LONDON — Jim Donaldson, who led FleishmanHillard in the UK and Middle East for nine years until his departure last year, will be honoured with the PRovoke Media Individual Achievement SABRE Award at the EMEA SABRE Awards in London on 17 April.

Over this 35-year career in PR, Donaldson has led some of the biggest agencies in the world, working across the UK, Europe and the Middle East. He spent 15 years at Hill & Knowlton, latterly as corporate comms MD in London, and led corporate communications across EMEA for Weber Shandwick between 2011 and 2015, before joining FleishmanHillard as UK & Middle East CEO in 2015.

During nearly a decade at the agency, he grew FleishmanHillard’s UK operation substantially and transformed the firm into a progressive, innovative business within the Omnicom network; his efforts contributed to FleishmanHillard being named as PRovoke Media’s global agency of the year in 2021.

His former boss, FleishmanHillard global CEO John Saunders, said: “Jim made a dramatic difference to FleishmanHillard’s business in the UK. Shortly after he joined, he teamed-up with Ali Gee, who was then the leader at Fishburn, to form FleishmanHillard Fishburn. Despite what the cynics predicted, working seamlessly together, they very quickly made one plus one equal three.

“Jim brought a certain swagger and confidence to the business based upon a stellar career at a variety of other agencies and within a matter of years he had catapulted FH into becoming one of the leading agencies in the UK. We became a magnet for talent and as a result now have a stellar client roster. Perhaps his biggest legacy is that there was a long line of many of the most respected talent in the London market vying for his job after he announced he was stepping down.”

Since his departure at the end of last year, Donaldson has moved into non-executive leadership roles with agencies including Woodrow and Instinctif.

Colleague and friend Rachel Friend, now chairman of Harvard, worked with Donaldson at Weber Shandwick when she was leading the consumer practice across EMEA, and succeeded him as chair of the PRCA in 2020 after his two-year tenure.

Friend said: “I've had the privilege of knowing and working with Jim for almost 20 years. He's a world class operator, someone who combines outstanding leadership skills - empowering his team to collaborate with trust, ambition and compassion to create a successful and inclusive agency - with industry leading client counsel. More than that, he's a wonderful friend and confidant, and a true inspiration.”

Donaldson was inducted into the ICCO Hall of Fame last year.

Tickets for the EMEA Summit and SABRE Awards are available here.