Maja Pawinska Sims 05 Apr 2022 // 2:20PM GMT
LONDON — Reputation consultancy Headland has launched a new ‘Citizen & Community’ brand campaigning offer to help brands engage the public as well as corporate, financial, political, regulatory and employee audiences.
The Citizen & Community offer will be headed up by recently-promoted partner Jo White, who joined the 130-strong agency last year after a five-year tenure as a director at Freuds, where she focused on brand communications around social and environmental issues.
White (pictured, third left) told PRovoke Media that the name of the offer was a deliberate move away from using the term ‘consumer’: “We’re still using old language that isn’t fit for purpose: we wanted something progressive that reflects shifting values in society and among audiences,” she said.
“The word ‘consumer’ is restrictive and transactional, as it just defines people by the marketing funnel and the point of purchase and doesn’t represent the role that brands are now playing in society.
“This is about thinking of people as citizens in society, plus the new local and digital communities we all formed in the pandemic, including the metaverse as a future virtual community. We are using earned media skills to help brands earn their place in those communities as good corporate citizens.”
Last May, Headland secured investment from LDC, the private equity arm of Lloyds Banking Group, and White said this had accelerated the firm’s business planning: “Headland has always had one P&L and has always put the client first, blending our services depending on what they need. Headland was built on financial and corporate communications and public affairs, and we’ve done a lot of issues-based work to help brands show the difference they are making, but what was missing was an articulation of what brand campaigning at Headland meant.”
The move follows several new business wins for the consultancy, including a brief for The Body Shop, and projects with challenger brands including ticketing and discovery platform Dice and plastic-free chewing gum Milliways. As well as a focus on new business, the Citizen & Community team will work across existing Headland clients such as TikTok, KFC and Saga.
The Citizen & Community team (pictured) also includes director Carley Sparrow, who is currently advising ethical and B-Corp brands including Danone, Co-op and Natura &Co; director and corporate campaigner Yani Giazizoglou; associate director Charlotte Wilkins-Smith; and purpose specialist Olivia Price, who recently joined Headland from strategic consultancy MullenLowe Salt.
Sparrow (pictured, left) told PRovoke Media: “It’s a really tough operating environment for brands, with inflation, the cost of living and supply chain problems at a time when public and stakeholder expectations of brands are changing. Because we’re not siloed, we can help brands make the connections between brand strategy and brand campaigns, ESG strategy and political campaigning, through to business goals, investor relations and financial PR, so they can grow sustainably.”