Coffee Break with Hill+Knowlton Strategies’ Vikki Chowney

Global head of content and publishing for Hill+Knowlton Strategies, Vikki Chowney discusses content platforms, the challenges of remote creation and the work she’s most proud of.

Just recognized as a member of PRWeek’s 40 Under 40, which celebrates communications pros who demonstrate the talent, drive and leadership to steer the industry through its next generation of evolution and disruption, Vikki Chowney laughed when asked what a typical day looks like.

“For me, like every PR professional, no day is the same. My role at H+K is to think about who we create content with, what that content is, and where it lives,” she said. 

In pre-COVID days, that was a tall enough order, but today, not only is tone paramount, but there are a bunch of platforms to consider, such as Instagram live, TikTok, We Chat, Facebook, and Zoom. 

“What I’m seeing from our clients in Asia, who are a few steps ahead of the U.S. in terms of getting back to normal, is that they want to be mindful of tone of voice, and thoughtful in the way that discussions transpire,” said Chowney. “We need to really think about how people are feeling; we need to look at the research and let that inform our creative strategies so that we’re doing something that feels appropriate, rather than just returning to a typical marketing plan.”

From remote directing, to remote briefing talent, to Instagram Live with Queen Latifah, Chowney acknowledged that the challenges have been quite challenging, but they have also engendered creativity. 

“They’ve been tough experiences, we’re all learning new ways of doing things, but I think that incredible work has been produced,” she said. 

Asked to identify the project she’s most proud of, Chowney didn’t hesitate to mention the work H+K is doing with the United Nations, telling the stories of female humanitarians who have lost their lives, for the upcoming Humanitarian Day, which will take place next Wednesday. 

“Instead of just creating one moment, we created an integrated plan around content and media strategy,” explained Chowney. “We created a site to tell 24 stories of 24 female humanitarians in a very different way.”

Chowney reflected on all of this and more in Coffee Break, a weekly 15-minute intermission in your working day to discover more about PR pros occupying interesting roles across the industry, live each Wednesday morning by 11 a.m. EST.

To suggest a guest for Coffee Break, pitch steve.barrett@prweek.com.

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