The Holmes Report has named three Weber Shandwick leaders to its 2016 Innovator 25 list. Darren Burns, president of Weber Shandwick China & chair of creativity and innovation, Asia-Pacific, James Nester, UK executive creative director, and Chris Perry, chief digital officer, were each honoured in the annual feature. The Innovator 25 list celebrates global leaders across the communications, marketing and media industries who have helped to elevate and evolve engagement and influence. The feature identifies 25 individuals from Europe, The Middle East and Africa, North America, and for the first time this year, Asia-Pacific.
Darren Burns, president of Weber Shandwick China & chair of creativity & innovation, Asia-Pacific
Based in Shanghai, Burns leads Weber Shandwick’s operations across China. His experience spans healthcare, consumer, finance, technology and corporate practices, and his diverse interests have led to the development of programmes and campaigns for Asian multinational corporations, government, and a vast array of clients.
“In our industry it’s really understanding the client’s business and using our knowledge and resources to help them solve problems,” Burns told The Holmes Report. “All of our innovation has been delivered by looking at client opportunities and building the team to be able to execute new solutions that solve them.”
James Nester, UK executive creative director
Nester joined Weber Shandwick in 2015, and now works at the intersection of social insight, innovation and public relations. As a lead creative within the firm, he utilises technology and social media to build integrated campaigns for global accounts. James’ cross-disciplinary experience includes social media, publishing and film making.
Nester told The Holmes Report, “There are a lot of good talkers in our industry. Don’t just talk. Do it. Prove it.”
Chris Perry, chief digital officer
Perry leads Weber Shandwick’s new media agenda, digital business and emerging technology partnerships globally. He helps clients navigate the rapidly changing media environment and works to create innovative strategies and translate trends. Perry was a driving force behind Mediaco, the firm’s change management discipline for clients moving into branded content.
Perry told The Holmes Report he sees significant innovation happening in social media and community management in particular. “Real innovation is accelerating at the intersection of social, content and commerce. The mobile platform where it’s taking place represents what early TV might have looked like in the 1950s. A transformational medium that requires new conventions to reach, engage and get people behind what you have to offer.”