AI…Friend or Foe? Is Your Agency Ready? Webinar Overview

2017 was the year of AI. Suddenly, it seems like every marketer has an artificial intelligence strategy, every tech company is pitching its AI capabilities, and every agency is boasting about its AI capabilities. Let’s get real though. How are AI and machine learning impacting the communications field? How are PR professionals using it, and what applications of it will be most relevant over the course of the decade? How will it change media relations, and how won’t it? Will AI be used to craft releases, create pitch strategies, generate content, and even serve as your next boss? These panelists will give a sense of what’s really coming in 2018 and beyond.


David Berkowitz
Chief Strategy Officer

David Berkowitz is the chief strategy officer of Sysomos, the insights-driven social platform. His previous roles include serving as chief marketing officer at Publicis Groupe agency MRY and vice president of emerging media at Dentsu agency 360i. Mr. Berkowitz has contributed more than 500 columns to outlets such as Advertising Age, MediaPost, and VentureBeat, and he has penned his Serial Marketer blog since 2005. He has spoken at more than 300 events globally. | Follow David: @dberkowitz 



Rowan Benecke
Global Chair, Worldwide Technology Practice

Rowan Benecke is the Chair of Burson-Marsteller’s Global Technology Practice. As a member of Burson-Marsteller’s global executive leadership team, Rowan is responsible for the overall strategic direction, business management, client relations and team development of the agency’s Technology Practice across dozens of offices in North America, Latin America, Europe and Asia.

Rowan specializes in partnering with senior executive teams to tell compelling stories about their brands, customers and products within the context of technology trends and issues that drive global business. He has more than 20 years of experience developing award-winning strategic communications programs for consumer and technology brands in the United States, Asia and Europe.

Rowan has managed communications campaigns for a broad range of established and emerging brands around the world. His current client work includes leading Burson-Marsteller’s global relationships with Avaya, Huawei, Intel, Oracle and Zebra Technologies.

Rowan previously held executive management roles in North America, EMEA and APAC with other leading global agencies while living in New York, Madrid, Hong Kong, New Delhi, Sydney, Seattle, San Francisco and Chicago. Rowan is now based in New York City. | Follow Rowan: @rowanbenecke


Allyson Hugley Discusses Bringing Earned Media Analytics into the Digital AgeAllyson Hugley
President, Measurement and Analytics Practice
Weber Shandwick

Allyson Hugley is the President of Weber Shandwick’s Measurement and Analytics Practice. Her responsibilities include leading measurement and analytics work across the global network, spearheading agency thought-leadership in this area and providing analytics and insights counsel to the agency’s top global accounts. Allyson is a frequent speaker at PR industry conferences, as well as being a guest lecturer at New York University and The City College of New York on the topic of PR measurement and analytics.

Since joining Weber Shandwick in 2011, she has led analytics and program evaluation projects for clients across a variety of sectors including financial services, healthcare, manufacturing and materials, government, telecommunications, and consumer packaged goods. She has also developed award-winning communications research and evaluation programs.

Allyson is a member of the Market Research Council (MRC) and the former co-Chair for the North American chapter of the International Association for the Measurement and Evaluation of Communications (AMEC). She has also served on AMEC’s board of directors. The Network Journal recognized Allyson among the 25 most influential black women in business for 2015. This year, she was also recognized by PR News as one of the Top Women in PR and inducted into their PR Measurement Hall of Fame. In 2012, she was listed among PRWeek’s Top 40 under 40. That same year, she received an honorable mention for PR News Measurement Person of the Year.

Prior to joining Weber Shandwick, Allyson was the Senior Vice President of Insight Creation at MSLGROUP and before that a research manager at Scholastic. She started her career at RoperASW (now GfK), where she was a senior research director responsible for consumer intelligence, corporate communications, message effectiveness and audience measurement research.   | Follow Allyson: @HugleyA


Scott Varland
SVP, Marketing Innovation
M Booth

Scott came to M Booth with more than 15 years of experience developing branded marketing and building experiences to span the web, mobile and emerging platforms. He has created award winning campaigns and products for clients including MillerCoors, Kia, L’Oreal, Sony, Red Bull and HBO.

As SVP Marketing Innovation, Scott is responsible for guiding clients from strategy to execution across an ever expanding set of consumer touch-points. Prior to joining M Booth, Scott led the Creative Technology teams at IPG Media Lab and Ansible Worldwide, two special business units within IPG Mediabrands. He also co-founded Socialbomb, a venture-backed product development studio focused on mobile, social and second screen applications and experiences. Socialbomb was first to market with a Facebook integrated photo sharing application for iPhone, and went on to build products and web applications for dozens of clients ranging from TV networks and CPG brands to the U.S. government. In May of 2013, Socialbomb was acquired by Refinery29, a media and lifestyle brand. | Follow Scott: @scottiev