He will report to the agency’s president Richard Edelman, who said: ‘Edelman’s thinking around public engagement, which Robert helped develop, was an important first step in codifying the seismic shifts in public relations.’
Edelman added: ‘Today, the market is changing faster than ever and we must stay ahead of the curve. Our approach to public engagement is continuously evolving and requires that we deliver fresh, pioneering work that adapts to market dynamics and delivers results for our clients. Robert, one of the foremost authorities on the subject, is extremely qualified to drive this effort for us.’
Phillips joined Edelman in 2004, when the firm he co-founded in 1987, Jackie Cooper Public Relations, was acquired by Edelman.
He was named CEO of Edelman’s merged UK businesses in 2007 and CEO of Edelman EMEA in January 2011, providing counsel to companies including Shell, Unilever, Diageo and Aviva.
The future strategies aspect to his new job will focus on determining how comms developments and trends impact both the firm and its clients.
Phillips said: ‘We live in exciting times, where change is never going to be this slow again. The challenge is to ensure that we are both fit for purpose in our future thinking and that we match this with a flexible operational framework that can best adapt to the constant evolution of our world of comms.’