PRWeek published a list of those it felt were the 20 most influential communicators during the past two decades and the professional careers of four on the list are tied, at least in part, to high profile positions in the D.C. communications community. Those four – and PRWeek’s description of them – in alphabetical order are:
Jay Carney, SVP, global corporate affairs, Amazon
For the past three years, the former journalist has been driving the narrative of one of the biggest disruptors in business, Amazon, a target of President Donald Trump on Twitter.”has not just witnessed, but also influenced and participated in big moments of change.” That included his stint as a reporter for Time on Air Force One with President George W. Bush during the 9/11 attacks, and later speaking from the White House podium for President Barack Obama.
Leslie Dach, Former EVP, Wal-Mart
At a time when it was under attack from labor and environmental groups, Leslie Dach helped build Wal-Mart’s record as a good corporate citizen. From 2006 to 2013, he was its public face. He collaborated with Michelle Obama on her Let’s Move! campaign and met with government groups and nutrition experts to prepare for Wal-Mart’s launch of “Great for You” labels promoting healthy food.
“Dach played a pivotal role in helping to understand the broader role Wal-Mart can play in meeting the major challenges facing society today,” said the retailer’s former CEO Mike Duke. “Social goals are now an integral part of our business.”
Prior to Wal-Mart, Dach served as vice chair of Edelman, held top comms posts for John Kerry’s presidential campaign, and advised the Clinton White House.
Margery Kraus, Founder and executive chairman, APCO Worldwide
Margery Kraus, shown above, founded APCO in 1984 and grew it from a company with one small Washington, DC, office to a multinational consulting firm in major cities throughout the world.
In September 2004, Kraus led a management buyout of her firm, making APCO one of the largest privately owned comms and public affairs firms in the world. APCO saw 6% global revenue growth in 2017 to $128.2 million.
Kraus shows no sign of slowing down: She is chair of the board of the Women Presidents’ Organization and a trustee of the Catherine B. Reynolds Foundation and the Institute for Public Relations. Kraus was also a 2017 PRWeek Hall of Femme honoree.
Marcia Silverman, Former CEO, Ogilvy
Marcia Silverman took over the top spot at Ogilvy during a tough time, but the challenge paid off as her leadership has been recognized and lauded by her peers and the industry. She was named head of the agency in the U.S. in 1999 and then globally in 2002. During her overall tenure at the firm, Ogilvy more than tripled revenue and U.S. staff.
With the recent focus on diversity and women’s issues in marketing and media, it’s easy to forget women such as Silverman were breaking trails at a time when people were not as aware of the challenges they faced in traditionally male-dominated industries.
As a result, Silverman was named PRWeek’s 2009 PR Professional of the Year and was among the inaugural honorees to PRWeek’s Hall of Fame.
Prior to her 28-year stay at Ogilvy, Silverman worked in the PR division of advertising firm J. Walter Thompson in New York City.
You can check out the full list here.