Nigel Powell | Influence 100
Charting the future of public relations

nigel-powell

Nigel Powell

Chief Communications Officer
Nike, Inc.

During his 16-year run at Nike, Powell has surely seen every conceivable PR issue, at a company that has faced numerous stakeholder challenges. Through it all, the Briton has demonstrated a deft media touch, overseeing such areas as global brand management, youth marketing, influencer communications, corporate reputation and crisis management. Powell oversees a team of 250 professionals at Nike, after ascending into the top comms role in 2005, and guides corporate, consumer and employee communications activities for Nike Inc., including the Nike brand, Converse, the Jordan Brand and Hurley. Nike’s Global Community Impact teams also report to Powell. Before joining the company, Powell worked in both agency and in-house roles in London and Brussels.

Career highlight
I have a new one every year.

Best advice 
Don't waste time building org charts. Focus on the people, their individual talents and how they work together.

Favourite PR campaign
The one you don't know is a PR campaign.

Enjoy most 
I don't think the term PR helps our industry. I love working in communications as we can have impact in every area of the brand and business.

Biggest career break
Studying something I loved at university. Passion and expertise is a great combination and attractive to all employers.

Most important mentor
My grandmother, my mother, my wife, my children. They kept and keep me grounded in what's important in life.

Inspiration
My children.

Favourite media
It changes month to month. At the moment, Obscura, T Magazine and the BBC.

Favourite gadget
When something becomes part of your life, I don't think of it as a gadget - but I'm highly dependent on Sonos at home and my phone every minute of the day.

In one sentence, sell a career in communications to a new graduate.
If you're extremely smart, creatively brilliant and culturally connected, a career in communications is fun, global, intellectually challenging, unpredictable and gives you the opportunity to create a new vision and to immediately influence everything in an organization from how it operates to how it is perceived.

Favourite city for business travel
Tokyo