Ogilvy PR taps McHugh to head New York corporate practice

Ogilvy Public Relations has appointed Nicky McHugh as EVP and executive director of the firm's New York corporate practice.

NEW YORK: Ogilvy Public Relations has appointed Nicky McHugh as EVP and executive director of the firm’s New York corporate practice.

McHugh, who most recently served as deputy director and SVP of MSLGroup’s New York corporate practice, joined Ogilvy on Monday. She reports to Jennifer Scott, New York MD at Ogilvy.

While McHugh’s executive director title is newly created, the role is a continuation of Thomas Smith’s former responsibilities as EVP and group director for the agency's New York corporate practice. With McHugh’s appointment, Smith has shifted positions to lead Ogilvy's financial practice.

Overseeing roughly 20 people, McHugh is tasked with heading up and growing the New York corporate practice, which offers services to clients such as reputation management, employee communications, investor relations, and b-to-b PR. McHugh will also lead the practice’s strategic direction and oversee accounts, financial performance, talent, and business development initiatives.

McHugh’s role was always part of Ogilvy’s growth plan for the corporate practice, said Scott, who has been heading the New York operation since last November.

"Our clients are really looking for synergies in their campaigns, so [McHugh] is responsible for spearheading a greater integration with Ogilvy & Mather, and growing our business in that way," added Scott.

McHugh said she joined the firm because a lot of agencies talk about integration, but Ogilvy actually delivers on it.

"Clients have more budget pressure and are looking for their agency partner to be creative, innovative, and smart," said McHugh. "At Ogilvy, I am able to reach out across the entire network’s divisions and agencies and pull in best-of-class and deliver that to clients in a way I haven’t seen at other agencies."

During her time as deputy director at MSLGroup, McHugh led the financial and professional services teams. Before that, she spent two years as an SVP at the firm. While at MSL, McHugh supported the Dubai International Financial Center and the French government's economic development division, Invest in France, across North America. She was also the World Gold Council’s North American lead.

Michael Echter, director of marketing and corporate communications at MSLGroup Americas, declined to comment on whether or not McHugh will be replaced, or who will handle her former corporate duties in the interim. However, he noted that MSLGroup is actively building out its team in the New York corporate practice.

Prior to MSLGroup, McHugh held VP positions at Stanton PR & Marketing and Hill+Knowlton Strategies. She also previously worked at Vanguard Strategies Company and McLaughlin, DelVechio & Casey, according to her LinkedIn profile.

In 2013, Ogilvy PR saw a 10% revenue decline in the US, which was mainly attributed to struggles in the Washington, DC, office where around 20 staffers were let go last May.

Rob Mathias, Ogilvy PR’s regional CEO for North America, told PRWeek last month that he cites sequestration and a frozen government budget as key factors.

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