Nick Fox | Influence 100
Charting the future of public relations

Nick Fox

Partner & Director of External Relations
Virgin
UK, Europe

@nichf

 

Nick Fox became chief communications officer at Virgin in 2016. He first joined the company in October 2007 when he was appointed head of financial communications at the Virgin Group; his role was expanded in 2011 to include the group's political and public relations. He became a partner in April 2014 and sits on the board of Virgin Care and, until recently, Virgin StartUp, which he helped to found.

He is a member of the partnership team that manages the Branson Family interests, investments and protects and grows the brand, and also continues to have oversight of communications, content and corporate relations.

A former financial journalist at the Sunday Telegraph and Sunday Times, Fox was hired by Granada Group as a fast track management trainee in 1997. He also spent time in business development roles for the Chrysalis Group and online media group 365 Group plc. He joined M: Communications in 2002 as its 6th employee and helped build the business into one of London's leading financial PR consultancies.

Can you share a moment in your career when you saw PR's direct impact on business performance
The launch and ongoing PR efforts around Virgin America helped to establish a much loved and heavily-awarded airline. Combined with its excellent service and team, the PR efforts created and maintained public awareness and loyalty way beyond marketing spend.

What do you love about this industry?
The constantly changing demands, the ever-changing media landscape and the pace at which we work.

What are the communications industry's biggest challenges and opportunities?
The speed of the news cycle and the ability to rise above the swirl of social media and sometimes “fake” news. However, there are also great opportunities in being able to go directly to the customer and the public through your own channels and by creating compelling news and content.

How do you relax or change pace when you're not at work?
Spending time with my family, and a healthy dose of sports: swimming, running and cycling.

Can you share a book/movie/TV show/podcast that teaches a valuable lesson about PR?
“Thank you for not smoking”  – a wonderful and humorous insight into the US system.

If I wasn't working in marketing/communications, I would be...
Still in the news business in some way.