Chris McCafferty, group CEO, MSL UK on the latest PRmoment podcast

On this week's podcast, I'm chatting to Chris McCafferty, group CEO MSL UK.

Chris has been at MSL for about a year and a half. Previously he worked for Red, Microsoft, Weber Shandwick, Myspace and Shine. In 2010 Chris launched Kaper PR which was a JV with Karmarama. The Karmarama Group was sold to Accenture in 2016.

MSL employs about 150 in the UK and is owned by Publicis.

Thanks so much to the podcast sponsors, the PRCA.

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Here’s a summary of what Chris and I discussed:

1 min Why did Chris decide to join a large networked firm like MSL, rather than going down the agency start-up route, like he had done previously in his career?

2 mins “I spent 3 years working as a management consultant within Accenture Interactive and it was great but it didn’t make me happy.”

3.30 mins What are the differences in working for a networked firm compared to an independent agency?

5 mins I ask Chris why MSL has had a tough time in the UK? (Prior to the last 12 months)

7 mins Chris talks about how MSL has won Puma, Axa, Bank of America and Subway in the last 12 months and recovered quickly from a very tough Q2 2020.

9 mins Chris believes MSL does its best work when “brands are at a moment of change.

10 mins Chris talks about the challenges of joining and leading an agency in lockdown

11 mins What schemes has MSL put in place to build the right culture during lockdown?

14 mins Chris talks about We Build Belief - MSL’s “view on the world.”

19 mins and 27 mins How do you create momentum in a PR agency business?

20 mins Chris talks about the 3 defining parts of his career- the first at The Red Consultancy, the second launching MySpace across Europe and the third launching Kaper.

21 mins Chris says he’s “a better agency person because he had a period in-house.”

23 mins How has MSL has got itself back on the big pitch lists in the London market?

24 mins How closely does Chris work with the rest of Publicis?

28 min Publicis recently bought Octopus communications, Chris talks about what this means for MSL in the UK.


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