Weber Shandwick Collective launches Business & Society Futures advisory group

TWSC has also developed a panel of 21 external executive counselors.

Chris Deri will lead the Business & Society Futures group.

NEW YORK: The Weber Shandwick Collective (TWSC) has established a group of senior advisers called Business & Society Futures.

Weber Shandwick CEO Gail Heimann said the initiative will provide clients with “a single point of entry” to TSWC’s consulting and advisory expertise. 

The new group, composed of leaders from Powell Tate, United Minds, KRC Research and Weber Shandwick’s corporate and public affairs practice, was born out of the various, increasingly complex challenges clients have faced in recent years. 

“Every single client you talk to says, ‘My job is different [since 2020]. I’m running against a gauntlet of massive issues and I don’t necessarily know how to deal with all of them,’” said Heimann. 

Chris Deri, Weber Shandwick’s chief corporate affairs officer and president of TWSC's C-suite advisory business, will lead the new group. Pam Jenkins, Weber Shandwick’s chief public affairs officer, will serve as executive partner to Deri while continuing to head up the global public affairs practice, Powell Tate and the firm’s growing public health practice.

Deri told PRWeek that Business & Society Futures will not only support clients’ comms functions as they’re pulled further into business strategy, but also ensure the company’s entire C-suite is integrating comms effectively while working towards overarching company objectives.  

Kate Bullinger, CEO of United Minds, and Paul Massey, president of Powell Tate and Weber Shandwick’s global lead for social impact and sustainability, will co-chair the new group.

As well as Business & Society Futures, TWSC has launched The Collective Senior Advisors, a group of external executive counselors from various industries such as business, civil society, government and academia. 

“[The external advisers] are going to bring their own perspective, they’re going to disagree, perhaps, [and] they’re going challenge some of the thinking of our clients,” Deri, who is also leading that group, said. “I think that’s what clients want and need as well.”

There are 21 members of The Collective Senior Advisors, including Jerilan Greene, former SVP, chief comms and public affairs officer for Yum Brands, Ashley Etienne, former head of comms for VP Kamala Harris and the NHL’s EVP for social impact and growth and policy Kimberly Davis. 

Business & Society Futures will operate in a roundtable model designed by United Minds, a consultancy that specializes in organizational transformation, enabling swift and strong collaboration across TWSC’s four advisory brands and The Collective Senior Advisors. 

In September, TWSC expanded its diversity, equity and inclusion client offering and renamed it as culture, equity and inclusion.

In 2021, Weber Shandwick posted a revenue increase of 4.9% globally to $872 million and a revenue jump of 5% in the U.S. to $520 million, according to PRWeek’s Agency Business Report 2022.

Weber Shandwick’s parent company is Interpublic Group (IPG). The PR firm IPG’s Specialized Communications and Experiential Solutions segment registered single-digit growth on an organic basis in Q3, according to an IPG spokesperson.

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