- Robert Phillips
- President & CEO, EMEA & Global Chair, Public Engagement & Future Strategies
Robert Phillips, is the President & CEO, EMEA & Global Chair, Public Engagement & Future Strategies, of Edelman – the world’s largest Public Relations firm. He is also the co-author of Citizen Renaissance (2008) and a frequent essayist, conference speaker and media contributor on citizenship, leadership and communications. Robert drives the development of Edelman’s global thinking on Public Engagement – the evolution of Public Relations – and is intimately involved with Edelman’s annual Trust Barometer.
Robert launched his first business while at university and, in 1987, at the tender age of 23, co-founded Jackie Cooper Public Relations (JCPR), which grew into the leading Consumer Brand Public Relations firm in the UK.
Having been named ‘One To Watch’ (along with his business partner, Jackie Cooper) in 1993/4, two of JCPR’s campaigns – including the mould-breaking ‘Hello Boys’ work for Wonderbra – were subsequently recognised in PR Week’s Top 20 Campaigns of All Time. Robert and Jackie sold the business to Edelman in 2004 and Robert became CEO of Edelman’s merged UK businesses three years later.
Under Robert’s leadership, Edelman grew 55% in the UK in three years; joined the ranks of the Sunday Times 100 Best Companies to Work For; and won ‘Consultancy of the Year’ in 2009 and 2011 (making only runner-up in 2010). Over a five year period, Edelman doubled in size in the UK and rose from eighth to third equal place in the annual league tables. Among many other accolades, Edelman EMEA was named The Holmes Report ‘Digital Consultancy of the Year’ in 2011 – and Robert is as proud of his place in the ‘Wired 100’ (2011), as he is in PR Week’s eponymous Powerbook.
Despite spending much of his time on the road and in the air shuttling between 22 offices and over 1,000 colleagues in EMEA, Robert still counsels a number of senior clients, executives and companies – including Diageo, Unilever and Shell – on strategic issues surrounding trust, brand and corporate reputation.
Robert was educated at Balliol College, Oxford and the University of London. He sits on the Advisory Board of the Global Economic Symposium at Kiel University and on the Advisory Board of the Circle of European Communicators as well. He is a Trustee of New Deal of the Mind and a Board member of the Public Relations Consultants Association. Past memberships have included spells as a Trustee of the New Economics Foundation and on the London Council of the Confederation of British Industry and its Climate Change Taskforce.
Speaking credits include the Confederation of British Industry; the European Roundtable of Industrialists; Cass Business School; Oxford University; the London School of Economics; PICNIC in Amsterdam and the Association of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs in Moscow – plus contributions on BBC TV and in The Guardian and the Financial Times.
Robert blogs at www.citizenrenaissance.com and can be followed on Twitter @citizenrobert
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