PRWeek Global Awards Winners 2020 - Best PR Professional: LATAM

Patrick O’Neill, Managing Partner, Sherlock Communications, has been named Best PR Professional in Latam.

In just four years, Patrick O’Neill helped Sherlock Communications grow from a Brazil-based agency with three full-time employees and a small office in São Paulo into one of the leading PR firms in Latin America with more than 50 consultants and a physical presence in 11 countries.

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O’Neill’s leadership style prioritizes collaboration, creating a dynamic environment of highly motivated, innovative staff who consistently over-deliver. In 2019, O’Neill and his teams helped Sherlock win more than 20 major new clients, including Getty Images, KLM, the Internet Society, the Irish Government, and OYO Rooms.

The Brazil launch of banQi — a bank for the financially excluded — generated 90 articles in target media in five days. An awards ceremony organized for Indeed.com saw an ROI of more than 400%.

In lieu of relying on remote meetings with his teams located across the globe, he regularly flies in all employees to discuss strategy and development. He prioritizes continuing education and offers every team member complimentary classes in the foreign language of their choice and allots staff members at least one free day per month to dedicate to personal development.

O’Neill believes everyone in the agency should support the communities they work in and holds weekly, all-agency creative sessions dedicated to supporting local NGOs. An initiative for Cataki, an NGO that supports waste collectors in São Paulo, generated 20 pieces of coverage, including a feature on the BBC World website.

And a collaboration with Novos Lideres Emprendedores, an NGO that provides business and entrepreneurial training to deprived communities in Rio de Janeiro, generated more than 41 pieces of coverage including an interview on the largest TV channel in Brazil, TV Globo.

Through O’Neill’s determination, Sherlock is about to go fully carbon negative — one of the first PR agencies in the world to do so. He has been instrumental in the agency’s year of substantial growth.

Judge's comment: "The judges said: “Really strong examples of talent development and focus on culture, which comes through in staff retention. I love that he stands on a platform of lifelong learning and the initiatives he puts in place to support that are extraordinary.”

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