Icon achieves gender parity; hires Fiona Forbes as new Director of Communications + PR

This article originally appeared in Campaign Brief.

Integrated communications firm Icon Agency has today announced the appointment of Fiona Forbes as the national director of communications and public relations.

Formerly managing director of corporate and government practice at Ogilvy PR, Forbes joined Icon’s Sydney team in early 2021 as director of client services.

Alongside her agency experience, Forbes has worked extensively in private and public sector leadership roles particularly across Australia’s health care, tourism, property and higher education sectors.

Forbes’ appointment was one of six internal promotions and new hires that have tipped the gender balance to parity at the 70-person agency.

Reflecting Icon’s focus on internal talent development, Fiona Miller-Nwoke will move into the newly created role of group account director, PR Melbourne while Amanda Cirillo will step up to the role of account director, reputation. Also in PR, Rebecca Peck has been promoted to associate account director.

Icon Agency co-founder and managing director, Joanne Painter, said diversity and inclusion were fundamental to the agency’s ethos: “It is gratifying to see this talented group of women move into senior leadership roles within the agency. As a female entrepreneur and leader myself, I know how important it is for young practitioners to see and work with women in leadership roles – and to aspire to those roles in future.”

“Fiona Forbes’ appointment is a big coup for Icon. She brings highly complementary expertise and knowledge of government and corporate communications, both of which are strategic growth areas for the firm.”

The appointments come amid unprecedented growth for the agency, which has notched up 88% growth in the past year on the back of 40 major new clients and/or project wins.

In May, Icon was named in the Top 10 Fastest Growing PR agencies in the Asia-Pacific – and one of the top 250 in the world, in the prestigious Provoke global agency rankings.

Forbes said she was drawn by the opportunity to continue Icon’s track record of exemplary execution of complex behavioural change and purpose-driven projects: “Icon’s diverse portfolio of projects across multiple sectors was a key drawcard for me.

“I’m excited to work in an agency with a strong sense of organisational purpose, which is reflected across Icon’s talented team, their client base and the work they deliver every day.”

Says Painter: “Having an experienced communications professional like Fiona join our team has broadened our service offering, allowing Icon to continue to deliver our signature integrated experience.

“We are always looking for ways to improve our integrated approach and ensure we deliver the best possible work for our clients.

“Fiona’s background aligns with our own focus on purpose-driven projects, providing exemplary client service whilst also making a positive impact on the wider world. Our desire to be a positive force is reflected at all levels of the agency, and respect, honesty, equality, innovation and sustainability are core ideals at Icon.”

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