2010 PR Hall of Fame: Andy Polansky

Andy Polansky, President, Weber Shandwick

In rising from the ranks of local journalist to the leader of one of the most influential PR agencies in the world, Andy Polansky has consistently exhibited personal traits that have served him well: exemplary character, quiet leadership, focus on the team and a principled nature that engenders trust and loyalty of colleagues and clients around the world. While overseeing the agency’s global operations—over 2,000 employees in 118 offices in 73 countries—Polansky still makes himself available to all levels of employees.

This personable style—combined with business acumen—has made him one of the most respected executives in PR. Polansky has championed numerous initiatives at Weber Shandwick, including the Client Relationship Leader program, featured by the Harvard Business School as an MBA case study; digital leadership, which has resulted in dramatic revenue growth across the board; and environmental leadership in the form of Green Certification at Weber’s London and North American outposts. Perhaps most impressive: Under Polansky’s leadership, Weber Shandwick has endured the adverse economic conditions, experiencing steady growth among its top 40 clients worldwide. —SVC

Greatest mentor: "A former client, and now dear friend, Dick Johnson had an important influence on my career. Even though he was the client (at Ingersoll-Rand) and I was the counselor, it was quite clear who was advising who as we met when I began my agency career as a junior account executive. Dick had high standards, and a passion for communications. He also set a great example of how to work with people and learn our business: Listen to your key stakeholders and consider how their opinions shape context, and read material from a wide variety of sources to gain an informed point of view. And from an overall perspective, sprinkle some humor, and maybe a dash of magic, to have a little fun along the way."

  • N.Birnbaum