Independent creative PR agency, Poem, has unveiled a new leadership team, with Katie Raleigh and Rhania Farah being promoted into newly created management roles alongside co-founders Rob Lowe and Matt Holmes.
It is the first major leadership restructure since the agency was founded seven years ago.
Katie Raleigh has been promoted to the newly created position of managing partner. Raleigh joined the agency in 2018 from Samsung with a focus on helping launch, lead and grow Poem’s production and creative division, Poem Studio.
Raleigh said: “I’m really proud of what the Poem team has achieved so far and what I’ve been able to add over the past few years on several key accounts and then with Poem Studio. But there is a whole lot more to do and I’m more excited on how much we can still achieve by working to a clear vision and setting everyone up for success from top to bottom.
“I’ve worked under exceptional leaders over the years and now with these three great leaders, it feels like the best time for me to contribute and help implement change at the agency. My new role will be aimed at creating stronger skilled Poets, stellar work for our clients and just as importantly continuing to maintain a more human approach across the board.”
Rhania Farah was promoted to business director at the end of 2021. On her appointment to the senior management team, Farah said: “To be given a focus to lead such a brilliant bunch of PR professionals and genuinely good people, while now having a hand in aspects of the running of the business and decision making on future direction is an incredibly exciting opportunity.
“Poem is renowned for putting culture and people first and while I have a reputation for loving the hustle and getting my hands dirty, I’m also looking forward to expanding my business and agency operating experience with three people I already love working with.”
Co-founder and MD, Rob Lowe, explained the thinking of the restructure: “This is a significant life stage for Poem, so it’s important we have the right people, the best possible environment and the most appropriate tools, to allow us to make the most of this huge opportunity for growth and development.
“It has become clear to us that in order to keep evolving, we need to scale the business and we can’t do this by ourselves. We need smarter people than us in different areas to help take our vision of a deeply human agency to the next level, introducing greater structure and processes to allow this to happen without losing the focus on humanity that makes us unique.
“Katie and Rhania have both given so much to the business already, they’re so talented and are so ingrained in what we are, that they’re perfectly positioned to help us take that next step.”
Matt Holmes, co-founder and ECD, added: “I couldn’t be happier to have Katie and Rhania by our side as we look at just how much the agency could achieve in the future. They both have the complete respect of the agency and make coming to work more enjoyable. Quite frankly, both do a hell of a lot of things better than I do, so it’s brilliant to see them thrive and be recognised to play pivotal roles in the future direction of the business.
“We’ve already done a lot of work as a new senior management team on how as we scale we stick to our original goals of making Poem the best agency to work for and also creating earned first ideas that people actually give a sh*t about. We’ve refreshed our creative and strategic methodology and are rolling that out to clients now with further agency refresh announcements in the pipeline. I haven’t been this excited for what’s to come from the Poets in a long time!”
The agency has also made eight new hires in the past year, promoted 12 and moved into a new office as headcount reached 25 for the first time. Working with GU Interiors the office fitout brief was a space to suit the new way of working that people would actually want to come in to use. Greater creative collaboration, multipurpose spaces for workshops, video call breakout booths and a more lifestyle working feel, inspired by several famous New York hotel lobbies and London owned creative members clubs.
Poem recently won the global Tourism Australia retainer PR account, joining an enviable client list including Sony PlayStation, Nespresso, KitKat, Icebreaker, TEDxSydney, Place Management NSW, Impossible Foods and Oporto.
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