Chief Transparency Officer

Richard Edelman is the president and CEO of the world’s largest independent public relations firm with 1800 employees in 40 offices worldwide. He graduated from Phillips Exeter Academy in 1972, has a Bachelor of Arts degree from Harvard College and an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School. In other words, he’s a smart guy.
Given his native intelligence, he wants to “set expectations” for the myriad bloggers on his staff, including one of the the world’s foremost bloggers, Steve Rubel.
Coming off the Wal-Mart flog and the Microsoft Vista give-and-take, this is a smart move.

If our firm has made a mistake, I will blog about it, in the spirit of continuous improvement and commitment to excellence.

Unless “clients request that we stay clear.” Naturally, this is a brilliant out for Edelman, but it’s also a fact of life in client service. The agency can promote transparency all day and all night, but clients harbor their own beliefs on such matters, not to mention their own “trade secrets.”



About David Burn

I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.