Welcome to a different PR Power List. Instead of companies, this year’s roster ranks people—call them “power players”. In a year like no other, it felt right to recognize PR’s superstars in a new way.
For the first time, you’ll see in-house PR pros alongside agency people, with some high-profile industry activists in the mix. The list also reflects issues that confronted the industry this year, from confronting the pandemic to addressing diversity, equity, and inclusion.
Quick takeaways? First, adults and upstarts ruled. If you’re battle-scarred and tested, your stock went up. Likewise, if you’re smart enough to rewrite the rules, clients wanted you. Second, amid the carnage, some businesses actually did pretty well this year. Firms in crisis, fintech, or healthcare, for example, told us they couldn’t hire fast enough. Third, the work of our Power Players reflects what you see in the headlines. Our Power 50 changed conversations, set agendas, and—in a few cases—helped make history.
Executive Vice President at Anat Gerstein Inc.
It’s not easy to get Mark Zuckerberg to change his mind. But when Facebook amended its policy on Holocaust denial this fall, Zuck cited surveys by The Claims Conference as the driver. A massive, meticulous media and influence campaign led to that moment, all orchestrated by Jeff Simmons and his team. By amping results of polls that revealed staggering ignorance about the Holocaust, Simmons generated enough attention to convince elected officials to support the campaign, called #NoDenyingIt. The pressure, apparently, got to Zuckerberg. To grasp the enormity of the change, remember that Facebook’s CEO refused to censor Holocaust deniers only three years ago. “It took months of preparation,” Simmons said. “And it was worth it.” The firm also represents The Museum of Jewish Heritage – A Living Memorial to the Holocaust in New York, along with cultural groups, BIDs, nonprofits and unions.