Kirsty O’Connor

Hill+Knowlton Strategies: Director – Content, Data + Digital, METIA

Kirsty leads the Innovation + Creative Hub in Dubai for H+K, supporting the Middle East, Turkey, India and Africa region (METIA). She brings specialisms in social media, data and digital integration to the agency, and sits across H+K’s sector teams to support the continuous evolution of communications.

Educated in PR before moving to digital practices, Kirsty can span the newsroom with skills in both traditional and digital communications. She has previously played digital transformation roles in PR agencies in the UK, taking both traditional PR and SEO teams and transitioning them into Earned Media specialists.

During her four years in the Middle East, Kirsty has been involved in several major live events including World Athletics, World Gymnastics, Formula E, AFC Asian Cup and UFC Fight Island to lead live newsrooms from content roll-out to crisis. She has supported integrated planning for global brands including adidas, P&G and Porsche in MENA also.

Before moving to the UAE, she spent time working in the USA with the Caribbean Premier League, taking T20 cricket to the US market. She was responsible for the creation and implementation of their digital communications strategy, which saw 1.5 million social fans gained organically during the six-week live event. Prior to this, she spent four years supporting Thomas Cook to communicate their international travel packages via media relations and social media.

Kirsty holds a first-class BA Hons in Public Relations from Leeds Beckett University. She's won over 10 industry awards in the region, including most recently a MEPRA 2020 awards for Best Live Event, Best Travel & Tourism Campaign and Best in UAE. Kirsty last spoke at PRovoke MENA’s 2020 summit, leading a panel on Influencer Marketing and has been published in two textbooks on integrated communications.