UK Power Book 2020

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

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Zoe Abrams

Zoe Abrams

Executive director of comms & advocacy

British Red Cross

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

The debate on responding to the climate crisis has become more urgent, and the devastating impact of extreme weather events more pronounced (eg Cyclone Idai in Mozambique, flooding in the North of England). This is the new normal and will continue to dominate news and decision-making.

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

Creating a working environment where talented and committed people are retained and enabled to do their best creative work in line with strategy, while also adapting challenges of effectiveness and efficiency – but isn’t that everyone’s?

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

The impact of the Swedish activist Greta Thunberg on the way the world thinks about climate change continues to be inspirational, and all the more extraordinary considering her young age and apparent lack of corporate resources.

Who handled PR most adeptly in the past year?

Whomever was doing the PR that helped writer and actor Phoebe Waller-Bridge break America with Fleabag and Killing Eve in 2019 has done a great job (although clearly it helps to have stonkingly good content and super-charasmatic talent to work with).

…And who most poorly?

The House of Windsor seems to have been having a pretty tough time of it lately.

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

The BBC is still the mothership and the ‘go-to’ for the definitive version of the news, but heavily supplemented by a range of online social-media sources that help to bring a different perspective.

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

Asking what we are really here for, and what we, specifically, can do seems a good place to start any discussion about purpose.

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

Acknowledge that power and opportunity are not equally distributed, and then develop a proactive, adaptive inclusion strategy to reach and support recruitment, retention and promotion of a diverse PR workforce.

The industry jargon or buzzword that annoys me most is…

‘OTS’. I mean, seriously: we all had the ‘opportunity to see’ the moon last night, but in reality how many of us actually looked at it? Much more meaningful to measure actual engagement with content.

I can’t start the day without…

Waking up first.

One surprising thing about me is…

That I’m a big softie.