Singapore FA names Shamir Osman as Marketing & Comms Chief

The Football Association of Singapore (FAS) has appointed Shamir Osman as its new Chief of Marketing and Communications, effective July 1st, 2024. This move signals a focus on bolstering the organisation's communication and engagement efforts.Shamir brings a wealth of experience to the table, having spent over 18 years in the media and communications landscape. His passion for football is evident throughout his career path.Building Bridges with StakeholdersIn his new role, Shamir will lead the FAS's communications and marketing teams. His key responsibilities include:Strategic Communication: Providing strategic guidance to ensure effective communication across all platforms.Stakeholder Engagement: Overseeing all interactions with stakeholders, including fans, media, sponsors, and partners.Shamir said: “Football has always been in my blood, and I have been a supporter as well as a critic of local football. Whether in the newsrooms or embedded in the local football fraternity, what drove me was the desire for our football ecosystem to be further enhanced. This role gives me the chance to contribute to that effort and I am looking forward to the challenge." A Proven Track RecordPrior to joining the FAS, Shamir served as the Head of Communications and Content for Lion City Sailors Football Club (LCS). He played a pivotal role in establishing the club's communications department and building strong relationships with fans and stakeholders.Shamir's earlier experience includes working as an Account Director for a regional PR firm and as a football journalist with various media outlets. This diverse background equips him with a deep understanding of the media landscape and the intricacies of the footballing world.A New Era for Singaporean Football?Shamir's appointment comes at a crucial time for Singaporean football. The FAS is looking to reignite fan passion and elevate the national team's performance. Shamir's expertise in communication and stakeholder engagement could be instrumental in achieving these goals.With his experience and passion for the sport, Shamir Osman promises to be a valuable asset to the FAS. It will be interesting to see how his leadership shapes the future of football communication and engagement in Singapore.(Photo Credit: Lion City Sailors/

Richard Bagnall joins Milk & Honey PR as Non-Executive Director

Milk & Honey PR, a leading international communications agency, has announced the appointment of Richard Bagnall as Group Non-Executive Director. Bagnall brings a wealth of experience in communications measurement and evaluation to the role, having previously served as the Chair of the International Association for Measurement and Evaluation of Communication (AMEC).Bagnall joins Milk & Honey PR at a pivotal time for the communications industry, as data-driven insights and measurement become increasingly crucial for success. In his new role, he will advise the agency's leadership team across Singapore, the UK, the US, and Germany on best practices in evaluation and data analytics. He will also leverage his expertise in scaling organisations to support Milk & Honey PR's continued global expansion.“Richard brings the perfect blend of agency leadership, data analytics and measurement expertise and passion for client service excellence. He will play a pivotal role in the continued growth of our purpose and sustainability offering and more importantly, demonstration of return on investment,” said Kirsty Leighton, Founder and Group CEO of Milk & Honey PR. Richard said: “ESG communications has never been more important and in the next 12 months we expect increased scrutiny, particularly as new regulations will pose challenges when it comes to greenwashing, however, there will also be new opportunities to ensure the integrity of stories being told. I can’t wait to get stuck into this exciting new role and be part of Milk & Honey’s ongoing success.” Bagnall's appointment comes on the heels of a series of strategic hires for Milk & Honey PR, including the recent launch of Nu, a dedicated technology and AI division, and the Impact sustainability division. These additions reflect the agency's commitment to providing clients with a comprehensive suite of services to meet their ever-changing communications needs.

Indian PR: Looking for balance between Atmanirbharta and global consolidations

India’s booming economy has become a magnet for international players, and the PR industry is no exception, with the entry of established foreign firms through acquisitions altering the landscape, particularly for independent and mid-sized agencies. The first part of this story analyzed the acquisitions by international PR firms in India during the last two decades, and the resultant opportunities and challenges, especially for mid-sized firms.The second part of this feature dives deep into this dynamic shift, exploring how these acquisitions are impacting strategies, operations, and the very future of Indian PR. We will examine the challenges and opportunities presented by this consolidation wave, and what it means for the competitiveness and innovation of the industry as a whole.Also read:The most transitional shifts in Indian PR: One acquisition at a time - Part 1Consolidation and self-relianceUltimately, achieving self-reliance (Atmanirbharta) in the PR industry requires a deep understanding of regional dynamics and market nuances, points out Bhaskar Majumdar, Head – Marketing Communication, CSR and Digital, India and South Asia, Egis.According to him, strategic foresight, innovative service delivery, and effective talent management will be pivotal for mid-sized firms to thrive amidst evolving industry dynamics and global competition.“The entry of international PR firms into the Indian market through acquisitions is significantly reshaping the strategies and operations of independent and mid-sized PR firms across the country. The presence of international firms with global expertise and extensive resources intensifies competition for both clients and talent. Independent and mid-sized PR firms are compelled to enhance their service offerings, innovate more aggressively, and differentiate themselves in specialized niches to remain competitive. International firms bring best practices and advanced technologies to the table, raising the bar for service standards in the Indian PR industry. This pushes local firms to adopt new technologies, improve operational efficiency, and elevate their overall service quality to meet client expectations,” says Majumdar.He further adds that the entry of international PR firms introduces global perspectives and practices into the Indian market. This can lead to a cultural exchange of ideas, methodologies, and strategies, enriching the capabilities of local firms and enabling them to offer more diverse solutions to clients.Majumdar stresses on the importance of fostering ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ in PR.“The consolidation wave affects talent dynamics in the industry. While larger firms may attract top talent with global exposure opportunities, mid-sized and independent firms can differentiate themselves by offering more personalized career growth paths, entrepreneurial environments, and specialized training. The challenge lies in comprehending the dynamic nuances of the Indian market, where indigenous firms inherently possess an advantage. In PR, fostering ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ is crucial. Larger Indian firms, leveraging their deep-seated understanding of local market intricacies, naturally maintain an edge over competitors. While the consolidation of international PR firms in India brings challenges for smaller players, it also presents opportunities for growth, specialization, and professional advancement. The future of the Indian PR industry looks poised for transformation, driven by global integration, higher standards, and enhanced client outcomes through strategic partnerships and innovative practices,” he concludes.Rishi Seth, Founder and CEO, Evoc Communications, reckons that many international clients find it easier to work with their international counterparts in PR and advertising due to standardisation of processes and client experience across countries. This, he adds, obviously presents challenges to independent firms, who will inevitably have a unique culture and service delivery standards, leading to a client experience that may be very different from the global network firms (important to note that even international firms are not homogenous, and thus, will have differentiated processes even among themselves).According to Seth, the key for the independent firms is to invest in elevating and differentiating their client experience to compete effectively and meaningfully with international firms. “This calls for world-class systems and processes and a quality-oriented culture. Other possible strategies can include developing competitive advantages through deep local insights and stakeholder relationships, which may not be easily replicable by foreign firms. These strategies definitively work – as is evidenced by the fact that the largest PR firm in India by a huge margin is still an independent Indian firm,” he adds.A word of cautionThere is a word of caution from Akshara Lalwani, Founder and CEO, Communicate India. International firms, she warns, must be cautious about buying past successes, for, the future of PR lies in innovation and adaptability, not in traditional methods.“Despite numerous international firms entering the Indian market, success has been limited. Many have entered through acquisitions only to exit later, as the disparity between the global and Indian models remains significant. This makes it challenging for international companies to scout quality acquisitions and maintain a positive ROI. Until the Indian market matures and globalizes further, this disparity will persist,” she notes.According to Lalwani, the challenges include:Increased competition: The entry of well-established international players intensifies competition. Mid-sized firms must continually innovate and differentiate themselves to maintain and grow their market share.Cultural and operational differences: International firms often face challenges in adapting to the unique cultural and operational nuances of the Indian market. This can create a complex environment for mid-sized firms navigating collaborations or competing with these global entities.Retention and talent acquisition: The competition for top talent becomes fiercer with the presence of international firms. Mid-sized firms need to invest more in retaining their key talent and attracting new ones to stay competitive.The future of the Indian PR industryThe Indian PR industry is at crossroads. Consolidation, fueled by international acquisitions, is reshaping the landscape. But what does this mean for the future? While consolidation will drive professionalism and innovation, there can be increased pressure on independent firms, potentially leading to further consolidation.The Indian PR industry, fueled by entrepreneurial spirit, is not yet in a consolidation phase, remarks Vikram Kharvi, CEO, Bloomingdale PR. According to him, unlike saturated markets where consolidation is more common, the Indian PR landscape remains relatively young and vibrant, with ample room for the emergence of new firms. He reminds us that the notion of a consolidation wave does not accurately capture the current state of the industry.“Instead, what we are witnessing is a phase of dynamic growth and expansion. New players continue to enter the market, bringing fresh perspectives and innovative approaches to public relations. This period of growth ensures a competitive and diverse environment, fostering creativity and allowing more firms to thrive. While larger entities may acquire smaller firms to enhance their capabilities, this trend is part of the industry’s evolution rather than a sign of consolidation. The future of the Indian PR industry will likely be characterized by continued diversification and the rise of new entrepreneurial ventures, driving the sector forward,” Kharvi concludes.While the PR industry worldwide is witnessing a wave of consolidation, with established giants merging and acquiring smaller players, India presents a slightly different picture, points out Rishi Seth. Here, he adds, the trend has been more towards outright acquisitions by international firms. However, it is important to note that the Indian PR scene is a breeding ground for new agencies. He thinks that this constant influx of young, dynamic firms, led by both seasoned and emerging communication professionals, suggests a more optimistic outlook. So, unlike the global consolidation trend, the Indian PR landscape might be headed for a future brimming with diverse players, creating a richer and more competitive ecosystem, Seth concludes.Akshara Lalwani is certain that the consolidation wave is likely to drive the Indian PR industry towards greater professionalism and sophistication. While the entry of international firms brings challenges, it also fosters a more competitive and innovative environment.Lalwani stresses that the future success of PR firms in India will depend on their ability to adapt to changing market dynamics, embrace new technologies, and offer value-driven services.As the market continues to globalize, the gap between global and Indian models is expected to narrow, leading to a more integrated and mature PR landscape in India, she concludes.Ashraf Engineer, Head of Strategy, Ideosphere, foresees that the pressure on independent and mid-sized firms to raise their game will increase. This might mean they too would look for investments or outright acquisitions.“Growth is the mantra, in my view, for survival. And you need investment to fuel it. While the industry has been in consolidation mode for a while, there are still attractive targets for the picking. Global groups will have their eyes on them. In my view, we will continue to see consolidation for at least five more years. I believe it is good for the Indian PR industry for the reasons outlined before,” Engineer says.However, he does not believe that all Indian agencies will look to sell. He states that there are major independent players that have resisted the temptation to sell outright or part with a stake. “And they’re doing very well. Once the dust has settled, what we’ll have is a layered industry that comprises agencies of varying sizes, independent and otherwise, each layer catering to different budgets and client needs,” concludes Engineer.

Thrive PR strengthens Melbourne leadership with McGregor promotion

Thrive PR + Communications, an Australian public relations and communications agency, has announced the promotion of Nathan McGregor to Associate Director and Melbourne 2IC (Second-in-Command).McGregor's promotion reflects his significant contributions to the agency since joining in March 2020 as Account Director for the Technology & Corporate sector. He brings over a decade of communications and journalism experience across Australia and the UK to his new leadership role.Thrive PR has been experiencing significant growth in recent years, particularly within the technology and corporate sectors. McGregor's expertise in these areas will be instrumental in leading the Melbourne team and driving further success for the agency's clients.Prior to joining Thrive PR, McGregor honed his skills as a Senior Account Manager at Icon Agency. His extensive experience in communications and journalism provides a well-rounded perspective that will benefit both Thrive PR and its clients.Thrive PR has offices in Melbourne, Sydney, and Brisbane. The agency offers a comprehensive range of services, including media relations, influencer marketing, social media management, and crisis communications.

Pead bolsters digital and corporate teams with new hires

Aotearoa's PR and communications agency, Pead, has announced the expansion of its digital and corporate teams with the appointments of Kendra Mackie and Enna Ye.Seasoned Communicator Joins Corporate Team: Kendra Mackie brings a wealth of experience in corporate communications and media relations to her new role as Senior Account Manager. Previously working within the government sector, Kendra offers valuable insights into the workings of government and ministries.Digital marketing expert enhances digital & social team:Enna Ye joins Pead's digital & social team with over ten years of experience in digital marketing and communications. Transitioning from in-house positions, Enna brings her expertise to a dynamic agency environment.Louisa Kraitzick, Partner of Corporate and Digital at Pead, said: "At Pead, our PR and digital marketing consultants work hand-in-hand on client work as one team, allowing for greater cross-discipline collaboration and delivering cost efficiencies to our clients. We’re excited to have Enna and Kendra bring their expertise to our Digital and Corporate teams, working to create engaging 360 degree campaigns that naturally leverage PR, content, and digital to deliver strong business results."

ThinkLaw appoints Pitchfork Partners as communication partner

Pitchfork Partners Strategic Consulting LLP, a Mumbai-based communications agency, has secured the communication mandate for ThinkLaw, a new-age law firm recognized for its meticulous research and strategy-driven legal counsel, helping clients navigate the complex legal landscape with ease.ThinkLaw covers a vast ambit of legal matters including being specialists in corporate, commercial, and dispute resolution. Within the corporate and commercial practice, ThinkLaw’s focus areas include mergers and acquisitions, private equity and venture capital, debt, equity and structured finance, startups, and corporate advisory. ThinkLaw represents clients before various fora and regulators and is preferred for its holistic approach in advising on dispute resolution matters. Their objective is to provide holistic solutions to complex commercial and legal issues faced by businesses today. With a slew of seasoned and experienced lawyers to advise on the entire spectrum of legal issues, ThinkLaw takes a holistic approach towards formulating customized solutions for its clients.The collaboration with Pitchfork Partners will focus on executing a comprehensive communication strategy for ThinkLaw, deployed through relevant channels to showcase celebrated legal firm’s expertise and thought leadership within the industry. Tushar Ajinkya, Founder and Managing Partner, ThinkLaw, said: “As we expand our reach and further solidify our position in the legal industry, Pitchfork's insights and innovative approach will be invaluable in crafting a communication strategy that helps us engage better with all our key relationship sets. Their deep understanding of the communications landscape and their ability to translate complex concepts into compelling narratives will be instrumental in showcasing ThinkLaw's unique value proposition. Together, we aim to position ThinkLaw as the go-to firm for businesses seeking holistic, research-driven legal solutions that address the 'big picture' challenges.”Jaideep Shergill, Co-Founder of Pitchfork Partners Strategic Consulting, added: “We’re quite thrilled to be partnering with ThinkLaw. Their dedication to client empowerment resonates with our approach to communications. This collaboration offers a great opportunity to combine our expertise and develop an impactful communication strategy that will propel ThinkLaw's success and effectively position the firm as thought leaders in the legal fraternity.”

PROI Worldwide honours Adfactors PR co-founder Madan Bahal with Founders Award

PROI Worldwide has announced that Madan Bahal, Co-Founder and Managing Director of Adfactors PR, has been honoured with the Founders Award.Jeff Lambert, Global Chair of PROI Worldwide and CEO of US-based Lambert by LLYC, stated: "Madan Bahal exemplifies the spirit and vision that our community of independent communications agencies stands for. His dedication to innovation, excellence, and collaboration has significantly enriched the PROI network and the broader industry. We are thrilled to recognize his remarkable achievements with the Founders Award." Madan Bahal shared his gratitude, saying: "I am grateful to the Board of PROI Worldwide for considering me worthy of the coveted Founders Award. It is particularly heartening because the recognition comes from a peer group of Founders/CEOs, representing nearly a hundred PR firms spread around the world. This award is only the icing on the cake. Over the last 15 years, I have benefitted immensely in terms of learning, insights and best practices from this wonderful partnership of leading independent PR firms worldwide." In Bahal’s honour, PROI made a US$1,000 donation to the Yoga Institute in Mumbai. Bahal’s involvement with PROI spans over a decade and a half, during which time he has played crucial roles within the organisation, including serving on various committees and contributing to strategic initiatives that have propelled PROI's mission forward. Under his leadership, Adfactors PR has not only grown to become one of India's largest independent PR firms but has also actively participated in PROI's global endeavours, sharing knowledge and expertise across markets. Adfactors alignment with PROI's values and objectives has long been an asset to the network, fostering a culture of continuous improvement and collaboration. Bahal's recognition serves as a testament to his unwavering commitment to the principles of excellence and innovation that define PROI Worldwide.

The most transitional shifts in Indian PR: One acquisition at a time - Part 1

The past two decades have seen the public relations industry in India undergoing a fascinating transformation. Global PR giants are no longer bystanders, but active participants, shaping the narrative through strategic acquisitions and independent ventures. Economic liberalization opened new gates of opportunities and partnerships for global giants to test the Indian waters. This influx of international players, flush with cash and an eagerness to tap into one of the ever-growing markets, has changed the face of Indian PR.In this two-part series, Adgully will delve into the dynamic shifts in India’s PR industry as international giants enter the playing field through strategic acquisitions and ventures. We will explore the impact on the industry, the opportunities and challenges it presents, and what it means for the future, particularly for mid-sized firms.Major dealsLet’s take a look at the noteworthy deals in the past two decades:2005: Burson Marsteller’s acquisition of Genesis PR. This was one of the early significant acquisitions, marking the entry of a major international player into the Indian market.2005: Edelman’s acquisition of a 50% stake in R&PM. Led by Roger Pereira, this move was significant for Edelman’s strategy in India.2007: MSL’s acquisition of Hanmer and Partners. Another major deal that helped an international firm expand its footprint in India. In 2012, Hanmer MSL re-branded itself as MSL India to better align with its parent company. This re-branding coincided with the company's expansion plans for the next three years, focusing on strategic communication, digital communications, and talent development.2008: Sampark Public Relations formed a strategic partnership with New York-headquartered Ketchum. This collaboration enabled Sampark to leverage Ketchum’s extensive global network while maintaining its strong local expertise.2014: Ketchum increased its stake in Ketchum Sampark, acquiring a majority interest in the firm.2013: Sixteen years after initially acquiring a 40% stake, Weber Shandwick, a global PR firm under the Interpublic Group (IPG), acquired the remaining 60% stake in Corporate Voice from MAA.2015: Cohn & Wolfe’s acquisition of 6 Degrees PR. This acquisition further illustrates the trend of international firms seeking growth through local partnerships.2016: Dentsu Aegis Network, a global media and communications company, acquired Perfect Relations Group. This acquisition strengthened Dentsu’s PR offerings in India.2018: WE Communication’s acquisition of Avian WE. This acquisition allowed WE Communications to strengthen its presence in the Indian market.2022: Marketing and communications agency Finn Partners acquired SPAG.2023: Havas, a global communications network, acquired Indian PR firm PR Pundit. This expanded Havas’ PR capabilities in India and marked the entry of Havas Red, Havas’ global PR network, into the Indian market. PR Pundit was rebranded as PR Pundit Havas Red.2023: Kaizzen secured an undisclosed funding from Maven Corporate Advisors in 2023. This investment has reportedly led to a shift in the company’s ownership structure.<img src='\3587bb7423d940bcc585637359875879.jpeg' class='content_image'>A double-edged swordThe recent acquisitions by international PR firms in India are a double-edged sword for the industry, presenting both opportunities and challenges, especially for mid-sized firms.The acquisition of Indian PR firms by international entities has been a consistent trend for over two decades, reflecting the long-standing recognition of India’s vibrant market potential, points out Vikram Kharvi, CEO, Bloomingdale PR.Despite this, Kharvi adds, the largest PR agency of India continues to be an independent Indian firm, showcasing the robustness of local expertise and the ability to cater to the unique nuances of the Indian market. He reckons that the influx of global players will further expand the PR landscape, bringing in advanced methodologies, global best practices, and a broader appreciation for strategic communications across various industries.“Maven Corporate Advisors’ recent investment in Kaizzen highlights an intriguing development: advisory firms are now valuing PR as a vital component of their service offerings. This move can be transformative for the industry, signaling a shift towards more integrated and comprehensive business solutions. For mid-sized firms like Kaizzen, this presents an opportunity to leverage additional resources, enhance their service portfolio, and compete more effectively on a larger scale,” says Vikram Kharvi.However, he adds, this also introduces challenges. Mid-sized firms must navigate increased competition from both established international giants and newly empowered local firms. Maintaining competitive differentiation will require a focus on deep local insights, agility, and the ability to deliver personalized, high-touch service. Additionally, these firms will need to invest in talent and technology to stay ahead in an increasingly sophisticated market.There is certainly no doubt that Indian PR firms’ acquisitions by foreign firms help bring global processes, perspectives, knowledge and expertise to the former, opines Rishi Seth, Founder and CEO, Evoc Communications.“Over a period of time, these advancements permeate through their peers including independent agencies as well, and end up raising the service delivery benchmarks for the entire PR industry. For independent mid-tier firms with adequate capital, perhaps a big opportunity lies in building world-class systems and processes through partnerships with academia and third-party consulting firms. This approach can help build some unique and differentiated capabilities that are necessary to compete effectively with the global network firms,” Rishi Seth adds.Acquisitions by global networks are hardly a new phenomenon in the Indian PR industry; we’ve been witnessing them for at least a couple of decades, says Ashraf Engineer, Head of Strategy, Ideosphere. Having said that, the fact that networks are still looking to invest in the Indian market shows how vital it is to the global PR industry.According to Engineer, these investments certainly impact the dynamics here because it means the further introduction of global best practices, more multinational clients extending their partnerships through the buyers to India, and it means more money for skills enhancement and exposure to international markets. It also means more jobs and geographies within India being serviced.“Just look at what acquisitions in India did for global giants like Publicis Groupe and WPP. At a time when global growth was slowing a few years ago, it was the Indian and Chinese agencies in their portfolio that kept the networks growing. Simultaneously, the firms these networks acquired grew from strength to strength. The acquisitions also facilitated and accelerated the shift towards digital and data. As far as investments in mid-sized firms are concerned, it’s what will fuel their evolution and expansion. As the Indian economy expands, marketing services – I regard the PR industry to be part of this sector – will play an increasingly vital role for brands. The demand for strategy formulation, messaging structures and outreach in the form of PR, advertising, below-the-line offerings and activation will only balloon. So, we need more sizable players in this space for the market to expand and evolve. The investments in small and mid-sized firms will fuel that,” he explains.The Indian PR landscape has been witnessing a surge in acquisitions by international firms, which has significantly impacted the industry’s dynamics, says Akshara Lalwani, Founder and CEO, Communicate India.According to her, these acquisitions present a mixed bag of opportunities and challenges, especially for mid-sized firms like Kaizzen, which recently secured funding from Maven Corporate Advisors.According to Lalwani, the opportunities include:Enhanced capabilities and global reach: With international firms bringing in advanced tools, global best practices, and a wider network, mid-sized firms can leverage these resources to enhance their capabilities and reach. This funding and the potential partnerships it brings can help firms like Kaizzen expand their service offerings and client base.Innovation and learning: International acquisitions often introduce new perspectives and innovative strategies. Mid-sized firms have the opportunity to learn from these global players, adopt new technologies, and stay ahead of industry trends.Market expansion: The influx of international firms underscores India's growing importance in the global PR market. This can attract more international clients to Indian PR firms, providing opportunities for growth and diversification.The entry of international PR firms through acquisitions is certainly impactful, says Kulpreet Freddy Vesuna, Founder & Managing Director, Impact Public Relations. The effect largely depends on the service packages these international firms introduce, he adds.“Indian clients typically seek comprehensive, cost-effective solutions. If these international firms can provide this balance, it could pose significant competition for local firms. That said, there is also a positive side. Indian PR firms are innovating and putting their best foot forward to drive change and evolve with the market. The industry will likely see consolidation, but it will remain dynamic, requiring Indian firms to stay agile and cautious. Ultimately, the presence of international firms could drive higher standards and push local firms to continuously improve and adapt, shaping a more robust and competitive PR landscape in India,” Kulpreet Freddy Vesuna says.(Tomorrow: Part 2 of the report will delve into how the entry of international PR firms through acquisitions is impacting independent and mid-sized PR firms in India. It will also explore how this consolidation wave is shaping the future of the Indian PR industry.)

Luxury magazine Tatler Asia ventures into Vietnam

Fashion and luxury lifestyle magazine Tatler Asia has announced that it will launch Tatler in Vietnam this August. This venture, through exclusive licensing partnership with House of MOCO, will see Tatler’s digital and print content available in Vietnamese, with digital content hosted on and new social media accounts specifically for Tatler Vietnam launching concurrently. The first print issue for Tatler Vietnam is scheduled for October 2024. Additionally, the company announced, Tatler’s renowned community and events portfolio will extend into Vietnam, with the Tatler Ball, Vietnam, set to debut in 2025.This partnership with House of MOCO underscores Tatler’s continuing expansion across Southeast Asia and promises to bring its award-winning content and event concepts to the vibrant Vietnamese market. Michel Lamunière, Chairman & CEO of Tatler Asia, said: “We are thrilled to launch Tatler in Vietnam, a country renowned for its vibrant culture. This expansion allows us to bring our innovative content and events to a discerning audience that values quality and exclusivity. Vietnam's dynamic economy and growing appetite for premium products make it an ideal destination for our continued growth."Leading the venture as Managing Director for Tatler in Vietnam is Hami Tran, a well-known name in the fashion industry with over a decade of experience in fashion, media, retail, marketing, e-commerce and education. Tran has previously launched Elle and L’Officiel magazines in Vietnam and has held positions at The Walt Disney Company, Gucci and CHANEL. “I am delighted to be bringing Tatler’s award-winning content and experiences to Vietnam and sharing impactful stories from Vietnam’s most influential communities. We are very much looking forward to connecting with luxury brand marketers and thought leaders who are looking to engage Vietnam’s thriving HNW and emerging affluent audience segments,” said Hami Tran, Managing Director, Tatler Vietnam.Tatler will hold roadshows throughout September in Vietnam to present the initiatives and content plan for 2024-2025. Stay tuned.

Asian PR agency COMPANION teams up with Andart Global for tourism powerhouse

Asian PR and communications agency COMPANION has announced a strategic partnership with Andart Global, a prominent Arabian Gulf advisory firm. This collaboration aims to create a tourism powerhouse, offering comprehensive services for businesses in the hospitality, cultural, and tourism sectors across Asia and the GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) region.COMPANION and Andart Global will combine their expertise to deliver impactful and cohesive strategies. The joint offerings will encompass a wide range of services, including public relations, marketing communications, strategic consulting, storytelling, event and content creation, and crisis support.Established in 2019, COMPANION boasts a senior-led approach to communications across Asia, specializing in travel, dining, and property industries. They currently operate offices in Hong Kong and Singapore, with teams dedicated to strategic PR, corporate communications, content development, and social media.Ben Baseley-Walker, Managing Partner, Andart Global, said: “At Andart Global, our frank, pragmatic, and nuanced counsel delivers workable solutions for clients who operate in complex environments. We are excited to be extending our reach into Asia with our partnership with COMPANION, which we feel offers us insight and relationship development in a region that has many similarities to the Arabian Gulf."Dominique Backhouse, Managing Director of COMPANION, said: “COMPANION believes first and foremost in a senior-led approach to communication strategies—we understand how local knowledge and a deep understanding of trends and nuances can help give clients an edge.”As a bespoke consultancy firm Andart Global works closely with governments, corporations, and high-profile individuals in the Arabian Gulf. Their expertise lies in tackling complex challenges related to strategy, reputation management, and communications.This partnership between COMPANION and Andart Global, effective today, July 15, 2024, signifies a significant step forward for tourism and hospitality businesses seeking growth and engagement opportunities across Asia and the GCC region.

Singapore Press Club unveils 2024 Journalism and PR awards winners

The Singapore Press Club celebrated its 53rd anniversary with a gala Press Ball on July 15, 2024, where seven awards were presented to rising stars and a sustainability champion in the media industry.Young PR Professionals Take Center StageThe Singapore Press Club Rising Stars Young PR Professional Awards, sponsored by Telum Media, recognized two outstanding young professionals:  Aginaya Mae Abbugao, Account Manager at The Hoffman Agency (Singapore)  Saeful Hakim, Senior Manager at RICE CommunicationsRising Journalists Impress with Impactful WorkThe Singapore Press Club Rising Stars - Young Journalist Awards highlighted the achievements of two dedicated journalists:  Hariz Baharudin, Indonesia Correspondent for The Straits Times, impressed with his coverage of the Indonesian presidential election's social media strategies.  Matthew Loh, Senior Breaking News Reporter at Business Insider, was recognized for his impactful breaking news reporting.Digital Storytelling Takes the SpotlightThe Singapore Press Club Rising Stars - Young Digital Journalist Awards acknowledged the creative talents of two individuals:  Gwyneth Cheng, Assistant Editor at Kontinentalist, was awarded for her captivating visual storytelling.  Wang Yuchen, Digital Designer at Chinese Media Group Newshub, SPH Media, received recognition for her stunning digital design work.Sustainability Reporting Champion HonouredThe CDL-Singapore Press Club Sustainability Journalism Award, sponsored by City Developments Limited (CDL), was presented to Jovi Ho, Assistant Editor at The Edge Singapore. Ho's consistent and insightful reporting on corporate sustainability practices, environmental, social, and governance (ESG) strategies, and the impact of sustainability on financial markets earned him this prestigious award.This recognition highlights the Singapore Press Club's commitment to fostering excellence and recognizing the valuable contributions of young media professionals and sustainability champions who are shaping the future of the media landscape.

Anna O'Young promoted as Director of PR & Marketing, APAC at INVNT Group

Anna O'Young has been promoted to Director of PR & Marketing for the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region at INVNT GROUP, a global brand storytelling agency. Based in Singapore, she will continue to work closely with the company’s teams in both Sydney and Singapore.Anna joined INVNT GROUP in August 2022 as Senior Marketing and PR Manager, APAC, bringing a wealth of experience from various international markets. Her career has spanned roles at organisations such as Rebel and Soul, Imagination, W Hong Kong, and NinthDecimal in New York City. Her appointment comes as INVNT GROUP continues to expand its presence and influence in the APAC region, notably through high-profile events like SXSW Sydney and partnerships with leading brands like Netflix and Ferrari.Her promotion aligns with INVNT GROUP’s ongoing efforts to enhance its PR and marketing strategies, especially in the dynamic and diverse markets of the Asia-Pacific region. The company is known for its innovative approach to experiential marketing, blending live, digital, and content-driven experiences to tell compelling brand stories?.

VelvetVoice PR launches new TV PR interviews for enhanced brand visibility

VelvetVoice PR, a public relations agency in the US, has announced the launch of its new TV PR Interview Services, designed to help brands achieve exceptional visibility and credibility through high-profile television appearances. This innovative service aims to connect clients with top TV networks and shows, ensuring their stories are broadcast to millions of viewers.With a focus on strategic media placement and expert interview coaching, VelvetVoice PR's new service is poised to redefine how brands engage with their audiences on television. The agency's team of experienced PR professionals leverages extensive media connections to secure coveted TV spots, enabling clients to reach a wider audience and establish themselves as industry thought leaders."We are thrilled to introduce our TV PR Interview Services," said Aidan Sowa, Founder and CEO of VelvetVoice PR. "Television remains one of the most powerful mediums for building brand recognition and trust. Our goal is to provide our clients with the opportunity to share their messages on influential TV platforms, driving impactful results and elevating their public profiles."Key Features:Strategic Media Placement: VelvetVoice PR identifies and secures TV interview opportunities on major networks and popular shows that align with clients' target audiences and business objectives.Expert Interview Coaching: The agency provides personalized coaching to help clients deliver compelling and confident TV interviews, ensuring they make a lasting impression on viewers.Comprehensive Media Training: Clients receive in-depth training on media best practices, including message development, effective communication techniques, and handling challenging questions.Customized Pitch Development: VelvetVoice PR crafts tailored pitches that highlight clients' unique value propositions, increasing the likelihood of securing TV appearances.Post-Interview Amplification: The agency maximizes the impact of TV interviews by promoting them across digital and social media channels, driving further engagement and visibility.Client Success StoriesVelvetVoice PR said in a release that it has already achieved significant success with its TV PR Interview Services, helping clients secure appearances on major networks such as CNN, CNBC, and ABC. These high-profile interviews have resulted in increased brand awareness, enhanced credibility, and significant business growth for the clients involved.(Image, by Michel Labatut from Pixabay, for representation purpose only)

Shagun Sharma of Teamology PR discusses leadership, and the Future of PR

Shagun Sharma is a key member of Teamology PR, a premier public relations and digital marketing firm. With a keen eye for detail and a strategic mindset, Sharma plays a pivotal role in crafting and executing effective communication strategies that elevate brand presence and drive engagement. Her expertise in media relations, content creation, and digital outreach has significantly contributed to the success of numerous high-profile campaigns.In conversation with Adgully, Shagun Sharma, Branding and Communication Head, Teamology PR, speaks about the evolving landscape of public relations and digital marketing, the importance of strategic communication in building brand reputation, and the impact of digital media in today’s business environment. She shares insights on how businesses can leverage PR to achieve their goals, navigate media relations, and create compelling content that resonates with their target audience.What motivated you to pursue a career in PR, and how did you initially break into the industry?I was always fascinated with the work that PR agencies do in terms of branding and reputation management. I joined Teamology because of their positive work culture, opportunities for growth and learning, and their openness to fresh ideas. This environment gives me the freedom to learn, make mistakes, and grow both personally and professionally.How do you approach leadership and mentorship within your teams, and what qualities do you believe are essential for effective leadership in corporate communications?Leadership is more than just guidance; it’s a way of thinking, learning, and, most importantly, communicating. At Teamology, I approach leadership by fostering an environment of collaboration and open dialogue. I believe that effective leadership in corporate communications requires empathy, transparency, and the ability to inspire and motivate the team. By encouraging team members to share their ideas and take risks, we promote creativity and innovation. Mentorship is about nurturing talent and providing the support needed for growth. I strive to lead by example, demonstrating a commitment to continuous learning and adaptability in an ever-evolving industry.Could you describe a pivotal moment or project in your career that significantly contributed to your growth and success in the field of branding and communication strategy?The fact that we have served more than 5,000 startups and brands to date gives me immense pleasure. Helping these small-scale businesses gain the visibility they deserve has been life-changing. This project not only highlighted the impact of inclusive and innovative strategies, but also reinforced my vision of supporting entrepreneurs and emerging startups. Seeing the tangible results of our work, such as increased brand recognition and business growth for our clients, has been incredibly rewarding and has significantly contributed to my professional development and success in branding and communication strategy.Looking ahead, where do you see yourself and your career in the next five years, and what new goals or aspirations do you have for your professional journey?In the next five years, I see myself continuing to grow within Teamology, taking on more leadership responsibilities and contributing to the digital revolution in PR. I aspire to spearhead initiatives that further democratise access to PR services and enhance our technological capabilities. My goal is to drive significant industry changes and ensure Teamology remains at the forefront of innovation.What are some of the biggest challenges that you have faced in your role, and how have you navigated these complexities to achieve successful outcomes?Challenges in terms of technological shifts are significant, as technology evolves rapidly with new trends emerging daily. To stay ahead of the competition, we have a team of professionals constantly working to achieve desired results. Teamology, being a leading PR tech firm, provides the necessary resources and support, enabling us to navigate these complexities and deliver exceptional services to our clients.How do you stay updated with the latest trends and innovations in branding, content creation, and media planning to ensure your strategies remain relevant and impactful?To stay updated with the latest trends and innovations, I engage in continuous learning and professional development. This includes attending industry conferences, participating in webinars, and conducting research on ongoing trends in the industry. I also actively network with other professionals to exchange insights and ideas. By staying informed, I can provide brands with the best PR guidance they need to build a successful brand and create an impact among audiences. This commitment to staying current ensures that I will keep on learning to ensure seamless communications and positive outcomes for our clients at Teamology.

Media Corridors to drive PR campaigns for Ergospace

Media Corridors, a PR & online reputation management agency, has announced its appointment by Ergospace, a pioneering leader in ergonomic office solutions, as its communications and public relations partner in India. This strategic collaboration aims to elevate Ergospace’s brand visibility and fortify its position within the innovative ergonomic solutions market.Ergospace has been at the forefront of transforming workplaces with cutting-edge ergonomic furniture designed to enhance comfort, productivity, and overall well-being. Ergonomic furniture refers to office products that are designed to provide optimal support for the human body, reducing strain and discomfort during prolonged use. These products include adjustable chairs, sit-stand desks, and supportive accessories that adapt to various work environments and individual needs.“We are thrilled to join forces with Media Corridors, a team that truly understands our vision and possesses the expertise to elevate our brand story,” said Mr. Prashant Garg, Founder of Ergospace. “Their strategic insights and impressive track record in the PR industry make them the ideal partner as we continue to expand and innovate in the ergonomic solutions sector.”“We are delighted to welcome Ergospace to our portfolio and are committed to delivering impactful PR campaigns that drive brand awareness and engagement,” said Ms. Ayushi Arora Gulyani, Founder & CEO of Media Corridors. “Ergospace’s commitment to innovation and quality aligns seamlessly with our objective of promoting brands that make a significant impact in their industries. We are excited to contribute to their growth and success.”Through this partnership, Media Corridors and Ergospace aim to build a robust and positive brand presence that attracts new clients while fostering a sense of community among existing customers. Both companies are enthusiastic about the opportunities this collaboration presents and are dedicated to achieving outstanding results.

Bacchus Agency expands VIP and partnerships division

London-headquartered Bacchus Agency, an independent, female-founded creative communications & digital marketing agency with offices in New York, Miami and Dubai, has announced the expansion of its VIP and Partnerships division. Bacchus has done this through the addition of a new Head of VIP, Drew Naylor, to further enhance personalised talent services and strategic collaborations. This demonstrates Bacchus's commitment to providing unparalleled experiences for its clients, as well as forging impactful partnerships within the industry.Naylor brings a wealth of knowledge and a proven history of success to Bacchus, having previously worked at luxury fashion house John Smedley where he served as Global Head of VIP, and in various agencies as Head of VIP for brands including The Crown Estate and The Royal Exchange, and LVMH (Veuve Clicquot and Dom Perignon) where he curated exclusive VIP experiences and fostered valuable partnerships.“Our VIP and Partnerships division is going through a period of growth, with this being an ever increasing requirement across our global offices. Although we have always offered this service, we’ve now consolidated the team to be spearheaded by Drew, whose expertise and passion for cultivating exceptional talent experiences aligns perfectly with Bacchus’s ethos," said Anouschka Menzies, Co-Founder of Bacchus Agency. Supporting Naylor, in the GCC is Mary-Joe Srouji who will head up all partnerships and influencer activity across the region. Srouji brings a wealth of experience in influencer relations and partnerships, specialising in the dynamic markets of Dubai and KSA. She has successfully forged and managed high-impact collaborations with top talents, brands, and organisations, building a network of A-list celebrities and a diverse portfolio of influencers. Her experience includes managing influencer relations for esteemed clients such as Estee Lauder Companies, Bayer, and the Saudi Sports for All Federation. Notably, she led the influencer and VIP scope for two key clients at LEAP KSA, the world's most attended tech event. 0Most recently, the Bacchus VIP division attended the 77th Cannes Film Festival and Monaco Grand Prix to support RH’s presence and existing client Lucia Cannes. The RH THREE yacht saw celebrity attendance from supermodels Amelia Gray, Candace Swanepoel, Shanina Shaik and Romée Strijd. The post-premier after-party of ‘Oh Canada’ with Richard Gere, Uma Thurman and Jacob Elordi took place at Lucia Cannes.  Previous successful partnerships have included a Naomi Campbell performing her first ever DJ set in collaboration with Perrier-Jouët, Jack Whitehall fronting a campaign for Ketel One and charity The Felix Project, the late Iris Apfel promoting glassware for Nude, and Deliciously Ella’s takeover of British Land’s Broadgate Circle. The VIP division also hosted a celebration of Supriya Lele’s AW24 LFW show at Manzi’s, in partnership with Katie Grand, and supported the openings of One&Only Hotel Group’s high-profile openings in Dubai and Athens.  The VIP and Partnerships division will continue to focus on providing bespoke services tailored to the unique needs of high-profile individuals, celebrities, and luxury brands. Services offered will include talent strategy and procurement, campaign management, VIP event guest list, brand seeding to VIPs. Services will also include community building across industries such as music, fashion and film as well as influencer collaborations, red carpet management, ambassador programmes, and exclusive access to Bacchus Agency's extensive network of partners and resources. Bacchus has offices in key locations including London, New York, Miami and the GCC with a global reach and a track record of dynamically executing projects on an international scale.

W Communications goes employee-owned, eyes global expansion

London-based independent PR agency W Communications has taken a unique step towards its future by selling a majority stake to its employees through a government-backed Employee Ownership Trust (EOT). This move fuels the agency's ambition for further global expansion.Financial details are under wraps, but industry estimates value the fast-growing firm at around £40 million. W boasts impressive revenue, exceeding £16 million in 2023, with established operations in London, New York, Singapore, and Riyadh."As one of the most sought-after independent PR agencies, I have received many offers to buy this business. I only wanted to pursue a sale if it meant enabling the agency to unlock another level of value to ensure my W colleagues benefited in the long term. The option of an EOT was clearly the best way to benefit all parties and set the foundation for another 15 years of growth," said founder and CEO Warren Johnson.This new ownership model fosters direct employee participation and a stronger voice in shaping the agency's direction. Additionally, staff can enjoy tax-free bonuses of up to £3,600.Johnson, W's mastermind for 15 years, remains at the helm as CEO, collaborating with the agency's senior leadership team. W will stay committed to strategic mergers and acquisitions, following successful acquisitions like Lotus and Franses. Additionally, W Capital, their internal incubator, will continue to nurture businesses in hospitality, digital retail, and sustainability.The agency's expansion plans target the broader GCC region beyond Riyadh, as well as solidifying their presence in North America and Southeast Asia.W's impressive client list encompasses consumer brands, tech giants, and corporate leaders like Unilever, Sony, Disney, Spotify, Adidas, Chanel, Speedo, Tinder, Nobu, British Airways, and Levi's.

Sreedhanya Shanmughan named VP of Communications, DEI & CSR at AXA

Sreedhanya Shanmughan has been appointed as Vice President & Lead for Communications, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI), and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) at AXA. In her new role, Shanmughan will focus on building an employer brand for AXA GBS in India and Morocco and enhancing communication strategies to elevate employee experience. Additionally, she will drive change management communication for key strategic projects and serve as an advisor to business leadership during their transformation journey.Shanmughan's responsibilities will also include leading DEI and CSR initiatives in alignment with AXA Group Strategy to uphold the company's purpose of acting for human progress. Expressing her enthusiasm for the role, she thanked Michele and Isabelle for their sponsorship, leadership, and trust. Shanmughan looks forward to contributing to an environment that values trust, transparency, and performance while exploring new opportunities for growth.Previously, Shanmughan was Vice President, Head of Corporate Brand, Communications, and Marketing at Mindsprint. In that capacity, she established the foundations for the brand's growth, transitioning it from a GCC of Olam to an independent third-party technology services provider. Her role encompassed customer communication, brand awareness, industry relationships, media relations, marketing and events, internal communication, and executive communication.With over 18 years of experience in corporate communications, branding, marketing, and leadership communications, Shanmughan is an alumna of the Indian Institute of Journalism and New Media, Bangalore. She has worked with several Fortune 50 companies, helping to establish their brand presence through integrated communications strategies.

Fostering creativity in PR: Balancing innovation and client expectations

Authored by Neha Gour, President , PR24x7In the dynamic and fast-paced world of public relations (PR), creativity and innovation are not just advantageous—they are essential. PR professionals are expected to think outside the box, crafting unique strategies that will help their clients’ brands stand out in a crowded marketplace. However, this creative process can be stifled by undue pressure, leading to outcomes that are less than ideal. Striking the right balance between innovation and client expectations is crucial for the success of any PR campaign. This article explores how PR professionals can foster creativity, manage pressure, and build strong partnerships with their clients.The Essence of Creativity in PRThinking Outside the BoxCreativity is the driving force of PR. It is what allows professionals to develop compelling narratives, build unique campaigns, and execute strategies that capture the Audience attention. Whether it’s a viral social media campaign, a informative press release, or an innovative event, creativity is what makes a PR campaign memorable and effective.For instance, consider the "Share a Coke" campaign by Coca-Cola. By replacing the brand's logo with popular names on bottles, Coca-Cola created a personalized experience for consumers, encouraging them to share their own stories and photos. This campaign not only increased sales but also boosted brand engagement and loyalty.The Impact of PressureWhile creativity is crucial, it thrives best in an environment free from excessive pressure. When professionals are overwhelmed with stress, their ability to think fruitful can be significantly hindered. This can lead to uninspired ideas, missed opportunities, and even negative outcomes for clients.Research has shown that high levels of stress can impair cognitive function, making it difficult for individuals to generate creative ideas and solutions. In the PR industry, where the stakes are often high and deadlines are tight, finding ways to manage and mitigate stress is essential.Building Strong Client PartnershipsUnderstanding Client NeedsOne of the most important aspects of successful PR work is understanding the client’s needs and aspirations. This requires more than just listening to what the client says; it involves digging deeper to uncover their true goals, challenges, and opportunities.For example, when PR professionals work with a startup, they need to understand the company's vision, target audience, and competitive landscape. By doing so, they can develop strategies that align with the startup's objectives and help them achieve their growth targets.The Symbiotic RelationshipWhen PR professionals and clients work together collaboratively, they can form a symbiotic relationship that enhances the brand’s image and reputation. This partnership approach allows for a more holistic view of the brand’s journey, enabling the PR team to craft strategies that are both impactful and aligned with the client’s goals.Take the collaboration between Airbnb and its PR team, for example. When the company faced regulatory challenges and public skepticism, the PR team worked closely with Airbnb to develop a strategy that highlighted the positive economic impact of home-sharing on local communities. This not only helped improve public perception but also supported the company's regulatory efforts.Strategies for Balancing Creativity and PressureCreating a Supportive Work EnvironmentTo foster creativity, PR agencies need to create a supportive work environment that encourages innovation and minimizes stress. This can involve providing employees with the resources they need, promoting a healthy work-life balance, and encouraging open communication and collaboration.For instance, Google is known for its supportive work environment that fosters creativity and innovation. The company offers flexible work hours, numerous employee wellness programs, and an open office layout that encourages collaboration. These initiatives have helped Google maintain its reputation as one of the most innovative companies in the world.Setting Realistic ExpectationsManaging client expectations is another crucial aspect of balancing creativity and pressure. PR professionals need to set realistic timelines and deliverables, ensuring that both parties are on the same page from the outset. This can help prevent last-minute rushes and reduce the stress associated with tight deadlines.Encouraging CollaborationCollaboration is key to fostering creativity and managing pressure. When PR professionals work together, they can share ideas, provide feedback, and support each other through challenging tasks. This collaborative approach can lead to more innovative solutions and a more cohesive team dynamic.For example, the PR team behind the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge worked collaboratively to create a viral campaign that raised awareness and funds for ALS research. By encouraging participants to film themselves dumping ice water over their heads and challenging others to do the same, the team created a movement that spread rapidly across social media, raising millions of dollars for the cause.The Role of TechnologyLeveraging Digital ToolsTechnology can play a significant role in enhancing creativity and managing pressure in PR. Digital tools such as social media analytics, content management systems, and project management software can streamline processes, provide valuable insights, and facilitate communication.Staying Updated with TrendsThe PR industry is constantly evolving, with new trends and technologies emerging regularly. Staying updated with these trends can help PR professionals remain innovative and competitive. This can involve attending industry conferences, participating in webinars, and following relevant publications and thought leaders.For example, the rise of influencer marketing has transformed the PR landscape. By partnering with social media influencers, brands can reach new audiences and build credibility in a way that traditional advertising cannot. PR professionals who stay ahead of this trend can leverage it to create impactful campaigns for their clients.At the end would like to say that balancing creativity and pressure in public relations is essential for delivering successful campaigns and building strong client partnerships. By fostering a supportive work environment, setting realistic expectations, encouraging collaboration, and leveraging technology, PR professionals can enhance their creative output and manage stress effectively.Ultimately, the key to success in PR lies in the partnership approach. When PR professionals and clients work together as partners, they can achieve remarkable results, proving themselves invaluable assets to each other. By fostering a culture of creativity and collaboration, the PR industry can continue to innovate and drive excellence in brand enhancement.

Edelman Singapore appoints Daniel Ko as Executive Creative Director

Edelman Singapore has announced the appointment of Daniel Ko as its new Executive Creative Director. Ko will join the leadership team under CEO Julia Wei and will be a part of Edelman’s regional creative community led by APAC Chief Creative Officer Tim Green.In his new role, Ko will leverage his extensive expertise to enhance Edelman’s brand of earned creative value for a diverse client portfolio. His career highlights a unique blend of storytelling, branding, and business transformation, which are vital in today's environment where earning and maintaining trust is critical.Said Tim Green: “We are thrilled to welcome him aboard Edelman as we forge ahead to unlock the power of earned creativity to change the world. Ko’s impressive creative career involves a unique blend of storytelling, story-doing, branding and business transformation – all skills critical in an era of ‘trust in crisis', when attention alone isn’t enough to mobilise audiences.."“I am thrilled to join Edelman Singapore to contribute to its continued innovation and growth. Edelman has consistently pushed the boundaries of creative excellence and set new standards for earned creative. I look forward to joining this talented community to craft compelling, transformative and effective programmes that help our clients win with their audiences," said Ko. Before joining Edelman, Ko was the Creative Director at Accenture Song for two years, where he led campaigns addressing business challenges through integrated solutions, including advertising, branding, digital, PR, marketing strategy, and innovation. His previous roles include Group Creative Director at 72andSunny, Creative Director at The Secret Little Agency, and Creative Group Head at iris Worldwide. Ko has also held significant positions at agencies such as BBH Asia-Pacific, DDB Singapore, Publicis Singapore, Lowe Asia-Pacific, and Crush Advertising.Throughout his career, Ko has worked with major brands such as Income, Google, POSB, DBS, Heineken, Tiger Beer, GIC, and the Health Promotion Board.In other news, Edelman recently named Nia Pratiwi as Managing Director for its Indonesia operations in March. Reporting to Mazuin Zin, CEO of Edelman Malaysia and SEA Regional Advisor, Pratiwi will collaborate with clients to evolve, promote, and protect their organizational and brand reputations amid increasingly challenging times .

Qoala names Audrey Wijaya as PR & Communications Lead in Indonesia

Insurtech company Qoala has appointed Audrey Wijaya as the new PR & Communications Lead in Indonesia. Wijaya brings nearly a decade of communications experience to her new role, having previously worked at prominent companies such as Bosch Indonesia, Porsche, Gojek, and most recently, Giladiskon.In her new position at Qoala, Wijaya will be responsible for shaping and executing the company’s PR and communication strategies, enhancing brand visibility, and fostering stakeholder engagement across Indonesia. Her extensive background in the communications field is expected to significantly contribute to Qoala’s mission of revolutionizing the insurance industry through technology and innovation.This appointment comes as Qoala continues to expand its footprint in the Indonesian market, aiming to offer innovative insurance solutions and improve financial inclusivity across the region.

Aadhar Housing Finance chooses SGA PR for integrated communications

The country’s largest low-income housing finance company (HFC), Aadhar Housing Finance Limited (AHFL) has selected SGA PR, India’s fastest growing mid-size communications consultancy, as its integrated communications partner. SGA PR won the mandate in a multi-agency pitch, which saw participation from leading PR agencies in the country. SGA PR will work with AHFL to build a comprehensive programme across brand communications, media relations, capital market PR and digital assets.AHFL is committed to making the dream of home ownership come true for low and middle-income segment. The HFC with the largest AUM in the sector aims to strengthen its market position by building a deep connection with its customers, engaging them through a personalized approach to storytelling and creating brand experiences at touchpoints that are relatable to the community. The goal requires AHFL to win the trust of its customers in an extremely competitive market of home loans which has the entire spectrum of national and regional players. SGA PR’s unique proposition to capture the heart and mind of the customers in every aspect of lives through bespoke experiences stood out as the winning idea. Rishi Anand, Managing Director & CEO, AHFL said, “With the government sharpening its focus on schemes such as Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana, AHFL as the largest player in the category foresees a tremendous opportunity to enable India’s mission of ‘Housing for All.’  We have found a great partner in SGA PR, with their unique and fresh approach to engage our stakeholders. The team has an innovative thought process, brings deep in-house expertise, and displays an unparalleled enthusiasm to collaborate with us.”Rahul Jain & Sudhir Shetty, Partners & Jt. CEOs, SGA PR, shared, “Having the faith of the largest player in the low-income housing finance segment is yet another validation of SGA PR’s unique application of PR to achieve business goals instead of only plain vanilla solutions that are ‘coverage driven.’ We are confident that our collective expertise in BSFI domain, combined with our intelligent consulting and outcome-oriented approach will enable AHFL to affirm its position as market leaders.” With this win, SGA PR further strengthens its BSFI portfolio that now consists of well-known NBFCs, mutual fund houses, listed and unlisted fintechs. SGA PR also works with traditional and new economy brands across industries. SGA PR is part of the 14-year-old communications group, Strategic Growth Advisors (SGA), which also houses India’s largest Investor Relations firm, the country’s second largest Corporate Reporting business and a fast-growing Brand & Design vertical.

Coda Payments promotes Liz Adam to Sr Director of Communications

Coda Payments has promoted Liz Adam to the role of Senior Director of Communications, Global. Based in Singapore, Liz will lead the communications team across all verticals, encompassing corporate affairs, crisis management, consumer engagement, and more for the fintech business.Liz Adam brings a wealth of experience from her previous roles in-house, consultancy, and the legal sector. Her promotion reflects her significant contributions and the strategic importance of communications within the company as it continues to expand its global footprint.Coda Payments is a leading provider of secure payment solutions for digital products and services, operating in numerous markets worldwide. Under Liz’s leadership, the communications team is set to drive the company’s narrative forward, ensuring effective and cohesive messaging across its diverse operations.

Client Associates and Kaizzen team up for financial awareness in non-metro areas

Client Associates (CA), India's premier Multi Family Office and Private Wealth Management firm, headquartered in Gurgaon, has onboarded Kaizzen to amplify financial awareness in Tier 2 cities across India. Over the past 22 years, CA has established a significant presence in major metropolitan cities, including Gurugram, Mumbai, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Chennai, Bengaluru, Patna, Kochi, and Ahmedabad. This partnership signifies a joint commitment to fortify the brand's presence through strategic communications support and corporate reputation management, which will enhance both brand and spokesperson visibility. By leveraging Kaizzen's expertise, CA aims to expand its reach and impact in Tier 2 cities, ensuring more individuals and families benefit from informed wealth management practices.Through a series of exclusive knowledge sessions, CA will address topics pertinent to High-Net-Worth Individuals (HNIs) and Ultra High Net Worth Individuals (UHNIs) families, including Estate Planning, Immigration, Tax, Alternate Investments, Private Wealth Management, Alternate Investments and more. These initiatives are designed to ensure that HNIs and UHNIs are well-informed and financially savvy. In recent years, CA has partnered with many leading industry bodies dealing with HNIs and UHNIs, conducting Client Engagement Programs (CEP) and webinars. These efforts have helped families gain valuable insights into wealth management, estate planning, and investment strategies, thereby enhancing their financial well-being.Amit Chauhan, Associate VP – Marketing & PR, Client Associates stated, " "With the growing number of HNIs and UHNIs in Tier 2 cities, there lies a tremendous opportunity to enhance financial awareness and literacy. Client Associates (CA) is a one-stop platform for the financial needs of HNIs and UHNIs. With a 22-year legacy of handling over 1100+ families, our expertise in wealth preservation and creation should be accessible to individuals across all regions of India.”“CA is committed to creating experiences that are not only engaging but also memorable for our clients. We believe that financial education should go beyond mere information dissemination; it should involve interactive and immersive experiences that resonate on a personal level. By combining data-driven insights with personalized interactions, we ensure our clients not only understand their financial options but also feel deeply connected to their financial strategies. This approach empowers our clients to make informed decisions and builds long-term trust and loyalty. With this partnership with Kaizzen, we aim to achieve this goal and extend our reach to these emerging markets." – Chauhan added.Vineet Handa, Founder and CEO of Kaizzen, added, "We are incredibly excited for this partnership and look forward to the execution of innovative and high-impact communication strategies. Over the past sixteen years, Kaizzen has catered to the BFSI segment and established itself in the segment. The current mandate will help build our strengths in this vertical even further.” By combining their strengths, Client Associates and Kaizzen are poised to make a substantial impact on financial awareness and spread awareness across India.

Weber Shandwick promotes Harsh Sinha to Director of Media Relations

Weber Shandwick has promoted Harsh Sinha to the position of Director of Media Relations. Sinha has been associated with Weber Shandwick for over 14 years, having joined the firm as a Senior Manager. He announced his promotion on LinkedIn.Prior to joining Weber Shandwick, Sinha worked as a Senior Associate in Client Servicing and Media Relations at Sampark Public Relations Pvt. Ltd. for over two years.

TSLA expands PR arm with enhanced services

The Secret Little Agency (TSLA), a Singapore-based independent creative agency, has expanded its experiential and advocacy arm, PPurpose, to include comprehensive PR services. These new offerings encompass media outreach, communications strategies, PR, crisis communications, event management, and more. Founded in 2016, PPurpose has managed projects for clients like Netflix and Hugo Boss. The expansion aims to lead with creativity and cultural impact, emphasizing authentic storytelling and long-term brand narratives. New hires and promotions have been made to support this growth, including roles in business development, production, and PR leadership.

Hurtigruten Group names Christina Koullas as APAC PR & Communications Manager

Norwegian adventure travel group Hurtigruten Group has announced the appointment of Christina Koullas as the new PR & Communications Manager for the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region. Based in their Melbourne office, Koullas will oversee communications for the company's two brands, Hurtigruten and Hurtigruten Expeditions.Koullas brings over two decades of experience in travel, lifestyle, and event communications to her new role. Her extensive background includes running her own PR agency, CK PR, for 13 and a half years, as well as holding significant positions at Callie Rose Communications, Melbourne Convention Bureau, and Spirit of Tasmania.Christina’s expertise in public relations and communications will be instrumental in enhancing Hurtigruten Group’s presence in the APAC market. Her appointment underscores the company’s commitment to expanding its reach and strengthening its brand in the region.

Steering Through the Storm: Can AI assist?

Authored by Shivaram Lakshminarayan, COO, Ruder Finn IndiaIn the age of instant information, crises can erupt and spread like wildfire. While speed will always be a critical denominator, evaluating all possible scenarios, its impact and outcomes cannot be ignored. A single misstep, a misinterpreted tweet, or a product malfunction can trigger a PR nightmare with lasting consequences for the brand and its customers. In this high-stakes environment, effective crisis communication is no longer a luxury—it's a necessity.Traditionally, crisis communications relied on carefully drafted press statements, well-orchestrated conferences, and television interviews to control the narrative and minimize negative publicity. This deliberate and controlled approach allowed organizations to prepare detailed statements and ensure accurate representation through direct outreach to journalists.In today’s data-driven world, AI enabled algorithms enable corporates to predict audience sentiments, their triggers and preempt any possible fallouts, which is particularly useful for identifying gaps before they become full-blown crises. AI has become a very useful tool for navigating crises enabling organizations to craft targeted messages, optimize response strategies, and mitigate damage effectively.The Power of Real-Time Data in Gauging Public SentimentIn any crisis, time is of the essence. Those of us in corporate communications and reputation management must always stay prepared. At all times. For anything. And we must be truthful and authentic in our narrative. Trying to "spin" the story for journalists, industry stakeholders, community leaders, or elected officials in the face of tragedies is futile.The advent of social media has transformed crisis communication. Organizations must now respond quickly and transparently to address issues and engage with stakeholders online. Managing real-time conversations and rapidly spreading information demands proactive and responsive communication efforts.Given the scenario, one of the most significant advantages of analytics in crisis communication lies in its ability to provide real-time insights into public sentiment. Social media platforms have become the primary battleground for crisis narratives.Tools like social media listening platforms allow organizations to monitor conversations, identify emerging trends, and understand how the public perceives the crisis. For instance, during a recent product recall, a company used social media analytics to identify a prominent blogger who was spreading misinformation. By promptly reaching out and providing accurate information, the company was able to prevent the misinformation from gaining traction and minimize potential damage.Crisis Prediction: Moving Beyond Reactive ResponsesCrisis communication has traditionally been reactive, but analytics enables a proactive approach. Predictive analytics analyze historical data to identify patterns signaling potential crises and enhance preparedness by examining past crises, customer sentiment, and weather patterns, allowing organizations to build early warning systems.In addition, analytics aids resource allocation by identifying likely needed resources, ensuring their availability. This proactive approach minimizes delays and streamlines crisis response. It can further help simulate crisis scenarios and test communication strategies, allowing organizations to refine messaging and identify weaknesses before a real crisis occurs.Moreover, a one-size-fits-all approach to crisis communication rarely works. Analytics empowers organizations to tailor their messages to the needs and concerns of specific demographics, transforming data into meaningful insights.Measuring the Impact: Learning from ExperienceAnalyzing past product failures, customer complaints, and market trends can help predict future issues that might lead to a crisis. Regular data analysis on a monthly, quarterly, or yearly basis reveals patterns and highlights significant coverage.While daily media coverage assessment can spot notable mentions, it can also lead to information overload and hinder PR teams. Stepping back to view long-term data helps identify the most important trends. For example, a social media spike may seem significant, but closer analysis might reveal it originates from a single, insignificant source. This detailed examination helps pinpoint truly important and actionable information.Analytics tools like SONAR are revolutionizing risk management. Now in its fifth iteration, our AI-powered SONAR platform simulates hyper-realistic crisis situations, enabling clients to test their preparedness. With interactive features, it identifies areas of concern for pre-emptive planning and proposes practical solutions. Multi-lingual, SONAR can simulate scenarios for single markets or global teams of up to 100 people, enhancing crisis planning effectiveness. The platform empowers organizations to identify planning gaps and propose practical, workable, real-world solutions and mitigate risks and respond swiftly.??The Way ForwardIn today’s fast-paced world, where crises can escalate in moments, analytics is indispensable. From early detection and real-time monitoring to data-driven decision-making, targeted messaging, and post-crisis evaluation, analytics provides the necessary tools to navigate perceptions and to protect reputation. Organizations leveraging analytics can better manage crises, customer experiences and emerge stronger. As technology evolves, analytics will play an even more integral role, driving innovation and better preparedness for the future.

Ashbury Communications and REKT Partners merge for integrated client services

Ashbury Communications and REKT Partners have joined forces to provide clients with a more comprehensive suite of services. This collaboration is formalized through a signed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU).Ashbury, known for their expertise in financial sector content creation and media relations, will combine their strengths with REKT Partners' focus on reputation management and crisis communication. This alliance allows them to address a wider range of client requirements. The MoU strengthens their existing cooperation and paves the way for a more integrated service offering.wo firms to deliver an integrated service to clients.Adam Harper, Founder and Managing Partner of Ashbury, said: “It’s been a privilege to work with George and his team over the past three years and I’m delighted to be strengthening our relationship through this partnership. George’s deep experience in reputation and crisis management are a valuable resource for our clients and I look forward to working even more closely with REKT Partners to help our clients navigate the risks that they face.”“We believe there’s incredible strength in the model of best-in-class independent consultancies collaborating to expand client services. Our official partnership is a natural progression in our work together, and means we can provide an ever more seamless offer for clients with broader expertise. In the early days of REKT Partners, Ashbury was the very first consultancy we worked with, so we’re confident that we’re building on firm foundations,” said George Godsal, Founder and Managing Director, REKT Partners.

Pocket FM partners with One Source for PR mandate

Integrated marketing consultancy, One Source, today announced its partnership with the leading audio series platform Pocket FM for its public relations mandate. One Source will spearhead and build comprehensive communication strategies for Pocket FM across creative storytelling, and bring to life Pocket FM’s exciting growth journey and leadership in the audio entertainment space.   With a presence spanning India, USA and few other international markets, Pocket FM boasts a global community of 130 million listeners. For One Source, the mandate will be spearheaded by lead counsel on the account, Harsh Raj and his team, reporting into Co-Lead for Corporate Communication, Debaman Guin.Regarding the partnership, Rahul Nag, Director - Communications and Partnerships, Pocket FM, said “One Source impressed us with their focus on driving business impact and their commitment to partnering with brands. As we pioneered a new entertainment category globally with audio series, it was crucial to find partners who share our vision and align with our strategic approach. One Source proved to be the perfect fit, understanding our goals and aligning seamlessly with our strategy.”.Sandeep Rao, Co–founder and Co-Chief Executive Officer, One Source commented on the win, “This collaboration is a testament to the business impact work we have delivered with partners across the globe. Our focus as a consultancy has always been on growing our partners’ businesses, thereon growing ours. We are excited to collaborate with Pocket FM in the next phase of our mutual growth and build a category which is poised to disrupt the future of global entertainment”.One Source has offices in New Delhi, Mumbai, and Bengaluru which service Indian and global market leaders across start-ups, BFSI, fintech, edtech, construction, e-commerce, fast fashion, manufacturing, packaging, business consulting, ICT, foodtech and more. Over the last seven years, the consultancy has seen consistent 100+% growth across partners and people, beating average industry appraisals along the way at 27% YoY.

CPRA unveils Australia's longest-running PR industry awards

The Communication and Public Relations Australia (CPRA) has unveiled details for the 2024 Golden Target Awards, Australia's longest-running and prestigious programme recognizing excellence in the communications and PR industry. This year's edition boasts exciting new features designed to celebrate a wider range of achievements.Elevated Recognition: Previously focusing on national and state awards, the 2024 program streamlines the competition into a single national programme. Agencies, teams, and individuals will now compete for top honors across five categories: Campaign, Agency, Education, Team, and Individual. This revamped structure ensures a more leveled playing field and allows for broader recognition across the country.Deeper Dive into Impact: Reflecting the growing importance of long-term communication strategies, the CPRA introduces a new "Sustained Campaign" category. This addition acknowledges ongoing campaigns that have demonstrated consistent effectiveness over an extended period. Additionally, recognizing the unique challenges faced by non-profit and pro bono projects, the CPRA has separated these categories, allowing for dedicated recognition of their impact.Strengthened Leadership: Leading the judging panel is the highly respected industry icon Jackie Crossman. Joining her this year as Deputy Judge is Amanda Little, a seasoned communications professional. This combined expertise ensures a rigorous and insightful judging process.Key Dates: Aspiring participants should mark their calendars. Early-bird entries close on Friday, July 19th, 2024. The shortlist of finalists will be announced on September 25th, followed by the much-awaited National Awards Night on October 30th at the esteemed ICC Sydney venue.The revamped Golden Target Awards offer a compelling platform for communications and PR professionals to showcase their exceptional work and gain national recognition for their contributions to the industry.

Kaizzen secures funding, eyes growth in booming Indian PR market

Leading Indian PR firm Kaizzen, known for its integrated communications approach, has secured funding from Maven Corporate Advisors in 2023. This investment has led to a shift in the company's ownership structure, with Maven acquiring a majority stake, according to sources. Vineet Handa, founder and managing director of Kaizzen, retains a significant share and remains at the helm, with no plans for his departure. Notably, Puja Handa has stepped down as director, while new board members Karan Singh Surjit and Krupa Dashsathbhai Limbachiya have been appointed. While the specific nature of Maven's involvement beyond financial backing remains unclear, sources indicate the investment is aimed at fueling Kaizzen's ambitious growth plans.Kaizzen has set its sights on doubling its turnover in the 2023-2024 fiscal year compared to the previous year, aiming to reach a target of ?50 crores. The secured funds will be strategically deployed to expand its service offerings in key areas like government relations and investor relations. Additionally, the company plans to leverage the investment to establish a presence in Dubai, further solidifying its regional footprint.Kaizzen's funding announcement comes amidst a significant period of consolidation within the Indian PR landscape. Over the past two decades, the liberalization of the Indian economy has seen a steady influx of international PR firms seeking a foothold, either through independent ventures or acquisitions of local players. Examples include Burson Marsteller's acquisition of Genesis PR in 2005, MSL's purchase of Hanmer and Partners in 2007, Cohn & Wolfe's acquisition of 6 Degrees PR in 2015, and WE Communication's acquisition of Avian WE in 2018. Notably, Edelman also acquired a 50% stake in R&PM, led by Roger Pereira, in 2005.India presents a unique scenario in the global PR market. Adfactors PR, an independent firm, stands out as the undisputed leader in terms of size. This independence stands in contrast to the challenges faced by international network firms struggling to achieve significant growth in the Indian market. As a result, India is rapidly emerging as a hotspot for these firms seeking expansion opportunities. Mid-sized and independent firms like Kaizzen are well-positioned to capitalize on their agility, creativity, and ability to better align their services with the working cultures of Indian companies. This unique offering could prove to be a major advantage in the competitive years to come.

Communication Casa Bags Lark Finserv’s PR Mandate

Lark Finserv, a distinctive digital lending platform, designed to revolutionize the lending industry in India, proudly announces its partnership with Communication Casa, an innovative Public Relations and communication agency, to further enhance its strategic communications and strengthen its brand presence in the market.Since its inception in 2023, Lark Finserv has rapidly emerged as a pioneer in the financial services industry, persistently gratifying its clients with integrity, transparency and a commitment to financial well-being. With a pervasive portfolio of successful brand collaborations such as Yes Bank, Fin sire, NPCI, CAMS, Digi Locker, CERSAI, Sahamati, One Money, KFintech, and many more, the company has earned a reputation for its unique vision and strategic approach, and a commitment to exceptional services for all its clients.Communication Casa, spearheaded by the seasoned PR and communication specialist, Manauti Walecha, who has a remarkable 17+ years of experience managing over 150 clients, brings a wealth of expertise to complement Lark Finserv’s unique vision and strengths. With a highly skilled team of public relations and content professionals, Communication Casa has earned acclaim for its approach and track record of establishing impactful brand images and maintaining a strong, positive public image.“With Communication Casa, we wish to elevate our brand through effective communication channels. The agency has demonstrated performance history of delivering potent branding and communication strategies for their diverse clientele. We hope to receive compelling strategies for our brand as well”, said Rohit Pateria, Co-founder, Lark Finserv.At the heart of their dexterity lies the mastery of crafting captivating narratives, adept crisis communication management, and fostering authentic connections between companies and their intended clientele. Aligned with Lark Finserv’s mission, Communication Casa is set to provide the Fintech Start-up with the catalyst it needs to make its enduring mark on the industry.“With our experience and expertise in crafting varied communication strategies in different domains, like FinTech, AgriTech, Healthcare and many more, we believe our branding and communication approach will be effective for Lark Finserv and align with the Company’s goal ‘to build India’s largest and most meaningful Financial Service Company’”,said Manauti Walecha, Founder, Communication Casa.Communication Casa's commitment to offering high value and setting a standard of unparallel quality is showcased through its spectrum of fundamental services that span across sectors, including agriculture, FMCG, education, beauty, advertising & marketing, healthcare, travel and hospitality, insurance, real estate, NGOs, and start-ups. Leveraging its strategic approach and bespoke services, Communication Casa is poised to impel Lark Finserv towards procuring its vision to "empower individuals and businesses to achieve their financial goals through accessible and responsible lending solutions and being the lead provider of innovative and customer-centric lending services, driven by integrity, transparency, and a commitment to financial well-being."

FINN Partners acquires Paris-based Claudine Colin Communication

Global independent marketing and communications firm FINN Partners has acquired Claudine Colin Communication, a 25-person Paris-based PR agency focused on the arts and culture. The firm will be known as Claudine Colin Communication, A FINN Partners Company, and work alongside the sector-leading arts practice of FINN, headed by Philippa Polskin.Claudine Colin Communication, founded in 1990, is the leading arts PR firm in France and has been a long-term partner of Polskin Arts. CCC represents prestigious arts organizations in France, Europe, and abroad, including Musée national Picasso-Paris, musée du quai Branly-Jacques Chirac, Pinault Collection, Palais de Tokyo, The Rencontres d'Arles, LUMA Arles, Lafayette Anticipations, Fondation Cartier, Centre Pompidou-Metz, Musée du Louvre-Lens, Mucem, Musée Marmottan Monet, Ateliers Jean Nouvel, Beaux-Arts de Paris, Fondation Pernod Ricard, Musée Yves Saint Laurent Paris, Cultural Olympiad for Paris 2024, 17th Lyon Biennale of Contemporary Art, Art Basel across all shows (Paris, Basel, Miami, Hong Kong), and Fondation Beyeler. "We already have one of the largest and most esteemed arts practices in the PR agency world, and we are excited to expand and deepen this work by having Claudine and her team join us. We are also very pleased to enhance our presence in Paris. We currently have 15 people in that office, who work with sustainability, technology, consumer and health clients. Now we have added the premier practice in the French arts sector, and together we have 40 people in Paris. We look forward to working together as one team," said Peter Finn, CEO and Founder of FINN Partners.Claudine Colin said: "I founded Claudine Colin Communication over 30 years ago and developed the business both in France and internationally with a professional and committed team to support managers in the artistic and cultural sphere, both public and private, in designing and implementing the communication and influence strategy for their projects."I am delighted to announce that my team and I are joining FINN Partners, with whom we share the values of high standards, rigor and independence. We have worked closely with Polskin Arts, A FINN Partners company, for many years in the field of art and culture. It is a natural next step for us to join forces and further extend the scope of the select international projects on which we already collaborate.""Together we will offer our clients expertise in the fields of art and culture in Europe, the United States and Asia. With my trusted team, especially Anne-Sophie Decronumbourg and Anne Monéger-Laval, deputy directors, we will continue to develop our business alongside our clients, with whom we have long-standing partnerships based on our reputation for delivering excellent service that achieves real influence, recognition and public success."Philippa Polskin, who helped bring the firms together, said: "Claudine Colin Communication is recognized everywhere as the unchallenged leader in arts PR in France, as well as a major force in cultural communications throughout Europe. We welcome CCC warmly and are eager to continue our long history of collaboration with Claudine and her team, working side by side with them at FINN Partners at what is truly the forefront of cultural communications."   Polskin Arts, recognized as one of the world's largest and most prominent cultural PR practices, has a distinguished and extensive client base in the US and around the world, and for decades has worked on international projects in close collaboration with the sector-leading partner CCC in Paris, and the extensive FINN Partners network around the globe. The FINN Partners acquisition of Claudine Colin Communication coincides with the recent and ongoing strategic expansion of Polskin Arts, which has added key senior executives and extended its deep connections to all areas, for-profit and not-for-profit, of the rapidly evolving field of arts and culture.Claudine Colin Communication will be part of FINN Partners EMEA, led by Chantal Bowman-Boyles. With the addition of CCC, FINN Partners EMEA will have total fees of about $27 million and total staff of about 270 people. CCC will work closely with Polskin Arts to expand the FINN Partners practice in the arts and culture sector."France is the global center of art and culture, and we are proud and excited to have Claudine's team, with their unique knowledge and expertise, join us. Our office in Paris has a great reputation for delivering high-quality client service and for long-lasting client relationships – both attributes we share with CCC. I have enjoyed getting to know Claudine and her team over the last few months, and I am confident that together we will achieve even greater successes in France and across the region," added Chantal Bowman-Boyles.

Weber Shandwick CEO Gail Heimann to retire; Susan Howe to succeed

Gail Heimann is set to retire from her position as global CEO of The Weber Shandwick Collective, with Susan Howe, the current global president, slated to succeed her in November.After 28 years at Weber Shandwick and five years as the global CEO, Heimann's leadership saw the firm through significant changes, especially during the Covid-19 pandemic. Her tenure culminated in the agency being named Global Agency of the Year in 2023 and the establishment of The Weber Shandwick Collective (TWSC), encompassing 11 specialist Interpublic Group sister firms in areas like consumer marketing, public affairs, healthcare, paid media, and social-first creative.TWSC boasts extensive sector and service expertise across 11 brands with offices on six continents. TWSC’s diverse capabilities include organisational transformation, public affairs, and digital transformation. Throughout her illustrious career, she has been instrumental in building and enhancing the reputations of numerous Fortune 500 companies, working on iconic brands and campaigns across various sectors.Howe, who has been with TWSC for over 20 years, spent the last three as the global president, overseeing the firm’s four operating regions (North America, EMEA, APAC, and LatAm) and enhancing integration between TWSC’s partner agencies and practice areas.Previously, Howe served as the company's chief growth officer and chief collaboration officer, and she played a pivotal role in major client relationships such as AB InBev, Nestle, and Kellanova.Weber Shandwick does not currently plan to appoint a new president to replace Howe.Howe's appointment continues Weber Shandwick’s tradition of promoting CEOs from within the agency, a practice in place since its formation from the mergers of BSMG, Shandwick, and Weber over two decades ago.

PR Professionals wins communications mandate for Bihar Education Department

PR Professionals (PRP), the flagship of PRP Group, has been awarded the integrated communications mandate for the Department of Education, Government of Bihar. Secured through a competitive multi-agency pitch, the comprehensive mandate includes digital, public relations, and branding work along with Information, Education, and Communication (IEC) activities for the Department.Emerging as a major player in the education sector, this is the second prestigious and large-sized mandate that PR Professionals has secured this year. Earlier this year, PRP was entrusted with the integrated communications mandate for the Department of School Education, Andhra Pradesh.The integrated mandate for Andhra Pradesh includes the development and execution of extensive digital and media communication strategies aimed at generating awareness and impact of various transformative educational initiatives. PRP's work with the Department of School Education, Andhra Pradesh, covers several key programs such as the Supporting Andhra’s Learning Transformation Program (SALT), funded by the World Bank, Samagra Siksha, Mana Badi Nadu Nedu Programme, and the Jagananna Vidya Kanuka Programme. These initiatives are designed to bring substantial improvements to the state's educational landscape.“We are honored to be chosen by the Department of Education, Government of Bihar, for this critical assignment. We're committed to amplifying Bihar's educational efforts and showcasing their impact. This collaboration strengthens our resolve to develop impactful communication strategies that empower India's education sector,” shared Dr. Sarvesh Tiwari, Founder & Managing Director – PR Professionals.PRP has a proven track record in the education sector. It successfully tackled the challenge of promoting the Bihar School Examination Board's (BSEB) vision, mission, and goals to students and parents through digital channels. Their dedicated in-house digital team achieved remarkable results, not only meeting their objectives but also skyrocketing user engagement to millions. PRP's expertise extends to a wide range of educational institutions, including the Indian Certificate of Secondary Education Board (ICSE), IIT Roorkee, IIM Shillong, SGT University, Manav Rachna University, The Northcap University, MVN Group of Schools, and the Apparel Training & Design Center (ATDC) among others.Since its founding in 2011, PR Professionals has been a touchstone for quality and excellence in public relations and communications. In addition, the company has started many charitable endeavors. Businesses can become industry leaders by utilizing its end-to-end branding and personalized PR solutions. Having started small, PRP now has 12 offices in India and 6 branches abroad.

CHARLES & KEITH bolsters PR team with appointment of Ashley Neo

Singapore-based footwear and accessories brand CHARLES & KEITH has named Ashley Neo as its new Assistant Global PR & Communications Manager. Neo will be responsible for overseeing the brand's global public relations initiatives from the company's Singapore headquarters.Neo's primary focus will be on ensuring the brand's public image aligns consistently with its core values and brand identity. Neo brings a wealth of experience to the role, having honed her skills in previous positions at Access Communications, Estee Lauder Companies, and The PR People. Her diverse background in communications and experience with renowned brands positions her well to contribute to CHARLES & KEITH's global PR strategy.CHARLES & KEITH: A Global Fashion PowerhouseFounded in 1996, CHARLES & KEITH has grown into a leading global fashion brand. The company is known for its curated collections of footwear, bags, and accessories, designed with a focus on contemporary style and premium quality at accessible prices. With a growing network of stores worldwide, CHARLES & KEITH offers customers a convenient and enjoyable shopping experience.Ashley Neo's appointment underscores CHARLES & KEITH's commitment to building a strong brand image and maintaining its position at the forefront of the global fashion industry.

Arla taps Citypress to boost brand recognition, consumer trust

Arla Foods, the UK's biggest dairy cooperative, has selected Citypress, an employee-owned communications agency, as its new consumer PR partner. Citypress won the contract after a competitive pitch process.Building Brand Strength Through Creative CampaignsCitypress will be responsible for developing and executing campaigns that elevate consumer confidence in Arla and establish it as the UK's most recognizable dairy brand. This will involve creative strategies for Arla's core products like Arla Cravendale, Lurpak, and Arla Protein. Hill & Knowlton (now Burson) previously held the account.Arla's Vision: Inspiring Consumers and Redefining DairyNicola Morgan-Hulme, Arla Foods UK's communications director, expressed her enthusiasm about the partnership. Citypress's strategic approach, innovative ideas, and extensive experience in the food and beverage industry impressed Arla.“Citypress impressed us with their strategic vision and brave creative thinking. Their deep sector experience in food and drink, passionate team and ambition for brand-defining work really shone through. As one of the UK’s largest food companies, we have a vision to break out of category conventions and inspire consumers to eat well. By building awareness in the overarching Arla Masterbrand, we aim to position Arla as the most trusted dairy brand that fuels our consumers and helps them to feel good. We look forward to working with the Citypress team who will support us on this journey,” said Nicola Morgan-Hulme. Citypress: A Team of Creative SpecialistsThe Citypress team, led by senior directors Ruth Lee (creative specialisms) and Rory Fletcher (food and drink clients), will spearhead the Arla account.Lee is thrilled about the opportunity to create engaging campaigns that celebrate the benefits of dairy. Citypress's recent investment in creative capabilities will further enhance their work for Arla's impressive brand portfolio.With Arla on board, Citypress adds another major player to its client list, which already includes Nestle, Coca-Cola Europacific Partners, Pilgrim's Europe, Aldi, and Molson Coors.

Jack Daniel's chooses Halpern for UK PR push

Jack Daniel's Tennessee whiskey, owned by Brown-Forman, has named Halpern its new UK PR agency after a competitive selection process. Halpern will be responsible for developing and executing a consumer PR strategy to boost brand awareness and relevance among new audiences.The agency's focus will be on crafting creative campaigns with a cultural twist. This aligns with Jack Daniel's goal of reaching new demographics in the UK market. Halpern takes over from Tin Man Communications, which previously held the account, but Jack Daniel's had been without a PR agency for roughly 18 months.Halpern's work will encompass Jack Daniel's No. 7 Tennessee Whiskey and flavored offerings like Honey, Fire, and Apple. The agency will develop a strategic media plan that includes influencer partnerships and engaging consumer activations.UK head of Jack Daniels Eduardo Toledo said: ‘‘We are delighted to welcome Halpern as our new partner. Their innovative approach, deep understanding of the brand, and passion for creative storytelling truly set them apart during the pitch process. We are confident that Halpern will help us craft compelling and creative opportunities that resonate with our consumers and further enhance Jack Daniel’s legacy in the UK.”

Stefanie Wong joins Visa as Corp Comm Manager for Hong Kong, Macau

Visa has appointed Stefanie Wong as the Corporate Communications Manager for Hong Kong and Macau. Based in the Hong Kong office, Wong will oversee integrated communications, stakeholder engagement, and strategic planning for the region. Her role is pivotal in supporting Visa's mission to enhance brand relevance, visibility, trust, and purpose. Wong's extensive experience in communications is expected to significantly contribute to Visa's strategic objectives in these dynamic markets.Previously she worked with Edelman for more than 12 years.

Norsiah Juriani Johari joins MBSB Group as Head of Communications & Branding

Norsiah Juriani Johari has been appointed as the Group Head of Communications and Branding at MBSB Group, a leading financial services provider in Malaysia. Johari transitions to MBSB from Astro, where she held the position of Director of Group Marketing. Her extensive experience includes significant roles in marketing and communications at JCORP and CIMB.Johari brings a wealth of expertise to MBSB, where she is expected to enhance the bank’s communication strategies and branding initiatives. Her appointment aligns with MBSB’s ongoing efforts to strengthen its market presence and brand identity in the competitive financial sector. The move is seen as a strategic step for MBSB to leverage Johari’s diverse experience and industry knowledge to drive impactful communication and branding efforts. Norsiah Juriani Johari Joins MBSB Group as Group Head of Communications and Branding

Ashmita Pillay joins Marico as Head of Corporate Communications

In a recent LinkedIn post, Ashmita Pillay announced her departure from Tata as GM- Corporate Communications after a remarkable 14-year tenure. Pillay expressed her gratitude for the support and friendships she built at Tata Motors. She will now be taking on the role of Head of Corporate Communications at Marico Limited, a leading consumer products company. Pillay is enthusiastic about this new chapter and is looking forward to embracing the "Mariconian way of life" while maintaining strong communication fundamentals. Her transition marks a significant move in her PR journey as she shifts industries to bring her expertise to Marico?. She wrote on her LinkedIN: "After an eternity with @TataMotors, I am moving on. It has been an absolute pleasure and an inspiring journey. Will miss that place, I called Home for over 14 years. Thankful to all there for all the love, mentoring, empowerment and most importantly friendship. I have joined Marico Limited as Head of Comms and looking forward to this new chapter in my PR journey. New industry calls for a reset while fundamentals remain strong. Looking forward to the hashtag#Mariconian way of life."Prior to Tata Motors, Pillay worked as Manager at ICICI Prudential Life Insurance Company Limited for a brief period. She holds a PGD in Public Relations and Event Management from the University of Mumbai.

Ruder Finn promotes Brian Witte as head; Pamela Phua joins as Singapore GM

Ruder Finn Asia, a global communications firm, announced key leadership changes in Southeast Asia. Brian Witte has been promoted to Head of Southeast Asia Corporate Practice, while Pamela Phua joins as the new General Manager of Ruder Finn Singapore.Both Brian and Pamela will report directly to Elan Shou, Managing Director of Ruder Finn Asia-Pacific.With over a decade at Ruder Finn Asia, Brian brings a wealth of experience advising major corporations like Visa, 3M, and DBS. In his new role, he will focus on fostering collaboration between clients across Southeast Asia and identifying new business opportunities in the region's dynamic market.Pamela joins Ruder Finn Asia with more than 20 years of experience in marketing, branding, and strategic communications. Previously, she was with Ogilvy, leading new business development for PR and influencer marketing across Asia.Brian said: “I am honoured to step into this position and excited to build on the strong foundation we've established in Singapore and across the region. Southeast Asia is a dynamic and rapidly evolving market, and I look forward to leveraging our corporate practice and regional expertise to help our clients navigate its complexities. My focus will be on fostering collaboration and identifying innovative strategies that drive business growth and strengthen a positive reputation for our clients".Pamela said: "I am excited and honoured to join the acclaimed Ruder Finn Singapore team and look forward to driving creative strategies that will elevate our clients' brands and reputations. My aim is to ensure we deliver impactful results and stay ahead in the dynamic communications landscape".

Communications agency launches in the UAE, a UAE based creative & communications consultancy, has officially launched operations across the country. Founded by seasoned and senior PR and communications professional Omar Khan, is a new service that offers bold, creative ideas, bespoke communication strategies and highly professional PR consultation to small-medium is a service curated for entrepreneurs, start-ups and SME’s to support with ideas, strategies and consultation related to brand awareness, PR or marketing strategies, events, product or service launches, social media campaigns and other creative communication tactics. The nature of the service allows a client to purchase bespoke and creative proposals based off a given brief, whilst retaining full autonomy and rights to bring the idea to life themselves, or through partnering with one of’s preferred and recommended partners. At the helm of the new consultancy is Founder and CEO Omar Khan. With over a decade of professional experience within the PR and communications industry in the UAE, Omar brings together strategic-thinking and highly creative campaign ideas across a range of consumer-focused industries, including hospitality, F&B, luxury fashion and lifestyle.The concept of is simple. Ideas have value. Whether they’re part of an overall brand strategy, cool concepts for a new business proposal, or part of an internal brainstorm that leads to a fully-fledged executable experience, these all take time, effort and creative insight to develop and deliver. believes that it’s important to remunerate agencies, freelancers and creative professionals for the work involved with producing an idea. While most current agency models include these services as part of their overall fee structure, offers the choice of a more affordable ‘pay as you go’ model, where clients can purchase bespoke strategies with creative ideas on an ad hoc basis. Each client is provided with an idea that is meticulously produced with relevance to the brief, taking into consideration current trends, insights and data from reputable and locally relevant sources. is suited to entrepreneurs, start-ups and SME’s who want creative ideas and professional consultancy to help elevate their businesses, but may not necessarily be able to afford hefty retainer fees for communications and related services.Founder-CEO Omar Khan commented: “The PR and Communications industry needs a shake-up. With Dubai alone seeing a 550% annual rise in global SMEs attracted to the emirate, we need to be able to provide affordable communication services to a phenomenally fast-growing market segment that wants big, bold and creative ideas to help take their businesses to the next level. However, with hefty retainer fees predominantly the only option provided by reputable agencies in the Middle East, many SME’s are unfortunately unable to afford the investment. This is where comes into the picture. We provide individual project and tailored rates depending on the scale of the brief, offering more cost-friendly alternatives for clients whilst still ensuring strategic, creative and relevant thinking at its highest level. I’m very excited to be launching in the market and look forward to working together with clients, the industry and the region on bringing big ideas to life that are both memorable and impactful.” also acts as a conduit to leaders within the communications and creative industry. Placing emphasis and value on the quality of its creative ideas, the service works seamlessly with its network of professionals to ensure flawless execution of the ideas it produces. Whatever the client brief may be, is able to give brands the professional guidance and direction they need to drive awareness to new audiences, delivering satisfaction to clients and contributing to the overall success of the regions flourishing SME ecosystem.Raised in the UAE, Omar’s background draws extensive experience across a range of consumer-focused industries, particularly across hospitality, F&B, luxury fashion and lifestyle. He began his career managing operations for several leading establishments in London, before transferring his many years of knowledge and skills to handle PR and communications for global and local brands in the Middle East.Throughout his career, he has worked with International brands including Marriott International, The Hyatt Group, Four Seasons, Rixos, Taj Hotels, World’s 50 Best, Deliveroo, McDonald’s UAE, Dyson, General Motors, Loro Piana, GUCCI, Hugo Boss, Patek Philippe, LINDBERG, VIACOM and many more.

Deutsche Bank names Victor Jiang as Co-Head of Tech, Media & Telecommunications

Deutsche Bank AG has appointed Victor Jiang as the co-head of its technology, media, and telecommunications division for the Asia Pacific region, marking another significant addition to its team.Jiang comes from China International Capital Corp. (CICC), where he served as Asia co-head of TMT and head of Southeast Asia investment banking, according reports.With an 11-year tenure at CICC, Jiang is recognized in Greater China's investment banking sector for his strong connections with major technology firms like Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., Baidu Inc., and NetEase Inc.During his time at CICC, Jiang managed transactions worth $80 billion in mergers, acquisitions, and capital markets, the memo noted. At Deutsche Bank, he will collaborate with Andy Chakravorty.Since early 2023, Deutsche Bank has been actively recruiting, attracting talent from other banks including prominent Wall Street institutions such as Credit Suisse, Goldman Sachs Group Inc., and Morgan Stanley.

Ex-Edelman veterans unite to form Stratagem Corporate Advisory

Former Edelman colleagues Susan Redden Makatoa and Peter Fraser, alongside legal expert Mick Bainbridge, have announced the launch of Stratagem Corporate Advisory.This new firm brings together a wealth of experience specifically tailored to support boards and executives. Stratagem offers a comprehensive suite of services, including:  Corporate communications and executive training  Public affairs navigation  Issues mitigation and crisis management  Legal and regulatory engagementStratagem's unique structure allows them to provide legal privilege from the very beginning, a significant advantage when dealing with sensitive matters.Leading the ChargeSusan Redden Makatoa: A CPRA Fellow with over 20 years of agency leadership experience, previously serving as Edelman's Head of Corporate, APAC.Peter Fraser: A seasoned former political advisor and corporate affairs senior counsel, who held the position of lead government relations counsel Australia at Edelman.Mick Bainbridge: Founder of Operational Legal and a renowned advocate for veterans across Australia. Mick has extensive experience collaborating with government and non-profit organisations.This combined expertise positions Stratagem as a powerful ally for boards and executives navigating today's complex business landscape.Stratagem's Managing Director Susan Redden Makatoa said: "We have all been working on complex, high-stakes matters in recent years, which need calm, considered and informed counsel. So, we’ve formed a team with extensive corporate, government and legal expertise to guide our clients through multi-stakeholder corporate, government affairs and legal/regulatory challenges and opportunities." (Image Left to Right : Peter Fraser, Susan Redden Makatoa, Mick Bainbridge.)

Everest Ventures Group names Kelvin Yeo as PR Manager

Everest Ventures Group in Singapore has appointed Kelvin Yeo as their new Public Relations Manager. Kelvin brings extensive experience in communications and media relations, having previously worked at YAP Global, Cobo, and HTX. In his new role, he will focus on enhancing EVG's media presence and strategic communications.Kelvin has a Bachelor's degree in Public Relations and Mass Communication from Murdoch University. Everest Ventures Group is a leading Web3-focused venture studio, dedicated to driving the mass adoption of digital assets through incubating technology infrastructures and advising startups globally?.

Jessica Brophy assumes new role as Director of Communications at Xero

Jessica Brophy has taken on a new role as Director of Communications for Australia and New Zealand at Xero. She has been with the company for over five years, previously serving as Head of Communications for Australia. Before joining Xero, Jessica gained valuable experience in agency-side roles at Six O'Clock Advisory, Truth Agency,, and Mango Communications?.Xero, a global small business platform, has recently introduced new subscription plans in Australia. These plans, which became available on July 1, 2024, are designed to provide streamlined accounting and payroll solutions for small businesses. The new plans include Xero Ignite, Xero Grow, Xero Comprehensive, and an enhanced Xero Ultimate plan?.

Ryde Group names Suraj Raj as Group Corporate Communications & Branding Manager

Ryde Group has appointed Suraj Raj as the new Group Corporate Communications & Branding Manager. Suraj, who brings over 14 years of experience in marketing, strategic communications, PR, and brand management, will be based in Singapore.Suraj previously led the communications and branding initiatives for the Renewables & Sustainability business units at Surbana Jurong Group, where he was instrumental in enhancing the company's market presence and sustainability efforts. His extensive experience across various industries positions him well to drive Ryde’s communications strategy.At Ryde, Suraj will oversee the marketing team, focusing on elevating brand awareness, managing media relations, and implementing impactful communication strategies. His role will also encompass promoting sustainability initiatives, a key area of focus for the company as it continues to expand its footprint in the mobility and quick commerce sectors.This appointment comes at a pivotal time for Ryde Group, which has recently seen a significant surge in its stock price following its IPO earlier this year on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE). The company, headquartered in Singapore, provides a range of mobility solutions including on-demand and scheduled carpooling and ride-hailing services, as well as quick commerce and digital payment services through RydePay.Ryde Group’s recent partnerships, such as the collaboration with Mobile-health Network Solutions to enhance telehealth services, and its secondary share listings in Frankfurt and Stuttgart, underscore its commitment to growth and innovation in the mobility sector. The company’s stock has been performing well, reflecting investor confidence in its strategic direction and market potential??.

Beyond referrals: Building your doctor brand in the digital age

In today's digital world, personal branding is no longer a choice for medical professionals; it is a need. The conventional approach of a doctor developing their business primarily through referrals and word-of-mouth is altering. Patients are increasingly using the internet to investigate doctors before scheduling an appointment. As a result, it is critical for doctors to have a robust digital presence. Doctors need to showcase their domain expertise by sharing invaluable information to patients thereby gaining trust as well as building a community. Doctors can build a personal brand through public relations by engaging with the community, sharing expertise in media and journals, and participating in public events. This approach showcases their knowledge and care, creating trust without direct advertising. Here’s how PR can help doctors create a personal brand without advertising themselves.Create a Professional Website:Your website serves as your practice's digital front door. Make sure it matches your professional image, is simple to use, and informative. Please provide details about your training, job history, services offered, and any related certifications. Update information often to demonstrate your commitment to staying current in the business.Optimising online profiles:Fill out and update your entries on review websites, professional networking sites, and healthcare directories on a consistent basis. Provide a professional biography, specific contact information, and details about your practice. This raises awareness and accessibility for prospective patients seeking reliable medical practitioners.Patient testimonials and reviews:Encourage satisfied customers to leave positive feedback on reputable review platforms. React professionally and compassionately to both positive and negative feedback. This improves your online reputation and demonstrates your dedication to patient pleasure and continuous improvement.Engaging Social Media:Choose social media platforms that support your career goals. Provide informative health advice, news, and updates on an ongoing basis. Interact with your audience by responding swiftly to messages and comments. Social media is a great way to personalise your practice and engage with people on a more personal level.Educational content:Distribute instructional and useful information in your field of expertise. These might be quick 3D films, infographics, or blog posts. Establish yourself as a thought leader in your business by providing intelligent comments that are relevant to your target audience.Continuous Monitoring:Set up Google Alerts for your name and regularly monitor your web visibility. Correct any incorrect information immediately, and take aggressive actions to protect your internet reputation by monitoring patient evaluations.Using Telehealth Platforms:If appropriate, consider offering telehealth services and advertising them online. Emphasise the accessibility and convenience of virtual visits, and provide patients with clear instructions on how to schedule them.Online Security and Privacy:Make internet privacy and security a top concern. Instruct your employees on the most secure ways to handle patient data on the internet, and ensure that all applicable data protection and healthcare regulations are followed.Creating a personal brand through a digital presence is a dynamic and continuing endeavour. It's an excellent tool for doctors looking to recruit new patients, build trust, and cultivate a loyal patient base. You can efficiently establish and maintain a strong digital brand by creating a professional website, using social media, publishing high-quality content, optimising for search engines, maintaining your reputation, networking, and remaining up to date. By doing so, you not only improve your profession but also positively contribute to the health and well-being of your community.