PR News 2016 CSR Awards: CSR Professional of the Year

Winner: Annie Longsworth, Founder, The Siren Agency

Annie Longsworth is a brand and communications leader committed to positive change through business. She launched a global sustainability practice in January 2007, making her an early voice in advocating for the vital role communication plays in long-term behavior change. She ran the practice for six years before taking the role of CEO at Saatchi & Saatchi S, replacing founder Adam Werbach.

Longsworth then launched her own strategy and communication agency dedicated to sustainability, The Siren Agency, in January 2015. She was one of the original partners on WPP’s global Green Brands study, an annual survey that assessed attitudes and buying behaviors of more than 9,000 consumers in eight countries. This pioneering research was the first to explore consumer perceptions of “green” brands, leading to insights that helped prevent greenwashing and inspired more authentic communication. She led the research for 6 years and served as a key spokesperson to share the outcomes.

Longsworth is the current chairperson of the Advisory Board of Sustainable Brands, and has spoken on the plenary stage at every annual Sustainable Brands since its debut in 2007. She has also spoken on green consumer behavior and business responsibility at numerous conferences and events including Fortune Brainstorm Green, WWF’s Corporate Climate Summit, Sustainable Food Summit, PRSA’s International Conference, and the COMMIT Forum.

Since launching her own agency, Longsworth has done every possible job, including new business development, thought leadership activities, client management, operations and budgeting, and, critically, media relations. After too many years of being away from the “front lines” of media, she has been reminded of how fun it is to tell a great story to the right target and be able to see the impact immediately.

As an example, Longsworth works with a small startup called Maker’s Common, which is a vision for a San Francisco eatery being launched by the owners of the highly-successful cheese and wine bar Mission Cheese.

Honorable Mentions:
• David Figliuzzi - Cigna
• Debbi Jarvis - Pepco Holdings Inc.