Richard Edelman on industry growth & ethics; Sally Costerton on WPP’s past & future (Ep. 112)

April 20, 2018

Richard Edelman joins the Echo Chamber for a brief interview about his firm's disappointing growth in 2017, amid sustained market pressure. He discusses the firm's transformation, the impact of bringing advertising people in to run operations, the continuing benefits of scale, industry ethics and the Burson Cohn & Wolfe merger. Then former H+K Strategies EMEA CEO Sally Costerton joins Arun Sudhaman to explore the exit of Sir Martin Sorrell, his impact on his PR firms, and the group's future prospects.

Show notes:

Could WPP Sell Its PR Firms? M&A Specialists Weigh In

Edelman Revenue Up 2.1% In 2017 To $894m


Play for the Long Term

April 19, 2018

In an interview with March Managing Director Cheryl Gale, Laura Tomasetti, CEO and founder of 360PR+, covers her path to becoming one of PR’s top leaders, from her beginnings in ad copywriting, to her stops at agencies in Washington, D.C., and Boston, to her in-house experience at Hasbro.

They also talk about why PR is growing in importance as CEOs because more conscious and concerned about their own reputation, and the reputations of their brands. And they discuss the value of relationship building in communication, the intersections between content, digital, social, advertising and PR, and the skills they look for when recruiting for comms talent.


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The end of the Martin Sorrell era (Ep. 111)

April 17, 2018

Holmes Report editors Arun Sudhaman and Paul Holmes explore the dramatic exit from WPP of Sir Martin Sorrell and reflect on the 73-year-old's outsize impact on the industry that he dominated for more than 30 years. Sorrell's distinct style and personality will leave a considerable void at WPP, but his PR firms may yet flourish under new leadership.


Mai Tais and Meditation on International Women’s Day

March 20, 2018

March 8 is International’s Women Day, and in recognition, we recorded a fun and insightful roundtable chat between March Director of Digital Services Caroline Black, Managing Director Cheryl Gale and Executive Vice President Jodi Petrie. They talk about navigating their careers in PR, covering the challenge of juggling work and life responsibilities, the journey to find confidence in the workplace, and the importance for young women to make sure their voices are heard. They also touch on creativity, authenticity, meditation and, most importantly, cocktails.


Subscribe to Hacks and Flacks on iTunesStitcher or Google Play today. The show’s music is provided by Job Creators. Check them out at!


Weber Shandwick’s Tim Sutton on holding groups vs independents, agency consolidation & more (Ep. 110)

March 15, 2018

Weber Shandwick EMEA CEO Tim Sutton joins the Echo Chamber to discuss global PR market growth and the trend toward agency consolidation, while also defending the value of the holding group agency model. 


Burson Cohn & Wolfe (Ep. 109)

March 2, 2018

Paul Holmes and Arun Sudhaman discuss the dramatic takeover of Burson-Marsteller by Cohn & Wolfe, exploring what it means for  both firms, their leadership and the broader industry in general. 

Show Notes:

'The Big Prize Is Revitalising Burson': PR Industry Responds To Blockbuster Merger

WPP Creates 3rd Largest PR Firm With Burson Cohn & Wolfe


Alex Malouf on PR talent; Spry’s Angie Schneider (Ep. 108)

February 26, 2018

P&G's Alex Malouf joins the Echo Chamber to discuss the talent crisis in the Middle East PR industry, focusing in particular on the challenges posed by localisation and education. Malouf joined the podcast ahead of the Innovation Summit in Dubai last week. Meanwhile at our In2Summit in New York one week earlier, Arun Sudhaman sat down with Angie Schneider to discuss her new startup Spry, and how it aims to revolutionise PR using technology. 

Show notes

In2Summit MENA: Education Key To Tackling Middle East Talent Crisis

With Spry, The PR Industry Could Join The Gig Economy


Omnicom PR Group CEO Karen van Bergen (Ep. 107)

February 19, 2018

Omnicom PR Group CEO Karen van Bergen makes her long-awaited Echo Chamber debut, discussing the performance of her PR agencies, challenging market conditions and her plans for 2018. Van Bergen also explores Omnicom's recent funding of startup Spry, and discusses exactly what she looks for from her agency CEOs.


Super Bowl marketing roundup; In-house talent trends at Asian MNCs (Ep. 106)

February 6, 2018

Citizen Relations global CEO Jim Joseph checks into the Echo Chamber to conduct his annual roundup of Super Bowl advertising, finding out that — this year at least — humour appeared to trump politics. Elsewhere, Arun Sudhaman talks to Taylor Bennett Heyman's Sarah Crawshaw about a new research study that charts the evolution of the in-house communications role at Asian MNCs. 


Davos: Mercer’s Jeanniey Mullen on CEO activism; KPMG’s Michael Hastings on purpose (Ep. 105)

January 25, 2018

Live from the World Economic Forum in Davos, Arun Sudhaman meets with Mercer CMO Jeanniey Mullen, who discusses how employee expectations are changing the way that CEOs engage on issues, some of which are political. Sudhaman also talks to KPMG citizenship head Lord Michael Hastings about how the nature of corporate purpose is changing.