H+K considers further acquisitions to boost digital business

Hill+Knowlton Strategies is open to further acquisitions as the agency continues to invest in digital offering.

Interviewed by PRWeek for H+K's regional profile in the Global Agency Business report, UK and Europe CEO Lars Erik Gronntun says he will continue to invest in new hires as well as look at further acquisitions - the agency acquired digital consultancy Group SJR in New York in 2013.

"As we take in new people who are more tech savvy, we are modernising the workforce and making sure we get digital people into every sector," he said.

As well as new hires, H+K has been upskilling existing talent as part of its development of ‘creative hubs’ – a process started in London that is being rolled out globally by UK chief executive and global chair of creative strategy Richard Millar.

The agency has also created a behavioural insights model that is rooted in neuroscience, to understand its clients’ customers better. The model has been developed by Matt Battersby in London and will be taken to the market over the coming months.

Millar said: "Historically, a lot of ideas PRs have offered haven’t been truly ownable. We have foc­used on the DNA of the brand as an ownable idea."

To further drive this agenda, H+K is piloting a cultural change programme in the UK in partnership with technology company Hyper Island. The programme looks at tech as a disruptor. "We have got to build a culture that responds to this," Millar said.

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