GENEVA: Hoping to prove that more than talk occurs at its meetings, the World Economic Forum has hired Charles McLean away from Hill & Knowlton to fill a new PR post.
GENEVA: Hoping to prove that more than talk occurs at its meetings,
the World Economic Forum has hired Charles McLean away from Hill &
Knowlton to fill a new PR post.
McLean, formerly a senior managing director in H&K’s Washington office,
becomes the organization’s first director of communications and public
affairs. His job is expected to prove wide-ranging: the WEF’s membership
is comprised of large multinational corporations, and the group
regularly hosts meetings for leading international movers and shakers.
However, very little is known about its mission and actions.
Among those who spoke at January’s WEF meeting were President Clinton,
UK Prime Minister Tony Blair and King Abdullah II of Jordan. Other
participants include representatives from leading non-governmental
organizations (NGOs) and the news media.
In hiring McLean, the WEF hopes to more effectively coordinate efforts
by NGOs and corporations to tackle significant international problems,
ranging from disease and hunger to bridging the digital divide.
’One of the things the forum is eager to do is to ensure that more of
the great ideas that come out of the (annual) meeting and the regional
meetings are translated into real action and real deliverables,’ McLean
explained. ’There’s a lot more than talking going on at the
McLean added that the WEF previously employed a media manager, but that
his position was specifically created to take the group’s communications
to the next level. He expects that his job will include a significant
amount of travel.
McLean is probably used to it, having covered news in 57 countries as a
producer, foreign correspondent and bureau chief for NBC before joining
H&K in 1995. Working out of the agency’s DC office, McLean counseled
clients on media relations and crisis communications, and was head of
the firm’s public diplomacy group.