In our Headliners series of conversations, we get under the skin of PR and communications leaders around the world who have made PRovoke Media headlines recently, uncovering what they see as the greatest challenges and opportunities for the industry, where they find inspiration (and how they switch off), what they’ve learned about themselves, as well as the creative campaigns they love and the work they are most proud of.

In the latest Q&A in the series, we chat to Louie St Claire, former chair of technology agency Harvard and co-founder, with former Harvard CEO Ellie Thompson and planning and strategy lead Pete Marcus, of tech-focused strategic communications agency Delphi, which launched this week

What are the greatest challenges and opportunities for the PR and communications industry over the next 12 months?

The challenges can all be reframed as opportunities. In tech we’re seeing a slight retrenchment with all the layoffs and new technologies starting to dominate. However, whether it’s a fake pic of the pope in a Balenciaga puffer or unpicking Elon’s latest rant, tech permeates every aspect of culture. Combine this with a radically transparent comms environment and I think it ramps up the pressure on comms leaders and their teams. Our view is that disruption is an ideal time to refocus and work out whether you’re getting the right kind of competitive advantage from your comms efforts and putting the right foundations in for the future.

What’s the best PR campaign you’ve seen recently and why?

I’m no consumer marketing guru, but the way in which Taylor Swift uses live performance, social media, content teasing, real and fake influencers and, let’s face it, some of the best content ver created – her music – is nothing short of genius. She gained around 46 million new social media followers last year alone and a whole industry could be built just on her approach to fandom. It’s incredible really, she has become ‘The Music Industry’.

What work from your team are you most proud of over the past year?

This has been such a period of transition for me as we’ve got Delphi off the ground. My best day’s work over the last year was a personal purpose, vision and values session which my co-founder Ellie and I put together for The Xec – a leadership scheme run by BME Pros, for Black, Asian, and ethnic minority PR professionals in the UK. I think I learned more than the cohort! Pulling together the proposition for Delphi has also been dreamy.

What have you learned about yourself over the past couple of years?

Jeez, in 50 words! The main thing I’ve learned is that spending time on my own is time well spent. I love my own company and I like myself a lot more than I did a few years ago. That’s a big shift for an ADHD extrovert who would swear blind he gets his energy from other people.

How do you switch off and maintain wellness?

This question makes me put pressure on myself to do more. I’d like to think I get up at 5am, get in an hour of yoga, meditation, lift weights, and then do deep work. Bollocks to that. I try and do yoga a few times a week, get out on the bike, get the steps in, cook food from scratch and not drink too much. I do alright apart from the wine.

What cultural source has provided creative inspiration for you lately?

So, with all of the noise around AI, I decided to check out the text to image services. I got myself an account with Midjourney. It’s incredible. I can while away hours, researching artists, styles and periods, as well as technical terms to render images in the way they appear in your head. It’s akin to the rise of DJs and mixing in the 90s and I think will spawn an entirely new art form and creative industry. 

If I wasn’t working in PR/comms I would be…

I’d be the generative AI art director at the Tate. Or a gardener, or a plumber, or a footballer, or quality control at Tony’s Chocolonely.