Zack Sandor-Kerr is “one in a million” in the eyes of Selena Cameron, vice-president of Hill+Knowlton Strategies. “I don’t think you can teach strategy, and right from the day he stepped in the door, it was clear that he understood strategy at a level that was way beyond his years.”
Sandor-Kerr set out to make his mark in the non-profit world with United Way Toronto, where he inadvertently found his PR calling. “I quickly found that the public relations–type functions were some of the most interesting and exciting parts of my job,” says Sandor-Kerr.
Realizing he wanted to switch paths, he enrolled in the post-graduate public relations program at Humber College. After graduating, he did a four-month internship at global PR firm Burson-Marsteller in Sydney, Australia.
Returning home, Sandor-Kerr landed a consultant role at H+K’s Toronto office, in spring 2011; and in October 2012 was named Hill+Knowlton Canada’s first-ever digital strategist. In his role, Sandor-Kerr has his finger in a lot of pies across the agency, including community management, content creation, digital and social advertising, campaign development and crisis preparedness.
A large part of his role is to help develop big ideas and to find ways to make campaigns sing across disciplines and channels. On the campaign front, his proudest achievement is his work for Absolut vodka. Sandor-Kerr helped come up with the idea to align the arts-focused brand with “maker” culture—people who combine traditional DIY activities with technology such as 3D printing. Absolut’s “MakerFest” launched this past spring.
Sandor-Kerr also plays a big a role in winning new business. He was on the team that pitched and won Corby Wine and Spirits. Since then, he helped expand the scope of the work from exclusively PR to include digital strategy and execution.
“It’s difficult for me to say how we measure his impact,” says Cameron, “because it’s really immeasurable.”