Europe, Middle East, Africa is a vast region comprising three hugely differing media, business, political and cultural landscapes; as well as dizzying diversity of market conditions within each sub-region. Weber Shandwick has the most powerful network on the ground of any firm.
But even more important is our experience in managing complex, authentic multi-market programmes and assignments in every industry sector – from multiple hubs across the region. And our international management and digital capabilities are second to none. One of the reasons we are PRWeek’s Global Agency of the Year and the most awarded agency in the region for our expertise, creativity and proven results.
Most awarded agency network in the region with over 540 wins in 14 years across 16 markets, including 24 Cannes Lions.
Arguments are raging over whether the UK’s position as a viable base for multi-national manufacturers has been weakened...
It’s nearly time for Dubai Lynx. We chatted to our MENA CEO Ziad Hasbani and Festival Director Thea...
The pace of social media change is perhaps the biggest cliché in our industry. As with many clichés,...
As commentators on almost every medium around the world (including this blog) have acknowledged since mid-2016, we now...
After the brutal buffeting of 2016 – cultural, political and societal shocks starting with Bowie’s death and rolling...
Last week, I flew to Rome, the Eternal City, for my inaugural judging experience at eurobest 2016, the...
Colin Byrne is one of the UK’s leading PR and public affairs practitioners with over thirty years’ experience spanning domestic and international public relations programmes, communications and campaign strategy, politics and public affairs, CSR and issues management.
He joined Weber Shandwick in 1995, rising to lead the public affairs practice in London in 1997. He is now CEO of the firm’s UK & EMEA network and a senior member of the global management team.
After several years in private and not-for-profit sector PR, Colin joined the British Labour Party’s communications team in 1987 and was quickly promoted to Head of Press & Broadcasting. He served as deputy to, then Labour Party communications director, Lord Mandelson (Tony Blair’s lead strategist) and press aide to Tony Blair, Gordon Brown and Jack Straw.
In 1992 he became the first Communications Director of The Prince of Wales Business Leaders Forum, the international NGO founded by HRH The Prince of Wales. He managed corporate communications for the Forum globally and worked with leading international firms on the communication of their own CSR activities.
In May 2015, Colin was honoured with an Individual Achievement Award at the EMEA SABRE awards for his service and dedication to the industry over the last 30 years. For eight years in a row he appeared in GQ’s annual “100 Most Influential Men in Britain” ranking. He has appeared on BBC TV’s ‘Question Time’ and is a regular commentator and speaker on communications issues. Colin has been a judge for many of the key industry award programmes including Cannes Lions and in 2013 he was Chair of the PR jury at Eurobest. He is a Visiting Fellow at The Reuters School of Journalism at Oxford University and a Trustee of ActionAid.
Tim Sutton is Chairman of Weber Shandwick EMEA & Asia Pacific and is one of the global PR industry’s most respected practitioners. He also serves as Chairman EMEA and Asia Pacific of the Constituency Management Group (CMG) of parent company Interpublic, which includes its various below the line marketing services businesses in the disciplines of public relations, events management, experiential marketing, entertainment & sports marketing and brand identity.
He has direct experience of leading complex multi-market programmes across over 50 mature and emerging markets in EMEA and Asia Pacific.
Between 2007-15, Tim led Weber Shandwick’s business in Asia. Under his leadership, the business trebled its revenues and, in 2014, secured unmatched recognition, winning all four of the industry’s independent ‘Network of the Year’ awards in the region, including those of The Holmes Report and PRWeek.
He is now based in London, taking responsibility for leadership of all of Weber Shandwick’s international operations outside the Americas.
With some 34 years in the industry, Sutton is regarded as one of the world’s most respected PR firm senior practitioners. He is a renowned strategic communications advisor having directed major corporate and brand development programmes; as well as public affairs issues campaigns for some of the world’s top companies, industries and social causes.
Educated at Magdalen College, Oxford University (Philosophy, Politics & Economics), he has a particularly strong track record in public issues campaigning and brand communications strategy which has won him significant industry recognition across three decades.
In addition to his leadership position at Weber Shandwick. Tim also supports strategic development and collaboration across all businesses in CMG’s broad market services portfolio. His goal is to ensure clients have access to the full range of integrated multi-platform marketing support to maximise engagement strategies with key audiences. He also plays a lead role in digital and analytics strategy, mergers and acquisitions, and all other cross-brand business development initiatives in the two regions.
Prior to his career with Weber Shandwick, he was chairman of Orpheus Group; previously chairman of BSMG Worldwide’s European operations and Chief Executive Officer and an owner/shareholder of Charles Barker plc, then one of the UK’s best known and respected independent PR companies.
He is a frequent speaker at industry conferences and a regular guest on television and radio business and media programmes.
Hugh joined Weber Shandwick in January 2017. Based in London, he has oversight of a growing team of engagement specialists across the region and leads the firm’s strategic engagement disciplines, which are comprised of creatives, analysts, planners, content creators and social media strategists.
With extensive advertising experience, spanning BBH, Grey, Ogilvy & Mather and Saatchi & Saatchi, Hugh joined the agency from a CEO role at digital agency FullSix.
Client experience includes American Express British Airways, Diageo, Gillette, Motorola and Unilever.
Hugh admires work that moves people to feel, think and behave differently about a company, brand and/or product and believes that to do that the concept needs to be simple, stylish and/or witty, as well as something original enough for us to take notice of it. A great campaign has to be rooted in an idea that travels naturally over channels and time.
As Chair of Consumer Marketing for EMEA, Louise leads Weber Shandwick’s dynamic consumer business across the region with specific responsibility for the Nestlé global and Unilever EMEA client accounts. She is a creative strategist with a proven track record in developing insightful brand ideas that effect change on a global, regional and local basis.
Culturally curious, Louise is passionate about big ideas and has helped inspire her clients on what public relations can deliver as part of an integrated approach. Her experience crosses many sectors but her passion points of FMCG, nutrition and using digital for good has led to award-winning work for some of the industry’s leading marketers including General Mills, P&G (Ariel, Braun, Duracell, Pampers), Shell and Starbucks.
Louise joined Weber Shandwick from WPP where she ran H+K Strategies’ global FMCG business and most recently, was the designated PR-lead for many cross-functional teams including General Mills, WPP Teams P&G, and Shell. During her tenure, she was responsible for improving the breadth and depth of the agency’s global client business and for delivering differentiated brand campaigns. The Proud Mums campaign for P&G won Titanium at Cannes.
Louise started her career in food and nutrition and has a first class honours degree in Communications.
Greg Prager is Chair of Weber Shandwick’s EMEA Corporate Practice, with responsibility for driving the development of the firm’s corporate communications offering across the region. He also serves as one of Weber Shandwick’s global Client Relationship Leaders, with responsibility for ensuring delivery across geographies, practice areas, and specialty areas for the firm’s largest clients.
Greg brings a broad range of experience servicing clients from FMCG and luxury goods companies to industrial and pharmaceutical firms in the areas of crisis, corporate and issues communications. In his almost 20 years in various agency and in-house communications roles, Greg has gained hands-on experience addressing issues and developing proactive strategies across much of the globe, including Europe, Asia, the Middle East, Africa, and North and Latin America. His areas of expertise include media relations, organisation communications, reputation management, crisis and issues management, litigation communications, business development communications, corporate branding and digital communications.
Greg began his career in New York, and has lived and worked in Europe for over a decade. He graduated from Rutgers University in New Jersey, US, and holds degrees in both Journalism and Political Science.
Rachael brings many years of health public relations experience to Weber Shandwick’s network, having worked in London and New York driving global, pan-European and national programmes with and on behalf of AARP (American Association for Retired Persons), Abbott, American Obesity Association, Bausch & Lomb, Colgate, Eli Lilly, Europe Against Cancer, Galderma Laboratories, Johnson & Johnson, Merck Group, Pfizer Pharmacia, Sanofi, The World Heart Federation and Unilever.
In her role as Managing Director of the EMEA Healthcare Practice, Rachael is responsible for partnering closely with the client leaders to identify and unleash the talent of the Weber Shandwick network to ensure the best possible support and results for the clients that we represent.
Rachael began her public relations career working with Burson-Marstellar London in the consumer healthcare division. She then moved to Biss Lancaster Euro RSCG where she focused on building the agency’s healthcare portfolio specifically concentrating on women’s health. Rachael then transferred to New York where she led Euro RSCG Life PR (Havas) for seven years.
Her experience includes the following areas: cardiovascular disease, dermatology, endocrinology, geriatrics, neurology, ophthalmology, reproductive health, urology and veterinary care.
As Chief Strategy Officer, EMEA, Adam provides insight, strategic thinking and counsel that helps to create campaigns that engage audiences and drive business growth.
Adam is a communications and marketing strategist with over a decade’s experience in brand development, campaign strategy, PR planning and strategic consultancy, helping brands, businesses and high-profile individuals communicate effectively with their publics.
He has a passion for big campaigns that drive big change and has worked with organisations from a range of sectors including, Abbott, the UK charity Comic Relief and Sport Relief, EDF Energy, Keep Britain Tidy, McKinsey, and Zipcar.
Before joining Weber Shandwick, Adam was Director of Strategy at Freud Communications, working with Eurostar, Mars Incorporated, Pepsico, Project RED, Sony, and the Tony Blair Foundation.
Sofia is a senior consultant and partner at United Minds responsible for industry and business intelligence initiatives that create insight material for decision-making and communications strategies. She has several years’ experience in consulting and analytics, working with private and public sector clients. Sofia has a particular interest in the tourism industry.
Prior to joining United Minds, Sofia worked as an industry analyst at the Swedish Tourism Investigation Institute. Her assignments focused on industry and business intelligence as well as tourism business data analysis. Sofia holds a Graduate Economist degree from the Gothenburg School of Economics with a specialisation in marketing, media and communications science.
Based in London, Rod Clayton works all over the world in the company’s global corporate practice, where he is an executive vice president and co-leads the global issues and crisis group. Throughout his career, Rod has helped promote and protect the reputations of many companies and other organisations, and of the people who lead them.
Matters that he handles typically include government enforcement actions, major litigation (especially intellectual property, competition, discrimination, fraud and international disputes), natural and man-made disasters, environmental, health and safety issues, bankruptcies and restructurings, M&A (including proxy battles), board disputes, industrial action (including strikes, unionisation campaigns and plant closures), product recalls, product liability and market exits, to name a few. In these and other contexts, he has dealt with a wide range of high profile, hostile, investigative stories.
Rod researches and writes crisis plans and devises and leads simulation exercises to test those plans.
He is particularly adept at training CEOs and other major figures to handle tough questions not only from the media, but also in legislative committees, investor meetings, employee gatherings and other challenging situations.
Industries in which Rod has experience include technology, healthcare, energy, consumer products, food and beverage, entertainment, publishing, gaming, travel/leisure, transportation, defence, heavy industry, education and financial services, among others.
Prior to transferring to London, Rod worked in the company’s Los Angeles office for almost nine years, where he was General Manager of Weber Shandwick’s Southern California operations. He spent three years beforehand in the company’s New York office working on corporate issues and special situations. Rod was educated at the University of Oxford, where he studied classics for his undergraduate degree before taking a doctorate in modern history.
James Nester joined Weber Shandwick in summer 2015 with a brief to raise creativity throughout the agency whilst further bolstering the agency’s digital and social credentials.
Nester believes the best ideas break free of their channel to become social currency. He has worked across disciplines, from TV to direct and digital. And in most sectors; from airline to automotive, FMCG to B2B.
Nester previously led We Are Social’s creative department for two and a half years, winning numerous creative and industry honours during his time there. Prior to that, James was creative partner at OgilvyOne. Based on award wins, in 2012 he was recognised as the UK’s number one creative by The Holmes Report (number two in 2013) and is one of the only people to have delivered a TED talk about an advertising campaign.
This year he judged the Cyber category at Cannes and has been recognised several times at the Festival for his work – most notably for ‘The Gnome Experiment’, the world’s most awarded direct campaign in 2012 (Big Won Report) and the world’s most awarded PR campaign in 2013 (The Holmes Report). The initiative became part of the national science curriculum in several countries and now features in marketing textbooks including Social Media Marketing for Dummies.
As Head of Social, EMEA Danny oversees all social media activity for the region including leading social work for key EMEA clients.
Before joining the agency in August 2014 he was the global digital lead for the P&G business at Ketchum – running digital and social activity across 14 P&G brands including Braun, Gillette, Head & Shoulders, Max Factor, Olay and Pantene.
Danny is a digital engagement specialist that has spent the last ten years enabling brands to build engagement via online communities. He was formerly the director of digital strategies at boutique firm EML Wildfire where his digital and social media client experience included Citrix, IBM, Livedrive, Nero, Skrill and Unii.com
He is chair of the PRCA’s digital group and a member of AMEC’s social media measurement committee. He plays an active role in the wider public relations industry as a commentator, speaker and blogger.
Marcus Dyer is a mobile executive and digital leader; an expert in utilising mobile and new technologies and platforms to solve client problems. As a principal at Flipside he takes pride in delivering forward-thinking mobile programmes for clients whether through app development or smart mobile communications strategies.
Having worked as a creative, a technologist and a digital marketer, Marcus has a rare mix of creative flair, entrepreneurial spirit and strategic vision that allows him to manage multi-faceted projects and deliver smart integrated thinking across a range of digital landscapes. Client experience includes Diageo, Doddle, Honeywell and Waterstones.
Marcus has set up and managed successful agencies and takes pride in growing and nurturing standout businesses in the mobile and digital space. He set up digital agency Spook and following an acquisition became managing director of the Digital group at Edelman London. He led the team 2008-2013, building a client portfolio that included Microsoft and Unilever.
Tim Drake is an agency leader and digital executive, having spent 20 years at the forefront of creative technology and emerging digital channels. He has delivered memorable experiences spanning offline, digital mobile and social for some of the world’s leading brands.
As an entrepreneur, strategist, creative, and omnichannel marketer, Tim has established a reputation for his pragmatic counsel and integrated approach to effective project and campaign delivery. Client experience includes Cemex, Nuffield Health, United Nations and Visa.
Tim founded Flipside in the mid-1990s with a loan from the Prince’s Trust, and during his time marshalling the wider group through significant organic growth he has always taken a particular pride in maintaining the extraordinary quality of the agency’s output.
Nora is a corporate communications and issues management specialist with over 25 years’ experience working on international blue chip and FTSE100 client accounts across a wide range of sectors, including infrastructure, transport, energy, property, finance, healthcare, technology and FMCG.
Her track record in the energy sector includes clients across oil and gas; wind and renewables; shale gas, energy efficiency, smart meters and energy emission reduction. She is a member of the International Chambers of Commerce (ICC) Green and Energy Committee and contributes to the Scottish Chambers of Commerce Energy Advisory Group.
Her professional skills include strategic counsel, reputation management, high level media relations, integrated marketing and crisis management. She has significant expertise in the master-planning and delivery of complex communications strategies across a wide range of projects in the UK and worldwide.
She was previously Managing Director of Saatchi & Saatchi (North) and Managing Director of start-up agency PR Centre. A former Businesswoman of the Year, Nora is currently President of the British Chambers of Commerce, Chair of Scottish Chambers of Commerce and a member of the Regional Advisory Group to the London Stock Exchange.
Nora has been recognised by a number of industry awards including two global ‘Stevie’ awards for Best Woman in Business in Europe, Middle East and Asia, Best Company Executive EMEA and an Outstanding UK Business Achievement Award. She was presented with the First Women UK Media Award in 2013.
Laurent joined Weber Shandwick in February 2012 as Chairman of the EU Public Affairs practice. He has over 24 years’ experience delivering public affairs and strategic communications support and advice to clients in the corporate, trade association, government and not-for-profit arenas – at EU institution and country level. A lawyer by training, he also has long-standing experience in managing the public affairs and government relations aspects of major EU M&A and antitrust reviews.
His sector experience spans aviation, financial services, food and drink, telecoms/ICT, financial services and health and pharmaceuticals. Client experience includes Orange France Télécom, Barclays Bank, British Airways, Danone, The Coca-Cola Company, Total, Shell, Novartis and Roche.
Prior to joining Weber Shandwick, Laurent was Managing Director of Edelman’s Brussels office and before that, Managing Director of APCO Worldwide’s Brussels office.
Svetlana’s 19 years’ experience of delivering complex global campaigns across a range of sectors have given her invaluable insight into business communications. She has developed strategies and executed plans for governments, institutions and blue-chip companies. Her expertise includes leading international initiatives, strategic campaigning, corporate reputation, brand building, executive visibility, digital strategy and issues & crisis management.
A member of the European management team, Svetlana oversees the 20-market CEE & CIS region, driving international business opportunities. She also advises several of Weber Shandwick’s key global clients.
Svetlana led Weber Shandwick’s Global Olympic team for 12 years, establishing the agency as a leading Olympic communications player. Her six Olympic bids include award-winning campaigns for Sochi 2014 and Tokyo 2020. She also led the Sochi 2014 Organising Committee for Russia’s first Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games, advising on all aspects of strategic communications from 2007–2014.
Svetlana speaks five languages fluently and lives in Paris.
Jill is a communications professional with a broad background in international affairs, public relations and communications development within third world economies. She has worked in over 25 countries, lived in 11 and travelled to over 65, with a special focus on Africa. Currently she serves as Regional Director, Africa for Weber Shandwick, overseeing a portfolio of partner agencies and affiliates covering 12 nations across the continent.
Jill manages the firm’s client engagements and has led campaigns and outreach efforts for numerous multinationals and not-for-profit institutions. During her career she has worked with major pan-African and international brands, including: Cargill, Ericsson, Government of Nigeria, GSK, Hewlett-Packard, Honeywell, Microsoft, Samsung, Save Darfur Coalition, Save the Children, UN Foundation, UNICEF, USADF, and WISE/Qatar Foundation.
Jill supports public and private sector developmental strategies for organisations looking to establish a footprint or expand their presence on the continent and acts as an advisor to numerous companies and individuals.
Prior to Weber Shandwick, Jill established the continent’s first truly pan-African public relations agency, ZK Public Relations in Tanzania and expanded it to 15 markets.
With more than 20 years’ experience in the communications industry, Ziad heads Weber Shandwick Middle East and North Africa. His expertise spans a variety of practices including corporate, public affairs and consumer and he provides direct counsel to clients in the government, aerospace, industrial and energy sectors. Client experience include the Ministry of Finance of the UAE, the Department of Finance of Abu Dhabi, the Higher Corporation for Specialized Economic Zones, Qatar Leadership Centre, the World Innovation Summit for Education, The Boeing Company and The Dow Chemical Company.
Before joining Weber Shandwick, Ziad established and headed GolinHarris’ Middle East operation. With his in-depth knowledge of the region’s demographics and culture, Ziad oversaw the public affairs, corporate and consumer practices for major regional and international clients in the energy, and payment card industries.
Prior to GolinHarris, he was in charge of Gulf Space International, the media representative agency of Al Jazeera Satellite Channel, in Saudi Arabia and Qatar. In the early 1990s, Ziad co-founded and launched a generalist television station and several print media in the Middle East.
A graduate of the American University of Beirut with a multicultural background, Ziad is fluent in Arabic, English, French and Italian.
Gina joined Weber Shandwick in 2006. Based in London, she has regional responsibility for the EMEA Talent/HR function, leading a team of six. Her remit includes induction, talent management, learning and development, employee engagement, culture, organisation development, employer branding and talent strategy and plans.
She works as a leadership business partner providing advice, guidance and counsel and helps drive the talent agenda alongside leaders and managers. Since 2008 she has led initiatives that resulted in Weber Shandwick becoming an Investor in People and listed in The Sunday Times “100 Best Companies to Work For” review.
Gina has a Post Graduate Diploma in HR, a MA in HR and a Certificate in International HR alongside psychometric qualifications. She is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, a member of the Institute of Directors and of the Institute of Leadership and Management.
Gina joined Weber Shandwick following six years with WPP agency MindShare and prior to that spent three years with Clear Channel Communications. Before forging a career in Talent/HR she worked in finance, retail and the public sector as well as central government.
Pete sits on Weber Shandwick’s UK and EMEA management boards and leads new business activity across the EMEA region. He has over a decade’s experience in developing global, regional and local strategies and new business activities and is focused on developing and introducing new approaches and products to company professionals to enhance their ability to deliver quality client service across all Weber Shandwick offices.
In addition, Pete leads the firm’s B2B business, Weber Shandwick Enterprise, a practice area that acts as a genuine new-business driver for companies wanting to reach and influence B2B audiences. He works directly with clients’ sales teams (direct, channel and partners) to craft compelling sales stories and pitches as well as brokering new business and networking opportunities.
He also serves as one of Weber Shandwick’s senior facilitators and has worked with the likes of Celgene, FIFA, GSK, Johnson & Johnson, Keep Britain Tidy, MasterCard, Nespresso, SABIC, Saudi Aramco and Williams Lea delivering a range of workshops and strategic sessions for leadership and commercial audiences. Specific areas of expertise include messaging and storytelling development, media and presentation training as well as creative and campaign ideas development.
Pete started his career at LEWIS PR and then joined marcomms agency Brands2Life, to start up a new business function from scratch. Before joining Weber Shandwick in February 2008, he headed up sales and marketing efforts across 11 EMEA markets at global technology PR specialist Text 100.
Pete was a London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic volunteer and has a Bachelor of Arts Degree in History and Politics from the University of Exeter.
Emma Bowen-Davies joined Weber Shandwick in 2000. She is responsible for external and internal marketing activity, directly coordinating multi-country initiatives and providing counsel for local level activity. Her role also supports the development and growth of EMEA’s key practice groups. Particular focus is given to thought leadership activity, sponsorship, online presence and business solutions, collateral production and award programme participation. Over the last 14 years, Weber Shandwick EMEA has won 529 national, regional and international awards across 16 markets, including honours at Cannes and eurobest; more than any other PR agency in the region.
Emma joined Weber Shandwick after three years at global technology PR agency Text 100, where she established a European marketing department. Prior to this, she spent three years based in Hong Kong and Singapore working for MDK Consultants, the PR arm of Asia-based advertising network, Batey Advertising. She worked on a number of travel industry accounts including ITT Sheraton Corporation, Raffles Hotel and the South Australian Tourism Commission. Having lived and worked in seven countries, Emma is now based in London.
We have a strong team of EMEA region-wide senior level experts with years of solid sector and specialism experience who, together with our best in class individual market-based leaders and teams are ready to support you with all your communications needs.
Chief Executive Officer, UK & EMEA
Chairman, EMEA & Asia Pacific
Head of Client Experience, Engagement Disciplines, EMEA
Chair, Consumer Marketing, EMEA
Chair, Corporate Communications, EMEA
Managing Director, Health, EMEA
Chief Strategy Officer, EMEA
Senior Consultant and Partner, United Minds
Executive Vice President and Co-lead, Global Issues and Crisis
Executive Creative Director, UK & EMEA
Head of Social, EMEA
Managing Director, Flipside
Managing Director, Flipside
UK Regions & Ireland and Head of EMEA Energy
Chairman, EU Public Affairs
Executive Vice President, Global and Chair, Global Olympics and Sports Industry Affairs
Regional Director, Africa
Chief Executive Officer, MENA
Group Talent Director, EMEA
New Business Director, EMEA & Enterprise Director, London
Marketing Director, Global