The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have hired Burberry's former Global Social Media Coordinator, David Watkins for $36,600-a-year. Reportedly, both, Meghan Markle and Prince Harry want to conquer the world and they want to do it through the prism of social media to really connect with their followers. Watkins in his new role shall hence focus on building the couple’s brand on social media.
As they look to target millenials in particular, 26 year old Watkins seems like a good choice. Watkins represents his latest role as Digital Communications Lead to TRH The Duke & Duchess of Sussex, The Royal Household, on LinkedIn. Young, but experienced, Watkins has worked with companies like Burberry, Grant Thornton LLP, and Cathy Winston & Company.
In his recent role, he was working as Global Social Media Coordinator at Burberry, and oversaw the planning, strategy and implementation of content across all social platforms to ensure best in class content is produced across projects. He has worked across publishing, content and strategy in social media at Burberry, which he joined in 2015. In the royal world, SussexRoyal has 9.3 million followers on Instagram, while Kate and Wills’ KensingtonRoyal still leads with 9.9 million followers.
As per the report, the Cambridges use a social media team shared with Buckingham palace, however David has been hired for the Sussexes alone. Besides a digital guru, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex have also hired a new private secretary, Fiona Mcilwham to "rescue their reputation" after the recent controversies surrounding the couple. The couple was criticized this summer after it was revealed they spent $3 Mn renovating their 10-bedroom mansion, Frogmore Cottage. Some argue that they used the public funds for this renovation. The world wants them to share more information and be out there in public.
While it has been observed that Meghan Markle and Prince Harry prefer to keep their personal lives private, the couple now wants to explore the opportunities social media holds more accurately. The new team might support their roles as a dynamic charitable duo with global reach and help them in their endeavor to conquer the world. It will be interesting to see how their social media strategy changes and help them win back their reputation and further enhance their brand. The world shall soon discover as the strategy starts reflecting as actions on various media platforms.
In today's world, with so many social platforms out there, building a personal brand has become even more important. For national and business leaders, it is important to decide whether they want their online reputation to take on a life of its own or control the narrative. As more and more people embrace personal branding, the demand for social media professionals also increases. In fact, a recent research predicts the global social media management market size to grow from $9.2 Bn in 2018 to $17.7 Bn by 2023, at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 14.1% during the forecast period. This indicates an increase in demand for more social media professionals and digital skills which leaders and many businesses will look for to build their own respective personal and business brands.
In the U.S, for instance, according to the BLS, a 10 percent rate of job growth is expected for marketing managers from 2016 to 2026. While on one hand the social media market is growing, it is also vulnerable to other market trends. Social media strategy needs to be frequently adapted to the changing trends. And this is exactly what the Sussexes also need currently, an innovative, and agile social media expert who can rebuild their personal brand and maintain that in the future as well.
Image Credits: The Cheat Sheet