PROFILE: Jonathan Shore, Cohn & Wolfe - Shore inspires work and pleasure at C&W - Jonathan Shore aims to expand C&W while retaining the culture he loves

Cohn & Wolfe UK MD Jonathan Shore does not believe in company mottos.

He does, however, have an ethos in life to 'make money and have fun'.

According to friends and colleagues, it is for this that Shore has made his name.

Some say he's 'an inspirational maverick', with a head for PR and business alike. Others cite his aptitude for making work enjoyable. While he is undoubtedly focused on his work, Shore has the rare ability to appear to be having fun at the same time.

The firm's newly appointed MD appears remarkably cheerful and ebullient, given the fact he has been partying until the early hours of the morning at a staff and client bash. He was celebrating the appointment of his two deputies - Jennifer Cohan and Angie Wiles - and his early days in office at the helm of C&W London.

Shore - formerly deputy MD to Martin Ellis, now promoted to executive vice-president at the WPP-owned agency - has always combined being animated with being business-like.

Having joined C&W in 1997 as director of the agency's corporate arm, he has since contributed a great deal to the expansion of the agency and its offerings, handling clients such as BSkyB and Orange. Five years on he heads the 120-strong firm, which while not a direct contender to the giant global networks, is, as he says, renowned for 'punching above its weight'.

Prior to C&W, Shore worked for three years at Consolidated Communications as a director, where ex-colleagues remember him as much for his office antics as for the brilliance of his work.

'He's a scream to work for,' says Consolidated director Will Holt, who was originally recruited by Shore. 'He's a corporate loose cannon and totally brilliant at what he does. Anyone working under him will have a riot.'

Shore says he has a knack for taking problems in his stride and absorbing professional pressures without letting them affect him: 'When unfortunate occasions arise, sometimes the only thing is to sit back and laugh,' says Shore. 'It's a way to diffuse tension.'

This is a tactic called upon when Shore turned up to a client pitch having forgotten to save any of the C&W presentation on the laptop.

Or, as Holt recalls, when Shore - who, rather strangely, kept a stash of trousers in the Consolidated office - grabbed a pair to change into prior to a meeting, only to realise when he got there he had left his Y-fronts from the day before sticking out of the trouser leg.'They told me when I left Consolidated that I left at least five pairs of pants hanging around the office - they made a brief exhibition of them after my departure,' he jokes.

But his talent for making the most of desperate situations does not just apply to his professional life. Shore tells how he was called upon to lay off staff in a former job at Paragon Communications (now part of Golin Harris International). One of those axed later became his wife: 'We went through the recession in the late 1980s after the yuppie boom and the Bristol office was shut - it was my job to lay off the last employees,' says Shore. 'The one thing my wife's always had over me is that I had the honour of firing her.'

For all Shore's eccentricities, he is widely known for his PR nous and is expected to achieve great things at C&W. John Brissenden, director of publicity at BSkyB, a long-term client, says: 'It is no criticism of Jonathan to say what excites him about his work is the clients' business.

And by continuing to put all his energies into helping build the client's business, he will be building C&W's as well.'

Shore is not, however, planning any grand changes by way of putting his personal stamp on the agency. In fact, he is keen to make sure C&W remains as it is.

Maintaining the firms' culture is central to his plans. 'I want to continue to grow and evolve, but also to continue to stay the same. That's a tough act to pull off. We want the big agency structure while keeping the C&W culture as we like it, and there's no simple solution,' he says.

Shore claims the firm's culture and staff was what attracted him to C&W in the first place: 'C&W was one of the few agencies worth looking at. There's a small pool of culturally similar business and for me that was a crucial factor.'

With his deputies Cohan and Wiles in place, Shore has started bashing out strategies on how to achieve the ideal balance of size, structure and culture for C&W. He says internal comms within the company is an area he is looking at, but is keen not to 'squeeze out the culture' with formal sub-committees and forums.

Shore is not alone in his predicament. Keeping the feel of a small to medium-sized agency as it grows is a challenge to all PR agency bosses.

With Shore's dedication to culture, he is better equipped than most to see this through.

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