UK Power Book 2020

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

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Osama Bhutta

Osama Bhutta

Director of marketing & comms

Amnesty International

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

Twenty-nineteen saw people rising up everywhere, governments continuing to come up with the wrong answers, and brands falling short with the real action required. We will all need to do better in 2020 and I optimistically predict we will.

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

How to make human rights more appealing than fear and loathing.

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

Climate action accelerated last year. Greta. Schoolkids. XR. And I was jealous of WWF’s work with David Attenborough and Netflix on Our Planet.

Who handled PR most adeptly in the past year?

In England, the Tories had a strategy and delivered on it. In Scotland, the SNP continue to defy the laws of electoral gravity 12 years on from their first win. Globally, Apple’s privacy positioning is interesting. And Elon Musk managed to behave himself.

…And who most poorly?

Saudi Arabia’s brutal approach to dealing with journalists was a focus. Carrie Lam was extremely poor in responding to protests in Hong Kong. I worry that Emmanuel Macron continues to appear out of touch and what that may mean in future for France.

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

Still the big traditionals: Al Jazeera English and BBC for global footage and pulse; Guardian, the FT and NYT for depth.

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

People everywhere are protesting for real action on climate, equality and rights, so brands have to do their part authentically; window dressing won’t cut it any more.

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

Corporately, address your hiring practices. Take a punt on new, fresh people. Individually, if we don’t see people different to ourselves in the room, call it out – regularly.