Interviews originally published by PRWeek

Richard Millar
President & CEO

A longstanding leader of one of the UK’s biggest PR agencies, Millar worked for Hill+Knowlton in the 1990s before returning ‘home’ 14 years ago. He’s now the man at the top across the UK, as well as France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Portugal and Greece, and sits on the US-based WPP agency’s Global Council. UK developments in recent months under his leadership include the launch of a social and environmental change tool designed to help clients define their purpose.

Describe the past year and your predictions for the next 12 months

Politicised. And that’s a good thing.

Which person or organisation handled PR most adeptly in the past 12 months?

Macron.

How has Brexit affected your organisation to date?

We are looking outward ever more aggressively.

Which traditional media outlets do you prioritise?

The BBC, The Guardian, The New York Times, China Daily and The Economist.

Most important social media outlet?

Twitter.

 

Andy Sutherden
Global Head of Sports & Partnership Marketing

Sports marketing and comms expert Sutherden has worked in the sector since the 1990s, and in his current global role (from London) since 2011. It’s a big job, having worked with some of the biggest names in world sport, from the FIFA World Cup to the Olympics and brands from Adidas to Gillette.

Describe the past year and your predictions for the next 12 months

The continued certainty of uncertainty.

Your favourite campaign of the past 12 months?

American brand Tostitos, for its Superbowl breathalyser tortilla-chip bag that illuminated a money-off Uber code if users were over the limit.

Which person or organisation handled PR most adeptly in the past 12 months?

Showtime, for its promotion of Mayweather vs McGregor. The pay-per-view record underscored the currency of hype.

…And which the most poorly?

The Conservative Party. From predicted landslide to minority government in less than two months – not great.

How has Brexit affected your organisation to date?

Business planning is being measured in days and weeks rather than months and years.

Which traditional media outlets do you prioritise?

The BBC, cross-platform.

Most important social media outlet?

Snapchat. How else would I converse with my teenage children?

Where is your most useful live professional networking place?

Stamford Bridge.

A genie grants you three wishes. What are they?

Trump’s Twitter account is deactivated for longer than 11 minutes. My newsfeed does not include the word ‘Brexit’ for just one day. Cessation of procurement-driven RFPs.

 

Vikki Chowney
Chief Content Strategist

A leading light in content and digital marketing, former journalist Chowney joined H+K in 2015 to give a fresh perspective on the rapidly expanding specialism. She was previously head of agency at Things Unlimited, with a client portfolio that included Activision, Unilever, Reckitt Benckiser, General Mills, Sony Pictures and Toshiba.

Describe the past year and your predictions for the next 12 months

2017 was all about quality over quantity; 2018 will see us play with new content formats across live, video, co-creation and AI.

Your favourite campaign of the past 12 months?

I enjoyed the return of the Nokia 3310, but my favourite has to be Ash to Art: raising money for Glasgow School of Art in the aftermath of the horrendous fire.

Which person or organisation handled PR most adeptly in the past 12 months?

IKEA is still doing a great job. The purchase of TaskRabbit was nothing short of genius, its ads still have a unique brand signature and its stunts create great media impact.

How has Brexit affected your organisation to date?

I think we’ve seen clients respond with a degree of reservation. We’re still waiting to see real outcomes, but careful planning that allows for flexibility and change, plus not taking anything for granted, have been the trend.

Which traditional media outlets do you prioritise?

I use the Google News app, which shows trending stories from a range of sources. That’s most important to me: ensuring there’s diversity in the news I read.

Most important social media outlet?

Personally, I’m crazy about Instagram. Visual language is now the norm, and Stories has just further cemented its position as a leader in this respect.

A genie grants you three wishes. What are they?

Health, happiness and the ability to transport myself to anywhere in the world by clicking my fingers.

 

See the full list at PRWeek.