UK Power Book 2020

The definitive guide to the brightest and most influential PR professionals in Britain.

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Laura Vergani

Laura Vergani

Vice-president, international & divisional comms

Walgreens Boots Alliance

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In no more than two sentences: describe the past year, and make predictions for 2020.

Twenty-nineteen has been all about politics. Twenty-twenty will be all about new beginnings, even if some aren’t totally welcome.

In a sentence: what is your biggest professional challenge for 2020?

Maintaining clarity and consistency of message in the face of changing geopolitical backdrop, consumer awareness and technology/channel development.

What has been your favourite campaign of the past year? (Not one you were involved in.)

I am a huge feminist and sports fan, so it has to be Nike’s ‘Show Them What Crazy Dreams Can Do’. Full of strong women and many of them swinging a racquet.

Who handled PR most adeptly in the past year?

What she did has nothing to do with PR, but still New Zealand PM Jacinda Ardern deserves the biggest reputational kudos.

…And who most poorly?

I’m afraid Facebook had quite a bad time last year and didn’t always help itself.

Which newspaper, broadcast news outlet or website is now most vital to keeping you informed?

My own team, Twitter and several newspaper websites from different countries keep me well-informed.

In a sentence: what is the single most important aspect of the debate surrounding corporate purpose?

Corporate purpose needs to be genuine and concrete.

What’s the single most important thing the industry should do to encourage more diversity?

We need to get on with it! Provide more sustainable internship programmes for entry-level candidates from all backgrounds, fast-track progress for talented women and minority individuals. Companies, especially large ones, need to take more chances with diverse employees. Most will do well – virtuous cycle.

The industry jargon or buzzword that annoys me most is…

Can I list 10, please?! If it must be one, it’ll be ‘tracking’ as in ‘Let me know if I’m not tracking.’ What happened to ‘understanding’?

I can’t start the day without…

A cuddle to my two cats (if I’m home) and an oat-milk cappuccino.

One surprising thing about me is…

I can’t say or it won’t be surprising any more.