Global Newsmaker: Thomas Schultz-Jagow

Oxfam's new global PR head Thomas Schultz-Jagow tells PRWeek Global why he wants to increase the NGO's influence across the world.

Thomas Schultz-Jagow: new Oxfam PR chief
Thomas Schultz-Jagow: new Oxfam PR chief

Thomas Schultz-Jagow will take charge of Oxfam's global PR strategy on 5 May, after he was promoted in a radical restructure of the NGO's marketing operations.

What are you most excited about in your new role?

Taking Oxfam's communications to a new level. It's already starting at a high level. A lot of the reasons for the restructure were internal. But it's an exciting time for the organisation. We are growing our global programme and we've made a real commitment to invest in digital.

Has digital communications made it easier to get people to care about issues in other countries?

Absolutely. It's certainly much easier with remote countries to get frontline information to a broader audience. Haiti is a good example. But some of the more difficult places like the Congo are forgotten by mainstream media. Using digital tools allows us to reach audiences directly without having to rely on traditional media to run our story.

Why does Oxfam want to increase its global influence?

The political world, where Oxfam needs to apply lobbying pressure, is changing. The traditional power centres of Europe and the US are being balanced out by regional centres of power. We need to increase our influence in growing power centres like Brazil, South Africa, India and China.

What is the biggest issue for Oxfam this year?

Climate change by far outweighs all the other challenges, both in terms of the political stalemate and its increasing impact on poor people. It changes the way we need to operate politically. From a comms point of view, we also need to start showing positive examples of communities adapting to climate change, and not just showing the negative impact it is having.

What are your media must-haves?

I read two or three of the German dailies, they are a staple in my diet. I skim online editions of the important global media such as the Financial Times, the International Herald Tribune and The Guardian. I also have access to a complete set of UK clippings. But my own access to media has changed - I tend to access it online now rather than through its paper form, except on the weekends.

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