LONDON — Global networking organisation Women in Marketing has named Jo-ann Robertson, Ketchum's UK CEO global client solutions, as the winner of its 2021 PR Communicator of the Year award.

It is the second year that Women in Marketing has included a PR category in its annual global awards, in recognition of the critically important role of communications highlighted by the pandemic.

The judges of the award, sponsored by PRovoke Media, said of Robertson (pictured, left): “Jo-ann’s leadership at Ketchum has been transformational in all ways, from creativity to employee policies. She’s having a huge impact on the agency globally and has stepped up into a global role while raising two small children, and is the only large agency leader to have achieved the Blueprint diversity mark.”

In the same category, Nontokozo Madonsela (pictured, centre), group chief marketing officer at Momentum Metropolitan Holdings in South Africa, was highly commended, with the judges saying: “Nonto is one of the most compelling in-house leaders in the world. She’s taken a traditional organisation in the traditional and highly-regulated insurance sector and brought all her FMCG experience to bear, completely turning around its approach to marketing and communications, and its profile and reputation.”

Milk & Honey PR founder and CEO Kirsty Leighton (pictured, right) was commended, with the global jury panel saying: “Kirsty was one of the first agency leaders to achieve B Corp status. In three years, she’s built a highly-regarded, hugely successful business which has launched into New York as well as London, doing purposeful work and leading on ESG, with astonishing energy.”

Other winners at this year’s ceremony included Tamara Littleton, CEO and founder of The Social Element, who took home the best marketing agency leader award, and Melissa Reeve, global head of strategic brand management at ASOS UK, who won the award for the best brand marketing leader.

The winners of the inaugural PR Communicator of the Year award last year were Blurred founder and CEO Nik Govier, while Astute.Work founder Sarah Waddington was highly commended and Amy Brill, head of PR at M&C Saatchi UAE was commended.