Callum LaidlawSenior Consultant
He has worked with businesses across the globe to address challenges that range from corporate repositioning to addressing changes in legislation. An expert in crisis management he has developed many crisis manuals and run trainings.
Callum has worked in the communications industry for over 10 years after starting his career as a government policy advisor.
He has worked with many global multi-nationals from energy and industrials to FMCGs and property with a particular focus on issues management.
At Kekst CNC Callum has helped lead on the development of digital, crisis simulation and cybersecurity products and developed strong connections with offices across the globe.
He has strong political connections and expertise as a City Councillor and former Parliamentary Candidate and holds a MA (Hons) in International Relations from the University of St. Andrews.
Q&A with Callum
Take the most interesting project you have worked on recently: Why was it interesting?
Cyber security remains one of the most exciting and dynamic areas where the right communications strategy can make the difference between a business weathering the storm or suffering irrecoverable loss of value and/or custom. While I can’t talk about the specific client, working with a number of different businesses to manage significant data breaches has been highly rewarding, requiring a multi-stakeholder approach and working closely with partners in the forensics, legal and insurance businesses.
Describe yourself in three words.
Pragmatic, creative, a contradiction.
What is the biggest opportunity for Kekst CNC and the communications industry?
As corporate communications becomes much more multi-faceted, the traditional separation of consultants into specialist practices becomes increasingly outdated. The majority of mandates I now work on touch on a variety of stakeholders from media and investors to politicians and communities. Kekst CNC has the skills and breadth of experience to address this challenge and really demonstrate our ability to be trusted advisors.
What do you like most about Kekst CNC?
Kekst CNC is a business that sees that creative thinking is key to effective corporate, crisis and financial communications and encourages its consultants to think differently and pursue their own initiatives. This flexibility, within a defined structure, ensures the business continues to innovate and often offers its clients far broader consultancy that reflects our changing world.
Which city will be the most exciting in 10 years?
Johannesburg has a bad reputation but is without a doubt one of the world’s most exciting metropolises and one, which is perhaps becoming the first truly multicultural, world-class African city. It’s rapidly recovering from the impact of the political changes of the 90s, remains a key location for mining giants and place where African businesses list on the JSE, yet has a young, go-getting energy that’s fueling start-ups, fintech, design and lots of construction. No wonder it’s still called the City of Gold.