This week the Association of American Advertising Agencies (4A’s) announced its list of 100 People Who Make Advertising Great. There was an online submission process for nominations, and the final 100 were selected by 13 industry experts. This is part of the 100th anniversary celebration of the 4A’s.
I am honored to be selected as the sole PR person on the list, though I want to recognize Harris Diamond, CEO of McCann Worldgroup, and David Sable, CEO of Y&R, as former distinguished PR counselors.
I accept this on behalf of the 6,000 people at Edelman who are making the transition from classic public relations to communications marketing. We recognized the opportunity in digital and today are the leading social digital firm, with clients such as Samsung Mobile and Dairy Management Inc. We have added 600 creatives, planners and paid media experts to generate ideas that can be the centerpiece of corporate reputation and brand marketing programs. We offer strategies that evolve the brand, working with clients such as REI on #OptOutside, which won the Titanium Grand Prix in Cannes in 2016. Lastly, and as recognized by Forbes, our collaborating with and scaling of UEG has placed us as a leader in entertainment and social influencer work, having strategically crafted brand campaigns with dozens of entertainment properties and platforms, and created billions of impressions with leading cultural icons.
I want to recognize my father, Dan Edelman, as the father of marketing public relations and the bold entrepreneur who insisted on an equal role for PR at the family table with the big brother, advertising, and the other siblings, digital and media buying. I also want to thank Jackie Cooper for her bold vision that creative could become a central part of our proposition.
With cord-cutting, reliance on mobile devices, subscription services and a decline in mainstream media, all of us in marketing services are converging on the same space of storytelling. We would all be well advised to follow the slogan of McCann, “Truth Well Told,” because in this era of fake news and loss of trust in institutions, business is the last retaining wall. Our firm will continue to work hard every day to earn the trust that our clients place in us.
Richard Edelman is president and CEO.