FleishmanHillard revamps business development, names Della Sweetman to new role

The Omnicom Group firm is building out a dedicated global business development function, overseen by chief business development officer Della Sweetman.

Della Sweetman
Della Sweetman

NEW YORK: FleishmanHillard has appointed Della Sweetman as chief business development officer as it establishes a dedicated global function to bring in new accounts.

Previously, business development was handed predominantly by regional teams, Sweetman said. The new structure represents a commitment of resources including "business directives, creative directives, lead generation people, and business development service people," she noted. It was put together over the past year.

The function’s goal is to support work undertaken by agency leadership, including general managers, client relationship managers, and others, to drive growth. It will also support clients and work towards more integration with partners at Omnicom Public Relations Group.

Based in New York, Sweetman will oversee a team of 20, reporting to CEO John Saunders. She was named senior partner and EVP of business development for the Americas at Fleishman in 2013, working on evolving the firm’s culture on client service and client acquisition. Previously, Sweetman was senior partner and GM for Southern California.

The firm also named three others to new roles as it builds out the business development function. Marianna Deal, Paul Haugen, and Joanne Wong were appointed business development MDs for the Americas, EMEA, and APAC, respectively.

Previously, Haugen was lead planner for EMEA, while Wong was client service leader on a number of APAC agency relationships and new business liaison. Deal has served as an MD at Fleishman since 2012, according to her LinkedIn account.

Asked if business losses such as its HP account, recently won by Edelman, or the CFA Institute earlier this year caused Fleishman to create the function, Sweetman said, "I will attest we are having our best business development performance this year to date."

Fleishman has won 320 clients this year in competitive opportunities, according to SVP Chelsey Watts.

 "While we can’t share our financials, we can point to Omnicom’s 3Q release last week where public relations increased 4.4%," Watts added via email.

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