NEW YORK: Hill+Knowlton Strategies has promoted Sergio Morales, SVP and head of its New York consumer and sports marketing practice, to US consumer and marketing communications practice leader, effective immediately.
Morales, who began working for the agency as a consultant in September 2011, will report directly to Dan Bartlett, president and CEO of H+K in the US.
Some of Morales' responsibilities include managing the agency's consumer and marketing clients, building relationships with clients, overseeing sports marketing efforts, and working with regional consumer and marketing heads at H+K.
The position is newly created. Previously, global consumer and marketing practice leader Allison Eyles-Owen helped to oversee US consumer marketing along with other executives.
A main focus will be strengthening talent, he said.
“We've managed to have success in the last 12 months because we've retained good talent and nurtured talent, which is probably one of the most important things that we overlook in our industry [because] we're always running, running, running,” Morales explained.
He added that he will continue to develop and expand the practice's talent, and hire “strategic thinkers” who can counsel clients on a wide range of issues rather than one specific area.
Morales said H+K is working on various integrated accounts and sitting at the table with advertising and digital agencies, which shows that “people are looking at PR as a really important element and as part of the pie.”
Before H+K, Morales was a VP at Weber Shandwick, where he worked in various practices, such as CSR, corporate, and consumer, and counseled clients including Samsung, Amway, and DreamWorks.