CommonSense Blog

Interview Series: Annalise Coady, Former Head of High Road Communications

By Aaron Strout | Jun 18, 2013

With all of the hiring W2O Group/WCG have done recently, we wanted to take a little time to let our partners/customers/employees get to know some of these new employees better. To that end, we are kicking off a blog series that asks each of our new employees to answer five questions — some straightforward and some that show our more playful slide. Via this process, we’re hoping to give our readers a little better sense of who we are.

The second interviewee in our series, Annalise Coady, brings a strong global flavor to the W2O Team. Located in our London office, Annalise leads our European technology practice and will play a valuable role driving international business and global technology expansion.

  • [Aaron] Annalise, welcome to the W2O Team. We’re looking forward to working with you. For our first question, talk a little bit about your past experience.
    [Annalise] Thanks Aaron. I was most recently interim President of Fleishman-Hillard’s, High Road Communications.  Prior to that, I led teams in the Middle East, North Africa and throughout EMEA which helped round me out from a global perspective. On the technology front, I have expertise ranging in all aspects of B2B and B2C technologies and have been fortunate to work with some of the world’s leading brands outside of technology.
  • [Aaron] What is your “super power?”
    [Annalise] My superpower is celebrity spotting. Most recent, Rory Macllroy. Most embarrassing, Stephen Fry. Most wanted, Mark Harmon.
  • [Aaron] If you could work with any company as a client, who would it be and why?
    [Annalise] Everton Football Club (soccer) with David Moyse (now ManU) because of the way he used data to make them the “Moneyball” team of the Premier League (and I’m a Toffee).
  • [Aaron] How do you stay up to date on latest trends/industry news?
    [Annalise] BBC & Sky News (all formats), Timesonline, @nytimes, @TimHardford, @om and sadly dailymail.com (my guilty pleasure)
  • [Aaron] Finish this sentence… “The agency of the future is ____?”
  • [Annalise] …still the brand guardian, increasing sales and loyalty as well as building and protecting reputation of organizations. However we’re at a massive inflexion point where to survive agencies have to evolve their structure to remain relevant to the ongoing business environment. Cutting to the chase, agencies essentially have to become social businesses. Borrowing shamelessly from the views of IBM and Paul Holmes, the key foundations elements of the “agency of the future” include:
    1. Data driven insight
    2. Insight that drives strategic approach and meaningful creativity
    3. Understanding the essence of how people engage
    4. Understanding that managing reputation is about more than just communicating reputation
    5. Becoming real brand journalists
    6. Being truly channel neutral
    7. Eliminating internal barriers
    8. Recruiting differently
    9. Creating new career paths
    10. Making sure it matters, so it pays off in business terms

As a bonus, Annalise asked me to include this funny (and telling) quip from Austin favorite/local, Hugh MacLeod.

Image courtesy of Hugh McLeod aka @gapingvoid

Big thanks to Annalise for answering these questions. I can tell from her sense of humor that we are going to like her style.