Poem co-founder departs agency, sells his share

Indie creative, PR and social agency Poem is saying goodbye to one of its founders, who is departing as of this month.

Matt Holmes, co-founder and executive creative director, has sold his 50% of the business, and is leaving to focus his time on family and new challenges in 2024, meaning managing director and co-founder Rob Lowe is now the sole owner.


In 2015, the pair launched what they called a “more human” PR agency, citing that the industry had lost sight of consumer PR, and they hoped to change that.

When launching, they said Poem will focus on connecting brands to consumers’ lives in a “more emotional way” across paid, owned and earned media.

Holmes said he is a “PR and brand nerd”, and appreciates the impact it can have on the industry.

“That’s not going to change,” he said. “But after 20 years, I’m now lucky to be able to take a few more months off to focus on my own health, my young family and my Dad in the UK before some exciting new challenges in 2024.”

He continued: “I’ve worked at some of the best agencies in the world but will forever be thankful for the phone call I got from Rob eight years ago speculatively asking if I’d be interested in starting something a bit different. Even more so that we stuck our necks out and what we’ve achieved since. Not many people can say that. I’m so proud of the calibre of work and how we’ve consistently pushed to show how effective creative PR can be for brands and client marketing budget ROI.

“More than that though, I’m proud of the calibre of people who have come through the agency and the current team,” he added.

“They are special and it all comes from the genuine values Rob and I set out to achieve about being a ‘more human’ agency. I love seeing what the alumni are achieving and what the current team under Rob’s outstanding leadership will do next.”

Holmes speaking at Mumbrella CommsCon 2019

Lowe said he’s proud of what he and Holmes have achieved at Poem, and he wishes him well.

“We’ve created an exceptional team of brilliant Poets, done some fantastic work together and forged long-term relationships with some of the country’s biggest marketers and brands,” he said.

“Matt goes with our love, respect and best wishes for the next chapter in his life and career.”

Poem’s managing director, Katie Raleigh, added: ” While seeing Matt leave feels incredibly sad, we’ve had some time to plan this with Matt and we’re extremely excited about Poem’s next iteration and will be using this change to shake things up further.

“Matt is not only a great leader in our industry, but a great friend and I will miss him dearly. Matt’s helped set us up for future success and his influence will be long lasting,” she concluded.

(L-R): Poem’s Katie Raleigh, Matt Holmes, Rob Lowe and Rhania Farah

Recently, the agency hired ex-One Green Bean creative director Jessica Cluff, to head up its creative offering. It also hired a new producer and social account director to further its studio and social teams.

The agency said it remains in a strong market position as its leadership team is “at its strongest”, with Lowe, Raleigh and business director Rhania Farah leading it.

Poem’s client roster includes Sony PlayStation, Tourism Australia, Nestle, Amazon, Uber, Cashrewards and Oporto, among others.


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