PR agency Lewis has hired its first CIO in response to the digital disruption that is changing the modern media. Lewis said a CIO is needed for its business growth. PR agencies need to move away from their call-centre traditional operating model towards an intelligent use of data. Kevin Braim joins Lewis PR from the office rental firm Regus.
Lewis PR, which turns 20 this year, remains privately owned and recently received $27 million in funding from banking giants HSBC. Recently the organisation has begun acquiring startup organisations in its own sector to capture the new digital market. Over the last 20 years Lewis, whose technology clients have included business intelligence specialists SAS and security firm McAfee, has become a global organisation as European revenues have declined.
Lewis said in a statement that it has created the CIO role to “deploy a new approach to big data enablement” – a series of buzz words it could well have taken from one of its own client press releases!
Rightly though, Lewis sees the need for a CIO to create a research and collaboration ethos within the organisation so that it can react to the changing information consumption habits of today’s consumers.
Braim has a background in being the CIO for research led organisations having been with market research firmTNS, which became part of Kantar, which is the data arm of the WPP media empire. The CIO was with TNS for 13 years and saw through the acquisition by Kantar.
Braim has been with Regus since 2010 in programme management, customer focus and lastly head of IT strategy.
At Lewis Braim will report to the CFO James Oehlcke, who said in a statement: “The creation of this new position is a central part of our global client service strategy. The new role will be responsible for creating an IT infrastructure that strengthens our competitive advantage still further.
In the same press release Braim said: “My plan creates an IT system globally with the emphasis on rapid, flexible trans-oceanic collaboration.”