Former HBO/Max PR Exec Chris Willard Launches New Communications Firm (EXCLUSIVE)

Former HBO and Max PR exec Chris Willard is launching his own company, Chris Willard Communications.

The San Francisco-based strategic communications consulting firm is described as “servicing clients at the intersection of culture and technology.” At launch, Chris Willard Communications will offer hourly consulting, narrative development, launch campaigns, media training and crisis communications services.

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Additional details are available at the firm’s website here.

Willard, who relocated to San Fransisco after exiting the Warner Bros. Discovery brands last August to pursue other ventures, will begin taking meetings Feb. 12 and anticipates building up to a full client load by late spring.

During his time at HBO, Willard led PR strategies across the business, including the 2023 launch of the rebranded Max (a combo of HBO Max and Discovery+) streamer following Discovery’s acquisition of WarnerMedia in April 2022. Prior to leading comms for the company’s streaming business, he oversaw the PR transition from Blu-ray and physical media into the EST space, in addition to launching VR games, AR lenses, voice skills, branching narrative tech, mobile games, Super Bowl commercials, a global concert tour, immersive fan experiences and more projects in support of HBO original programming.

“There’s no better way to learn a craft than to work alongside the best in the business and to approach every campaign with creativity, innovation and a goal of uplifting your brand. That is exactly what I did over my time at HBO, where I helped guide the culture-defining brand through the turbulent streaming revolution,” Willard told Variety in a statement. “As I kick off this new chapter, I’m excited to hang my own shingle in my new home of San Francisco. I look forward to serving as an ambassador and comms partner to brands who are leading the cultural conversation and have untold stories just waiting to be shared.”

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