According to a survey of PR professionals released today, Presidential hopeful Barack Obama was cited most often as the nation’s most effective communications leader, though not by a landslide.
The joint survey from executive search firm Heyman Associates and the University of Alabama’s advertising and public relations program found that John McCain, Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton and Al Gore were mentioned nearly as often as Obama.
People within PR most often mentioned were Harold Burson, founder
of Burson-Marsteller, Richard Edelman, president and CEO of Edelman, and
Jon Iwata, head of marketing and communications at IBM.
The summary eludes to a vacuum in leadership in the industry, though the premise of the survey may be faulty. Even within the industry, it’s unlikely any one leader will become a household name. By nature of client confidentiality, leaders don’t have many opportunities to be recognized.
The survey also identified key qualities for PR leaders. The top three are strategic decision-making, exposure to sources of leadership skills and development, and access to strong role models.