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Marshall Manson, partner at Brunswick, on the PRmoment podcast

This week, in the latest of our life stories podcasts, I’m interviewing Marshall Manson.

Marshall has been London based for the last 11 years.

He worked at Edelman London as its digital director from 2008 to 2013, then he joined Ogilvy, from 2013 to 2018, latterly as the last UK CEO of Ogilvy Public Relations.

Marshall joined Brunswick as a partner in April last year.

Brunswick employs 1,100 people globally and 250 people in the UK. It has a global fee income of circa £300m.

[00:01:52] How different is the work Marshall is doing at Brunswick compared to the earlier parts of his career?

[00:02:37] Why Alan Parker, Brunswick's founder, says it doesn't do "people, politics or products."

[00:05:32] Marshall reflects on the differences between the PR market in China compared to the US and the UK, including the primacy of digital and the dominance of WeChat.

[00:08:09] Why for much of the web and digital comms at the moment it's the East leading the West.

[00:10:23] Why Marshall's first proper job was absolutely crucial in shaping the rest of his career.

[00:12:59] Marshall talks us through the individual nature of political campaigning in the US.

[00:15:27] Why Marshall moved to London 11 years ago in the back of a "drunken bar conversation."

[00:17:31] How a period of digital innovation from 2008 to 2013 got Edelman head of the market.

[00:21:24] Marshall talks about why Robert Phillips and his engagement model was ahead of its time.

[00:23:13] Why the Edelman’s purchase of Marcus Dyer’s digital agency Spook was a key part of Edelman UK’s digital journey at the time.

[00:25:50] How a PR team and a digital team work together.

[00:29:11] Why Marshall moved to Ogilvy and why he loved it.

[00:33:06] How to thrive in a big agency, you must be "not precious about anything, I'm just here to help".

[00:34:11] Based on his time at Ogilvy, Marshall talks about the journey that is integrated marketing.

[00:34:59] Why PR people shouldn't try to be good at everything.

[00:35:24] Why PR people need to stop being defensive.

[00:37:22] Why being the UK CEO of Ogilvy Public Relations was the most enjoyable time of Marshall's career – so far!

[00:38:34] How PR’s role in the communications mix is to create content that people choose to consume and share.

[00:42:36] How fewer clients now have separate budgets for PR, advertising, digital, etc – they want agencies to bring "us some good ideas and show us how you can make them and get them in the world. And then we'll figure out where the money is going to come from!"

[00:43:24] Why the progress of PR to take market share from advertising and digital agencies has been slower than many had expected.

[00:45:00] Why the short tenure of CMOs is leading to short-term focus marketing communications.

[00:46:31] Why did Marshall leave his dream job at Ogilvy?

[00:48:00] Why at Brunswick, Marshall enjoys advising at the business level, as opposed to the marketing or comms level.

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