Weber Shandwick

Core disciplines: Digital, Public relations (PR)

Key people

Rachel  Friend
Rachel Friend

Rachel Friend is the UK CEO.  She leads a team of 230, with deep expertise in our core specialisms of Consumer, Corporate, Health, Tech, Financial and Public Affairs, as well as London’s Planning, Creative, Digital and Production Studio capabilities, the largest in the EMEA region. 

Rachel has been with the firm since summer 2010, initially running London’s Consumer Marketing Practice, delivering three Olympic and Paralympic campaigns in 2012 including the Cannes Lions award winning EDF Energy of the Nation, and multi award winning campaigns for the likes of Mastercard, Samsung and Mobil 1, working with talent such as David Beckham, Jessie J and Jensen Button.

In 2014, Rachel lead Consumer Marketing in EMEA, a team of 250 consumer specialists delivering global and regional strategies and local activations for clients such as Nestle, Nespresso, Mastercard, Johnson & Johnson, Motorola and Unilever.

Previously, Rachel was the Head of Consumer PR for British supermarket Sainsbury’s, working closely with the Comms and Marketing teams to deliver brand, product, CSR and local PR.  She worked closely with Jamie Oliver to ensure all campaigns created differentiation from competitors, putting cooking at the heart of the offer, and the cut through to drive sales.

Rachel’s experience spans 20 years at agencies such as Hill & Knowlton and Bell Pottinger, with a stint as a press officer for The National Magazine Company working on titles such as Cosmopolitan, Harpers & Queen and Esquire.

Hugh Baillie
Hugh Baillie
President, X Practice, APAC & EMEA

Hugh joined Weber Shandwick in January 2017. Based in London, he has oversight of a growing team of engagement specialists across the region and leads the firm’s strategic engagement disciplines, which are comprised of creatives, analysts, planners, content creators and social media strategists.

With extensive advertising experience, spanning BBH, Grey, Ogilvy & Mather and Saatchi & Saatchi, Hugh joined the agency from a CEO role at digital agency FullSix.

Client experience includes American Express British Airways, Diageo, Gillette, Motorola and Unilever.

Hugh admires work that moves people to feel, think and behave differently about a company, brand and/or product and believes that to do that the concept needs to be simple, stylish and/or witty, as well as something original enough for us to take notice of it. A great campaign has to be rooted in an idea that travels naturally over channels and time.

Helen Bennett
Helen Bennett
Global Community Leader, Client Experience

Helen is a high-performing, versatile communications practitioner with over eighteen years’ experience developing integrated UK and multi-market communications programmes for some of the world’s largest companies. She is passionate about helping brands and organisations navigate complex change and issues, with particular expertise in FMCG, retail, financial services and not-for-profit sectors. 

In her current role, she has responsibility for building a client-centric culture across Weber Shandwick in the UK and accelerating the adoption of data-led, multi-discipline communications solutions. She also leads the Global Client Experience Community, with responsibility for connecting and equipping the wider CX team to deliver higher impact solutions for our clients across the world.

Kate Sarginson
Kate Sarginson
Managing Director, Consumer Marketing

Kate brings over 16 years' experience in the communications industry, building global brands, shaping their stories and driving conversation in both the B2C and B2B space. Kate shapes global, EMEA and local brand strategy for the likes of Kellogg’s, Nespresso, Netflix, Ocado and Virgin Atlantic.

Kate is an experienced marketer and helps brands navigate the increasingly challenging communications landscape – whether at global or local market level, she counsels clients on the most appropriate strategic and creative approach that delivers within the paid, earned, owned model.

She currently heads up the global Nespresso account across corporate and consumer marketing – developing brand strategy, providing counsel on its sustainability approach and building its influencer programme. She also acts as senior counsel for AHDB, Mars and Netflix.

Prior brand experience includes AB InBev, Cereal Partners Worldwide, Electrolux, Ocean Spray, Pernod Ricard, Sainsbury’s and Warburtons.

Patricia McDonald
Patricia McDonald
Managing Director, Strategy & Insight

Pats is an award-winning strategist with almost twenty years’ experience at the world’s most successful agencies, from BBH to CHI & Partners to Denstu Aegis’ Isobar. She has led strategic and creative development for a range of international brands, including Kellogg’s, Levi’s, Sony and Unilever.

At BBH, she helped spearhead the agency’s effectiveness agenda, winning numerous IPA Effectiveness Awards. She was appointed to the board in 2004, one of the youngest members in the agency’s history, and went on to lead the global Levi’s business, returning the brand to creative highs with Cannes Lions in 2009 and 2010. 


Pats marries big-brand thinking with digital and social expertise. After joining CHI & Partners as a Planning Partner, she founded and led the agency’s social media division and was promoted to Head of Digital Strategy. In 2012 she joined Isobar, one of the world’s largest and most-awarded digital agencies, as Chief Strategy Officer, UK where she developed innovative digital strategies, products and platforms for a host of clients and co-created the agency’s Global Planning Framework.

Pats combines commercial rigour with creative passion. She is a regular speaker and holds a double first from the University of Oxford.

Danny Whatmough
Danny Whatmough
Managing Director, Integrated Media

In his role, Danny leads the UK Integrated Media team that encompasses influencer marketing, media relations, paid media and search, and social media.

Before joining the agency in 2014 he was the global digital lead for the P&G business at Ketchum – running digital and social activity across 14 P&G brands including Braun, Gillette, Head & Shoulders, Max Factor, Olay and Pantene.

Danny is a digital engagement specialist who has spent the last ten years enabling brands to build engagement via online communities. He was formerly Director of Digital Strategies at boutique firm EML Wildfire where his digital and social media client experience included Citrix, IBM, Livedrive, Nero, Skrill and

He is chair of the PRCA’s digital group and a member of AMEC’s social media measurement committee. He plays an active role in the wider public relations industry as a commentator, speaker and blogger and this year is publishing his first book focused on the subject of digital PR.

James Nester
James Nester
Executive Creative Director, UK & EMEA

From travelling gnomes to talking bottles and parking dogs… James Nester joined in summer 2015, with a brief to raise the creative reputation of Weber Shandwick UK and EMEA. Since then, James has recruited a team of award-winning creatives from outside the PR industry. And has been behind several campaigns that defy a traditional ‘PR’ label, winning multiple plaudits at national and global creative, effectiveness, social and PR festivals. And has been named an EMEA Top 25 Innovator by the Holmes Report.

Previously, James was Creative Director at We Are Social where, under his creative leadership, the agency was recognised as the best social and digital agency in the world, by AdAge. Prior to that James was Creative Partner at digital and direct agency OgilvyOne where he devised ‘The Gnome Experiment’, the world’s most awarded direct campaign in 2012 (Big Won Report) and the world’s most awarded PR campaign in 2013 (The Holmes Report). The initiative became part of the national science curriculum in several countries and now features in marketing textbooks including Social Media Marketing for Dummies.

In 2012, James was recognised as the UK’s number one creative by The Holmes Report and is one of the only people to have delivered a TED talk about an advertising campaign. He has judged the Cyber category at Cannes and has been recognised several times at the Festival for his work. Nester believes the best ideas break free of their channel to become social and news currency. They’re also endlessly campaignable on any platform, yet recognizable one idea – an approach he terms ‘Spikey Thinking’. He has worked across disciplines, from TV to direct and digital. And in most sectors; from airline to automotive, FMCG to B2B, medical to social impact.

Joe Walton
Joe Walton
Managing Director, London Technology Practice

Joe Walton is managing director of Weber Shandwick’s UK technology practice, based in London. He has been with the company for ten years delivering international communications programmes for a range of technology and B2B brands including BAE Systems, Capgemini, Concur, Honeywell, Microsoft, Nortel and Symantec.

In addition to his agency experience, Joe has twice been seconded to Microsoft to work as the in-house EMEA PR lead for the company’s advertising business, managing strategy and communications across 13 markets.

An experienced trainer, Joe has hosted storytelling and presentation courses in Europe and the US for BAE Systems, Capgemini and Microsoft. In 2014, he was invited to spend a week as a professional-in-residence at the University of Nebraska, Omaha where he conducted a series of 15 lectures on a range of topics including creativity and public speaking.

Prior to joining Weber Shandwick, Joe worked for marketing, PR and design agency, MC2 in Manchester on a range of corporate and B2B clients including Cobbetts, Deloitte and Grant Thornton.

Graham Cox
Graham Cox LinkedIn

Graham Cox joined Weber Shandwick at the beginning of 2017 to lead the continued growth of the UK business. With more than 10 years’ experience across all areas of business development and marketing communications, Graham’s core skills include implementing business growth strategies and client relationship management, driving the growing service offering while developing new external relationships.  

His career experience to date includes client and agency side roles, including work across Europe, Middle East and America. From start-up creative agencies, that required the very foundations of profile raising activity and new client engagement, to senior roles in global network agencies  pitching for longer term accounts, Graham has covered a variety of service offerings, including brand strategy, creative, communications, digital and employee engagement, that enable him to lead relevant and valued levels of discussion with senior business leaders.

Graham’s approach is based on the belief that it is the people within the business that help brands succeed. Listening to and learning about the strategic business objectives and human drivers within a business can often provide the answers to building better brands. 

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