Revealed: Our Agency Publisher of the Year

December 17, 2015

Our search for the most influential voice amongst EMEA's marketing, advertising and media agencies is over – and it gives me great pleasure to announce Steve Blakeman of OMD Worldwide as LinkedIn’s first ever Agency Publisher of the Year in EMEA. What’s even better news for our industry is that he earned the title amidst such healthy competition.

We launched our Agency Publisher of the Year initiative during the summer because we knew that this was a time of seismic change for the media world – and that there was a real hunger for new thinking and ideas. We knew too that there were thought leaders out there who could provide it. Agency Publisher of the Year was our way of bringing that supply and demand together. After more than 87,600 views on Agency Publisher of the Year posts, and over 7,500 likes and comments, I think we’ve shown that the state of fresh, original thinking amongst media agencies is very healthy indeed.

Our formula for Agency Publisher of the Year

We asked professionals in the marketing and advertising industry to include the tag #agencypublisher in the headline of content that they posted on LinkedIn Pulse, and we then kept track of the influence that those posts generated in terms of views, likes and comments. We weighted the importance that we attached to each of these metrics, to reflect the level of engagement involved – and the level of influence that resulted. And when all of the calculations were complete, it was Steve, OMD Worldwide’s Managing Director for Global Accounts, who came out top. He finished ahead of Elie Khouri, CEO of OmnicomMediaGroup MENA and David Gallagher, Senior Partner and CEO at Ketchum Europe, second and third in the table.

Lessons of the Agency Publisher contenders

Anybody interested in building their professional identity – and unlocking opportunities for their agency through thought-leadership content – can learn from the approach these three took. It starts with finding the motivation and the courage to write regularly, to put your views out there on Pulse, and to invite others to engage with them. Steve Blakeman was encouraged by members of his network “to explore a range of topics well outside of my comfort zone.” He added: “Boy did it work in terms of engagement, to the extent that LinkedIn is now my primary publishing platform of choice.”


Frequent posts build a following

Steve was one of the most prolific of all Agency Publishers on LinkedIn, publishing 25 posts during a 5-month period, more than one per week on average. And this frequency of thought-leadership content was rewarded with increasing engagement levels. As he mentioned, Steve achieved his engagement levels by writing on a broad range of subjects – but he also returned to core areas of expertise on a regular basis. He drew strong levels of engagement for discussing subjects like smart data, Facebook’s dislike button and Google’s new logo.

Getting the content mix right

Like Steve Blakeman, David Gallagher’s success came through posting on an almost weekly basis, in his case mixing discussions of team-building and mentoring in the workplace with posts on the state of the PR industry. Elie Khouri generated strong engagement levels by focusing on current issues for marketers in his region. His most popular post, Was Jennifer Aniston the right choice for Emirates? courted controversy and invited debate by leveraging the most talked-about celebrity endorsement of the moment.

Our top Agency Publishers show what’s possible when you take the plunge and start sharing long-form content on LinkedIn Pulse. What they all have in common is an ear for the issues that the industry is thinking and talking about. This includes big concerns like Big Data or the future of the global economy – but it also includes how to work more productively, be more creative, and further your career. Influential writing starts with incisive listening – and keeping tabs on the hot topics on LinkedIn Pulse is a great place to start.