Mediaweek Agency 50: Katie Rigg-Smith reflects on her time as CEO of Mindshare

Mediaweek Agency 50

“It felt like a lovely swan song to my role as CEO of Mindshare before taking on the WPP chief strategy officer role”

Mediaweek held its inaugural Power Lunch in October, celebrating the successes of the media industry and the people who make it.

Katie Rigg-Smith took the 12th spot on the Agency 50 list for her leadership of Mindshare prior to taking on her new role as WPP chief strategy officer.

Mediaweek spoke to Rigg-Smith about Mindshare’s excellent work in 2022, the industry issues on her mind and her hopes for the year ahead.

Mediaweek: Congratulations on making the #12 spot on our MediaWeek Agency 50 list. What was your reaction to your placement?

Katie Rigg-Smith: I was thrilled to be included; it felt like a lovely swan song to my role as CEO of Mindshare before taking on the WPP chief strategy officer role, and I really appreciated that.  


MW: How does your position on the list reflect the achievements made by Mindshare?

KRS: We had a great year in 2022, we ran at our Good Growth positioning with things such as the Nab inclusive PMP, we retained existing clients, we won new clients, we won awards for our work and our bravery, and we had fun getting back to the office and in person again.

I will always be proud to have been a purple person and everyone within Mindshare knows what I mean by that.  Any mention of me in a list was always really a mention of the leadership team and the entire agency because I was just an extension of them and their greatness.

MW: What are three industry issues on your mind, and in your opinion, how can they be solved or achieved?  

KRS: Solving any issues requires we always come back to our roots as a profession – we know how to engage and tell stories, inspire, and find solutions to problems big and small.  It hangs off rich understanding of people and their behaviours and how we best use communications across all channels to engage with them. 

1. Making the complex simple and then actionable: there are so many advancements in technology and so many wonderful opportunities as a result.  But how do we fully grasp all of them, not over complicate and then make it tangible for our clients in a way that helps them realise that opportunity as opposed to feel overwhelmed by it is one big topic on my mind.

2. Ensuring we continue to balance the long and the short of it: we are facing into headwinds in 2023 and there is always that temptation to look for a short-term fix that delivers a momentary uplift.  We need to remain vigilant in protecting the long-term health of brands at the same time.  

3. Keeping talent inspired and energised: we get to work with diverse and brilliant minds in a dynamic profession.  That brilliance and energy only comes from having different types of people from different backgrounds with different lived experiences bringing their point of view to the table.  We can never take that for granted.  Generating cultural conditions that allow for this should be top of mind year in and year out.

Maria Grivas

MW: What is your outlook for Mindshare in 2023?

KRS: Under Maria Grivas’s leadership, Mindshare’s 2023 outlook looks fabulous! I can’t wait to see how Maria and the team continue to build out the ‘Good Growth’ positioning and deliver for our clients, people and the broader industry.  

MW: What are your hopes for the industry in 2023?

KRS: Creating inspiration and magic for the people we are trying to connect with, finding unique solutions to big challenges, and finally for kindness in how we all deal with each other and ourselves.

Top image: Katie Rigg-Smith

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