Weber Shandwick Becomes First Public Relations Firm to Join Columbia University Data Science Institute 

NEW YORK – March 15, 2016 — Weber Shandwick, one of the world’s leading global communications and engagement firms, announced today that it has joined the Affiliates Program at Columbia University’s Data Science Institute, which trains the next generation of data scientists to develop innovative technologies and brings together faculty, students and companies from various industries to unlock the power of global data to solve important societal challenges.

Weber Shandwick Acquires Prime, Leading Creative PR Firm in Europe

Weber Shandwick is the first public relations firm to become a member of the Affiliates Program, through which the firm will co-create research projects across the Institute’s focus areas, including health and patient care, enhancing communication and interaction within communities, and data security.


Through this partnership, Weber Shandwick will collaborate with Columbia University faculty and students on projects to develop innovative solutions to address specific client challenges, signifying the firm’s ongoing leadership building impactful client programs by integrating innovations in data science with creative and strategic communications expertise.


The Data Science Institute also provides a robust platform for Weber Shandwick to partner with a diverse spectrum of leading industry and academic thought leaders – clients included – who are focused on emerging data science fields and new market opportunities. Through access to the Institute’s Global Centers in Brazil, China, Singapore and Paris, opportunities for collaboration and knowledge exchange with faculty and industry leaders in the data sciences will extend well beyond the university’s primary campus in New York.

We’re always seeking the best, most innovative partners to pair our deep creative and communications strategy with the world’s best thinking on science, data and information to drive optimal business results for our clients’ marketing services programs. Columbia University’s Data Science Institute is bringing together the best minds in business and academia, and together with them, we’re eager to advance the role data plays for our clients and the public relations industry more broadly.

Allyson Hugley

President, Measurement & Analytics, Weber Shandwick

Weber Shandwick’s partnership with the Columbia Data Science Institute builds on the firm’s highly-regarded data and analytics capabilities and network of expert partners. As part of this expert ecosystem, the firm collaborates closely with Interpublic (IPG) sister company IPG Mediabrands to utilize its extensive system of advanced analytics, big data engineering and digital analytics optimization capabilities.


Weber Shandwick also works closely with leading analytics firms like BlueLabs – an analytics and technology company formed by senior members of the Obama for America 2012 data science team. Through partnerships with sister IPG agencies, leading academic institutions and data and technology companies, Weber Shandwick is advancing the infusion of the latest innovations in data mining, predictive modeling and analytics into all aspects of client work – making the communications strategies and tactics smarter, more targeted and more effective.


Weber Shandwick was the first public relations firm to tap into the power of biometrics to evaluate traditional public relations and social media through its partnership in 2014 with the University of Missouri’s PRIME LAB. The research surfaced valuable insight into how applied neuroscience and biometric measures can advance the definition and measurement of engagement with digital and social content. Weber Shandwick’s work with the University of Missouri earned several industry awards, including accolades from The Holmes Report’s In2 SABRE Awards. Weber Shandwick has also received wide recognition, including an EMEA SABRE Award for Product of the Year, for its Science of Engagement research, culminating in a proprietary engagement mapping process to benchmark audience engagement with brands, inform the types of content and ideas best suited to driving engagement and measure brand engagement over time.

About Weber Shandwick

Weber Shandwick is a leading global communications and engagement firm in 78 cities across 34 countries and operations extending to 126 cities in 81 countries. The firm’s diverse team of strategists, analysts, producers, designers, developers and campaign activators has won the most prestigious awards in the world for innovative, creative approaches and impactful work, including being honored as an Ad Age A-List Agency in 2014 and 2015, The Holmes Report’s Global Agency of the Year in 2014 and 2015 and PRWeek’s 2015 Global Agency of the Year. Weber Shandwick and its Prime unit have won a combined 25 Cannes Lions since 2009. Weber Shandwick was also named a Best Place to Work by Ad Age in 2014 and 2015 and PRWeek in 2013 and 2014. The firm deploys deep expertise across sectors and specialty areas, including consumer marketing, corporate reputation, healthcare, technology, public affairs, financial services, corporate social responsibility, financial communications and crisis management, using proprietary social, digital and analytics methodologies. Weber Shandwick is part of the Interpublic Group (NYSE: IPG). For more information, visit


About The Data Science Institute at Columbia University

The Data Science Institute at Columbia University is training the next generation of data scientists and developing innovative technology to serve society. With more than 150 faculty working in a wide range of disciplines, the Institute seeks to foster collaboration in advancing techniques to gather and interpret data, and to address the urgent problems facing society. The Institute works closely with industry to bring promising ideas to market.