Arun Sudhaman 07 Feb 2013 // 12:00AM GMT
LONDON--Edelman has named Jackie Cooper to the newly-created role of global chair, overseeing the firm's creative offering.
Cooper assumes the new role after previously serving as global vice-chair of brand strategies at Edelman. She will report to president and CEO Richard Edelman and joins the firm's executive committee, nine years after selling her eponymous UK PR agency to the global network.
Edelman told the Holmes Report that the move aims to help the firm "compete for the position of lead creative resource" against advertising agencies, digital shops and media buyers.
"The key to this is that creativity is a strategic and business tool," added Cooper, noting that PR agencies have not done a good job of leading creative for clients.
"I think Edelman is in a fantastic place to change that," she said. "We’re agnostic and independent. Our work is driven by the most compelling solution not because we have to sell other services or support other marketing disciplines."
After investing substantially in its digital and research capabilities, Edelman said that the group will not attempt to buy an advertising agency, preferring to remain media-neutral.
"I want to remain Switzerland," he said. "We are not trying to pre-empt the people who have a classic role in advertising. There may be times when the PR idea leads, and there may be times when the ad idea leads."
"We’re going to have to get smarter at some of the things advertising has historically done very well," he added. "But these people are going to have a PR headset. I don’t want to replicate building holding companies."