Podcast Episode 22 is out: Peter Gilheany from Forster Communications

By Lukas on 27 Sep 2023

Designing campaigns for Patagonia, Selfridges, BMW, and Penguin Books, Forster Communications is an award-winning communications agency.  Our guest today is Peter Gilheany, Board Director at Forster. An employee-owned B Corp, Forster are a great example of how to live your values. They’ve turned down lucrative briefs from companies that refuse to declare a climate emergency, and have even set sustainability goals for their existing clients in order to continue working together. He discusses:

  • His working class Irish background and his parents ‘relaxed’ attitude to their 5 children
  • How he and his siblings have all forged their own paths
  • The difference between being a ‘strategic’ or ‘tactical careerist
  • How there is a huge need to challenge what is seen as ‘received wisdom’
  • The narrow view of what a ‘good career’ is
  • The story of Forster Communications and the founder Jilly Forster, former Head of Communications for the Body Shop
  • Employee Ownership and how it works at Forster
  • The pieces of work that best embody Forster Communications
  • How to walk the talk on tackling the climate emergency for any business
  • The stringent targets they set for themselves, their community, and their clients
  • What happened when they told their clients to publicly declare a climate emergency and set net zero targets
  • A leap into the unknown around a social housing project that led to incredible results
  • His surprising response to being labelled a ‘lifestyle business’
  • Who knows how to communicate about climate change better? Extinction Rebellion or the average PR agency?
  • His take on Greenwashing
  • How to turn down briefs that don’t align with your values
  • The campaign he’s ashamed of and wouldn’t take today
  • The pervasive hangover within business that you can either be financially successful, or morally good
  • The evolution in the charity sector over their corporate social responsibility
  • The future of the charity sector, financially unstable, but ideologically free to campaign and speak truth to power

Want to appear? Email podcast@standingongiants.com

You can listen to the podcast here:

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