David Gallagher on the future of publicly-held PR firms, 2018 trends and Davos (Ep. 104)

January 16, 2018

Omnicom PR Group's international president David Gallagher visits the Echo Chamber in Hong Kong to discuss the slowdown in publicly-held PR growth, and why agency models must be held accountable. Gallagher also runs through his 2018 trends to watch, including the impact of blockchain and artificial intelligence, and also explores whether next week's World Economic Forum in Davos remains relevant.

Show notes

Poor PR Performance Puts Publicly-Held Agencies On Back Foot

2017 M&A Review: Deals Decline As Micro-Transactions Dominate

2018 PR Trend Forecasts


Lessons from the agency M&A slowdown (Ep. 103)

January 9, 2018

Paul Holmes joins the Echo Chamber podcast to discuss his annual review of agency M&A in the PR sector, which year revealed a significant decline in both the volume and value of industry dealmaking. Holmes and Arun Sudhaman explore the rise of the 'micro-transaction', with smaller firms dominating sales while holding groups such as Omnicom and WPP did not acquire a single PR firm in 2017. The duo also wonder whether the Holmes Report might qualify for President Trump's 'MOST DISHONEST & CORRUPT MEDIA AWARDS OF THE YEAR', and explore the PR fallout from Michael Wolff's explosive new White House expose.



Congressional candidate & PR agency head Jana Lynne Sanchez (Ep. 102)

December 13, 2017

Jana Lynne Sanchez, founder of European PR firm CitySavvy, joins the Echo Chamber to discuss her decision to run for Congress. Currently the Democratic ballot frontrunner for Texas' 6th district, Sanchez explores the factors that triggered her decision to seek office, against a backdrop of political tumult and a groundswell of women who are choosing to run. She also analyses the communications lessons from her career that are underpinning her campaign, which may yet cause the dominant Republican Party a surprise in 2018.


The PR Industry’s Gender Pay Gap (Ep. 101)

November 29, 2017

Angela Oakes, co-founder and co-president of Global Women in PR, joins the Echo Chamber to talk about her organization's research on the global pay gap for women in PR. In a conversation with Aarti Shah, the two talk about GWPR's findings, in addition to the Holmes Report's research that shows that a substantial pay gap for both women and people of color in the PR industry.





Episode 100: Echo Chamber themes & predictions with Alex Malouf

November 22, 2017

It's Episode 100 of the Echo Chamber! Or is it? Either way, Alex Malouf of IABC and P&G joins the show to discuss the key themes that have emerged from the podcast's 4+ years of existence, including agency integration, ethics and PR convergence with marketing. In conversation with Arun Sudhaman, the duo also offer up some random PR predictions for the Echo Chamber in 2018, looking at such areas as PR creativity, agency infractions and holding company growth.


Beth Comstock / Jon Iwata retirements; PR ethics after Bell Pottinger (Ep. 99)

November 16, 2017

Paul Holmes joins the Echo Chamber podcast to discuss the retirements of two giants of the in-house communications sector — IBM's Jon Iwata and GE's Beth Comstock amid considerable evolution of the corporate communications role. Elsewhere, Holmes and Arun Sudhaman also discuss the PR industry's ongoing efforts to improve ethical standards after the Bell Pottinger scandal, including Richard Edelman's call for improved policies and enforcement.


R3’s Greg Paull on today’s challenging marketing landscape (Ep. 98)

November 13, 2017

Greg Paull, co-founder and principal at marketing effectiveness consultancy R3 joins the Echo Chamber to discuss the challenges posed by today's marketing landscape. In conversation with Arun Sudhaman, Paull explores the woes of holding groups, the rise of management consultancies, agency M&A trends, how CMO demands are changing and what we should expect from Chinese brands. Paull, whose firm studies client/agency relationships, also explores what the future holds for PR agencies. 


Llorente & Cuenca’s Erich de la Fuente on LatAm communications trends (Ep. 97)

November 8, 2017

Llorente & Cuenca US head Erich de la Fuente talks to Paul Holmes about the firm’s new white paper on communications trends in Latin America, from mobile usage to millennials and renewed optimism.


Former Y&R A-P chief Matt Godfrey on life after advertising (Ep. 96)

October 4, 2017

Veteran adman Matt Godfrey joins the Echo Chamber podcast to discuss his decision to step down as Y&R Asia-Pacific CEO and join a nutrition startup. Godfrey, considered one of the region's leading marketing executives after lengthy stints leading Bates, Publicis and Y&R,  explores how he will apply lessons learned in advertising to his new startup life. He also talks about the challenges facing advertising and the holding group model and what they mean for the future of PR agencies. 


Huawei’s Walter Jennings; Alex Brownsell on the end of purpose (Ep. 95)

September 29, 2017

Huawei VP of global corporate communications Walter Jennings joins the Echo Chamber to discuss what his company's rise means for the way China Inc is perceived in Western markets. Meanwhile, journalist Alex Brownsell also drops by to explore his popular feature, which asks whether brand ‘purpose’ risks becoming a euphemism for ill-conceived CSR campaigns.