Weber Shandwick is one of the world's two biggest public relations agencies, and a unit of Interpublic's McCann Worldgroup. Industry watcher PRovoke ranked it as the global #2 in 2020 with estimated fee income of $820m (down from $865m the year before). It was PRovoke's Global PR Agency of the Year in 2019, for the fourth time in six years, and Agency of the Decade both globally and for North America in 2020. It was PR Week's US Agency of the Year for the fourth consecutive year in 2018. "More than any other firm," said PR Week's judges in 2016, "Weber walks the walk in integrated, influential, and impactful communications. It is on the leading edge with developing new capabilities and winning business in what was traditionally advertising territory." Weber's core network covers 79 offices in 35 countries, with affiliates that expand its coverage to a total of 129 cities. It has more than 20 offices spread across the US alone. However, Weber is also arguably stronger internationally than its main rival Edelman, with a more extensive global coverage. Weber's services include every aspect of public and corporate relations, and there are divisions specializing in everything from consumer and B2B PR to more specialised areas of investor relations, crisis management, healthcare and public affairs. Increasingly it is also involved in digital marketing, especially social media, and even traditional advertising. Weber Shandwick has topped PRovoke's Global Creative Index for PR creativity for three consecutive years since 2017. The group also controls a clutch of independently branded PR agencies covering specialist sectors. These include Rogers & Cowan (entertainment), Cassidy & Associates (government relations), Powell Tate (public affairs and public relations), Sawmill (corporate image advertising) and specialist multicultural agency Axis. United Minds is a consultancy specialising in employee management and internal relations. Andy Polansky succeeded Harris Diamond as CEO in 2012, following the latter's promotion to head of McCann Worldgroup. In 2019, he moved up to executive chairman, with former president Gail Heimann succeeding him as CEO of Weber Shandwick.
Capsule checked 29th October 2020
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Historical snapshot information for Weber Shandwick
Marketer Moves 11th Jun 2021: New president at Weber Shandwick. See Marketer Moves (members only).
Marketer Moves 16th April 2021: New global chief creative officer at Weber Shandwick. See Marketer Moves (members only).
Adbrands Weekly Update 10th May 2018: Weber Shandwick was appointed as the new global PR lead for IBM, taking over from multi-year incumbents Text 100 and Ketchum. Weber will oversee a "blended" team that will also incorporate personnel from public affairs specialist SKDKnickerbocker, healthcare agency Spectrum Science and Civic Entertainment Group, the agency owned by TV celebrity host Ryan Seacrest.
Adbrands Weekly Update 2nd Nov 2017: PR industry watcher the Holmes Report named Weber Shandwick as Global PR Agency of the Year, giving the Interpublic-owned an unprecedented clean sweep of regional trophies. It had already been named Agency of the Year in separate contests for the North America, EMEA and Asia-Pacific regions, the first time any agency has achieved that feat.
Adbrands Weekly Update 28th Apr 2016: The Holmes Report published its latest ranking of the world's leading PR agencies by fee income. Edelman easily retained the #1 position, albeit with a slightly reduced margin over second-placed Weber Shandwick, owned by Interpublic. Omnicom's FleishmanHillard and Ketchum held the #3 and #4 positions. WPP's Burson-Marsteller moved up to equal 5th alongside Publicis-owned MSLGroup. However the biggest change was a 37% increase in fee income for China's BlueFocus which jumped five places in the ranking to the #10 spot, unseating Havas PR. Among the holding companies, Omnicom slipped from first to third place by combined estimated fee income, behind Interpublic and WPP.
Adbrands Weekly Update 5th Nov 2015: The prestigious SABRE Awards, organised by PR monitor the Holmes Report, this week honoured the best in worldwide corporate communications. Weber Shandwick was named as Global Agency of the Year for the second consecutive year, while smaller shops M Booth and Sloane & Company were winners of the consumer PR and corporate PR categories respectively. Campaign of the Year was MSLGroup's widely admired Like A Girl initiative for P&G's Always sanpro brand.
Adbrands Weekly Update 5th Jun 2014: Interpublic's Weber Shandwick PR division is rolling out a separate global network to manage the global Microsoft PR account as well as a few additional clients. Creation was originally founded in 2011 in Europe to handle client conflicts, but will now be expanded globally, albeit working out of Weber's existing offices. George Coleman, previously head of Weber's technology practice in the EMEA region, has been named as global CEO. Microsoft's other main PR agency Edelman also created a dedicated Microsoft unit earlier this year under the name Assembly.
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