nevillehobson112x104Neville Hobson
+44 7577 997 222

Skills and Achievements | Work History | Education and Qualifications | Volunteerism | Publications | Recognition Award | Personal


Neville Hobson is an entrepreneurial communications professional with a curiosity for tech and how people use it. He’s an early adopter (and leaver) and experimenter with social media. He co-hosts the weekly business podcast For Immediate Release: The Hobson and Holtz Report, now in its seventh year. He’s also an occasional test pilot of shiny new objects.

  • 30 years’ experience in organisational communication gained in a wide range of organisations, from global enterprises to small businesses to independent consulting.
  • Extensive hands-on and leadership experience embracing public and media relations, marketing communication, employee communication, compensation and benefits communication as well as investor and financial relations.
  • Immersive practical experience in digital communication especially social media since 2002, early adopter (and leaver) in new and emerging technologies, experimenter, online community builder, writer and speaker on digital media trends that matter to organisations.
  • Extensive presence and influence across the social web.
  • Experience of different nationalities and cultures from living and working in Western, Central and Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Latin America.
  • Knowledge and experience of best practice organisational communication validated by professional accreditation qualification from the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC), and keeping abreast of trends and developments in organisational communication.
  • Extensive leadership and other volunteerism roles with not-for-profit professional association (IABC), including serving as UK Chapter Board member, Regional Director Europe and member of the International Executive Board and Executive Committee.

Skills and Achievements

Strategy Development

  • Developed and implemented a multi-year research-based communication plan at enterprise software vendor Scala Business Solutions to create competitive advantage through increasing the company’s visibility internally and externally, and minimizing the influence of competitors in key markets.
  • Working with executive leadership, developed strategy and executed internal and external communication plans to support strategic business objectives during organisational restructurings and ongoing change, and Scala’s eventual acquisition by Epicor Corporation.
  • At William M Mercer, created a strategic business plan and gained Board approval of the business model for developing a pan-European communication consulting unit designed to increase revenue opportunities in key European markets.

Strategy Innovation

  • Co-founded Crayon, a real company that operated in the virtual world of Second Life: the staff were physically in Europe and the US but worked together as avatars in Second Life.
  • Co-founded Blogging Planet, a Paris-based start-up that focused on the then-emerging medium of blogging, and evangelized the benefits of social media for organisational communication.
  • Co-founded the For Immediate Release podcast that today averages 30,000 downloads per month, content that is frequently cited and referenced by others, has three sponsors, and embraces a vibrant community of engaged listeners and fans.
  • Developed strategy and led multi-functional internal teams at Scala to create effective web-based communication channels, internally and externally, including developing 10 new websites.
  • At Scala, developed communication tools for operational and other managers to enable them to communicate more effectively with employees at their field locations.
  • Devised, planned and created interactive intranet website demonstrations and personalised printed employee benefit statement concepts to illustrate William M Mercer’s ability to develop and deliver cost-effective technology-based communication solutions.

Change Leadership

  • Elected Director of IABC’s Europe Middle East Region with a clear mandate to implement wide-ranging changes in the direction of IABC in Europe, bringing it back into the IABC mainstream. Led a team of Region Board members to leverage IABC’s existing resources to best serve members’ needs throughout the Region, building the infrastructure for added-value member programmes and benefits. During this restructuring phase, rebuilt relationships and effectively engaged with other IABC leaders and US headquarters.

Digital Team Leadership

  • Led communication staff and external PR agency as a virtual team in corporate repositioning and branding project at Scala; collaboratively developed new corporate positioning statements.
  • At William M Mercer, led communication team as part of multi-discipline project team to plan, develop and deliver first intranet-based employee benefits self-service enrolment system for UK employees of Alcatel Telecom.

Writing, Blogging, Podcasting, Speaking

  • Devised, wrote and delivered content for online social media training website for Dell UK, designed for e-learning use by Dell’s SMB customers worldwide.
  • Created ghost-written posts for Dell corporate blogs.
  • Created podcast interview series on climate change-related topics for Lloyd’s Register Quality Assurance.
  • Devised and created thought-leader podcast interview series for WCG.
  • Co-presenting The Hobson and Holtz Report weekly one-hour business podcast since 2005.
  • At WCG, devised and created a modular “learning curriculum,” a series of PowerPoint-based tools for client employees to help them understand the concepts of social media strategy and tactics, tools and channels, policies, monitoring and engagement.
  • Host and producer of IABC Cafe2Go podcast interviews.
  • Devised, created and led series of half-day senior executive workshops on social media and public relations for the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR).
  • Extensive public speaking on communication, technology and issues related to organisations, people and behaviours (presentation examples:
  • At Scala, official spokesperson on corporate business matters and investor relations.

Work History

2004 – Present
  • Independent Communication Consultant
    Consultant, blogger, podcaster, speaker, communication  trainer, product and service reviewer, pundit, community builder.
2004 – Present
  • Co-Host, “For Immediate Release” podcast series
    Weekly business podcast, sponsored by three companies, and five other occasional podcasts.
2009 – 2011
  • Head of Social Media Europe, WCG Group
    A contract consulting role based in London, helping develop US agency WCG’s European expansion in digital communication.
2008 – 2009
  • Consultant, AdHocnium
    An ad-hoc agency with members in the UK and the US who trained PR firms and clients to use digital media.
2008 – 2009
  • Consultant, Bond PR International
    Developing a new service offering known as Bond-i focused on social media.
2006 – 2007
  • Co-Founder and Vice President New Marketing, Crayon
    A virtual presence in Second Life to deliver communication services in the real world.
  • Co-Founder, Blogging Planet
    Counsel and training to organisations on how to adopt new communication tools such as business blogging, wikis, RSS and podcasts.
1999 – 2004
  • Scala Business Solutions NV
    Director Internal Communication and then Vice President Corporate Communication at this publicly-held enterprise software vendor with offices in 25 countries worldwide.
1997 – 1998
  • William M Mercer Ltd
    Senior Communication Consultant at this HR management consulting firm; team leader in developing technology-based communication services for global clients.
1993 – 1997
  • Independent Communication Consultant
    Communication consultant and project leader, internet and intranet evangelist, website developer, copywriter and editor on technology-related topics.
1989 – 1993
  • William M Mercer Ltd
    Senior Communication Consultant; lead consultant European Communication Unit; new business development across continental Europe.
  • A Plus Group
    Marketing and Publications Manager; managed publication of quarterly business magazines published on behalf of Compaq, Unisys, Hewlett-Packard and WordPerfect.
1981 – 1988
  • Founder and Principal, Communication Advisers Ltd
    Public relations, marketing communication and advertising project management for clients in Costa Rica.
1972 – 1980 Worked in insurance claims management, fast-moving consumer goods sales, insurance services sales, advertising account management, advertising sales and mail order publishing, for employers in the UK and Middle East.

Education and Qualifications

1994 Professional accreditation qualification in organisational communication, International Association of Business Communicators.
1967 – 1968 The American School & The British School, New Delhi, India
- Further education.
1967 King Alfred’s School, Wantage, UK
- 5 GCE ‘O’ levels.


International Association of Business Communicators (IABC)

  • Member of European Gold Quill Award judging panel (1993 & 2010 – Present)
  • Co-producer, Cafe2Go podcasts (2009 – Present)
  • Member, International Executive Board (2002 – 2004)
  • Member, Executive Committee, with IT portfolio (2003 – 2004)
  • Region Director, IABC Europe Middle East Region (2002 – 2004)
  • European Accreditation examiner (1997)
  • Leader of IABC’s Technology Taskforce; developed IABC’s first official presence on the internet (1996)
  • Developed and maintained IABC UK Chapter website (1995 – 1997)
  • Devised and produced an IABC virtual conference on CompuServe (1994)
  • Member of the Board, IABC UK Chapter (1992 & 1994)

Society for New Communications Research (SNCR)

  • Founding Advisory Board member and Research Fellow 2005


The Social Media MBA: Your Competitive Edge in Social Media Strategy Development and Delivery.” Wiley, 2012, ISBN 978-1-119-96323-3

  • Contributing Author, Chapter 1 (extract)

How To Do Everything With Podcasting.” McGraw-Hill, 2007, ISBN 978-0-07-226394-7

  • Co-Author

Huffington Post UK


  • Writer of over 3,500 posts since 2002

Podcaster, For Immediate Release

  • Co-Host and Co-Presenter, over 1,000 podcast episodes since 2005

IABC “Communication World” magazine and “CW Bulletin

  • Contributor since 1990

Recognition Award

IABC Chairman’s Award, 2009


British citizen; married with 2 children. Fluent in English and Spanish.

Interests: Family, technology, trends in technology, how people use technology, computing, organisational communication, science fiction, movies, walking, travel, Costa Rica.

Primary Social Presences:

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[Page last updated: December 2, 2012.]