NEW YORK — Citizen Relations has made a series of first-time hires — including Cohn & Wolfe’s Scott Cocchiere (pictured) — to expand its service offerings under the relatively new US leadership of Nathan Friedman.

Cocchiere joined this week as Citizen’s first-ever executive creative director, leading and overseeing campaign development, content creation and brand storytelling. Most recently he held the same role at WPP’s Cohn & Wolfe and has worked on brands like Bank of America, Dannon, KFC, Philips, Unilever and others.  

"With the strong creative team we have in place in the US, which will continue to report to Chief Integrated Marketing Officer Jim Joseph, we have no plans to fill Scott’s position," said C&W CMO Jill Tannenbaum.

Also this week, the Citizen Relations brought in Alex Castro as its first executive producer and video content lead for North America. Based in Los Angeles, Castro is tasked with building out Citizen’s content creation capabilities while drawing upon his experience working on broadcast programs for companies like Harley Davidson, Nestle and Verizon. In another first, Rachael George joined as the firm’s experiential director from Amplitude Marketing Group. There, she worked on using insights and research for integrated campaigns for clients like FanDuel, Pepsi, MetLife and T -Mobile. At Citizen, she will partner with account leaders to direct key activations and develop creative programs that go beyond traditional PR. 

"We have a clear plan and are on a growth and innovation trajectory,” Friedman said. “2016 was all about building the foundation and we did just that with a significant increase revenue and multiple new clients. We will accelerate our plans in 2017, continue to hire team members with diverse backgrounds, roll out new offerings and deliver top-notch creative programming for our client partners." 

In the US, Citizen added 22 people last year and 12 new accounts. In the US, Friedman has also prioritized diverse hires — or those who self-identify within a minority group. Friedman joined the firm as US general manager in April 2016. 

In the US, the $36.6 million-dollar firm has three offices in New York, Los Angeles and Irvine. Its work is primarily in the consumer arena with P&G among its major clients. He reports into North America president Nick Cowling. 

In late 2014, BlueFocus Communications Group, the Chinese public relations giant acquired a majority position in Vision7, parent company of  Citizen Relations.