PRWeek U.S. Names Weber Shandwick Agency of the Year

Chief Reputation Strategist Leslie Gaines-Ross Awarded Outstanding Agency Professional

Weber Shandwick, one of the world’s leading global communications and engagement firms, was named 2017 Large Agency of the Year and PR Agency of the Year at the PRWeek U.S. Awards. Dr. Leslie Gaines-Ross, Weber Shandwick’s chief reputation strategist, was recognised as Outstanding Agency Professional, celebrated for her industry-leading thought leadership and expertise in corporate reputation. The firm was also honoured across multiple campaign categories with client partners.

The PRWeek U.S. Awards celebrate the very best corporate, agency, nonprofit, and education teams, and the work they produced in 2016. PRWeek pointed to several driving factors in presenting Weber Shandwick with these top honours, including the firm’s strong global growth, exceptional client work and the agency’s expanded role on key integrated accounts to lead not only PR, but also creative, social, digital and strategy. One PRWeek judge stated that the firm “leads the way across the board for excellence in the evolving world of PR.”

“The recognition Weber Shandwick received from our peers and from PRWeek last night is a direct reflection of the creative, innovative work our teams deliver in partnership with our clients day-in and day-out,” said Andy Polansky, Chief Executive Officer, Weber Shandwick. “It’s an honour to be celebrated for our collective commitment to work that raises the bar and earns attention for important issues and leading brands. I’m incredibly proud of our teams and appreciative of our client partners for this success.”

Gaines-Ross, named Outstanding Agency Professional, is one of the world’s most widely recognised experts on how organisations build, enhance and protect their reputations. The scope of her cutting-edge research captures the multidimensional challenges that executives and companies face as business environments transform. Recent thought leadership reports have identified a wide range of trends, from the rise of CEO activism to the implications that artificial intelligence could have on marketing and communications in the years ahead. PRWeek judges noted that Leslie “helps elevate the industry to a new seat at the table.”

“Leslie is a master of anticipating what issues will confront companies and brands. She has an unwavering curiosity about corporate reputation and is committed to advising clients in what has become an increasingly complex environment,” Polansky said. “Executives understand that reputations are harder to build and protect than ever before, and Leslie’s deep expertise around reputation management is unparalleled.”

The PRWeek Agency of the Year honours are among several recognitions earned by the agency in the past year, including being designated an Advertising Age Agency A-List Standout in 2017, The Holmes Report‘s 2016 Digital Agency of the Year, as well as being the most awarded PR Firm at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity in 2016.