Weber Shandwick Expands Digital Leadership Team Amidst Record Growth
NEW YORK, Feb. 22, 2012 – Weber Shandwick’s award winning Digital practice today announced a series of executive appointments to further strengthen its leadership team to accommodate the increased scale of operations and continued growth in 2012.
These moves come during a period of unprecedented growth for the firm’s digital business, which has increased by more than 30 percent annually over the past two years. Today, Weber Shandwick is trusted to handle a range of digital responsibilities, including social business consulting programs, digitally-led campaigns and community management for 100+ major household brands.
The firm promoted Chris Vary (@chrisvary) to executive vice president, Digital Program Innovation; Patrick Chaupham (@patrickchaupham) to senior vice president, Digital Operations; and, Colin Moffett (@cmoffett) to senior vice president, Digital Content Strategy. Each will join the firm’s executive committee overseeing digital strategy and operations for clients.
These promotions come on the heels of important new additions to the digital team including Matt Dickman (@MattDickman), who oversees the firm’s social business practice development; Jim Paul, executive creative director; and Vanessa Muir Johnson (@vanessamuir), senior vice president of Digital. Dickman joined the firm from Fleishman-Hillard, where he was global co-chair of the Digital Practice Group. Paul joined from Leo Burnett/Arc Worldwide, where he served as creative director and vice president. And Muir Johnson joined from Razorfish Chicago where she served as vice president, Client Partner.
“Together, both our promotions and new hires will continue to help our clients address new opportunities and threats driven by the blurring intersection of paid, earned and owned programs online,” said Chris Perry (@cperry248), president of Digital at Weber Shandwick. “By continually investing in top talent, our firm has the unmatched ability to provide increasingly specialized counsel clients need as they embed digital and social deeper into their marketing, PR and overall operations.”
The growth and success of Weber Shandwick’s Digital practice is grounded on innovative solutions and ideas that engage consumers, stakeholders and other key audiences working with some of the world’s most iconic brands. Recent digital/social assignments include the following:
- In January 2012, the firm worked with Unilever to launch Simple Skincare entirely via social media in order to establish an online community prior to any advertising or PR. The brand partnered with industry influencer, Lauren Luke (Panacea81) – a self-made YouTube beauty celebrity – as a community co-host to establish credibility and leverage her social graph. The team then built a network of blogger ambassadors to establish and build the Simple Skin community with educational and valuable content. Among other activations, this was followed by an engaging conversation on Twitter, where the brand was introduced to target consumers who were identified as participating in the broader sensitive skin discussion.
- To celebrate L.L.Bean’s 100th anniversary and draw the next generation of consumers to the brand, Weber Shandwick is implementing an integrated campaign with digital at the center that celebrates the company’s passion for the outdoors. The campaign ignites conversations about the benefits of the outdoors through the Million Moment Mission in support of the National Park Foundation. Every time a consumer shares a story, a favorite outdoor recommendation or a photo, L.L.Bean is donating $1 to the National Park Foundation (up to $1 million). The program uses the brand’s digital assets as the hub and is supported by catalog advertising, retail exposure, e-marketing, social and public relations which invites consumers to share their moments with the brand and the world. L.L.Bean is also utilizing Facebook to give away free outdoor sports instruction and equipment every day this year in the Get Out(fitted) Gear Giveaway. In the first two weeks alone Facebook likes are up 17 percent and more than 7,000 entries have been received in the contest.
- For Mattel Inc., the world’s largest toy company, Weber Shandwick now provides digital issues and crisis counsel and support, as well as community management for the company’s corporate social media platforms. This is coupled with traditional corporate communications and issues management work, in addition to providing Digital Defense counsel.
- The firm’s work is not limited to consumer-focused campaigns and partners with brands across industries and sectors. Weber Shandwick digital team is working with the Michigan Economic Development Corp. (MEDC) to continue building the Pure Michigan brand. Weber Shandwick and its partner agencies help the MEDC with national public relations, and a host of other marketing and communication initiatives including video and written content creation, e-mail marketing, search engine optimization, social media relations, blogger outreach and community management. In 2011, the state of Michigan’s official travel and tourism website, michigan.org, attracted more visits than any state tourism website in the country for the fifth consecutive year, and the brand’s Facebook page has more likes than any other state tourism page, with more than 340,000 fans.
Weber Shandwick’s Digital practice has received numerous industry awards and was named a “Top 4 Employer for Social Media Professionals” by Mashable. It remains at the forefront of innovation through its proprietary methodologies and applications. The firm launched its social crisis simulator, FireBell, an award-winning, proprietary application that allows clients to participate in real-time online crisis simulation drills in a secure, off the-internet environment. It also introduced Content Fusion, an approach that defines an organization’s own unique storytelling ecosystem by identifying stories that can best be told in each respective format and driving the stories through an ecosystem of traditional, digital, social media and company-owned channels.
More on Weber Shandwick Digital can be found at www.webershandwickdigital.com.