Staff Reporters
Feb 14, 2023

40 Under 40 2022: Simon Clark, Booking.com

Clark’s ability to gain earned-media coverage and top-of-mind awareness for a pandemic-stricken travel brand is a feat worthy of praise.

40 Under 40 2022: Simon Clark, Booking.com
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Proven leaders with path-breaking expertise 

Simon Clark

Regional PR and communications manager  
Booking.com 
Australia

Communicating on behalf of a massive travel company in the middle of a pandemic is no easy feat. But Simon Clark took on the task head-on with aplomb. In March 2020, he successfully shifted the strategic communications narrative away from crisis reaction towards brand proaction and reputation-building.

One strategy he spearheaded is increasing top-of-mind awareness in the home category. This need emerged because there was a substantial gap in understanding that Booking.com offers alternative accommodations such as homes. To bridge this gap, Clark conceived the ‘A Stay on Ramsay St’ campaign with partner agency Red Havas to provide a bookable stay at the house featured in the finale of the iconic Aussie soap opera, Neighbours. The campaign generated 266 pieces of media coverage across Australia and the UK. 

In an effort to make the hospitality industry more inclusive, Clark implemented the launch of Booking.com’s free LGBTIQ+ Travel Proud training programme for accommodations in Australia and New Zealand. A year later, the PR campaign ‘Postcards from Pride’ supporting the launch won the Pride Pledge Representation in Marketing award at the NZ Rainbow Excellence Awards. The online travel agency has since trained over 1,200 properties across Oceania.

As a leader, one of Clark’s prized qualities is his ability to transfer his agency experience in the first ten years of his career to now manage multiple agencies with large teams across the globe. This wealth of experience means that he’s able to seamlessly work with an agency team of seven at Red Havas in Australia and four at Mango Communications in New Zealand. Clark is also known to extend help to colleagues across the globe. A case in point is when he proactively took on the interim PR manager role for Japan, leading a diverse agency team and working with local leadership and partner services. Despite not speaking Japanese, Clark was able to drive consistent brand awareness and issues management for the market while also fulfilling his role within Oceania. 

Prior to this, Clark was global PR manager for Pernod Ricard for four years where among many tasks, he managed integrated PR sponsorships across the Australian Open, Formula 1 Grand Prix and Sydney Mardi Gras.

SEE ALL OF THE 2022 40 UNDER 40
Proven leaders with path-breaking expertise 

 

Source:
Campaign Asia

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