FleishmanHillard ups Janise Murphy to chief practice officer

The Omnicom Group firm is eliminating Murphy's previous position as president of the U.S. South region.

Janise Murphy
Janise Murphy

DALLAS: FleishmanHillard has promoted Janise Murphy to the newly created role of chief practice officer, effective immediately.

She is reporting to J.J. Carter, global COO and president of the Omnicom Group firm’s Americas region. Murphy, who is based in Dallas, Texas, has 13 direct reports, consisting of all practice and sector leaders at Fleishman.

Murphy described her new job as the latest development in a shift at Fleishman.

"It’s part of our strategic plan that started really a couple of years ago when we stood up our global business development function," she said. "And then we stood up Mark Mortell’s function and now we are activating the global practice portion."

In March, Mortell, who also reports to Carter, started in the newly created chief global client leadership officer position.

Murphy said a large part of her job will be finding skills and capabilities at the local level and making them available to clients across the agency.

"Offices can be very vertically focused and in some ways the client you work on is a walled garden," she said. "The global practice has the opportunity to bring these innovations and scale them and deliver them across the network."

One way the firm is doing this is by combining social media data with client counselling.

"One of things we’re doing is bringing together that intelligence engine with our counselling capabilities to give our clients not only streaming intelligence but also counseling in real-time," Murphy said.

The kind of structural changes made by other agencies, such as Ketchum’s recent move to a single P&L, aren’t necessary at Fleishman, Murphy said.

"FleishmanHillard has long been a very flat organization, so that’s one of the other things that makes working in this kind of role unique in the industry," she said. "It is a relationship culture [at FleishmanHillard]. We connect together on a daily basis without the structure that forces that."

The agency is eliminating Murphy’s previous position as president of the U.S. South region, which included offices in Texas, Georgia, and North Carolina. Those offices now report directly to Carter and the agency said it has no immediate plans to similarly flatten other regions.

Murphy joined the firm in 1990 and worked in the Washington, D.C., office before moving to Texas and ultimately opening five FleishmanHillard offices in the state.

According to the PRWeek Agency Business Report 2018, global revenue at FleishmanHillard was $578 million in 2017, a 2% drop compared to 2016 revenue of $590 million. The agency is the world’s fourth largest by revenue.

In the first quarter of 2018, PR revenue for Omnicom grew 0.7% organically to $346.3 million, compared to the first quarter of 2017 when revenue was up 1.8%.

Along with FleishmanHillard, the Omnicom Public Relations Group includes Ketchum, Porter Novelli, and Marina Maher Communications.

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