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Edelman Appoints Rubel To Chief Content Role

Global, North America

Aarti Shah 27 Feb 2013

NEW YORK  — Edelman has named Steve Rubel chief content strategist, an appointment that follows the departure of the PR giant’s chief content officer last year.

In his new post, Rubel will focus on paid media opportunities, whereas Richard Sambrook, a former BBC editor who joined Edelman as chief content officer in 2010, primarily worked on editorial content development. Rubel will work with media owners to pilot new methods for developing and distributing content. For instance, to mediate relationships between clients and media publications, like Gawker Media or The Atlantic, that are experimenting with new sponsored content models.

"Richard Sambrook began to instill a more real-time news culture during his tenure here," Rubel said. "Since he left [last May], we started to see media opportunities that weren't there before with partnerships."  

In January, Edelman partnered with the Associated Press to syndicate sponsored tweets from Samsung on the news organization's feed during the Consumer Electronics Show. Rubel says his new role will identify similar - often emerging - opportunities.  

"The ad agencies aren't going to be as equipped to take this on because they are used to creating a piece of content and just running it many times," Rubel forecasts.

He moves into this position after nearly two years as Edelman’s EVP of global strategy and insights, focusing on evolving media consumption and developing integrated communications programs. Compared to his former role, Rubel expects to do more client brainstorming and introductions, but expects the bulk of his time to be spent building external relationships and educating the agency on these paid opportunities.  

This move is the latest example of Edelman making inroads into the paid media sector.  Earlier this month, Edelman hired MindShare’s social media strategy director Cassel Kroll as VP of media strategy to integrate paid media throughout the firm’s social media programs. Rubel says he plans to work "very closely" with Kroll in his new function.

"Cassel understands the economics of of media buying and I understand the media landscape and have the relationships," Rubel says. "So, I see myself drawing up on him and vice versa." 

It is understood the EVP of global strategy and insights role was created specifically for Rubel and Edelman does not have immediate plans to fill the vacancy.

Rubel will be available across all of Edelman’s practices, geographies and clients. He will not have his own P&L and will report to Jackie Cooper, global head of creative strategy at Edelman.

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