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Dominic Redfearn has notched up seven years as global brand and communications director at UK drinks giant Diageo. As the principal communications advisor to the CEO and global executive committee, Redfearn is responsible for reputation strategy; corporate communications; financial communications; employee engagement and internal communications; crisis and issues management; campaigning and PR; category communications; and the corporate brand, from strategy to execution. Between 2016 and 2017 he was also responsible for corporate affairs strategy across Asia-Pacific.
The drinks brand has boosted its sustainability credentials with a proposed solar energy farm in Scotland, which has just been given the green light. The farm will be delivered in partnership with E.On and Scottish-based Emtec Energy on Diageo’s 150-acre plant and is set to be complete and generating power by early 2023, as a major step towards Diageo’s carbon neutrality goals.
Redfearn joined Diageo in 2007, initially as head of corporate, broadcast and digital media, thanks to his broadcast production background at Dow Jones, CNBC and Medialink. He then moved into a head of media and content role, before taking on a newly created role in 2014 to create a stronger Diageo corporate brand, leading on the development of an integrated corporate brand and reputation strategy for the company. Redfearn is a firm believer in the role of innovation, data and analytics and digital tools to unlock value for the corporate brand, as well as Diageo’s world-famous drinks brands, which include Guinness, Johnnie Walker, Smirnoff, Tanqueray and Baileys.
Can you share a moment in your career when you saw PR's direct impact on business performance?
Diageo's ‘Raising the Bar' campaign and the Guinness 'welcome back to the pub' campaign, #LooksLikeGuinness, provided significant support for pubs and bars around the world to recover from the pandemic. Not only did these campaigns enable the hospitality trade to re-open its doors, they also brought Diageo and our brands even closer to our customers.
What are the communications industry's biggest challenges and opportunities in the year ahead?
To successfully navigate ongoing volatility, while being clear on the relationship between purpose and performance. Environmental sustainability and inclusion and diversity are clear growth drivers for any business, yet the technocratic, jargon-heavy narrative built up around ESG will continue to distract and slow progress unless the communications industry uses its expertise to bring clarity and simplify this critical agenda.
What have you most admired about this industry over the past year?
The industry has shown great agility in evolving to respond to the pandemic and ongoing volatility with increased creativity, efficiency and effectiveness.
What has most disappointed you about this industry over the past year?
Too many ESG offers are adding to the technocratic, jargon-heavy narrative, rather than simplifying this critical agenda and using expertise to inspire action.
How have you switched off from work and maintained wellness over the past year?Spending more time in nature.
Which book/movie/TV show/podcast/playlist/other cultural source has helped you get through the past year or provided inspiration?
Socialising with family and friends and reconnecting with roots is always the best source of inspiration for me.
If I wasn't working in marketing/communications, I would be...
Producing broadcast news and feature programming or working as a photojournalist.
Sum up 2022 in one word.
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