Publicis Groupe division Publicis Healthcare Communications Group, which manages 15 of that holding company's health and Pharma properties in 10 countries, announced that Kipp Jarecke-Cheng has been appointed global chief communications officer.
It's a newly created role at the French ad/PR conglomerate, whose health-oriented communications network oversees brands such as Saatchi & Saatchi Wellness, Digitas Health LifeBrands, Razorfish Health, Publicis Health Media and Tardis Medical Consultancy.
As CCO, Jarecke-Cheng will lead communications efforts across Publicis Healthcare Communications Group’s network of agencies. He'll report to PHCG CEO Nick Colucci.
Publicis Groupe in December announced it would restructure its business model in an effort to eliminate silos and provide clients better access to integrated, customizable offerings, including its health and Pharma brands. Colucci was named PHCG CEO as part of that reorganizational effort.
Jarecke-Cheng told O’Dwyer’s that challenges exist when orchestrating messages across 15 agencies, especially in a way so that narratives remain distinct while simultaneously coherent. It’s paramount to ensure each agency maintains its own distinctive voice and culture while also reflecting the point of view and vision of the collective.
“At Publicis Health, we say that we are ‘distinct, together,’ meaning that while our individual businesses may have expertise within certain categories or functions, we are able to deploy our offerings in a unified way, configured to meet the needs of clients rather than the other way around,” Jarecke-Cheng said. “In essence, the whole is greater than the sum of the parts.”
Before joining Publicis, Jarecke-Cheng was a marketing director at independent design studio FOUR32C. Prior to that, he served as director of global public relations and communications at digital design consultancy Nurun. He was also corporate communications group director at G2 (now Geometry Global) and a senior VP of communications at the American Association of Advertising Agencies.
Jarecke-Cheng said communications, especially at the larger networks, can fall into the same kind of silo trap as practices belonging to agencies. It’s incumbent upon senior management to ensure agencies are willfully collaborating and remain truly integrated across its businesses. Jarecke-Cheng said there’s an opportunity for PHCG to refine how it communicates so that its network of agencies are bridging gaps and avoiding overlaps, and predicts that the shape of communications will change dramatically at PHCG in the coming months.
"One thing that always surprises me — although it probably shouldn’t be surprising anymore — is that agencies are great at providing counsel and delivering big ideas for optimizing communications when it comes to clients, but we often fall short when it comes to telling our own stories. It’s the classic tale of the cobbler’s children having no shoes," Jarecke-Cheng told O'Dwyer's. "Rather than simply crossing our fingers and hoping that collaboration occurs, we make purposeful decisions about how to work together even better. That’s where communications come in.”
"I come from three generations of medical practitioners: my father, grandfather and great-grandfather were doctors, so I’ve been immersed in medicine and health and wellness my entire life," Jarecke-Cheng said. "Aside from working with an incredibly talented and passionate team, I’m probably most excited about being able to finally explain to my parents and extended family what I do for a living."