NEW YORK, July 18, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Burson-Marsteller, a leading global strategic communications and public relations firm, today announced its Founding Chairman Harold Burson has been awarded the prestigious President's Medal by the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR). Burson received the honor, the organization said in its tribute, in recognition of having "shaped contemporary public relations more than any person alive today. His contribution has been to set the template for the public relations agency as a global business, creating bright horizons for the practice as it grows worldwide in the 21st century." Bob Leaf, former International Chairman of Burson-Marsteller, accepted the award on Burson's behalf at CIPR's Annual General Meeting in London.
First awarded in 1966, the CIPR President's Medal is awarded at the President's sole discretion to recognize the actions of an individual who has played a significant role in developing public relations' ability to engage, communicate and to campaign, or whose actions have highlighted the role and benefit of public relations to society. Past recipients include HRH Prince Philip, HRH Princess Anne, Edward Bernays, Sir Richard Branson, Sir Tim Berners-Lee and Archbishop Desmond Tutu.
"I am truly humbled to receive the President's Medal from the CIPR and to join so many highly accomplished and distinguished honorees," said Burson who, at the age of 96, continues to come to his office on a near daily basis. "I am extremely grateful to be recognized for seeing the opportunity to make PR a global enterprise, which is what I call one of my 'defining moments.' But, as I look back on Burson-Marsteller's 64 years, I am most grateful for having had the opportunity to work with and employ many of the brightest minds in our industry."
Burson, described by industry trade publication PRWeek as "the [20th] century's most influential PR figure," founded Burson-Marsteller in 1953 with advertising executive Bill Marsteller and has spent his career as counselor to and confidant of corporate CEOs, government leaders and heads of public sector institutions. Burson began his professional career as a stringer for a local Memphis newspaper, followed by a reporting job during World War II as a public information officer for the American Forces Network. In this role, Burson covered the Nuremberg Trials. Burson went on to co-found Burson-Marsteller and spend 35 years as Chief Executive Officer. In 1983, under Burson's leadership as CEO, Burson-Marsteller became the largest public relations firm in the world.
Burson has received numerous awards from public relations organizations including Hall of Fame designations by the Public Relations Society of America, the Arthur W. Page Society, PRWeek, PR News, the Institute of Public Relations, the Alan Campbell Johnson Award (England), as well as numerous citations by colleges and universities in the United States, Europe and China. He was awarded an honorary degree by Boston University in 1988, and a chair in public relations was established in his name in 1995. Burson also received the Paladin Award from the Public Relations Society of America in 2012.
"Harold Burson has defined our field, inspired thousands of communications and media professionals of all kinds around the world and shaped the course of how people relate to and with one another in profound ways," said Don Baer, Worldwide Chair and CEO, Burson-Marsteller. "I speak for all of us at Burson-Marsteller, past and present, in saying we cannot think of a more deserving recipient of the prestigious President's Medal."
About the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR)
Founded in 1948, the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) is the Royal Chartered professional body for public relations practitioners in the UK and overseas. The CIPR is the largest membership organisation for PR practitioners outside of North America. By size of turnover and number of individually registered members, we are the leading representative body for the PR profession and industry in Europe.
The CIPR advances professionalism in public relations by making its members accountable to their employers and the public through a code of conduct and searchable public register, setting standards through training, qualifications, awards and the production of best practice and skills guidance, facilitating Continuing Professional Development (CPD), and awarding Chartered Public Relations Practitioner status (Chart.PR).
Burson-Marsteller, established in 1953, is a leading global public relations and communications firm. It provides clients with strategic thinking and program execution across a full range of public relations, public affairs, reputation and crisis management, advertising and digital strategies. The firm's seamless worldwide network consists of 77 offices and 85 affiliate offices, together operating in 110 countries across six continents. Burson-Marsteller is a part of Young & Rubicam Group, a subsidiary of WPP (NASDAQ: WPPGY), the world's leading communications services network. For more information, please visit bm.com.