Just How BIG Do You Have To Be To Make The PR Power Book?

Ooooh the Power.

It’s that time of year again – when PR Week publishes its Power Book.

Billed as “the definitive guide to the most influential people in PR”  it is a 100 or so pages of the industry’s prime movers and shakers.

It doesn’t seem to have any numerical order. The names of the main influencers are simply listed in alphabetical order and there are almost 400 of them.

Every year I flip through this wee, black and glossy magazine to marvel at the names and count the Scots listed (which doesn’t take very long).

There are a number of notables who make the cut every year – including Beattie Group founder, Gordon Beattie, Barbara Clark at VisitScotland, Nora Senior, the Scottish voice at Weber Shandwick abd Julie McGarvey at 3X1 (all of whom have been included for the past three years).

For the 2010 editon there have been a few new entries from Scotland.

Jennifer Stirton at NHS Lothian has probably been included courtesy of her unsuccsessful run for the Presidency of the Chartered Institute of Public Relations.

Juliet Simpson at Stripe gets a mention. Unsurprising, since the Stripe Team lifted a hatful of gongs at the CIPR Scotland awards. Juliet also gets a mention in The Drum’s Power 100 (in the same list, her boss,  John Rowley, the Scottish-based boss of £60 million parent company Tangible – which also owns the Leith Agency – was named eighth most influential marketer and promptly insisited the high-point of 2009 was seeing Stripe win PR Agency of the Year).

Tabloid bruiser turned crisis management guru Jack Irvine at Media House has also merited a mention in PR’s wee black book. Jack has been a real rent-a-quote on industry issues in the past year. His place may also have been secured thanks to his high-profile and extremely contentious involvement in the Purcell affair which rocked Glasgow council.

So far so predictable.

But here’s what really caught my eye. What happened to the boys from the BIG Partnership?

In 2009 both Alex Barr and Neil Gibson were included in the Power Book. This year? Nope – not even a mention in dispatches.

Now, call me a cynical old fool, but this strikes me as decidedly odd. I mean, what does one (or two) have to do to make the grade, if running the biggest and best-performing independent agency outside of London isn’t enough?

Matter of fact, it’s those same nice people at PR Week who produce the list of Britain’s top 150 PR agencies every year and it’s the BIG Partnership which is usually the highest ranked non-London agency.

Strange then that both Alex and Neil should have been dropped completely from the 2010 list.

This reeks to me.

So a Bounty (yes, a 1980s chocolate-covered coconut bar, should I be able to acquire such a thing) to anyone who can fill in the blanks for me.

Feel free to comment below, send me an email – or even contact me by phone or by email if you’d prefer to whisper the background material in my ear with the magic words, “strictly off the record…”



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