PMK-BNC appoints Maryann Watson to co-lead New York Brand Comms

The PepsiCo alum joined the firm after after three years as RFI Studios' president.

Watson is a PepsiCo and Ruder Finn alum.
Watson is a PepsiCo and Ruder Finn alum.

NEW YORK: PMK-BNC has brought on Maryann Watson as EVP to co-lead its New York Brand Comms division alongside EVP Heather Feit.

Watson oversees a staff of 26 with Feit and reports to Monica Chun, COO and EVP of brand marketing and communications. She is based in New York and officially started in her position on July 5.

Watson’s responsibilities include driving growth across the client portfolio, staff development, and some account work, primarily for American Express. She will also assist the handling of the Anheuser-Busch InBev account.

"PMK has been growing leaps and bounds, and has been refocusing its presence in New York now that so many of its clients have been investing in the city, such as Samsung, which has an experiential space at 837 Washington," Watson said, adding that the firm is building up its team leadership in New York.

Watson said the Los Angeles-based firm is currently hiring at different levels. The candidates they’re looking for understand the agency lifestyle and pop culture, including music, fashion, and sports, "and how we can connect our clients to those types of spaces," she said.

"We have an experiential team, but even just from the communications side, we’re working on how to best position those experiences and show how each client is breaking through in their industries to allow them to connect with consumers in new and different ways," Watson said.

She joins PMK after three years as RFI Studios’ president.  Her integrated strategies work for clients such as Samsung, McDonald’s, Nokia, MetLife, and Pfizer earned her laurels of praise.

Before that, she worked for PepsiCo, a client of PMK-BNC, in two separate leadership capacities over the course of three years — first as director of corporate reputation and strategic communications, then as director of global strategy and planning and communications. A former colleague at PepsiCo introduced her to PMK-BNC.

Earlier in her career, between 2000 and 2010, Watson was SVP and group director of corporate communications at Ruder Finn.

Watson was named as one of PRWeek's 40 Under 40 honorees last year.

"We are excited to have someone of [Watson's] caliber join our leadership team," said Chun. "[Watson] understands the art of brand storytelling and consumer engagement in the ever-evolving news and cultural media landscape. Her experience and track record of seamlessly integrating traditional, digital, and social media into client offerings and campaigns delivers the results and innovative vision to meet the goals of our clients."

PMK-BNC just came off a year that saw a 16% increase in revenue and an 18% increase in staff.

The firm announced it made a series of hires in May for its London office to expand its footprint in that city. Additionally, PMK-BNC absorbed Prime in March. Prime is an entertainment publicity shop, whose clients have included Seth MacFarlane, Aaron Sorkin, Robert Downey Jr., and Olivia Wilde. A month later, the firm rolled out Voces, a multicultural offering with an emphasis on the Latino consumer base.

PMK-BNC’s Stacy Weitz, formerly SVP of corporate communications, recently departed the agency after five years to join Sony Pictures Television as VP of communications. She replaced Michael Maney, who now works at Target as senior director, communications.

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