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Hill+Knowlton Launches Intell Unit and 'Sonar' Tool

October 27 2023

PR group Hill+Knowlton Strategies has announced the formation of a global Intelligence + Technology capability; a partnership with Pendulum Intelligence; and the launch of a proactive analytics tool, H+K Sonar, which helps firms detect, predict and mitigate harmful narratives online.

Grant ToupsThe Intelligence + Technology group is led by Grant Toups (pictured), Hill+Knowlton's first Global CTO, and comprises 50+ data and technology leaders across the company's global network, plus an extended team of client advisers. The group is backed by H+K's long-established expertise in reputation and performance measurement, research and behavioral science, technology strategy and advisory services.

Two further senior appointments support Toups. Allison Spray, as Global Head, Intel + Tech Innovation will lead development of new solutions for emerging client needs, while continuing to lead the firm's research and data intelligence operations in the UK. Elliott Gauthier becomes Global Head, Intel + Tech Products and Services, leading the scaling and commercialization of data-led solutions while continuing to head up research and data intelligence operations in Canada.

Global Chairman and CEO AnnaMaria DeSalva comments: 'We are developing an ecosystem of technology-based solutions drawing on data science, analytics and AI to drive our clients' success and build resilience in the digital domain. This innovation is central to our mission to enable our clients' growth, help them manage risk, and protect and grow reputation in today's complex global operating environment'.

H+K will work with AI and machine learning specialist Pendulum to develop products and services that address the evolving risk management needs of clients, including disinformation and other emerging threats. To kick this off they have launched H+K Sonar, which focuses on addressing commercial and reputation risk related to the rise of disinformation. The tool will analyse audio, video and text media, and includes coverage of niche channels like Bitchute and Rumble, which H+K says 'have been recognized as breeding grounds of disinformation and malicious content but have been difficult for competitors to access due to challenges with video content analysis'.

Toups says Sonar provides 'a broader set of data' than rivals, goes 'deeper into content... analyzing the context in which information is shared', and can therefore identify threats faster and earlier, 'even when harmful statements are intentionally buried by creators'.

A part of WPP, Hill+Knowlton is headquartered in New York and is online at www.hkstrategies.com .

All articles 2006-23 written and edited by Mel Crowther and/or Nick Thomas, 2024- by Nick Thomas, unless otherwise stated.

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