On September 29, 2004, I wrote my first blog post. I had been with my second cousin, Linda Stone, the prior weekend and she told me that I had to jump into the water. My promise in that post was to “share trends in communications, the issues, lessons and insights that I gather from managing the firm.” So by the numbers, I have written 532 posts over the past 10 years, the most popular being my annual take on the Edelman Trust Barometer, our win in the PR category of the Cannes Lions, my response to our misstep on a tour for Walmart and the recent speech to the Arthur Page Society in which I outlined a new framework for our industry, known as Communications Marketing.
The most important benefit of the blog is my connection to so many different kinds of people in this industry. It has been a wonderful way to connect with clients and media partners surrounding topics about which they care deeply. In academia, I feel that I am a positive force for PR students and professors, raising issues that they can debate in the classroom. And it has been a powerful gateway to our talent, connecting me to my Edelman colleagues around the world who ask me questions about my posts when I visit their offices in my travels.
By blogging, I have been able to address a wide range of topics: from political change in the world, to the explosive impact of digital platforms and technology to some of our most brilliant client work. It has also allowed me to give the background for a change in position, such as my new interest in sponsored content done in a balanced, ethical manner versus solely for advertising purposes.
Some of the posts have been deeply personal. My tributes to my late parents Dan and Ruth were cathartic for me, my family and the Edelman employees who knew them. My turning 60 was similarly an opportunity to reflect and commit to the future.
What I have enjoyed most is being able to comment on current events, such as the Publicis Omnicom merger or Sir Martin Sorrell’s views at a WSJ breakfast earlier this year or Dave Senay’s fascinating repositioning of FleishmanHillard.
A few topics that I want to address in coming weeks include the changing face of media influencers, our soon-to-be-launched results for brandshare 2.0 and the possible evolution in capital markets to long-term investing. I will also continue to embrace my new role as a member of LinkedIn’s Influencer Community, leveraging that platform to engage more deeply with a wide set of individuals.
So thanks to all of you loyal readers and here is to another decade of 6 A.M., my favorite time of day.
Richard Edelman is president and CEO.