October 1, 2012

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Celebrating Edelman’s 60th as Explainers-In-Chief

Edelman is celebrating its 60th anniversary on October 1 – quite a milestone for a firm that remains the leading innovator for the industry.  In fact, since the agency was born in 1952, Edelman has continually been the one to take the public relations industry in new directions – starting with the creation of the media tour for the Toni Twins and the first environmental campaign for Starkist, all the way up to the media cloverleaf  and public engagement.   The history of Edelman?  It’s the history of PR.

In reflecting on where we’ve been, it’s only natural to look at where we’re at now, and where we’re ultimately going. Things are getting more complex.  We’re getting bombarded with just an incredible amount of information from an unprecedented number of sources. The need to pull out an understandable message is greater than ever.

One of the most relevant recent examples of this came out of Bill Clinton’s speech at Democratic Convention in the U.S.  The media dubbed Clinton the “Explainer-In-Chief” – and for good reason.  As this article in TIME explains, Barack Obama has a reputation as a brilliant speaker, but not as an effective talker.  He has struggled when it comes to simple explanations for why he believes his policies are the right ones for Americans.  Enter Clinton, who excels at laying out easy-to-understand arguments.  When he speaks, people get it.  A classic example of the art of great storytelling.

And that’s how I see our role for our clients – Explainers-In-Chief.  We simplify the complex, even when it’s not that easy to do.  There are a lot of firms at the table now all claiming to be able to do the same – but ultimately, the ones that will succeed will have the tools and the intellectual property to help clients navigate this ever-changing landscape.

Edelman already has 60 years of incredible history to celebrate – and I have no doubt we’ll be the ones telling the story the way it should be told 60 years from now, too.

Check out my video for more of my thoughts.


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