Soho House & Co.

Jakob Hesketh, Head of Communications and Marketing, The Americas

To succeed on a global scale, you really have to be a master of communications – which is what’s led Jakob Hesketh to thrive in major organizations from Australia to the UK and today, the US. From Disney Studios to the United Nations, and now Soho House & Co., Jake flexes his expertise in supporting companies during times of change (he saw both Spotify and Soho House go public). We spoke with him to learn about his career to date, what the latest happenings are at Soho House and where we might run into him this summer.

How did you get your start in communications?

I’ve always been passionate about how people communicate with each other. Initially, I wasn’t sure how to turn that into a career. Although not the path I thought I would take, I had an opportunity to work with a major retail brand in Australia, balancing visual merchandising and internal communications. It was a pivotal moment in my early development; it exposed me to multiple stakeholders, and I was closely integrated with the brand and marketing teams. After a few years, I pursued a Bachelor's in Communications and landed my first PR role in an agency working across the dream client, Disney Studios!

Tell us about your career before joining the Soho House team.

I spent 15+ years consulting across global agency networks with multiple in-house embedded roles and projects. I have been fortunate to work across Australia, the UK, and the US, with incredible projects and brands from Adidas to Spotify, United Nations, Ford Motor Company, and now Soho House.

The benefits of agency life, where I started, allowed me to balance my interests across not-for-profit organizations or government campaigns with big consumer brand work. It taught me a lot about value-driven communications and the impact it can have.

I’ve specialized in working on brands going through change or taking complex moments in an organization's journey and helping adapt that to a mass audience. Some of the most exciting pieces of work I have been a part of have been in times of organizational transformation, whether strategic or through changing consumer behavior.

Without aging myself too much, I worked on launching one of the first cyber security and safety campaigns for the Federal Government in Australia. Bringing together major consumer brands to bridge private and public entities to help educate the public on how to protect themselves online. I’m grateful for what I learned during that period when I look at how social media has developed and how critical understanding the power of your data online has become.

I have also been fortunate to work for two brands on the private to public-journey, Spotify and Soho House & Co. It has been rewarding to lead, contribute and witness how communication is vital to the success of those moments.

What does your job as head of communications for the Americas entail?

I lead all communications and marketing across the Americas, including our newly joined integrated digital marketing function, digital touchpoints, email, social, and membership communications, CRM, and external public relations.

Everything our team produces needs to be thought of through the lens of the member. We always ask ourselves, what are they most interested in? And how can we improve their experience? It’s always a great starting point and keeps us focused on what we’re here to do.

In 2021, we took the company public, Soho House & Co Inc. (NYSE: SHCO), which oversees all Soho House brands, including our retail interiors brand Soho Home, skincare and beauty brands, Soho Skin and Cowshed, collaborative workspaces Soho Works, our sister membership brand The Ned, and public hotels The Line, Saguaro, and Cecconi’s restaurants. No two days are the same, that’s for sure.

Has the membership landscape shifted compared to pre-pandemic? Are there any lasting effects?

Soho House has always been a place for members to connect, grow, and have fun. With the Houses frequently closed during the pandemic, the business moved quickly to engage and connect with our members digitally to help break down the physical barriers by developing a Soho House App. The App allowed a new way for members to connect socially, exchange ideas and opportunities, participate in online discussions through our House groups, and consume editorial content.

That translates today to more members connecting with other members outside of their home location, taking advantage of the global network of more than 160,000 members.

What are some considerations when doing comms for a members-only club? Are there any nuances to marketing membership?

Privacy. We’re proud of our members' achievements, but we respect their privacy, so our communications are led by the benefits of membership vs the people we count as members. That said, we are always looking to support and share the positive stories of members that Soho House has played a role in supporting their personal or professional development.

Are there any upcoming house openings or launches you’re excited about?

The Americas have seen increased growth; since 2021, we’ve opened four Houses in the US, our first physical retail store Soho Home in Melrose, LA, The Ned NoMad in NY, and a Soho Works. I am most excited about our opening of Soho House Mexico City this September.

It will be our first House in Latin America, and we already have an engaged, creative community of members via our Cities Without Houses program who are ready to enjoy the space. We also just announced our first house in the Pacific Northwest in Portland, which has a great food scene and is fast becoming a second home to me.

With Soho House’s continued growth into new countries and cities, what are a few destinations you predict will be popular this summer (or into 2024)?

I am excited to spend more time in Mexico for work and vacation this summer. There are increasing travel options with new routes and flights added, so I plan to explore Latin America more this summer; Brazil is top of my list.

Where might we run into you in NYC?

During the week, you’re most likely to see me in the West Village grabbing a bite to eat or an after-work drink, but keeping it in the family, don’t sleep on Little Ned for a great cocktail. On weekends I’m hiking in Hudson Valley with my husband and dog.


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