Hill+Knowlton Strategies

Profile: Hill+Knowlton Strategies

1- Name of NGO:

Hill+Knowlton Strategies

2- Brief & Mission:

Hill+Knowlton Strategies is a global American public relations consulting firm, with its headquarters located in New York City, United States. It boasts a presence in over 80 offices across more than 40 countries worldwide. The company was originally established in Cleveland, Ohio, back in 1927 by John W. Hill and has been under the ownership of the WPP Group since 2019.

Recent reports have revealed that Hill+Knowlton Strategies has entered into a two-month project with Saudi Arabia’s Capital Market Authority, which serves as the Kingdom’s market regulator.

3- Bias, Agenda & Motivation:

The Capital Market Authority (CMA) of Saudi Arabia serves as the Kingdom’s market regulator, with a mission centered on establishing a conducive investment environment, enhancing confidence, and strengthening transparency standards for all publicly listed companies. Additionally, the CMA is entrusted with safeguarding investors and market participants from unlawful activities. Hill+Knowlton Strategies has collaborated with Saudi Arabia’s Capital Market Authority in these efforts. It’s worth noting that Hill+Knowlton’s clientele encompasses prominent entities such as Saudi Arabia’s Aramco, Britain’s Shell, the American firm ExxonMobil, and the Oil & Gas Climate Initiative.

4- Links to Governments/Political Agenda:

Hill+Knowlton’s collaborations with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) Capital Market Authority and the services it provides highlight its role in advancing political objectives through its partnership with the KSA monarchy. This scenario underscores the enduring connections that King & Spalding maintains with the KSA’s royal family, emphasizing the firm’s active engagement in political initiatives.

5- Sources of Funding:

The agreement between Hill+Knowlton (H+K) and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) was not without significant financial compensation. Recent revelations indicate that a substantial sum has been disbursed to Hill+Knowlton by the KSA for their services.

6- Activities:

Hill+Knowlton (H+K) will be responsible for crafting comprehensive communication, media, and public relations strategies aimed at raising awareness about the Capital Market Authority’s (CMA) initiatives. Additionally, H+K will coordinate speaking engagements for CMA’s chairman, Mohammed El-Kuwaiz, who also co-founded Derayah Financial and previously worked as a consultant at McKinsey & Co. Their role will encompass promoting and enhancing the visibility of CMA’s work, delivering top-notch public relations services to achieve these objectives.

7- NGO Leadership:

AnnaMaria DeSalva serves as the Global Chairman and CEO of the organization. Richard Millar holds the position of Global President within the organization.

8- Controversy:

Public relations (PR) firms that enter into collaborations with authoritarian regimes often encounter intricate ethical dilemmas as they navigate the challenging terrain of balancing lucrative partnerships with their moral responsibilities. Instances where international PR companies work in conjunction with entities like the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) to improve their public image can raise apprehensions about the potential practice of “greenwashing,” which involves using PR tactics to portray a more positive image that may not align with the real conditions on the ground. Hill+Knowlton’s participation in projects connected to the KSA has generated controversy due to the perceived consequences of these affiliations.

9- Contact Details:

  • Website:https://www.hkstrategies.com
  • Address:USA
  • Email:  Privacy@hkstrategies.com

10- Classification/Blacklist:

Hill+Knowlton’s involvement with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) has encompassed activities that have stirred significant controversy. Notably, these endeavors are conducted in partnership with an autocratic regime with a well-documented track record of disregarding essential human rights. This association has drawn increased attention to Hill+Knowlton, and they find themselves under heightened scrutiny, being included on a list of entities closely monitored due to their affiliations with the Saudi government.

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