After 50 years at the highest levels in the PR business Robert Leaf is acknowledged as one of the industry’s most knowledgeable counsellors in international public relations. Here he gives his views on how the public relations business has changed in that time.
Robert Leaf began his PR career in 1957 in Burson-Marsteller’s New York office as the company’s first trainee, when it had just five members of staff. In 1964 he moved to Brussels then in 1967 to London, as chief executive of Burson-Marsteller International.
He guided BM’s expansion into Asia, Australia, Latin-America and the Middle East. He is one of the world’s most respected PR practitioners and has spoken at events and conferences throughout the world including the USA, Soviet Union, Eastern and Western Europe, the Middle East, South America, Australia, Asia and the People’s Republic of China. In conjunction with the Chinese government he helped establish one of the first public relations firms in China.
He is listed in Who’s Who in the World, Who’s Who in America and Who’s Who in International Business and Debrett’s People of Today. In 2000 he won the Institute of Public Relations’ first Alan-Campbell Johnson Award for outstanding contribution to international public relations.
In 1997 he established Robert S Leaf Consultants and continues to act as a senior consultant to Burson-Marsteller. He specialises in advising corporations, government bodies and individuals on establishing a worldwide public relations strategy, what messages will be most effective in accomplishing their specific aims, how to make the most effective use of their agencies and in message training senior management.
Video recorded at the International Public Relations Association Summit in London.