The Influence Group and Pollinate’s Canberra MD Shannon Kenna reveals her direction for the business in the year ahead

The Influence Group

“I think this is going to be a year of growth and change, with a good helping of influence!”

The Influence Group and Pollinate welcomed the appointment of Shannon Kenna as the managing director of both companies’ Canberra offices.

Kenna, who begins in the role on April 4th, brings with her a diverse skillset spanning marketing, media relations, research, and corporate communications.

Kenna spoke to Mediaweek about joining the Group, her direction for the business, highlighting public and cultural communications and what the industry can expect in the year ahead.

Why Kenna jumped at the opportunity to join The Influence Group and Pollinate

Kenna’s appointment was announced last month before her commencement in the role (today). She shared that the move has been a big change and that she has enjoyed getting a new perspective on the industry and seeing what she can achieve.

“I’ve always been interested in working agency side but until now haven’t had the right opportunity come along at the right time, with the right people.

“Working on big government advertising campaigns has meant partnering with some fantastic creative, PR and research agencies over the years. I’ve consistently been inspired by their creativity and passion for what they do,” she said.

“Pollinate has been a standout in this regard, so when I spoke with Howard and heard about the new ideas in The Influence Group, I jumped at the opportunity,” she added.

The Influence Group

Kenna on her direction for The Influence Group and Pollinate

On the opportunity and the direction she intends to take the business in, Kenna shared that she is excited to continue driving the change already underway in the business and to look beyond the research brief to ask their clients what the problem is and how they can help.

“This might mean taking the insights from the research and recommending what comes next. Developing the strategy for how they should use the information we’ve uncovered, what their best implementation options are, including how they could consider influence to amplify their message,” she said.

“I think it’s time to change how people think about influence, showing it has a place within an overall strategy and that it can be a powerful and sophisticated tool when used in the right way,” Kenna added.

Kenna on bringing her public sector background to the business

Kenna has a strong public sector background across social policy, public affairs, and government administration. She was most recently assistant secretary of communications at the Commonwealth Treasury, where she worked for eight years.

She has also previously worked at the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science and the Department of Employment, Education and Workplace Relations.

Kenna noted a significant opportunity to put the work developed by The Influence Group and Pollinate over the last year in the public sector to use and make the most of the current media landscape and how people are seeking information.

“This is probably the most exciting part for me: working with my former colleagues and peers to show them how using influence in a meaningful and measurable way can change how they communicate,” she said.

Kenna explained that her public sector background puts her in a unique position to show how influencing in a meaningful and measurable can impact communication.

“Knowing how government communication works means that I can show how influence can be used to improve its effectiveness, reduce wasted effort and spending, and deliver focused, targeted messages to the public,” she said.

What to expect from Kenna, The Influence Group and Pollinate in the year ahead

Looking ahead, Kenna noted that The Influence Group and Pollinate have an exciting year in store with a big focus on making influence something modern communicators – in all sectors – can’t live without.

“The Influence Group and Pollinate are already whetting the appetites of several clients with what this could look like for them, in part, through the recent upfronts hosted by our Social Soup partner agency,” she said.

“On the Pollinate side of the business, I’ll be adding another perspective into the mix to strengthen our already diverse thinking further and start to answer the “what next” questions for our clients.

Kenna added: “I think this is going to be a year of growth and change, with a good helping of influence!”

Top image: Shannon Kenna

To Top