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FleishmanHillard Wins Gold at the Transform Awards Europe 2023

March 24, 2023

LONDON — FleishmanHillard took home a win at the Transform Awards Europe 2023. The global public relations agency won gold in the Best Visual Identity from the Transport and Logistics Sector category for its rebranding work with Valtir. In addition, Steve Hickson, studio executive creative director and partner, received a Highly Commended mention in the Creative Director of the Year category.

  • Best Visual Identity from the Transport and Logistics Sector: Gold — Valtir and FleishmanHillard
  • Creative Director of the Year: Highly Commended — Steve Hickson (FleishmanHillard)

The Transform Awards recognize excellence in rebranding and brand strategy. Get the full list of winners here.


FleishmanHillard Named Four-Time Finalist at 2023 Anvil Awards

ST. LOUIS — FleishmanHillard earned four finalist nods for the 2023 Anvil Awards on behalf of client work including AARP, the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson and Travel Iowa. Recognized work included:

• AARP with FleishmanHillard, “The Fight for Fair Rx Prices” (Bronze Anvil Tactical Award > Media Relations > Associations/Nonprofit Organizations)

• The Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson with FleishmanHillard, Local Wisdom, Target 10 and The Practice at J3, “Depression Looks Like Me” Takes Aim at Mental Health Representation (Content Marketing B2C)

• Travel Iowa with FleishmanHillard and Integer, “From Flyover to Flythrough State: Showcasing Iowa from a Whole New Perspective” (Content Marketing > Associations/Government/Nonprofit)

The Anvil Awards are presented by the Public Relations Society of American and celebrate the best strategic public relations campaigns each year, as well as outstanding organizational excellence. For over 75 years, the Anvils have been considered the icon of the profession and the benchmark of high performance in public relations.

The winners will be announced on June 8, 2023 at the Edison Ballroom in New York City. View the complete list of finalists here.


FleishmanHillard Winning Streak Continues, Earns PR Agency of the Year at Campaign US 2023 Awards

ST. LOUIS — Hot on the heels of last week’s PRWeek Agency of the Year and Outstanding Extra-Large Agency wins, FleishmanHillard won the PR Agency of the Year category at the Campaign US Agency of the Year 2023 Awards. Campaign US noted the consistency and longevity of the firm’s client relationships with companies such as Emerson, Hallmark and Johnson & Johnson as a factor in the win. The agency was also praised for impactful and creative work, including the Novo Nordisk “It’s Bigger Than Me’ campaign.

The Campaign US Awards recognize inspiring leadership, creative excellence and outstanding business performance at agencies across the United States. The winners were announced at a ceremony in New York City on March 23. Get the full list here.


FleishmanHillard’s Michelle Mulkey Named to PRWeek’s Women to Watch 2023

March 22, 2023

ST. LOUIS — FleishmanHillard’s Michelle Mulkey, senior vice president and senior partner, has been named as one of PRWeek’s Women to Watch. The honor spotlights emerging communication leaders nominated by their peers who are setting the future of the public relations industry in motion.

Mulkey, who is the head of the corporate communications and purpose division in San Francisco, oversees a team of 20 people and co-leads major accounts, including General Motors. During her time at the agency, the Pepperdine University graduate has helped to bolster its corporate social responsibility (CSR) portfolio, including helping Visa (a former client) advance CSR leadership after its IPO, which led to the founding of the United Nation’s Better Than Cash Alliance. She has also helped FleishmanHillard secure big wins over the years with such clients as Anheuser-Busch.

Mulkey has established herself as a go-to resource for women on her team, providing valuable insight as a working mother about topics including maternity leave, scheduling and the back-to-work transition.

Mulkey and the other honorees will be celebrated on May 31, 2023 in New York City.

See the full list of winners here and see Mulkey’s profile here.


FleishmanHillard Wins Back-to-Back — Takes Home Wins for Agency of the Year and Outstanding Extra-Large Agency at PRWeek US Awards for Second Straight Year

March 17, 2023

ST. LOUIS — FleishmanHillard won big at the PRWeek U.S. Awards 2023, earning awards for Agency of the Year and Outstanding Extra-Large Agency, both for the second year in a row. The global public relations and marketing agency also picked up an honorable mention in the Best of Healthcare category for its work with Novo Nordisk on the “It’s Bigger Than Me” campaign.

The firm was praised for the “overall caliber of consistently excellent work that creates awareness, business impact and transformative outcomes.” The agency was also lauded for its growth in Creative and Planning offerings and its focus on diversity, as well as exceptional client work with Novo Nordisk, Reese’s, Lowe’s and others.

  • FleishmanHillard (Agency of the Year)
  • FleishmanHillard (Outstanding Extra-Large Agency)
  • Novo Nordisk and FleishmanHillard, “It’s Bigger Than Me” (Best in Healthcare)

The PRWeek U.S. Awards honor the best corporate, agency, nonprofit and educations teams and the work they produce. The winners were announced on March 16 at a ceremony in New York City. Find the complete list of winners here.


De-Influencing is Still Influencing

March 15, 2023
By Liz Hawks

In recent weeks, the term de-influencing has started trending online, particularly in TikTok. “De-influencing” refers to social media users telling their followers what they shouldn’t buy, in their opinions, as a means to counter overconsumption. The trend is particularly common in the beauty sector but also around consumer products that have commercially benefitted from the virality of social media endorsement and exposure by influencers. But the irony of the trend is it highlights a behavior that still uses influence at the center: creators swaying people – be that to not buy something, or really to buy this other thing instead.

De-influencing makes the assumption that social media influencers are shilling products and services they may not even like or use themselves in highly curated and over-stylized ways that go against the authenticity influencers have built their businesses on for years. But in actuality, we know the reason influence works (and is only growing in driving the global economy) is because people follow peers and personalities they trust. Given the “de-influencing” trend actually still uses “influence” at its center (I’ll “de-influence” you to buy that while inadvertently – or advertently – influencing you to buy this other thing instead), this trend is not actually about the opposite of influencing or even about being anti-influencer. Rather, it attempts to promote affordability as an antidote to over-consumption. At its source, it admits influencer marketing is almost too powerful because people are so inclined to purchase whatever an influencer tells them to.

Additionally, the more often an influencer or creator shares a “real” or even critical review of a product or service he/she/they has tried, the more credibility points they accumulate with their followers, and the more authenticity they amass, thus the more influence they have. From this perspective, it’s not only the opposite of “anti-influencer,” it’s actually helping fuel the industry.

Brands need to not shy away from using influence or be afraid of this trend, but rather take it as a reminder to ensure the way they discover and filter their influencers goes deeper than quantitative reach metrics, and into qualitative resonance/authenticity vetting. And they must ensure that they brief, collaborate and direct their influencers in a way that maintains the influencer’s own voice and creative approach in the final content. Authenticity above everything.


Mumbai Magic: FleishmanHillard Diversity Fellows Forge New Partnerships with the Land of ‘Festivals and Light’

March 14, 2023

Over 8 thousand miles, or 13 thousand kilometers, separate the U.S. and India, but the FleishmanHillard Diversity Fellows proved once again that forming connections with global colleagues is achievable despite the geographic distance. The Alfred Fleishman Diversity Fellowship, a program for up-and-coming PR leaders in the United States, was founded in 2012 and continues to be a beacon for those passionate about the intersection of diversity, inclusion, brand and reputation. Fellows explore these topics on a global scale with our virtual expatriate experience, the Cross-Cultural Connections Program, launched in 2021. For the 2022 program, the Fellows were asked what office they had interest in learning more about, and were eager to partner with  FleishmanHillard in India, supported by colleagues in Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore.   

This year’s program participants included:  

We asked this year’s participants to share their “Top Five’s” about the experience. Here’s what they loved the most:  

  1.  Learning about another country’s culture.  
  2.  Networking with new colleagues and coordinating schedules across time zones. 
  3.  Applying a global lens to topics they are passionate about and exploring solutions to global issues. 
  4.  Learning about different markets, clients and campaigns.  
  5.  Presenting to key leaders and developing their project management and presentation skills.  

Unexpected Discoveries  

Fellows and their Mumbai partners bonded over shared hobbies, PR practice areas and the value they place on incorporating DE&I into their work. It didn’t take long for each pair to finalize their project’s focus, where they examined important topics including, LGBTQIA+ inclusion, best practices for partnering with influencers and the importance of bringing the principles of design justice to the virtual world. With topics as varied as these, it is no wonder that there were a few surprises along the way.   

Aaisha and Himani, learned that much of the metaverse has yet to be researched.   

“The metaverse is new enough that it gives the perfect opportunity to right the wrongs of web 2.0 and create a safe and inclusive space for individuals to come together…that is, if companies can create it properly.” Aaisha Shafique  

On the opposite end of the spectrum, Grace and Crystal learned that researching regional practices can yield a multitude of results. Grace shared:

“I did not fully realize how much the business of influencer marketing can differ from country to country.”  

Ron and Arushi used their research to highlight the challenges that face the LGBTQIA+ community, providing examples of why we must become better allies to our team members. Ron stated:

“Although the U.S. is quite progressive in terms of LGBTQ+ rights, there are still many challenges that exist for that community, especially because protections can vary depending on the state you live in.”  

Coming Soon: Cross-Cultural Connections v.3  

We look forward to our next global partnership and the inevitable opportunities it will bring later this year. While the topics and participants may change, the one thing that will not is our firm’s commitment to inclusion and connection. As always, our Diversity Fellows will be ready – to explore new topics and learn new lessons as we all work toward a more inclusive future for the PR industry.   

You can learn more about openings in our Alfred Fleishman Diversity Fellowship program by visiting our careers page here.   


Adrianne Smith to Speak at Dubai Lynx

March 9, 2023

When: March 14, 15:40 GST

Where: Dubai Lynx Festival, Madinat Jumeirah Dubai

Our Adrianne Smith, chief diversity and inclusion officer, will partner with Damon Jones, global chief communications officer at Procter & Gamble, to host the “Inclusion – We All Agree, But Now What” discussion at the Dubai Lynx Festival on March 14th in Dubai. They will explore DE&I topics, including how being more inclusive and providing access and opportunities to under-represented communities has transformed young lives and the creative industry.

Dubai Lynx brings MENA’s creative and communications industries together to learn, network and celebrate the power of creativity while discovering the latest trends, ideas and technologies that shape the future of advertising and marketing. For further information, click here.


TickTockTech from Mobile World Congress 2023: Accelerating the Pace of Change

By Claire Jones and Melanie Dias

The world of mobile is unrecognizable since the first official ‘GSM World Congress’ was launched in 1990 to just a few hundred attendees. Thirty-three years later, the most recent edition of the mammoth connectivity conference once again underlined just how fast the sector is evolving. It’s logical the organizers chose the theme of ‘Velocity’ to convey the message for this year’s event. 

Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2023 convened more than 88,500 attendees from 202 countries to unveil, demo and discuss the latest innovation across 5G, 6G, immersive technology, fintech and much more. Here are just some of the most exciting and significant trends we identified emerging from this year’s show – plus takeaways that communicators should think about going forward:  

Prepare for the unexpected: As described by Reuters, the “potential uses of generative AI systems such as OpenAI’s ChatGPT certainly took center stage at this year’s show”. However, the key message from speakers and media alike was that the future potential was still largely unknown. Lauren Kunze, CEO of Iconiq summarised it best: “2022 was supposed to be the year of the metaverse but was in fact the year of generative AI”. As companies, governments and individuals across the world experiment with use cases, we can only guess what will hit the stages next year.

TAKEAWAY: New tools like ChatGPT will continue to dominate headlines as they promise everything from automated content generation to improved operational efficiency. However, it’s important to exercise caution with all evolving technology – expected and unexpected issues around authenticity, information accuracy and content quality will be top of mind when it comes to generative AI. We’ll just have to keep watching…

Platform for public policy: MWC has increasingly become the place for policymakers to share important news and announcements, with the knowledge it has a captive audience of key industry stakeholders with whom they can engage far more effectively. The European Commission chose the event to present a set of actions aimed at making Gigabit connectivity available to all citizens and businesses across the EU by 2030. Thierry Breton, commissioner for the Internal Market, reported he held constructive meetings with telco CEOs and called for a shared vision of building the networks of tomorrow and financing the infrastructure for a connectivity revolution.

TAKEAWAY: Key industry tradeshows are increasingly becoming a backdrop for some of the most important – and global – policy conversations in the industry. Tech-focused communicators with a narrative touching any element of infrastructure, connectivity and/or mobility should stay aware of MWC for not just news but networking with key policymakers.

Operator revenue models: A well-debated issue was how to make the economics of network investment work for operators, now and in the future. Total Telecom highlighted how “5G is helping service providers increase market share,” but Telecoms.com shared commentary from Ericsson that 5G revenue generation would take time. Either way, Computer Weekly explained how 5G connections are set to double over the next two years, driven by network deployments in over 30 countries in 2023 alone, according to GSMA data. The future was beautifully illustrated by Light Reading, which explained that, despite the ongoing questions surrounding sustainable business models, networks will “endure, grow and evolve into something even more sophisticated (6G sensing networks, 7G sentient ones)”.

TAKEAWAY: As networks and devices continue connecting and expanding at increasingly faster speeds, questions around sustainability and ROI will only grow. Experts disagree on the timeline for economic ramifications, but it is certainly a notable issue to keep an eye on in the upcoming year.

Future services via virtual reality: There was a huge array of demos and experiences allowing delegates to get hands-on with tomorrow’s technologies, such as SK Telecoms’ flying taxi service, as reported by CNBC. But not all journalists were convinced; TechCrunch stated the “rides felt more retro than next-gen – harking back to arcade (or fairground) simulator rides from the 1980s”. Orange’s metaverse experience was also well covered, with AP News remarking “it was a dazzling display, though what consumer purpose it had was not immediately clear”.

TAKEAWAY: For all the discussion around virtual reality, the technology is still a work in progress. MWC remains a destination to get first-hand experience with the latest technology evolution. It’s also a good reminder that communicators should experience the technology in-person to get a better understanding and perspective when preparing content and strategy.

Handset innovation: A MWC mainstay is the host of handset launches you can expect at the show. This year’s announcements did not disappoint, with theMoto rollable phone and Z Fold 4-like foldable handset featuring in ExpertReviews’ ‘Best of MWC’ list. Wired UK described how One Plus kept its cool with new liquid cooling technology to reduce smartphone temperatures by up to two degrees when gaming. The Register featured a handset launch from HMD Global that had a novel design concept of repair by its owner. While some may be skeptical, the view of analyst house CC Insight was that “the ability to repair a smartphone without too much difficulty could become a key differentiator in the market”. One to watch for sure.

TAKEAWAY: Major trade shows like MWC have always offered that exciting “first look” at the it products and solutions for the year ahead. With tradeshows back in full swing, it goes without saying that attending is an effective way to gain key insights and stay on top of what’s popular and trending for perspective audiences in your work as a communicator.

Although MWC 2023 has concluded, our global FleishmanHillard team will continue to keep their fingers firmly on the pulse of the latest mobile news, innovation and trends. As communicators, it is imperative we keep looking ahead so we can advise clients on how to cut through in a busy media landscape, looking beyond products to how new technologies will continue to impact economies and humankind.

After all, one thing we know for sure is the pace of change will continue unabated. As Mats Granryd, director general of the GSMA, told a packed auditorium in his opening keynote: “We are at the beginning of a new era of exploration. Those that dare can lead the way”.   


FleishmanHillard Announces New Leader in the Philippines

March 2, 2023

Chescka Diaz Appointed General Manager

MANILAFleishmanHillard has promoted Chescka Diaz to general manager of its Philippine operations.

Diaz has been a fast-rising star in the office, most recently heading client service across its expansive client portfolio and leading award-winning campaigns that medaled in PRWeek Asia’s Regional PR Campaign of the Year, PRovoke Media’s APAC SABRE Awards and the Public Relations Society of the Philippines’ Anvil Awards, among others. Before joining FleishmanHillard in 2019, Diaz provided communications counsel on behalf of international and local brands as well as communications firms, after beginning her career in broadcast news. She reports to Lynne Anne Davis, the Asia Pacific president and senior partner for FleishmanHillard and Omnicom PR Group.

“Chescka has proven herself to be the next natural leader for our business in the Philippines. She is a versatile communications strategist with expertise spanning brand management, corporate affairs, integrated creative campaigns, influencer engagement and more, for clients from a slew of different industries. What stands out most about Chescka’s leadership style is her deep appreciation for prioritizing mentorship, collaboration and development of her team to power an enriching employee experience that in turn propels client service excellence and growth.”

“The Philippines has been a key market in our Asia Pacific network since 1997, and we look forward to the next stage of success under Chescka’s leadership with continued investment in innovative communications solutions that advance our clients’ business goals in meaningful ways,” said Davis.

“I take pride in leading the team in this high-performing market. . Our diverse group of communication experts and problem solvers are the heart of every successful campaign we create for our clients in the Philippines. I strongly believe that our focus on continuously elevating the overall employee experience and development allows us to reach new heights and excel in everything that we do for the brands and organizations we work with,” said Diaz.

About FleishmanHillard
FleishmanHillard specializes in public relations, reputation management, public affairs, brand marketing, digital strategy, social engagement and content strategy. FleishmanHillard was named 2021 PRovoke Global Agency of the Year; 2021 ICCO Network of the Year; 2021 Campaign Global PR Agency of the Year; 2022 PRWeek U.S. Agency of the Year and Outstanding Extra-Large Agency of the Year; 2021 PRovoke APAC Consultancy of the Year; 2021 PRWeek UK Large Consultancy of the Year; Human Rights Campaign Best Places to Work for LGBTQ Equality 2018-2022; and to Seramount’s (formerly Working Mother Media) “Top Companies for Executive Women” list 2010-2022. FleishmanHillard is part of Omnicom Public Relations Group, and has 75 offices in more than 30 countries, plus affiliates in 45 countries. 

About Omnicom Public Relations Group 
Omnicom Public Relations Group is a global collective of three of the top global public relations agencies worldwide and specialist agencies in areas including public affairs, language strategy, global health strategy and change management. As the largest group of communications professionals in the world, our employees provide expertise to companies, government agencies, NGOs and nonprofits across a wide range of industries. Omnicom Public Relations Group delivers for clients through a relentless focus on talent, continuous pursuit of innovation and a culture steeped in collaboration. Omnicom Public Relations Group is part of the Communications Consultancy Network, a division of Omnicom Group Inc. (NYSE: OMC).