, government, media, NGOs, spokespeople and industry sectors.
This past year I visited 25 Edelman offices around the globe. What struck me most and made me the proudest was the incredible level of enthusiasm and passion our employees have for the work we’re doing for our clients. It’s what would have resonated greatly with my father as well.
I am returning from Germany, where Edelman just closed a merger with ergo, a leading independent firm specializing in corporate, financial and public affairs. Started 20 years ago by Tobias Mündemann and Hans Ulrich Helzer, the firm has a dozen financial institutions, government agencies and several “Mittelstandt” clients.