Weber Shandwick to rebrand and boost investment in consulting services

The Weber Shandwick Collective and Weber Shandwick Futures will showcase integrated services and innovation while doubling down on consulting

Dec 20, 2021 02:27:00 AM | Article | Betsy Kim

Weber Shandwick is rebranding in January to highlight its diverse capabilities. 

The global agency is also unveiling the Weber Shandwick Collective, which will serve as an umbrella for the strategic comms and consulting network, housing its agencies: Weber Shandwick, United Minds, Powell Tate, Revive, Resolute Digital, Flipside, ThatLot, KRC Research and Cappuccino.

It will also include Weber Shandwick Futures, which will focus on strategic business media consulting. Chaired by Weber Shandwick’s chief innovation officer Chris Perry, Weber Shandwick Futures will identify potential investments, partnerships and M&A opportunities to support clients. Its first partnership is with the venture capital firm Social Starts, which uses analytics to invest in start-ups. In a written statement, Perry said that the venture will help Weber Shandwick reach start-ups most likely to offer new, differentiating services for clients.

As a recent example, in September, Weber Shandwick partnered with Blackbird.AI, creating a media security center to advise clients on potential misinformation and disinformation risks. 

The agency is investing in its consulting work, which has experienced an outsized increase across the brands. This includes double-digit growth from transformation management consultancy United Minds over the last year.

“We’ve been intentional over the years about how we’ve built Weber Shandwick, about building out specialist brands,” said Weber Shandwick CEO Gail Heimann. “It was clear to us that we were not necessarily visibly showcasing to the world, our clients, the public, the industry, our power and scale, therefore our ability to build the kind of integrated approaches and campaigns that we do.”

The rebranding helps articulate the full breadth of services with agencies diversified in areas such as earned media, digital and creative services, organisational transformation, public affairs and consulting, she said.

Creating the Weber Shandwick Collective heightens the “power of bringing multi-branded integration with new ideas,” Heimann added.

Clients within the collective work with integrated teams with specialties across the agencies. For example, working with the Weber Shandwick core brand, they could tap into the mobile, digital expertise of Flipside or the public affairs knowledge of Powell Tate. 

“The team would be seamless and frictionless and what’s right for the assignment at hand,” Heimann said.

In PRWeek’s 2021 Agency Business Report, Weber Shandwick reported global revenue of $831 million, reflecting a 4% decrease from the prior year.

(This article first appeared on PRWeek.com)