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Cannes: Planning evolution, data vs creativity, making clients braver (Ep. 119)

Ketchum’s Ruth Yearley and Tera Miller join the Echo Chamber to discuss how the evolution of planning in PR, the tension between data and creativity and why brave clients matter so much.


The Holmes Report’s Cannes 2018 Preview (Ep. 118)

Holmes Report editors Arun Sudhaman and Maja Pawinska Sims preview the 2018 Cannes Lions Festival which promises to be a more slimmed down affair than usual, thanks in large part to cutbacks from holding groups. The duo explore which sessions and themes stand out, tips to survive Cannes and ponder the ‘Sorrell effect’.


R/GA’s Calvin Soh on creativity, education & exponential change (Ep. 117)

Calvin Soh was firmly ensconced as one of Asia’s top creative directors when took a five-year mid-career break in 2012. Now back in the industry as R/GA’s Asia-Pacific ECD, Soh talks to Arun Sudhaman about why exponential change forced him to reconsider his career options, for himself and his children. Soh also discusses how education systems can encourage creative thinking and explores the way that young people are changing the future of advertising.


Tim Sutton on China’s global brand challenge (Ep. 116)

Weber Shandwick EMEA chairman Tim Sutton rejoins the Echo Chamber to discuss the challenges facing Chinese companies as they seek to conquer foreign markets. Sutton also reviews Iceland’s #TooCoolForPlastic campaign after it was named Best in Show at the 2018 SABRE Awards EMEA.


Lenovo CCO Torod Neptune (ep.115)

Lenovo chief communications officer Torod Neptune joins the Echo Chamber to discuss his first year with the tech giant, which combines a Chinese background with a truly global footprint. In conversation with Arun Sudhaman, Neptune also explores the state of diversity in the industry after choosing to incorporate such criteria into his high-profile agency search last year. In addition, Neptune discusses the changing nature of the CCO role and what it means for agencies.


Keri-Ann Stanton on South Africa’s PR market (Ep. 113)

South African PR industry veteran Keri-Ann Stanton joins the Echo Chamber following the Holmes Report’s third African Innovation Summit in Johannesburg last week. Stanton discusses her decision to depart Engage Joe Public for the African-owned M&N Brands holding group and, in conversation with Arun Sudhaman, explores how the market is changing, particularly in terms of black economic empowerment. The duo also talk about the Bell Pottinger scandal and South Africa’s global reputation...


North American Agencies of the Year 2018

Holmes Report editors Paul Holmes, Arun Sudhaman & Aarti Shah discuss the 2018 North American Agencies of the Year winners, focusing in particular on Olson Engage, the rise of healthcare agencies and Marina Maher Communications.


Creativity Series: Improv Theatre & MicroTribes

The Holmes Report has partnered with Ogilvy for a multi-part series looking at creativity in PR from a variety of angles. Part 3 explores the evolution of social and digital — and how improv can improve one’s PR game — with the agency’s managing director of content and social Kathy Baird. Then we look at another angle of creativity with the emergence of microtribes as harbingers — or even supplanting — mass pop culture. For this discussion, we bring on M Booth’s chief insights and...


Richard Edelman on industry growth & ethics; Sally Costerton on WPP’s past & future (Ep. 112)

Richard Edelman joins the Echo Chamber for a brief interview about his firm’s disappointing growth in 2017, amid sustained market pressure. He discusses the firm’s transformation, the impact of bringing advertising people in to run operations, the continuing benefits of scale, industry ethics and the Burson Cohn & Wolfe merger. Then former H+K Strategies EMEA CEO Sally Costerton joins Arun Sudhaman to explore the exit of Sir Martin Sorrell, his impact on his PR firms, and the group’s...


Play for the Long Term

In an interview with March Managing Director Cheryl Gale, Laura Tomasetti, CEO and founder of 360PR+, covers her path to becoming one of PR’s top leaders, from her beginnings in ad copywriting, to her stops at agencies in Washington, D.C., and Boston, to her in-house experience at Hasbro. They also talk about why PR is growing in importance as CEOs because more conscious and concerned about their own reputation, and the reputations of their brands. And they discuss the value of...


The end of the Martin Sorrell era (Ep. 111)

Holmes Report editors Arun Sudhaman and Paul Holmes explore the dramatic exit from WPP of Sir Martin Sorrell and reflect on the 73-year-old’s outsize impact on the industry that he dominated for more than 30 years. Sorrell’s distinct style and personality will leave a considerable void at WPP, but his PR firms may yet flourish under new leadership.


Mai Tais and Meditation on International Women’s Day

March 8 is International’s Women Day, and in recognition, we recorded a fun and insightful roundtable chat between March Director of Digital Services Caroline Black, Managing Director Cheryl Gale and Executive Vice President Jodi Petrie. They talk about navigating their careers in PR, covering the challenge of juggling work and life responsibilities, the journey to find confidence in the workplace, and the importance for young women to make sure their voices are heard. They also touch on...


Weber Shandwick’s Tim Sutton on holding groups vs independents, agency consolidation & more (Ep. 110)

Weber Shandwick EMEA CEO Tim Sutton joins the Echo Chamber to discuss global PR market growth and the trend toward agency consolidation, while also defending the value of the holding group agency model.


Burson Cohn & Wolfe (Ep. 109)

Paul Holmes and Arun Sudhaman discuss the dramatic takeover of Burson-Marsteller by Cohn & Wolfe, exploring what it means for both firms, their leadership and the broader industry in general. Show Notes: ‘The Big Prize Is Revitalising Burson’: PR Industry Responds To Blockbuster Merger WPP Creates 3rd Largest PR Firm With Burson Cohn & Wolfe


Alex Malouf on PR talent; Spry’s Angie Schneider (Ep. 108)

P&G’s Alex Malouf joins the Echo Chamber to discuss the talent crisis in the Middle East PR industry, focusing in particular on the challenges posed by localisation and education. Malouf joined the podcast ahead of the Innovation Summit in Dubai last week. Meanwhile at our In2Summit in New York one week earlier, Arun Sudhaman sat down with Angie Schneider to discuss her new startup Spry, and how it aims to revolutionise PR using technology. Show notes In2Summit MENA: Education Key To...


Omnicom PR Group CEO Karen van Bergen (Ep. 107)

Omnicom PR Group CEO Karen van Bergen makes her long-awaited Echo Chamber debut, discussing the performance of her PR agencies, challenging market conditions and her plans for 2018. Van Bergen also explores Omnicom’s recent funding of startup Spry, and discussed exactly what she looks for from her agency CEOs.


Super Bowl marketing roundup; In-house talent trends at Asian MNCs (Ep. 106)

Citizen Relations global CEO Jim Joseph checks into the Echo Chamber to conduct his annual roundup of Super Bowl advertising, finding out that — this year at least — humour appeared to trump politics. Elsewhere, Arun Sudhaman talks to Taylor Bennett Heyman’s Sarah Crawshaw about a new research study that charts the evolution of the in-house communications role at Asian MNCs.


Davos: Mercer’s Jeanniey Mullen on CEO activism; KPMG’s Michael Hastings on purpose (Ep. 105)

Live from the World Economic Forum in Davos, Arun Sudhaman meets with Mercer CMO Jeanniey Mullen, who discusses how employee expectations are changing the way that CEOs engage on issues, some of which are political. Sudhaman also talks to KPMG citizenship head Lord Michael Hastings about how the nature of corporate purpose is changing.


David Gallagher on the future of publicly-held PR firms, 2018 trends and Davos (Ep. 104)

Omnicom PR Group’s international president David Gallagher visits the Echo Chamber in Hong Kong to discuss the slowdown in publicly-held PR growth, and why agency models must be held accountable. Gallagher also runs through his 2018 trends to watch, including the impact of blockchain and artificial intelligence, and also explores whether next week’s World Economic Forum in Davos remains relevant. Show notes Poor PR Performance Puts Publicly-Held Agencies On Back Foot 2017 M&A Review:...


Lessons from the agency M&A slowdown (Ep. 103)

Paul Holmes joins the Echo Chamber podcast to discuss his annual review of agency M&A in the PR sector, which year revealed a significant decline in both the volume and value of industry dealmaking. Holmes and Arun Sudhaman explore the rise of the ‘micro-transaction’, with smaller firms dominating sales while holding groups such as Omnicom and WPP did not acquire a single PR firm in 2017. The duo also wonder whether the Holmes Report might qualify for President Trump’s ‘MOST DISHONEST &...