Ogilvy Public Relations today announced that Melissa Smith has been named Executive Vice President and Group Director of the agency’s New York Brand Marketing Practice, effective January 2015.

Reporting to Ogilvy PR/New York’s Managing Director Dr. Jennifer Scott, Smith is responsible for the strategic direction and growth of the New York Brand Marketing Practice. She will oversee the group’s client accounts, financial performance, talent, and business development initiatives. The Brand Marketing Practice services clients in the areas of brand positioning, product launches, consumer engagement, experiential marketing and media relations.

New York is home to mega-brands and anchor clients such as American Express and Ford who have been driving the growth and reputation of our brand marketing practice. With Melissa at the helm, we intend to significantly expand our offerings to more businesses looking for strategic communications support in the consumer space,” said Dr. Scott.

With 20 plus years of experience designing and implementing communications strategies for prestige and mass market brands, Melissa also specializes in launching and repositioning consumer products to niche populations. Most recently, Melissa was a Senior Vice President at MSLGroup New York where she led global strategy and North America execution for a multi-million dollar, consumer packaged goods client.

“I am thrilled to join Ogilvy PR and excited to work with this talented team to grow the brand marketing practice in New York,” said Smith. “Clients are looking for savvy partners to guide them through the competitive, dynamic world of communications, influence and brand building. With the resources and expertise housed in just this one building of the Ogilvy family, we are primed to offer unsurpassed creativity and expertise in consumer insights to current and future clients.”

Previously, Melissa was Executive Vice President and head of the New York office for RL Public Relations + Marketing/Sportivo, a leading independent Hispanic communications firm. For close to a decade, she spearheaded agency-wide business development and managed clients, overseeing strategy and execution for CoverGirl Cosmetics, Delta Airlines, Domino’s Pizza, Heineken USA, Johnnie Walker, Novartis Pharmaceuticals, Pantene, and other leading brands. Prior to joining RLPR, Melissa was a Group Vice President at GCI Group in the consumer marketing practice of the New York office, where she led the beauty/lifestyle division supporting such clients as Banana Boat Sunscreen, Payless, Rogaine, and Schick.

Melissa is a founding board member of the New York chapter of the Hispanic Public Relations Association (HPRA), and currently serves on its national board of directors.

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