Hill+Knowlton Strategies, one of the world’s leading public relations firms, today announced the appointment of Randa Stephan as the firm’s first dedicated chief marketing and communications officer, effective September 15. An innovative marketing leader with deep expertise in brand positioning and integrated communication strategy, Stephan will be responsible for the firm’s global corporate brand, marketing, and internal and external communications across the H+K network, spanning 73 offices in 41 countries worldwide. She will report to global chairman and CEO AnnaMaria DeSalva and join Hill+Knowlton’s Global Leadership Council.
Stephan most recently served as EVP, global head of marketing and brand at Weber Shandwick, where she reimagined the positioning and go-to-market strategy for the agency. In 2021, she led the launch of The Weber Shandwick Collective enterprise, formalizing the firm’s ecosystem of specialist agencies and establishing their first-ever brand and service architecture. Earlier in her career at Weber, she led the integrated digital group in New York, directly leading engagements for some of the agency’s top clients across consumer and healthcare practices.
“I’m delighted to welcome Randa in this important role at a time when H+K is a growth leader in a growing industry,” said DeSalva. “Ninety-five years ago, the Hill+Knowlton brand originated the industry, and today our work has never mattered more. Now as we prepare for our second century, we are ready to renew the H+K corporate brand to create more value for our clients, employees, partners, and communities. Randa is a brand transformation leader with deep expertise, and her creative energy and passion for results make her a very welcome addition to our leadership team.”
Prior to joining Weber, Stephan was executive director at The Wall Street Journal, where she led the launch of WSJ Custom Studios, the publisher’s first-ever integrated content marketing practice, working with leading brands to provide best-in-class content solutions across a variety of platforms, including print, digital, social, mobile, video, and events. Before WSJ, she held leadership positions in marketing and operations for Federated Media, where she developed influencer and digital media campaigns. Earlier in her career, she worked in the advertising sector, holding account positions at both Ogilvy & Mather and Saatchi & Saatchi.
“Hill+Knowlton is an iconic strategic communications brand that has proven its ability to lead in the industry and for its clients. The agency continues to reimagine the role of communications – not only as a critical business function that drives reputation and growth, but as a barometer of culture and society that inspires bold creative solutions. There is such a rich history here to build on,” said Stephan. “I’m impressed by the work this team is doing today, and I’m inspired by their vision not only for H+K but for the future of the industry. I can’t imagine a more exciting time to join and help launch the agency into its next century.”
Stephan holds a B.A. in Psychology from Georgetown University and a Masters in Design Management from Pratt Institute. She has guest lectured at New York University and Pratt Institute on topics including the state of digital media and social media marketing.
Hill+Knowlton has been credited recently by WPP as a ‘particularly strong performer.’ While implementing a multi-year program of strategic and creative renewal, H+K has delivered double digit growth every quarter since early 2021, outpacing the consolidated PR segment results of the major global holding companies.
Hill+Knowlton Strategies, Inc. is an international communications consultancy, providing services to local, multinational, and global clients. H+K operates 73 offices in 41 countries worldwide, as well as an extensive associate network, delivering award-winning campaigns to clients across all sectors and disciplines and with a focus on continued innovation for the industry. Headquartered in New York, the firm is part of WPP, one of the world’s largest communications services groups.