A Growing Global Presence
    Category: Companies & People By : Shamsiya Mohammadi Read : 1106 Date : Thursday, March 01, 2018 - 23:55:00

    Courtesy of Andy Polansky

    Andy Polansky, 56, is the chief executive of the New York-based Weber Shandwick, the world’s second largest public relations firm by revenues (over $700 million worldwide in 2017). Part of the Interpublic group, Weber Shandwick operates in 80 cities across 34 countries, with a network extending to 128 cities in 81 countries. Andy was named CEO in 2012 after serving as the global president of Weber Shandwick since 2004. In his long career, Andy was once a journalist, working as a municipal reporter for the Bucks County Courier Times in Levittown, Pennsylvania a business and feature writer for the Princeton Packet in Princeton, New Jersey, and a sportswriter at The Trentonian in Trenton, New Jersey. In the past year, Weber Shandwick Indonesia grew its revenues by 17%, making it one of its fastest growing international markets. Andy spends much of his time travelling to visit various offices. The firm has enjoyed a long relationship with Forbes, serving for many years as the official public relations firm for the Forbes Global CEO Conference, held in Asia. During a recent (and first) visit to Indonesia, he sat down in the Writers Bar of Raffles Hotel Jakarta to discuss the reasons behind the company’s success and plans for the future.

    Forbes Indonesia (FI): What brings you to Indonesia?

    Andy Polansky (AP): We have a Weber Shandwick regional meeting in Kuala Lumpur next week, which we do every year. What I always like to do is travel to different markets and visit our team and clients just to get a good appreciation for what’s on their minds. It was important for me to come to Indonesia because I have seen a lot of growth here and I think we are going to continue to see that.

    FI: Are you looking at regional expansion?

    AP: I am not sure if we are looking at regional expansion, we are pretty comfortable with the footprint we have. We have major media financial capitals globally and Jakarta is naturally the hub here. From my standpoint, it’s about adding expertise vs. geographic markets. Our business has become much more integrated from a marketing perspective and companies these days are looking for that approach. It’s about thinking more holistically about how to reach people in different ways and with engaging content, that’s kind of our model and how we are building our presence in various markets.

    FI: How does the firm address the rising digitalization of media?

    AP: All the digital disruption we have seen has certainly hit the media world but it has also hit other businesses in different ways. What’s interesting is it has created a lot of opportunity for us because companies are looking to us to figure out how to navigate that environment. How do you communicate effectively given all the channels and changes in the media? So, that’s been a driver of our growth.

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