Interviews, insight & analysis on digital media & marketing

My Digital Hero: Emma Harman, Global Chief Client Officer at Whalar

Emma Harman is the Global Chief Client Officer at Whalar, a global creator company. Whalar features a creator ecosystem of six unique companies spanning technology, brand partnerships, talent management, a creator-centric venture studio, a gaming studio, and a physical campus for creators.

We asked Harman to name the person who has inspired her most in her career.

Who is your digital hero?

My digital hero is hands-down Jo Burford; one the most progressive and thought-leading individuals in the creator economy driving it forwards through culture-led storytelling and community building. Jo has legendary status in the creator world and has recently been promoted to the Head of Creators for TikTok UK, Ireland and Nordics. 

What have they done to win hero status in your eyes?

Throughout her career, Jo has advocated for creators from every background, walk of life, lived experience and skill set. She is naturally a people person who listens and cares, and the work she has done has provided a voice to many communities and perspectives that might have never been seen or heard before.  

How has their heroism helped drive digital?

Creators are the lifeblood of the social platforms, and their stories and perspectives are the future of paid media media and consumer engagement.  Jo has been at the forefront of passionately championing creators, often in companies where others have little understanding of the medium or its potential. 

Jo has spent over a decade dedicated to raising the profile of creator marketing as one of the most effective mediums, and there are many talents who Jo found in the early days who are now some of the biggest influencers of the digital age.  Jo’s love for her craft comes through in her relationships with creators and all those that work with her which makes her an influential voice and driving force of our industry. 

What are the biggest challenges in digital we need another hero to solve?

The Creator Economy is booming and thriving, and creators are producing TV formats, podcasts, fashion lines, books and much more. Nearly 50% of watch time online is now spent with creator content.  We need to ensure the creator space is built in a robust and sustainable way which protects brands, creators and social platforms. It is not a programmatic medium and the next wave of digital heroes need to embrace creators as creative partners, build relationships with them and make it meaningful. Exactly as Jo has done. 

What is your most heroic personal achievement so far in digital?

Recently I judged the D&AD Commerce Category which was an absolute dream gig for me to do. I absolutely loved the experience and the people I met along the way.  Similar to Jo, I’m proud of my contribution to the global Creator Economy and redefining what creativity and communication looks like by liberating creative voices from everywhere.  At Whalar, I believe we are building a new creative playground and economy, and I’m excited to continue to build that. My life’s philosophy is to jump in the swimming pool and get wet 🙂