40 Under 40 2017: Ravi Sunnak

EVP, corporate and cause, Havas PR North America, 38

Since joining Havas PR in 2013, Ravi Sunnak has been instrumental in helping turn the agency’s campaigns from ideas into global movements that inspire millions of people to action.

Sunnak led media relations for the United Nations Foundation’s yearlong Action/2015 campaign. His next win was ensuring that 317 members of the press, as well as climate leaders and celebrities, attended the Earth to Paris summit, earning coverage in more than 300 outlets in 15 countries. The movement also won his agency 13 awards.

He also masterminded a huge reputation turnaround for Rhode Island after the state launched an unsuccessful brand campaign in spring 2016. Few Rhode Islanders identified with the tagline developed by a design agency, and the fallout played out in international, national, and local press.

He worked around the clock with public engagement agency Epic Decade to create a statewide program called Make It Yours, flooding social media with positive content about Rhode Island, changing not only the conversation about the state, but securing additional budgets for the account and ensuring the agency’s contract was renewed.

Sunnak established The Economist’s editors and executives as innovators navigating today’s changing media landscape and helped the publication douse media fires after a cybersecurity attack.

Another milestone was his ability to cut through all the gadgets and noise to make France — and the agency’s client Business France — the surprise standout in tech innovation at CES.

  • Sunnak devised and executed a strategy for The Economist’s second annual global LGBT summit, which achieved the best-ever results for the event by earning nearly 1 billion media impressions.
  • The London native, who is a lawyer by training, previously set up Grayling’s corporate practice in New York after almost five years in its U.K. office.
  • At the Cannes Lions in 2015, he brought rival agencies from around the world together for a panel about how to inspire brands and advertisers to work on sustainable development goals. 

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