Robert Phillips

Robert is someone who thinks deeply about the future of communications and about trust and responsibility in business. A former EMEA CEO of Edelman, the world’s largest Public Relations firm, Robert is the author of the ground-breaking and controversial Trust Me, PR is Dead ; a Visiting Professor at Cass Business School; and co-founder of Jericho Chambers. 

 

Jericho is a consultancy with provocative points of view. It works with major companies and organisations committed to a better society and the common good – helping them navigate towards meaningful change through what they do, not what they say.

 

In previous lives, Robert launched his first business while still at university; went on to create some of the most iconic brand PR campaigns of the 1980s,’90s and ‘00s; before, in 2004, selling the agency he co-founded to Edelman, now the world’s largest Public Relations consultancy. Never part of a grand plan (because he didn’t have one), Robert became UK CEO of Edelman and then President & CEO, EMEA, as well as Global Chair of the firm’s Future Strategies & Public Engagement group. Over a 30-year career, he has worked with the CEOs and Exec. Teams of a number of FTSE 100 and Fortune 500 companies. In late 2012, Robert had an epiphany and quit. “It was time”, he later wrote, “to call bullshit on the bullshit industry of PR”. Management Today calls Robert “the repentant spinner”.

 

It was while at Edelman that Robert became fascinated about the relationship between communications and trust. With Jericho, he has developed new working principles to help organisations think and communicate differently and built coalitions to help put this thinking into practice. Robert’s recent work covers a range of major societal issues: from Responsible Tax to the Future of Work, via transport, the digital economy, housing and the built environment. Robert advocates activist corporate leadership and programmes that celebrate, rather than fear, co-production, vulnerability and dissent. He argues that the future can only be negotiated, not imposed, and spends much of his time convening networks in order to tackle the bigger challenges of these fragile times. Robert doesn’t like measuring stuff – like seeking “more trust”, he says, “most measurement is meaningless”.

 

Robert doesn’t eat fish.

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