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Davos Digest 2023 – Issue Five

January 20, 2023
Mountain view of Switzerland

Welcome to Issue Five of FleishmanHillard’s Davos Digest 2023. 

Views from around the world 

It’s been a hectic week for our team of avid WEF watchers, exploring the hottest events, announcements and even scandals amongst the super-rich and the über-powerful at the first proper Davos since the pandemic. 

An inevitably sombre agenda this year, tackling everything from war and climate catastrophe to energy price chaos and widening inequity. There were major job cuts at tech giants, attacks on profit over people and the planet, and the conspicuous absence of top-tier heads of state. But hope was the surprise guest at Davos, as the elite crowd also expressed optimism about the recent slowdown in inflation, a bounce back from the coronavirus, and adjustment to the impact of the war in Ukraine. 

But it’s not over yet. In this issue, hear global perspectives on the Swiss summit of all summits from our experts across the FleishmanHillard network. 

Brussels, Belgium

Amelie Snijders, Senior Account Executive, FleishmanHillard Brussels 

The EU takes global stage with its new Green Industrial Plan 

On Tuesday, the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, used WEF as her platform to introduce the “EU Green Deal Industrial Plan”. In recent weeks, the EU has been under pressure to provide a response to the U.S. Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), which many fear might damage the competitiveness of EU industry. Tuesday’s announcement illustrates Brussels’ focus on channeling investment towards sectors that are critical to the EU’s achievement of its net-zero targets.  

As part of the Plan, in classic EU fashion, it will publish a new Net-Zero Industry Act to identify the strategic clean tech sectors in Europe – such as wind, solar and hydrogen – which could benefit from both increased investment and fast-tracked permitting procedures for local production. Secondly, the EU will revamp its state aid rules, loosening the conditions under which governments can support their national industries. As a next step, it will also assess the willingness for a new EU Sovereignty Fund to scale up clean tech. Lastly, it will attempt to increase skills levels, and conclude more free trade agreements. 

This move towards a stronger industrial policy is expected to be welcomed by European industries that have been suffering from high inflation rates and the ongoing energy crisis. Nevertheless, it is likely to unleash a new wave of debate over which sectors should be considered as strategic to the green transition. In this respect, it could align with the sectors supported by the U.S. IRA to prevent the risk of EU industries relocating across the Atlantic. Despite this, the EU is adamant it is not closing the door on free trade. Instead, it is forging its own path, combining decarbonisation with a more pragmatic financing approach to maintain its place in the green industrial transition. A journey worth keeping an eye on. 


Christina Wong, Account Executive, FleishmanHillard Hong Kong 

Hong Kong: Open and back in business 

China’s recent reopening and its role as a driver of global economic growth has been a key topic, especially of late. With so many changes at home, it’s understandable that few high-profile Hong Kong attendees were at Davos this year. Nevertheless, the media watched as Hong Kong’s leaders took to panel discussions to update the world on the latest happenings in the Hong Kong market. 

Laura Cha Shih May-lung, Chairman of the Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited (HKEX), stated that China’s reopening will be the major event of the year. She outlined several expected benefits to global and domestic growth, focusing on increased consumption, tourism and pickups in the manufacturing sector. Cha reaffirmed Hong Kong’s goals to become a hub for technology, particularly biotech. Lastly, she said that emerging markets, which remained resilient during the pandemic, will also be growth drivers as investor sentiment returns. 

Paul Chan Mo-po, Hong Kong’s Financial Secretary, also spoke at Davos. Like Cha, he pointed out expected increases in tourism and consumption as well as “signs of a stabilization” in Hong Kong’s property market. Chan was optimistic about the city’s IPO market and stated that the city hopes to lure Southeast Asian and Middle Eastern companies to list in the city, saying that Hong Kong can help them diversify and manage risk. 

In another panel, Nicholas Aguzin, CEO of HKEX, pointed to the consumption and tourism sectors as the greatest beneficiaries from reopening, particularly with increased disposable income from Chinese consumers. Aguzin also expressed optimism about Hong Kong’s IPO market, saying that HK has a strong line-up this year, particularly in tech. 

Though the past few years have left Hong Kong facing an uphill battle, Asia’s World City is aware of its strengths and is doing its utmost to leverage them. Only time will tell whether Hong Kong will step back into its pre-pandemic role or write a new story for itself. 


Michael Hartt, Senior Partner and Head of International Affairs, FleishmanHillard UK 

United Kingdom: Davos Shows the Difficulty Now, Uncertainty Ahead  

As ever, Davos prompted a debate – sometimes genuine, sometimes mocking – amongst UK media, business leaders and other stakeholders about the impact of a summit of global elites. This year brought a particular sense of the disconnect between the UK’s acute challenges and the discussions in Switzerland, even amongst those who embrace the annual meeting.  

The ‘polycrisis’ debated at Davos is having a real-world economic and social impact upon British people. The cost-of-living crisis, a winter of strikes by public sector workers, and a National Health Service seemingly on the verge of collapse both reflect and cause pain. We will hear more about extreme wealth versus extreme poverty in the months ahead. 

The broader economic picture is equally conflicted. The UK remains the only G7 country with a lower GDP than pre-pandemic and on a negative growth trajectory. While former Bank of England Governor Mark Carney praised the UK’s potential at Davos, some economists back home warned of another decade of stagnancy. Comparisons to Italy and Argentina, rather than the U.S. and Germany, popped up in several places. 

With Prime Minister Rishi Sunak skipping Davos and introducing the UK’s ‘Levelling Up’ local investment funds, Labour Party Leader Sir Keir Starmer and Shadow Chancellor Rachel Reeves seized the opportunity to strengthen the party’s relationship with global business leaders. Labour continues to hold a 15-20 point lead over the Conservatives, but reinforcing its credibility on economic issues will be vital. That includes articulating Labour’s ambition to improve post-Brexit economic and trade ties with the EU. 

UK leaders carefully avoided becoming entangled in the growing trade and investment tensions between the U.S. and EU. The country cannot jeopardise the relationship with the White House by criticising or retaliating against the Inflation Reduction Act’s green investment incentives, but must ensure it is not cast aside by businesses as the U.S. and EU turbocharge green industries.  

And this may be the UK’s takeaway from Davos. With difficulty now and uncertainty in the future, how does one of the world’s leading economies, currently sluggish and vulnerable, simply not get left behind?  


Anna Jankowska, Associate Director, FleishmanHillard Warsaw 

Poland: Bridge to Freedom 

The main theme of the Polish House at this year’s Davos was chosen to accentuate humanitarian aid provided to refugees from Ukraine, while underlining Poland as a country connecting economies of the East and West, and a potential foreign investment destination in the era of deglobalization. 

“Never before has Davos been so close to Kiev” underlined Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki during a press conference, clearly indicating that Ukraine remained at the center of attention and discussions led during Davos focusing on military support, as well as the future prospect of rebuilding the country from post-war damage. Major leaders discussed the prospects of NATO 2023 Vilnius Summit and the Allies’ future role in supporting Ukraine.  

During the Polish House debates, it was emphasized that recent years have shown the fragility of current supply chains, which have been disrupted or even completely broken during the pandemic and the Ukraine war. The current global situation favors a transition to the approach of international business from globalization to regionalization. This is a very important moment for Central and Eastern Europe and particularly Poland, which is a key market in the region being closer to investors, and with the potential to become a regional manufacturing and operations hub for investments from Asia or new investments. As highlighted, Poland’s strengths include consistent GDP growth and the economy’s resilience to crises, NATO membership and allied security guarantees. EU membership also gives investors in Poland access to the European single market with a favorable business environment, but also to an exceptional talent pool.  

Energy sovereignty, accelerated technology development, cybersecurity and the digital economy were other areas that stood out on the agenda. During one of the debates, Polish Deputy Prime Minister and State Assets Minister, Jacek Sasin, underlined that energy independence is a priority in the context of Europe’s future and indicated nuclear power as a way to address contemporary energy challenges. He also made a commitment to launch three new nuclear power plants in Poland in the next 10 to 12 years. 


Michael Schmidt, Partner and Public Affairs Lead, FleishmanHillard Washington, D.C. 

U.S. officials catch flak for Inflation Act amid debt concerns 

The U.S. highlights for this year’s Davos were global angst about the Inflation Reduction Act enacted last year, whether the U.S. would default on debt due to political dysfunction caused by divided control of Congress, and staunch support for Ukraine expressed by lawmakers from both parties.  

The gathering was snubbed by the White House and the most senior Biden administration officials. As Bloomberg wrote “there was a low-level grumble: Where are the Americans?” 

John Kerry, former senator and secretary of state who now serves as the U.S.’s climate envoy, was there, generating headlines in the U.S. for defending the UAE’s decision to make their oil minister president of the UN COP28 climate summit being held later this year. 

But U.S. media coverage gave far more attention to current members of Congress, especially Senator Joe Manchin, the moderate Democrat influential in key bills lawmakers have debated over the past few years. Politico dubbed Manchin the “newfound Davos Man” for shuttling around the forum, trying to persuade allies about the Inflation Reduction Act without success. European officials believe the new law and its $380 billion in incentives for clean and low-carbon technologies discriminate against their manufacturers. 

Senator Chris Coons, a close ally of President Biden, and other members of Congress caught flak for the law, throughout the week. As a CNBC headline blared, the “threat of a transatlantic trade war is dominating Davos.” 

Manchin and Senator Kyrsten Sinema’s high five for opposing lowering the long-standing Senate filibuster, which forces bipartisanship by requiring bills to get 60 votes to clear the chamber, received significant attention from U.S. reporters.  

The debt ceiling was also a major topic of discussion, with headlines dubbing the “U.S. debt standoff” as a “major risk ahead for markets.” Pressure on Washington to solve the issue escalated when the U.S. hit its $31.4 trillion debt limit.  

U.S. news coverage also pointed to optimism in Davos that any economic recession would be shallow, even with the risk that Washington stumbles on the debt ceiling and ongoing concerns about the war and inflation.  

Finally, media also noted the strong, bipartisan support for Ukraine, surprising given recent Republican pushback on aid packages sought by the Biden administration.  


Sharon Piehl, Senior Partner & General Manager, FleishmanHillard Johannesburg  

Confronting the energy crisis  

South Africa showed strong representation at WEF this year, with a 51-strong delegation in attendance – the largest from Africa. Unfortunately, President, Cyril Ramaphosa had to withdraw at the last minute due to the ongoing energy crisis.   

This crisis set the tone for key conversations from government and business leaders at Davos, focusing on the impact on the economy and ongoing foreign direct investment (FDI).  

Over and above SA’s local issues, a critical, and ongoing focus for the South African delegation was in driving the Pan-African messaging. Including how to solve the issues Africa faces as a continent, created either by global events, such as the war in Ukraine, recovery from the pandemic, as well as local issues such as ensuring FDI continues and the possible consideration of a digital currency by the South African Reserve Bank.   

From an African perspective, the Forum Friends of the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) was a keen focus. This initiative is aimed at creating one African market by eliminating borders and promoting trade and production across all sectors in Africa; coupled with trying to rally support from business across the world to bolster the implementation of the initiative.  

Given SA’s influence on the continent, the impact of the ongoing energy crisis has been and will continue to negatively impact not only on the country but sub-Saharan Africa. Ramaphosa’s non-attendance to focus on a solution, the publishing of the latest report to achieve energy security, and the delegation’s various interactions with business and key leaders to provide assurance of the appetite to resolve the crisis.  

Whilst as a country we are very aware of our challenges and the hurdles we need to overcome, it is imperative to give an impetus to a clear strategy coupled with rapid, laser-focused implementation to address the energy crisis. If we don’t, we run the risk of the energy crisis worsening, further crippling the economy and losing out on FDI, which will have massive ramifications for SA and possibly further afield on the African continent. 


Ronak Thakkar, Account Director, FleishmanHillard Middle East 

The Middle East Uprising 

The Middle East has been a topic of discussion over the years for various reasons, but the geopolitical crisis and climate change are the most important part of conversations every single year.  

2023 was different for the region’s position at Davos. The UAE government reiterated its commitment to unlocking opportunities for the future through its Future Possibilities Index, Saudi brought back Youth Majlis pavilion, and a few private companies addressed the concerns of today to rebuild the economies for the future. 

The Middle East’s urgency to act was yet another thing we saw roar like a lion at the forum, for the benefit of the future and on humanitarian grounds. The regional press covered the UAE’s leadership around the need to act fast and design governments that are forward-thinking as one of the best approaches. 

At the same time, the media also highlighted the voices of Iranian women heard by Davos delegates, asking for the West to step up on an international response to Tehran’s human rights abuse. 

The unstable geopolitical relations between U.S. and China and their impact on the global economy were also heavily discussed in the Middle Eastern press. The impact not only on the worldwide energy crisis but also on the global trade flow is concerning for industry leaders. “That disrupts the market in a big way … today we need to see supply chain resilience continue, we need to see the ability to supply cargo,” commented Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem of DP World on the global supply chain

A record number of Arab heads of state participated in various discussions at the summit. The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region’s efforts over the years in global geopolitical events have paved the way for the stabilization of the region. Commenting on Arab presence at Davos this year, Maroun Kairouz, WEF’s head of the MENA region said, “I think, in short, it is their time to shine”. 

It is predicted that if the world enters a recession, just like in 2008, the Gulf countries are yet again expected to be at the forefront of efforts to stabilize the global markets. 

Join us soon for an in-depth summary of Davos 2023 in Issue Six of the Davos Digest.  


Davos Digest 2023 – Issue Four

January 19, 2023
Mountain view of Switzerland

Welcome to Issue Four of FleishmanHillard’s Davos Digest 2023. 

Our latest must-read instalment is kicking off with a decidedly green agenda and an attack on the conference’s elite crowd.  

Greta Thunberg created more headlines on Thursday when she and fellow activists confronted the man in charge of regulating global energy at a Fridays For Future debate. Thunberg argued it’s “absurd” to be listening to the people who are the main perpetrators of the climate crisis. To be confirmed on whether she grabbed popcorn for Oliver Stone’s new movie promoting nuclear power, which played to a packed audience at Davos. 

But it’s not only the future of planet Earth that’s at stake. The European Space Agency was pushing a ‘zero debris’ policy that would mandate companies and governments to remove any space junk launched from Earth and safeguard astronauts and spacecraft. Time will tell if action is taken now or a long time ahead in a galaxy far, far away. 

In other news, there is a mountain-sized question mark over the future of Mr Davos himself, Klaus Schwab, who has run the forum for over half a century. He’s been accused by former and current WEF employees of surrounding himself with “nobodies” and being a “law unto himself.” Former UK prime minister Tony Blair is one of the leading figures being looked at as his eventual successor. Was he really at Davos to do a recce? 

Check out the latest from our avid WEF watchers in today’s Davos Digest and be sure to return here for global and on-the-ground insights coming up soon. 


Davos does DE&I well 

Looking beyond the rainbow: Continuing its commitment to DE&I, WEF’s Partnership for Global LGBTQI+ Equality launched ‘Pride on the Promenade’, a rainbow light display across the Davos Promenade. Beyond the multi-coloured display of hope, recent law changes and expansion of rights across several countries were discussed at the Advancing LGBTQI+ Rights panel, and changes in the corporate world at the GLAAD panel.  

Women of WEF: Finland’s Prime Minister Sanna Marin created another viral moment this week as she deflected questions about her “role as a very young woman in this very important job.” Whilst remarkable, this pithy moment of table-turning vindication for women somewhat overshadowed actress and activist Nazanin Boniadi as she spoke out against the continued oppression of women in Iran. 

Looking ahead: Remarkable optimism persists at this week’s DE&I conversations despite political turmoil and the ongoing global backdrop of inequality. Conversations are refocusing on pragmatic next steps and diverse paths towards equitable solutions in the face of stalling efforts around equality. With some of the most productive discussions going on, it’s no wonder Politico called the Equality Lounge on the Promenade “one of the best places to be this week.”  


What have the world’s entrepreneurs been up to?  

Scaling solutions towards a sustainable future: During the Davos press conference on Trailblazing Entrepreneurs Tackling the World’s Biggest Problems, Joe Ucuzoglu, Global CEO of Deloitte, explained that if we are going to make headway, we need to tap into entrepreneurial spirit across all areas of the globe. Ucuzoglu said scaling innovative start-ups, which will accelerate progress towards our global sustainability goals, is our path to cities of the future.  

Join the ‘eco-preneur’ revolution: During a press conference, Suzanne DiBianca, Chief Impact Officer at Salesforce, echoed the Deloitte CEO’s remarks, expressing how incredible it is to see innovation developing at a global scale. The ‘eco-preneur’ revolution, as she calls it, is a big part of Salesforce’s work. Climate-minded entrepreneurs have helped the company use a carbon intelligence platform, like Moody’s credit ratings system, but for carbon projects using satellite technology. DiBianca argued we need to join the effort led by climate-minded entrepreneurs. 

Social entrepreneurs educating our youth: Okay, but let’s get specific. How are entrepreneurs really tackling the world’s biggest problems? Lindiwe Matlali, CEO of Africa Teen Geeks, explained how this social enterprise teaches children and unemployed youth how to code, exposes them to computer science and inspires a future generation of technology entrepreneurs and innovators. Research suggests there are millions of social entrepreneurs working in Africa, and social enterprises are estimated to directly create between 28 and 41 million jobs. Matlali reaffirmed that investment in young people is the long-term way to go.  

Looking ahead: What’s next for our corporates on the final day of Davos? We’re talking start-ups. geopolitical tensions, inflation and supply disruptions impacting start-ups worldwide are resulting in a lack of free-flowing capital. What’s the new formula for calculating the valuation of a start-up? We’ll soon find out. 


Future-proofing the health industry and care economy 

CEOs on change: Last night saw the CEOs of healthcare heavyweights Philips, Novartis and Merck gather to discuss future-proofing the health and life sciences industry. The consensus? Harnessing AI and technology, regulatory consistency and focusing on mental health are key to driving innovation and adapting to a turbulent era. 

Mind the trust gap: More than half of patients have had experiences that damaged their trust in their healthcare provider, according to a survey by Sanofi. Figures are significantly higher for minority groups and those with intersectional identities. The findings have prompted Sanofi to launch its A Million Conversations initiative. The company is pledging €50 million over the next decade to increase trust between underrepresented communities and healthcare stakeholders, conduct research and run events to promote dialogue and ultimately improve health outcomes. 

Caregivers in crisis: A shifting global demographic means ever-increasing pressure on social infrastructure. There’s a call for significant investment in elderly and child care, to the tune of trillions, in order to maintain societal health over the next few decades, according to a panel of business leaders and politicians. The issue is especially crucial for women, who often bear both the physical and mental burden of care work. 

Looking ahead: Tune in on day five for a panel on taking new approaches to medicine as life expectancies rise, as well as a discussion on the value of interdisciplinary collaboration for advancing scientific research. 


UK on the global stage  

Boris at breakfast: This morning, former UK prime minister Boris Johnson spoke at the Davos breakfast briefing on Ukraine after receiving an honorary “Citizen of Kyiv” medal from Mayor Vitali Klitschko last night. He insisted Putin will not use nuclear weapons as it would create economic paralysis, comparing the Russian leader to “the fat boy in Dickens who wants to make our flesh creep.” Johnson also urged delegates they need to give “Volodymyr Zelensky the tools he needs to finish the job.” This mirrors the message Zelensky and First Lady Olena Zelenska both pushed during their respective appearances at Davos – that Ukraine urgently needs support from its global allies.   

Down the slippery slope of protectionism: Despite Rishi Sunak not being present at this year’s Davos, the UK government has been represented and on Thursday morning it was current Business Secretary Grant Shapps’ turn. Speaking on a panel, he expressed concerns about the U.S.’s Inflation Reduction Act, saying “the IRA, at the edges, is dangerous because it could lead to a slide towards protectionism.” However, Shapps later faced some debate when IEA chief Fatih Birol said at a CNBC panel that the IRA is a “very transformative move,” and hopes other countries will respond to help meet clean energy goals.   

Starmer’s Britain will be open for business: The leader of the Labour Party also spoke at Davos this afternoon during the ‘Repowering the World’ panel. He is the first Labour leader to attend the meeting since Ed Miliband and used his appearance to discuss how he would lead the UK through the current global crises. He said the country needs a strategy for renewables that would tackle high bills and create energy security. He also took the opportunity for some political point scoring, stating the “absence of the UK” has been pressed on him during his time in Davos and arguing that his presence there is a statement of the international role that Britain will play if there is a change of government.   

Looking ahead: There have been three major topics of discussion at this year’s Davos, topics that have also dominated political discussions for some time. We have seen climate change, the war in Ukraine and global economic crises top the agenda and it’s unlikely this will change much over the coming months. Davos has highlighted many reasons to be optimistic about the future, as well as areas where there needs to be a global effort for improvement.   


Challenging times for tech 

Tough days ahead at Microsoft: At Davos, Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft, who’s jumped from panels to interviews in the Swiss Alps, announced Microsoft would cut 10,000 jobs and take a $1.2 billion charge to earnings. From another corner of the village, Uber’s CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said he was not currently planning any company-wide layoffs

Cloudy with a chance of cyber storm: In the wake of systemic geopolitical shifts in 2022, this year’s WEF dedicated a special place to cybersecurity. On day three, a panel including INTERPOL Secretary-General Jürgen Stock, and Palo Alto’s CEO Nikesh Arora predicted an expansion of the threat landscape. Davos might be missing snow this year, but the cyber storm is gathering. 

Looking ahead: Tech has had a rough start to the year, of which Davos is just an illustration. The industry is trimming down tens of thousands of employees as former cash cows, such as cloud computing, are taking a hit from a maturing market and squeezed budgets. On the other hand, tech giants are shifting towards niche growth drivers, such as AI and cybersecurity, which have been the shining stars of this year’s WEF.  

Don’t miss out on more global insights from the Swiss slopes in the next Davos Digest.  


FleishmanHillard Promotes Matt Groch to Global Managing Director, TRUE Global Intelligence

January 18, 2023

ST. LOUIS – FleishmanHillard today announced the promotion of Matt Groch to global managing director of TRUE Global Intelligence (TGI), the agency’s global research and intelligence practice, after an extensive internal and external search.

“TGI has been one of our fastest growing businesses in recent years and directly fuels the growth of our client relationships,” said J.J. Carter, FleishmanHillard global chief operating officer and president, Americas. “Matt’s attention to employee development and his ability to drive intelligence deeper into our organization are the foundations of delivering great work. He also emphasizes the importance of strategic, consultative data and insights that drive clients’ business and reputation forward.”

Groch joined FleishmanHillard in March 2018 as a senior vice president and global lead of data analytics and innovation. In that role, Groch brought experience in the strategic application of research, data and technology across a variety of industries, including nine years with the research and analytics division at Edelman. Groch also served as chief technology officer for Clayco, a U.S.-based commercial construction company, and was the co-founder of a Chicago-based healthcare startup, Mondopoint. Before launching Mondopoint, Groch served as head of product innovation for Mission Metrics, the data products subsidiary of Mission Measurement responsible for the development of the Impact Genome Project™.

Groch’s work has been recognized by various academic and professional organizations. He’s been published in the Stanford Social Innovation Review and served as a keynote speaker at the Nonprofit Technology Network’s Leading Change Summit. He was recognized on the PRovoke 2022 Innovator 25 list and is a recipient of the Chookaszian Prize in Risk Management from Northwestern University. Groch earned his MBA with a concentration in analytical finance from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University and holds a Bachelor of Science in computer engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

FleishmanHillard’s TRUE Global Intelligence practice reveals the truth about clients’ stakeholders, their competitive landscape and impact on desired outcomes. These insights ensure resonant connections with audiences to help clients realize goals and sustain success.

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 2018-2021; and to Seramount’s (formerly Working Mother Media) “Top Companies for Executive Women” list 2010-2021. FleishmanHillard is part of Omnicom Public Relations Group and has nearly 80 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).   


Should businesses be preparing for Winter blackouts?

November 29, 2022

A long winter is in store for countries across Europe.  The National Grid has alerted residents that three- hour power outages could become the norm in January if the UK faces energy supply shortages. To help minimize this possibility, the National Grid has considered implementing its Demand Flexibility Service for the first time to avert blackouts. Take a look at the services our Public Affairs and Crisis teams are offering to assist clients understand the possibility of an energy crisis.

The post Should businesses be preparing for Winter blackouts? appeared first on United Kingdom.


Introducing the Culture Gap – New FleishmanHillard Report Uncovers Generation Divided and Explores How to Bridge Society’s Divisions

October 4, 2022
  • This Global research report, backed by renowned brand expert and Columbia University lecturer Kai D. Wright, points to new cultural dividers in society causing brands need to rebuild and readjust.
  • With global respondents split on brands needing to be bold and brave (52%) versus sensible and conservative (54%), the time for brands to pay attention and act is now. 

ST. LOUIS, October 4, 2022 – Brands are finding themselves paralyzed in a landscape driven apart by culture wars, but new research released today by FleishmanHillard shows businesses must be braver in bridging these issues to stay culturally relevant without losing authenticity to consumers.

The latest study from FleishmanHillard, Authentic Insights: The Culture Gap, Introducing Gen D made in partnership with Columbia University’s Kai D. Wright, puts cultural issues at the heart of the research report to further understand how brands can move out of paralysis on today’s most pertinent topics and find a path forward in closing the current cultural divides in society.

The study unpacks a new generation, Generation Divided (Gen D), at a time when people aren’t just feeling divided within communities; they are feeling a divide within themselves. The context of a polarized world has been well established in recent times, with clear societal divisions increasingly influencing both business and personal lives. The state of divide around us has a clear impact on our internal state of flux and on what’s right and what’s not. Sixty percent of consumers today feel that people are compromising their true self by being too politically correct, and almost half (47%) believe it’s becoming more difficult to get along with people who hold contrasting views. Generation Divided was uncovered by FleishmanHillard’s unique research screening process that moved away from the standard demographic splits based on age and gender. Instead, it examined a range of factors including socioeconomic indicators, gender identity and religious and political beliefs to ensure that all aspects of humanity are reflected within the research.

“In this woke, people power era, action and words are the minimum expectations for ongoing connections to your business and brand,” said Candace Peterson, global head of Brand at FleishmanHillard. “We find many brands in a state of arrested development, unsure of how to move forward amid so much cultural division and so much reputation at stake. The latest study from our Culture Unit at FleishmanHillard explores this tension. It spotlights not just how companies should view culture, but how these cultural divides can be used as a springboard to strengthen their brand reputation and remain, or even become, culturally relevant.”

Key survey findings include:

  • While 67% of respondents wanted brands to be empathetic, 78% felt being authentic was even more important.
  • More than half (55%) think brands should release fewer upgrades/new products over the next year.
  • Although 61% of consumers would choose an employer based on its willingness to take a stand on societal issues, almost as many also agree that employers often fake their interest in DE&I and other societal issues (55%).

“Ultimately, brand and business leaders must prepare to be uncomfortable — ready to shift the practices, processes and policies of producing, releasing and evaluating efficacy of work,” said Columbia University lecturer Kai D. Wright. “No one leader knows the best path for each community, and no business team belongs to every global culture. Continual learning is inherent in leadership to be culturally relevant. Through this report and study, we explore the drivers fueling a growing cultural divide between communities; understand how to anticipate, thrive in and accelerate through the ever-constant of ‘change’; and dive into the role that brands and businesses play in bridging the cultural gap to solve societal issues.”

The Authentic Insights: The Culture Gap, Introducing Gen D reportwas developed by FleishmanHillard’s Culture Unit, a global team of macro culture strategists that enable brands to be brave and take action whilst being thoughtful of the cause they are communicating. The report comes in the wake of the Unit’s industry-first partnerships with the inclusive talent agency Zebedee, and the United Nations’ Unstereotype Alliance. Ongoing partnerships such as these create authentic behavioral change that enable FleishmanHillard to help shape a better world.

The research was conducted by FleishmanHillard TRUE Global Intelligence, the agency’s in-house research practice, together with an accredited third-party vendor, which surveyed 5,000 adults – 18 years old and older – across the U.S., UK, China, Germany and Brazil (1,000 per country). The research survey was designed to move away from standard demographic splits based on age and gender, and instead looked at communities through commonalities on a range of factors, including socioeconomic indicators, gender identity, religious beliefs and political leanings to ensure all conditions of humanity are reflected within the research. The survey consisted of two separate 25-question surveys, which were answered online by respondents September 15-20.

The report is available to read and download at fh.pr/AuthenticInsights2022.

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 2018-2021; and to Seramount’s (formerly Working Mother Media) “Top Companies for Executive Women” list 2010-2021. FleishmanHillard is part of Omnicom Public Relations Group and has nearly 80 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).    

About Omnicom Group Inc.  
Omnicom Group Inc. (NYSE: OMC) (www.omnicomgroup.com) is a leading global marketing and corporate communications company. Omnicom’s branded networks and numerous specialty firms provide advertising, strategic media planning and buying, digital and interactive marketing, direct and promotional marketing, public relations, and other specialty communications services to over 5,000 clients in more than 70 countries. Follow us on Twitter for the latest news.  

About Kai D. Wright

Kai D. Wright is a strategic advisor to C-suite executives, founders, and celebrities. He advises on subjects including brand building, digital, and DEI/culture. He has been recognized as a global leader by Thinkers50, Business Insider, Bloomberg, Black Enterprise, Forbes, and the Advertising Research Foundation. A frequent speaker at major conferences and Fortune 500 companies, Wright is an author and lecturer at Columbia University. Kai graduated with a masters in strategic communication from Columbia University and a bachelors in economics from The University of Chicago. An avid traveler, he lived in Germany during his childhood, and has visited over 20 countries.

Cover of report featuring four individuals, two with bull horns

Is online advertising in the EU about to change forever? Part 2

August 30, 2022
By sanfrutr

Dramatic changes to the way advertisers run their online promotions are set to come into force in Europe. Changes to the existing legislation won’t just impact Europeans but anyone wanting to advertise in Europe and from Europe.

In Part 2, we look at the possible tangible repercussions for both the advertisers and the platforms. 

The post Is online advertising in the EU about to change forever? Part 2 appeared first on European Union.


FleishmanHillard Statement

September 5, 2019

We are pleased that the results of the detailed review by Bayer’s independent legal counsel confirm FleishmanHillard and our employees have conducted our work on behalf of Bayer Crop Science and Monsanto in an ethical, principled and lawful manner. FleishmanHillard worked diligently at our client’s direction and in accordance with professional standards and established industry practices. We have been and are committed to integrity in what we do. We believe in the value of engaging in and supporting vigorous social dialogue. It is essential to any well-functioning society that diverse opinions can be expressed and discussed.


FleishmanHillard Earns Finalist Nods at 2019 EMEA SABRE Awards

April 8, 2019

ST. LOUIS, April 8, 2019 — FleishmanHillard has been named a finalist in several categories at the 2019 SABRE Awards EMEA, presented by The Holmes Report. The global public relations and marketing firm earned shortlist recognition for its work on behalf of various clients, including Thomson Reuters Foundation, Roche, Samsung, Philips, Roche Products Ireland and Aeroflot Airlines.

Winners will be announced at a ceremony in London on May 22, 2019.

  • FleishmanHillard Fishburn (UK Consultancies of the Year)
  • Thomson Reuters Foundation, “The Launch of Openly” (Geographic, Global Programme)
  • Roche with APCO Worldwide and Nudge Digital, “FutureProofing Healthcare – The Sustainability Index” (Advocacy, Public Affairs)
  • Samsung, “Mobile Couture” (Digital and Social Media, Influencer Marketing)
  • Philips, “Dutch Masterjuices” (Experiential, Publicity Stunt)
  • Roche Products (Ireland) Ltd, “MSunderstood Café” (Experiential, Special Event)
  • Aeroflot Airlines with Orta Communications, “Aeroflot’s Sulimov Dogs as Special Children’s Guardian Angels” (Business-to-Business, Transportation & Logistics)

View the complete list of finalists on The Holmes Report.

FleishmanHillard is a finalist in the 2019 EMEA SABRE Awards, presented by the Holmes Report.
FleishmanHillard has been named a finalist at the 2019 EMEA SABRE Awards.