Suzy Goulding on what makes an effective sustainability strategy works in APAC

In an exclusive interview with Adgully Asia, Suzy Goulding, Asia Lead at Salterbaxter and Head of Sustainability for APAC & MEA at MSL Group, shares her insights on developing impactful sustainability strategies for diverse sectors. Goulding emphasizes the importance of sector-specific challenges, the client's ambition, and corporate confidence in driving sustainable changes. She also discusses the integration of purpose into sustainability strategies, enhancing employee engagement, managing organisational change, and emerging trends that will shape sustainability strategies in the APAC region. Additionally, Goulding highlights how Publicis Groupe differentiates itself in the sustainability consulting space within the region.Can you describe your approach to developing effective sustainability strategies for clients across diverse sectors?There are lots of elements to take into account when helping a client develop their sustainability strategy. Of course, sector-specific challenges need to be taken into consideration, for example legislative and compliance changes or sector-driven expectations. But also important is assessing a client’s level of ambition (are they just looking to tick legislative boxes or do they want to be sector leaders in sustainability?) and corporate levels of confidence around implementing sustainable changes.How do you integrate purpose into sustainability strategies to ensure they resonate with both internal and external stakeholders?Rather than talk about ‘purpose’ I think it makes more sense to talk about ‘materiality’ i.e. what matters most to both internal and external stakeholders when it comes to what a company produces or offers and what is the potential positive and negative sustainable impact of those products / services? Of course, any sustainability strategy should also be aligned to a company’s purpose in that it should set the tone for how that purpose is implemented and amplified both within and beyond the business.What are some successful methods you've used to enhance employee engagement and internal communications around sustainability initiatives?Key is involving employees in a company’s sustainability journey from the outset. Only then will you ensure you have understanding and crucially buy-in for what will inevitably be change within the business. You must ensure first that there is buy-in and commitment from the leadership and that this is communicated clearly throughout the business, at every level. Employees need to also understand how and when they can play an active role in sustainable change and what it means for their particular job. Meet employees where they are – get to understand and utilise the ways in which they communicate within and across departments and peer groups. And finally, you need to be able to answer the ‘what’s in it for me?’ question. Most of us are uncomfortable with change so we need to know why we should care about those changes, how they will affect us personally, and how we can get involved in implementing those changes.How do you manage change within organisations to align them with new sustainability goals, and what challenges have you encountered?Change is only possible within organisations when everyone from the top down is invested in that change. So a lot of stakeholdering and advocacy is always needed. Getting buy-in from the leadership is usually the easy part as we tend to be invited in by C-suite to help them drive progress. Common challenges include getting middle managers on board who typically will have KPIs built around efficiencies, sales or productivity. And they are crucial to have on-side because it is usually through this layer of management that you can connect and engage with other employees. So you need to meet them where they are and talk about sustainable change in a way that resonates with them. How will it make their jobs easier? How can it help drive efficiencies? How will it make them stand out from competitors?Can you share an example of a successful stakeholder management or consultation process that significantly impacted a client’s sustainability efforts?We worked with a large electronics company on developing their regional sustainability strategy across Southeast Asia. The challenge was a lack of understanding and confidence around what sustainable changes they should be making and how to get started. Our strategy was to get under the skin of the business by spending a lot of time with business units and interviewing teams and individuals so we understood their challenges and could help identify possible opportunities for addressing those challenges in a sustainable way; we then involved as many employees as possible in the development of the sustainability strategy – brainstorming ideas, encouraging them to collaborate across business units and challenge each other. This approach meant that when we launched the strategy we had immediate buy-in – crucial to ensure that strategy turned into action – and actions that felt achievable, thus helping to build that much-needed corporate confidence to set them up for success and more ambitious actions in the future.What emerging trends in sustainability do you believe will shape the strategies of companies in the APAC region over the next few years?The APAC region is seeing sustainable change within companies at a slower pace than Europe or the US, as the legislation is not there yet in a lot of countries to help drive change. This will evolve over time. Many APAC countries are already witnessing the impact of climate change and the havoc that severe heat or rainfall can cause; so I am hopeful that in the absence of legislation that this exposure will convince more companies to take sustainability seriously.We are an innovative region and the solutions to many sustainability challenges will be found via the way we innovate in products and services. Companies in APAC need to recognise the commercial and reputational benefits to be had by investing in innovative solutions to these challenges.AI is already transforming the way many of us do business, and I see great opportunities for deployment within sustainability, not least because the biggest headache for most companies who are looking to comply with sustainability legislations or simply want to become more sustainable businesses is data collection and analysis on energy use, utilities use, etc. AI has the potential to make this process faster and more accurate.How does Publicis Groupe, particularly MSL and Salterbaxter, differentiate itself in the sustainability consulting space within the APAC region?Publicis Groupe is serious about both its own sustainability commitments and how it can help its clients on their sustainability journey. If we look at advertising first, the Groupe has developed proprietary tools and processes designed to help companies take a more sustainable approach to developing and executing campaigns which reduce emissions without negatively impacting consumer reach and engagement. For example, our emissions tool A.L.I.C.E. (Advertising Limiting Impacts & Carbon Emissions) can measure carbon footprint of campaigns from the shoot through to deployment. The data can then be used by Groupe agencies and clients to make informed decisions on where more sustainable approaches can be adopted for future campaigns.The combination of Salterbaxter (our sustainability consultancy network) and MSL (our reputation and comms consultancy network) means we can offer clients end-to-end sustainability support and advisory, from strategic development, material assessment and ambition-setting through to narrative and messaging development and campaign development to amplify sustainability achievements. We are the only holding company who can offer credible sustainability expertise coupled with a creative approach to communicating sustainability to maximise competitive and reputational advantage. We believe that’s a pretty compelling and powerful proposition.

Langham Jakarta promotes Anindhita Indira to Sr. Marketing Manager

The Langham Jakarta has announced the promotion of Anindhita Indira to Senior Marketing & Communications Manager. In this newly expanded role, Indira will oversee all aspects of communications, marketing, and branding for the luxury hotel.Indira joined The Langham Jakarta in 2021 and brings over seven years of experience in the hospitality and beauty industries. Prior to her promotion, she played a key role in developing and implementing successful marketing campaigns for the hotel.Indira’s promotion comes at a time of continued growth for The Langham Jakarta. With her proven track record and deep understanding of the luxury hospitality market, Indira is well-positioned to lead The Langham Jakarta's marketing and communications efforts to new heights.

Shaype hires SPEAK Communications as PR partner

Australian fintech innovator Shaype has hired SPEAK Communications as its new public relations partner. SPEAK will handle all traditional communications, media relations, and press office activities for Shaype, focusing primarily on the B2B space with strategic B2C integration.This partnership comes as Shaype continues to experience significant growth. The company secured $21.4 million in Series C funding in September 2022, showcasing investor confidence in their embedded finance platform. Shaype's platform allows businesses of all sizes to seamlessly integrate financial services into their offerings, creating a more streamlined and customer-centric experience.With SPEAK's expertise in crafting compelling narratives and Shaype's groundbreaking technology, this partnership promises to propel Shaype's brand awareness and solidify its position at the forefront of the fintech revolution.

Sonal Choithani joins Hindustan Zinc as Chief Brand & Comm Officer

Sonal Choithani has been appointed as the Chief Brand & Communications Officer and Head of Market Development at Hindustan Zinc. She previously served as the Chief Brand & Communications Officer at Vedanta Limited for five years.Choithani shared the news of her new role on LinkedIn, stating, "Glad to share I'm starting an exciting, new role with the iconic Hindustan Zinc - the world's 2nd largest Zinc and 3rd largest Silver producer."With expertise in corporate communications, public relations, branding, corporate affairs, advertising, advocacy, reputation management, and CSR, Choithani has worked across a variety of industries including banking, finance, consumer goods, electronics, manufacturing, renewable energy, power, heavy engineering, and metals & natural resources, including Fortune 50 companies.

PRCA APAC unveils diversity, equality and inclusion charter

The Public Relations and Communications Association (PRCA) APAC has launched its first-ever Asia-Pacific ‘PRCA APAC Diversity, Equality, and Inclusion (D,E,&I) Charter’’.In response to the growing imperative to prioritise D,E&I in the work of all PR professionals, the PRCA APAC DE&I Committee is proud to launch a comprehensive Diversity, Equality, and Inclusion (D,E&I) Charter. This Charter is designed to promote an inclusive and diverse public relations industry across the Asia Pacific region, addressing systemic barriers and guiding industry best practices.This 7-point charter, which has been produced with input from PR and communications practitioners in the region, is one of the many ways that the industry can work towards achieving this goal. It is meant to serve as a set of industry guidelines that PR practitioners can use to guide their work and promote a culture of respect, equality and inclusion.Charu Srivastava, Chair of the PRCA APAC D,E&I Committee and Co-Founder at TriOn & Co, said: “We believe that establishing a robust charter is essential in driving positive and real change within our industry. Our goal is to provide industry practitioners with practical guidelines that promote a culture of respect, equality, and inclusion. These guidelines set a strong foundation for us to build upon as we strive to be an industry that is truly diverse, inclusive and equal in all manners.”

SAP names Julia Madden Head of Communications for SEA, Australia, & NZ

SAP has announced the appointment of Julia Madden as the new Head of Communications for Southeast Asia, Australia, and New Zealand, based out of Singapore. This strategic move comes as SAP continues to strengthen its communications and public relations efforts in the rapidly growing Asia-Pacific region.Julia Madden, who joined SAP in 2021 as the Head of External Communications for SAP Australia and New Zealand, brings a wealth of experience to her new role. Prior to her tenure at SAP, Madden held significant public relations positions at Barclays Bank in London. Her extensive background in communications and her proven track record at SAP make her an ideal choice for this leadership position.SAP's decision to elevate Madden reflects the company's ongoing commitment to enhancing its presence and impact across Southeast Asia and the broader Asia-Pacific region. This appointment aligns with SAP's broader strategic initiatives, which include significant cloud revenue growth and key partnerships aimed at driving digital transformation in the region. For instance, in Q1 2024, SAP reported a 35% increase in cloud revenue in the Asia-Pacific and Japan, underscoring the region's importance to the company's global strategy?.In her new role, Madden will focus on advancing SAP's communication strategies, leveraging her expertise to support the company's objectives in digital transformation and innovation. This appointment also coincides with SAP's broader efforts to foster economic and social impact in the region through collaborations with organisations like the ASEAN Foundation. Such partnerships aim to empower youth and underrepresented communities by providing digital skills training and promoting sustainable development?.Julia Madden's promotion is a testament to her leadership and the critical role of effective communication in SAP's mission to support businesses in their cloud transformation journeys across Southeast Asia and beyond.

Weber Shandwick appoints Farah Zuber as APAC Head of Communications

Weber Shandwick, a leading global communications agency, has appointed Farah Nurili Zuber as Vice President, Head of Communications for Asia-Pacific (APAC). In this newly created role, Zuber will oversee the firm's integrated communications efforts across the region, focusing on a broad range of stakeholders.Zuber brings over 14 years of experience in marketing and communications, having worked with renowned agencies such as Ogilvy Public Relations, ARC Worldwide, Edelman, SPAG FINN Partners, and Redhill. She boasts a specialization in corporate communications and reputation management within the technology, finance, and governance sectors. “Farah’s extensive regional experience in reputation management and her deep understanding of the business landscape are instrumental in driving our next growth phase. Her appointment demonstrates our commitment to delivering greater value to our employees, clients, and partners in the region. We are thrilled to have her with us,” said Tyler Kim, APAC CEO at Weber Shandwick. Farah said: “It is exciting and an honour to be part of Weber Shandwick, an agency renowned for delivering value-driven, earned-first work for decades. Additionally, the agency’s culture, which deeply embraces diversity and well-being, is truly refreshing. I strongly believe these two elements - the commitment to the work and to people - are what makes a brand successful and meaningful. I look forward to contributing to the agency’s growth moving forward.” Weber Shandwick is part of the Interpublic Group.

Value 360 Secures INR 10 Crore in New Contracts in Q1 2024-25

Value 360, part of V360 Group, India’s leading PR and communications consortium, has closed the first quarter of FY 2024-25 with a strong client acquisition streak. Riding a steady wave of growth, the firm has added INR 10 crore worth of new business to its portfolio.  Successfully navigating highly competitive multi-agency pitches, V360 Group has onboarded industry giants such as FedEx, Digi Yatra, ResMed, Pernod Ricard, Central Park, Omega Watches, 4700 BC, Novotel, and FNP (formerly known as Ferns and Petals) The stellar line-up of new clients underscores the agency’s rich expertise in creating comprehensive, end-to-end communication strategies for clients across industries.  Kunal Kishore, Group CEO & Co-Founder – V360 Group, said, “These new partnerships are not merely ‘wins’ for us, they represent the trust and confidence that leading global brands have placed in V360 Group. We are grateful to our new partners, and will collaboratively craft impactful narratives to accelerate their growth journey and elevate their brand value. The first quarter of the fiscal year has been replete with significant milestones for us, giving us the impetus for continued growth in the future.” Through its multiple wins, V360 Group has demonstrated exceptional adaptability and capability of managing a diverse clientele. The distinctive set of new clients - global logistics leader FedEx, healthcare innovator ResMed, alcoholic beverage giant Pernod Ricard, and lifestyle front-runner Omega Watches, among others – is a testament to the agency’s ability to tailor its approach and craft compelling, industry-specific narratives that spark meaningful engagement.  V360 Group’s reputation as a partner of choice for industry-leading brands is further solidified through its integrated approach towards communication. The agency puts forth an end-to-end strategy, encompassing digital marketing, traditional PR, and influencer marketing, strengthening its ability to connect with target audiences across channels. In doing so, the agency is transforming the landscape of PR and digital marketing, while providing award-winning campaigns for its partners.

One Source lands Corporate Communication for Appstrail Technology

Integrated marketing consultancy, One Source, today announced that it has won the  corporate communication mandate for Appstrail Technology, a digital transformation firm focused on  accelerating complex and lengthy transformation journeys of businesses. One Source will lead and develop Appstrail’s reputation across earned media through a variety of solutions. Appstrail Technology is headquartered in Mumbai with a Center of Excellence (CoE) in Bangalore. Specializing  in Salesforce, Full Stack Development and GenAI Services, they enables organizations to transform digitally by  offering tailored solutions across focused industries. From being and extended arm to startups for product  development to owning the end-to-end transformation for enterprise. Their AI based Distributor Management System (DMS) with offline capability built for Bharat boost productivity and provides visibility of end customers  to brands. For One Source, this mandate will be spearheaded by Lead Counsel on the account, Kopal Gupta and  her team, reporting into Co-Lead for Corporate Communication, Debaman Guin.  Shomil Shetty Co-Founder, Head of Business, Sales & Strategy, Appstrail Technology expressed his enthusiasm  about the partnership, stating, “In today’s fast-paced digital landscape, effective communication is paramount.  At Appstrail, we are dedicated to guiding businesses through their digital transformation journey with precision  and clarity. Partnering with One Source aligns perfectly with our commitment to delivering comprehensive  solutions and sharing our success stories with a broader audience. We believe that One Source's expertise in  integrated marketing and brand building will amplify our market leadership, enabling us to reach and inspire  enterprises nationwide with our unique solutions and approach”.  Speaking about the partnership, Sandeep Rao, Co–Founder and Co-Chief Executive Officer, One Source, stated: “We are excited to partner with Appstrail Technology. They are at the forefront of digital transformation,  representing the cutting edge of innovation in today's market. Together, we aim to bring out the essence of  Appstrail's transformative journey, ensuring that their strong narrative resonates with the right audience at the  right time.”  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.

BPG UAE appoints Camilla d’Abo as EVP of Communications & Content

BPG UAE (Bates PanGulf), a leading integrated marketing agency part of WPP, today announced the appointment of industry veteran Camilla d’Abo as its new Executive Vice President of Communications & Content.D’Abo will play a key role in driving BPG UAE’s continued success in delivering high-impact MarCom solutions and integrated campaigns for regional clients.“Our people are our greatest asset, and we are delighted to welcome Camilla d’Abo to Team BPG UAE,” said Avi Bhojani, Group CEO, BPG. “A powerhouse of talent and a business leader with a strong track record, Camilla will undoubtedly energise our ‘CX first and Integrated by Intent’ positioning.”Extensive experience and proven leadershipD’Abo brings over 25 years of expertise in the regional MarCom sector. Throughout her career, she has built and led award-winning teams, and has a proven track record of success. She has also founded and successfully managed several of the Middle East’s leading PR agencies.In her new role, D’Abo will oversee all aspects of BPG UAE’s Communications and Social Content Teams. She will work closely with Darius LaBelle, President BPG UAE, and other members of BPG’s Group ExCo.“Having followed BPG’s success story over the past four decades, I am thrilled to be joining at the helm driving the integration of communications and content into the next chapter of BPG 3.0,” said Camilla d’Abo, EVP Comms & Content, BPG.“I believe that being part of a CX focused brand agency with multiple specialist practices is a powerful advantage in the communications sector,” D’Abo added. “I look forward to bringing innovative thinking and integrated strategies that make a real difference to the team, agency and clients.”A strong track record of client successBPG UAE currently manages communications and content for some of the world’s leading organizations, including KPMG, DHL Global Forwarding, Sony MEA, and Warner Bros Discovery. The agency also works with regional clients such as Al Nabooda, Trojena, and Wasl.“We are incredibly excited to welcome Camilla to BPG UAE,” said Darius Labelle, President, BPG UAE. “Her experience perfectly aligns with our vision for the future. Camilla’s deep understanding of the regional MarCom landscape and our integrated capabilities will be instrumental in propelling BPG forward. Her commitment to championing sustainable and purpose-driven marketing will be a major asset to our team.”

TBWA HAKUHODO names Junko Hara as Corporate Communications Head

TBWA HAKUHODO has named Junko Hara as the new Head of Corporate Communications. In her new role, Junko will lead the agency's comprehensive communication strategies, enhancing its presence in both Japanese and global markets.Junko brings over 20 years of experience in branding, communications, public relations, and crisis management, working with a range of global and domestic companies, including tech firms, startups, and agencies.Chris Iki, COO of TBWA HAKUHODO, expressed his enthusiasm about the appointment, saying: “Junko’s strategic insight and extensive experience in both tech startups and agency environments make her an invaluable addition to our leadership team. Her ability to bridge cultural perspectives and drive innovative communication strategies aligns perfectly with our vision for the future.”

Ex-Eulogy honchos launch new PR powerhouse Woosah

Susie Dullard and Phil Borge-Slavnich, former directors at Eulogy, are taking their expertise to the next level with the launch of their own agency named Woosah.Dullard, a seasoned strategist with eight years at Eulogy, boasts experience at Weber Shandwick and Four Agency Worldwide. Her impressive client list includes Headspace, Coca-Cola, and National Grid.Borge-Slavnich, a Eulogy veteran with two separate tenures as managing director, also brings a wealth of experience from agencies like 1000Heads and Threepipe. His clients have ranged from Pride in London to Oracle.The agency's name, inspired by a scene in "Bad Boys II," signifies a state of composure. As Borge-Slavnich explains, Woosah embodies a two-fold approach: identifying untapped communication opportunities for clients and fostering a sense of calm and confidence amidst challenges.Their decision to strike out on their own stems from a desire to leverage their senior experience in an industry increasingly reliant on automation. They believe clients crave seasoned guidance, and Woosah offers just that – a blend of senior expertise with an agile delivery model.Dullard echoes this sentiment, highlighting a yearning to return to a more hands-on approach, something senior agency roles often limit.Woosah hits the ground running with their first client, Equity Energies, a sustainability consultancy from the FTSE 100 listed DCC. Woosah played a key role in developing Equity Energies' brand and communication strategy, with plans for future campaigns in place.Equity Energies' marketing director, Toby Costar, is effusive about Woosah. He highlights their infectious enthusiasm, storytelling prowess, and ability to meet tight deadlines.Woosah promises a fresh perspective in the communications landscape, combining extensive experience with a dynamic approach.

ContourGlobal hires João Duarte to lead renewables push

João Duarte, a seasoned communications professional with over 16 years of experience at Italian energy giant Enel Group, has taken on a new challenge as the global head of communications at ContourGlobal. This US-based electricity producer is undergoing a significant shift towards renewable energy sources, and Duarte's expertise will be crucial in supporting this transition.Duarte's responsibilities will encompass a wide range of communication functions, including corporate communications, brand strategy, media relations, digital communications, and employee engagement. ContourGlobal operates across a vast geographical spread, with a presence in 18 countries. The company boasts a market capitalization of $1.98 billion and is currently generating 27% of its power from renewable sources. Their plans involve accelerating the decarbonization of their operations and actively developing new renewable energy projects.Duarte's impressive track record at Enel included overseeing global and regional communication functions, leading a global rebranding initiative, and spearheading communication efforts for the power distribution business line on a global scale. He also played a key role in crafting communication and brand strategies for Gridspertise, a B2B spin-off company.In his new role, Duarte will report directly to ContourGlobal's president and CEO, Antonio Cammisecra. Duarte expressed his enthusiasm about the company's transformative journey and ambitious plans for renewable energy growth, particularly during this critical decade for climate action.Duarte emphasized the growing importance of renewables and the shift in investment away from fossil fuels and towards clean technologies. He envisions the ContourGlobal brand becoming a powerful symbol, demonstrating that achieving Net Zero emissions is not just achievable but also a commercially and industrially sustainable path forward.Duarte's accomplishments extend beyond his work at Enel. He holds the distinction of being the first executive officer of the Global Alliance for Public Relations and Communications Management in 2007. He is also a member of FERPILab, the think tank of the Italian Public Relations Federation.

Nurjaha Arora joins Skoda Auto Volkswagen as Head of Group Comms

Nurjaha Arora has joined Škoda Auto Volkswagen India as Head of Group Communications. She announced her new role on her LinkedIn profile. Prior to joining Škoda, Nurjaha led corporate communications at APM Terminals for over eight years. She served at Crompton Greaves Pvt. Ltd. for over a year. For more than ten years, Arora worked with Siemens India Ltd. She has also been associated with Legrand, Pidilite Industries Limited, and Technologies and Management Consultants.

Younion Brand Experiences partners with Pitchfork for strategic communications

Pitchfork Partners Strategic Consulting LLP, a Mumbai-based firm with a pan-India presence, has secured the strategic communication mandate for Younion Brand Experiences, a pioneering experiential marketing company.The mandate was awarded to Pitchfork Partners for its extensive expertise in managing strategic communication for both Indian and global businesses. The consultancy's goal is to assist Younion Brand Experiences in expanding beyond the B2B segment into the B2C segment, while also establishing it as a leading company in data, design, and event brand experiences.Pitchfork Partners will develop and execute Younion Brand Experiences' comprehensive communication strategy. This includes planning and formulating key messages, implementing effective campaign strategies, enhancing brand awareness, and engaging with relevant stakeholders to inform them about the company's offerings.Younion Brand Experiences, formally known as Younion Focused Marketing Services Pvt. Ltd, is a trailblazing brand experiences company established in 2010. Since its inception, the company has transformed how brands engage with their audiences. Younion believes that marketing is not just about transactions but about creating meaningful relationships and crafting experiences that resonate on a personal level. Their unique approach combines Events, Data, and Design to create immersive, memorable experiences and drive results-oriented marketing campaigns that leave lasting impressions."Pitchfork Partners brings a wealth of knowledge and a proven track record in strategic communication. This partnership is a significant step in our journey to enhance our brand presence and connect with both B2B and B2C audiences. We look forward to leveraging their insights to create memorable brand experiences and drive result-oriented marketing campaigns," said Shajesh Menon, Founder & CEO, Younion Brand Experiences.Jaideep Shergill, Co-Founder, Pitchfork Partners Strategic Consulting, said: "Younion Brand Experiences' commitment to creating transformative brand interactions is inspiring. At Pitchfork Partners, we are excited to support their journey towards broader market reach and greater brand recognition. Together, we aim to elevate Younion's brand presence, expanding their reach from B2B to B2C, and positioning it as a pioneer in experiential marketing. This collaboration is an exciting opportunity to leverage our combined strengths and create impactful, memorable experiences for their audience.”

JvM China wins smart's co-branding creative business

Creative agency JvM China has recently triumphed in a competitive pitch to secure the global co-branding creative business for the legendary car brand smart. As smart's new global agency, JvM will spearhead a series of innovative co-branding initiatives for both the brand and its products. Their comprehensive services will include scouting and selecting co-branding IPs, brands, and celebrity partnerships, negotiating rights, and devising and implementing co-branding strategies and creative solutions. During the pitch, JvM China leveraged its extensive experience in the luxury automotive market, both domestically and internationally, to offer a full-package proposal for smart’s global co-branding efforts, encompassing insights, strategy, creative, and integration of global co-branding resources.Eric Yang, CEO of JvM China, commented: "It’s an honour to partner again with such an iconic brand. Given the rapid changes in the global automotive industry today, there are numerous challenges and opportunities in brand and product communication. We are excited to innovate and create impactful and effective work with smart together.”Stella Yao, Head of Global Marketing for Smart, added: " The smart brand has previously enjoyed a successful long-term collaboration with JvM China. In this pitch, JvM China impressed us by integrating their extensive co-branding resources with excellent integrated marketing communication capabilities. We are very much looking forward to our upcoming projects.” The collaboration with JvM China takes immediate effect.JvM CHINA is part of the JvM Group, founded in Hamburg/Germany, with now over 1100 people with 33 offices in Europe, Asia and the US. JvM CHINA with offices in Beijing and Shanghai offers all modern communication services with additional special services in sports marketing with JvM SPORTS and pop culture marketing with JvM NERD.

Bloomingdale Public Relations appoints Vikram Kharvi as CEO

Full-service communications consulting agency Bloomingdale Public Relations Pte. Ltd has announced the appointment of Vikram Kharvi as its new CEO. With over 27 years of strategic communications and marketing expertise, Kharvi is set to lead Bloomingdale PR into a new era of growth and innovation.Diana Fernandes, Founder and Group CEO of Bloomingdale Public Relations Pte. Ltd., expressed her excitement about Kharvi's appointment: "We are pleased to welcome Vikram to our leadership team. His extensive experience and innovative approach to communications will be pivotal in driving Bloomingdale PR to new heights. Vikram's leadership will enhance our capabilities and unlock new opportunities for expansion and creativity. With Vikram at the helm, we are poised to elevate our operations and further solidify our position as a key player in the Industry."Vikram Kharvi has held senior roles at leading firms such as Adfactors PR, Tata Housing, Sampark PR, ANSSI Wellness, and Indian Express. His expertise in public relations, corporate communication, and traditional and digital marketing demonstrates his capability to lead Bloomingdale PR with exceptional confidence and vision. Kharvi's appointment aims to leverage his extensive expertise to drive Bloomingdale PR's strategic initiatives. He will focus on growth, operational excellence, talent development, and expansion into untapped geographies."I am honoured to join Bloomingdale PR," said Vikram Kharvi. "Having known Diana for over a decade, I have always been inspired by her tenacity and entrepreneurial spirit. This role is more than a professional milestone; it's an opportunity to work with a dynamic team that shares my passion for excellence. Together, we will elevate Bloomingdale PR to new heights, transforming it into a powerhouse of strategic communication and brand excellence. I am excited to embark on this journey and drive impactful change across industries and borders."

Brooks Running taps Sunny Side Up for UK, Ireland marketing push

Seattle-based performance running shoe brand Brooks has selected Sunny Side Up as its official UK agency following a competitive selection process.Brooks, a partner of major running events like Parkrun, Run Through, and The Great Run Company, equips athletes like reigning British 1500m World Champion Josh Kerr.The B Corp agency, Sunny Side Up, boasts a diverse client base spanning food, beverage, health, nutrition, sports, and travel. They'll focus on acquiring new customers for Brooks through media relations, crafting brand experiences, strategic partnerships, and influencer marketing campaigns.Sunny Side Up founder Nick Woods (pictured) will lead the Brooks account, reporting directly to Lee Emanuel, Brooks' UK and Ireland marketing manager. Emanuel emphasized the ongoing potential for Brooks to connect with runners and fitness enthusiasts across the UK and Ireland. He said: “We’ve seen strong growth YOY over the last decade, but we continue to strive to connect with existing and new runners to our brand. Our pitch process was rigorous and highly competitive, with a number of very strong agencies presenting some fantastic plans and thinking. Sunny Side Up really impressed us with their reading of our current situation, their relationships, their enthusiasm for the opportunity we have and their energy. We believe they’ll increase the eyeballs on our brand, especially among dedicated and fitness runners.”

WATATAWA names Stephen Robertson as new MD

WE Communications agency, WATATAWA, has announced the appointment of Stephen Robertson as their new managing director. Effective immediately, Stephen brings his impressive 30 years of experience in strategic communications across Asia-Pacific to the role.Throughout his career, Stephen has provided counsel to a wide range of regional and national corporations. His expertise lies in areas like corporate reputation management, strategy and positioning, crisis and issues management, and stakeholder engagement. Stephen is adept at navigating complex situations involving leadership, reputation, and regulations. He understands the critical role of communication insights, media savvy, and precision in achieving successful business outcomes for clients.Prior to his new role, Stephen held various regional consulting leadership positions. He is known for his hands-on approach, tackling communication challenges with a blend of logic and creativity. Stephen fosters close partnerships with clients' business and communication leaders to deliver effective strategies. He is a past president of the New Zealand Chamber of Commerce Singapore, further demonstrating his leadership and commitment to the region.Under Stephen's leadership, WATATAWA is poised to strengthen its presence in Singapore and across APAC. He will report to Nitin Mantri, Regional Executive Managing Director for APAC at WE Communications. Stephen succeeds Simon Pangrazio, the former Managing Partner, who will be departing the firm on July 5th.Kass Sells, CEO, International, WE, said: “This transition is a passing-of-the-torch moment to the next -generation of leadership and an example of how WE invests in and develops our leaders from within. A long-time business partner to Simon, Stephen is a seasoned communications professional who knows the market, our people and our clients, with a strong vision for the future of WATATAWA. At the same time, I want to extend our gratitude to Simon, who was instrumental in building the WATATAWA business and the team we have today.” Stephen said: “I am grateful for the opportunity to lead WATATAWA and maintain the high bar that Simon has set. It has been a privilege to work closely together over the decade and to develop a business and consulting model that is as relevant to our clients as ever and encourages and engages our people.”

SPAG FINN Partners lists top 50 influential Indian doctors on social media 2024

SPAG FINN Partners, a leading health communication and integrated marketing agency, unveils its list of "Top 50 Influential Doctors on Social Media - India 2024" under its ChangeMakers series. This initiative on Doctor's Day celebrates the remarkable impact of Indian doctors who are driving significant change through their digital presence on platforms like Instagram, LinkedIn, and YouTube.  Our ChangeMakers' series, underscores our commitment to highlighting the transformative power of digital health communicators. By advancing health literacy and fostering a culture of wellness, these exceptional doctors are not only reshaping how medical information is shared but also significantly contributing to public health improvement," said Aman Gupta, Managing Partner at SPAG FINN Partners.  SPAG FINN Partners' Influencer Marketing offering spans diverse health niches, ensuring brands find the perfect match for their communication and marketing campaigns.  With a robust network of over 1,000+ active health influencers and Key Opinion Leaders (KOLs) across major platforms such as Instagram, YouTube, Twitter, and LinkedIn, this list ensures brand connects with influencers who resonate with their target audiences. Selected for their expertise, engaging content, and community impact, the top 50 doctors on this list on each platform are pivotal in shaping conversations around health and well-being in India and beyond.  Mahesh Devrani, Partner at SPAG FINN Partners, emphasized the agency's unique approach to influencer marketing and said, “As a health specialised marketing agency we release this list to promote and celebrate a culture of transparency, trust, and evidence-based wellness, empowering our community with credible, impactful information. By showcasing the top 50 influential doctors on social media, we aim to emphasize the critical role of health information in the AI age. This initiative is designed to inspire a collaborative environment where individuals are empowered to take control of their health, guided by trusted and knowledgeable voices in the medical community  “In the evolving landscape of health and healthcare, influencers have become pivotal in shaping how people perceive and access health information. A collaborative, guided and ethical approach that brings together influencers, health experts, communicators, and the public is crucial to harnessing this trend’s full potential.”added Aman Gupta.  The purpose of recognizing these influential doctors is to highlight their contributions to public health education and advocacy. This list also aims to facilitate meaningful partnerships that amplify the voices of health experts and drive tangible impact. These, in turn, can bridge gaps between medical professionals, innovation and the general public, enhancing the reach and effectiveness of health-related information.

V Spark secures PR account for ImagesBazaar, a leading stock image provider

V Spark Communications, a brand management firm based in New Delhi, has been entrusted with the media communications mandate for ImagesBazaar, the world's largest bank of Indian visuals.With a vast collection of over 15,00,000 images and videos, ImagesBazaar has emerged as a popular platform for creative professionals worldwide looking for authentic Indian imagery. The collaboration between V Spark Communications and ImagesBazaar represents a significant step forward in visual communication, intending to enhance India's international portrayal.Kanika Chhabra, Founder of V Spark Communications, expressed her delight about the partnership: “V Spark acknowledges the value of authenticity, and ImagesBazaar is leading the way in preserving the authenticity of images in a world where AI is taking over. We aim to highlight their commitment to introducing authentic Indian imagery to a global audience.”Deepak Verma, COO of ImagesBazaar, also commented on the collaboration: “ImagesBazaar hopes to achieve the objectives regarding availability of authentic images for everyone through V Spark’s creative approaches. They have an impressive track record, a wealth of industry experience and the methods adopted by them are detailed and well-researched.”ImagesBazaar is committed to showcasing all aspects of visual communication about India around the world by using its extensive collection of images, videos, illustrations and 3D imagery. For ImagesBazaar, this partnership represents a strategic move towards improving brand credibility and image management, leveraging V Spark Communications' 13-year experience. By collaborating, the two organisations are poised to set new standards for visual storytelling and brand representation.

TEAM LEWIS names Pravin Nair as senior campaign manager in Singapore

TEAM LEWIS has appointed Pravin Nair as their new Senior Campaign Manager, stationed in Singapore. Nair transitions to TEAM LEWIS from Helix / Navigate PR, where he served as an Account Manager. His extensive background in public relations spans various sectors, including government, B2B, maritime/shipping, and corporate industries.During his tenure at Helix, Pravin managed public relations efforts for clients in the maritime and B2B insurance sectors. His earlier professional experiences also include working with government and corporate clients. Nair holds a degree in Media Studies and Public Relations from Murdoch University.

Sudarshana Dutt joins Skipper Ltd as GM for Brand & Corporate Communications

Sudarshana Dutt has joined Skipper Limited as General Manager, Brand & Corporate Communications. She announced her new role on LinkedIn, stating, "Excited to begin as DGM - Brand & Corporate Communications at SKIPPER LIMITED! Thrilled to leverage my expertise in brand strategy, communications, and team collaboration to drive impactful narratives."Prior to joining Skipper, Sudarshana handled communications for Tega Industries for over a year. She also worked for Ideal Group as Marcom Head for more than three years. Additionally, she has been associated with Esarjey Media Ventures Pvt. Ltd., Posterscope, and Laqshya Media Pvt. Ltd.

Pooja Thakran joins Wells Fargo as Executive & Lead Public Affairs

Pooja Thakran has joined Wells Fargo as Executive & Lead Public Affairs. She confirmed her new job role on her LinkedIn profile. "As they say, ‘Jobs fill your pocket, but adventures fill your soul.’ I have chosen to take up a new adventure by changing my job, experiencing the new, building something great, sustaining, and cherishing. This time, I am changing wells! From Honeywell to Wells Fargo. After four intense and amazing years at Honeywell, I am delighted to take up the position of Executive & Leader, Public Affairs, India and Philippines, for Wells Fargo, a leading US bank with over 150 years of legacy, ranked among the Fortune 50 companies. In my first week, I feel fortunate to have met the top 300 leaders in the region. Great to say #wearewellsfargo as we spend the rest of the week at the leadership conference learning how Wells Fargo is gearing up for growth and excellence."Prior to joining Wells Fargo, Pooja worked at Honeywell as Sr. Director & Head of Corporate Communications for over four years. Before her tenure at Honeywell, Pooja served as Director of Corporate Communications & CSR at Boehringer Ingelheim. She has also been associated with Lupin, Telenor, ALSTOM Grid, Aon Hewitt, GE Capital, and Hewlett-Packard. In her early years, Pooja managed communications in the hotels and hospitality sector, including roles at Sheraton New Delhi Hotel (ITC Group) and Taj Mahal Hotel. names Hamza Sarawy as MENA’s Head of Communications, one of the region’s leading next-gen media and Adtech solutions providers, has announced the appointment of Hamza Sarawy as the new Head of Communications for the MENA region, effective July 1, 2024. Sarawy, a seasoned content professional and advocate for the communications industry, brings a wealth of experience and a deep understanding of the market. With over a decade of experience in content, communications, and thought leadership, Sarawy seamlessly blends agency expertise with entrepreneurial insights. He is also a founding partner of Brandberries, a MENA-focused publisher dedicated to brand building.Commenting on his appointment, Sarawy stated, "I’m excited to lead the communications business of and its sister entities. It's a real honor. As the region quickly transforms into a hyper-connected tech hotspot, media and adtech will play a crucial role as mobilizers. This is where we’re well-placed, and I plan to build on this foundation."Waseem Afzal, Founder of, added, "Hamza’s appointment is a significant step in advancing our vision to incubate forward-looking entities that better align with the evolving consumer marketing landscape in the MENA region. His rich background in content and communications, coupled with his entrepreneurial spirit, perfectly aligns with our vision for growth and innovation."

Fila taps DeVries Global for US PR push

Fila, the iconic Italian sportswear brand, has chosen DeVries Global to spearhead a revitalized effort to strengthen its brand recognition within the US market.DeVries will now serve as Fila's official North American communications agency, taking charge of all PR aspects. This includes crafting brand messaging and communication strategies, securing national earned media coverage, and boosting executive exposure. Their support will encompass both upcoming brand campaigns and the development of continuous brand narratives and activations.DeVries secured Fila's business after a competitive selection process. In the past, Fila's US communications were managed by a consortium of agencies, including Havas Sports & Entertainment."It is an exciting time for Fila as we prepare to reintroduce the brand to the world in a big way, and we looked for a partner that was uniquely suited to join us on this journey. The DeVries Global team brings solid fashion and retail experience and demonstrated a deep understanding of our brand, mission and consumer. They are a very passionate, collaborative and agile team which gives us great confidence in our future together,” said Emily Maxey, (pictured), Senior VP of marketing, Fila.

Marketing, PR firm PAN acquires BLASTmedia

PAN, a global, integrated, data-driven marketing and PR firm for B2B tech and healthcare brands, has announced its strategic acquisition of BLASTmedia. The acquisition helps unlock PAN’s strategic objective of representing B2B tech brands at all stages of their growth journeys – from emerging to mid and late stage to publicly traded. BLASTmedia becomes PANBlast, effective immediately, and now has the ability to offer a wider range of integrated marketing services through PAN’s brand-to-demand approach, which includes PR, social media marketing, content marketing, paid media and experience design informed by robust data and analytics.  Philip A Nardone, president and CEO of PAN, said: “This is a significant strategic milestone for our firm. PANBlast bolsters our existing presence in the B2B tech market and allows us to provide dedicated B2B SaaS PR services to emerging and high-growth brands, ultimately benefiting both our existing and new clients. We eagerly anticipate collaborating with our talented new teammates to serve clients at any stage of their journey and grow together into the future.” Headquartered in Indianapolis, Indiana, the 40-person PANBlast team joins forces with 170-person PAN, a HyFlex-model organisation headquartered in Boston, Massachusetts with distributed US teams from coast to coast – San Francisco, California to New York City, New York – and global teams in London, England. All former BLASTmedia team members are being transitioned to PANBlast, with PAN’s leadership team welcoming Mendy Werne as managing director of PANBlast and Lindsey Groepper as EVP of PANBlast business development and marketing. Through this strategic acquisition, PAN reinforces its commitment to delivering a diverse set of indispensable and innovative PR services with highly skilled experts who are passionate about earned media, client relations and thought leadership excellence. Werne remarked: “After nearly 20 years of BLASTmedia forging our own path and becoming a trusted name in B2B tech and SaaS PR, coming together with another B2B tech powerhouse agency like PAN creates limitless opportunity for our clients and employees.” Established in 2005 and named to Inc.’s Best Workplaces list, BLASTmedia has been dedicated to representing B2B SaaS companies from the emerging to high-growth stages of their journeys. With deep experience in verticals like HR tech, martech, AI and retail, the agency understands the unique challenges in scaling a SaaS business and uses media relations, content and thought leadership to impact four primary pillars: investors, employees, partners and customers.  Kelly Hendricks, founder of BLASTmedia, is serving in a PANBlast advisory role through the end of 2024. Hendricks commented: “Our shared values and commitment to employees is what attracted us to Phil and the PAN team, and there is no doubt that they are the perfect partner to take BLASTmedia to the next level. We are excited to complement our service offerings with PAN’s integrated marketing and PR capabilities, additional resources and scale.” (Pictured (L to R): Phil Nardone (CEO, PAN), Lindsey Groepper (EVP of Business Development & Marketing, PANBlast), Mendy Werne (Managing Director, PANBlast), Kelly Hendricks (Founder, BLASTmedia & Advisor, PANBlast)

SGCA Jury Awards celebrate individual communication feats across four categories

The Sharjah Government Media Bureau (SGMB) has introduced the Jury Awards as part of the 11th edition of the Sharjah Government Communication Award (SGCA), focused on celebrating and recognising outstanding individual achievements and valuable contributions in the communication field across four categories.These include the ‘Best Distinguished Government Official Award’, ‘Best Individual to Have Contributed Strategically to the Field of Government Communication’, ‘Best Communication with Impact on Remote Communities’, and ‘Best Individual Positive Social Impact Award’.Leading experts in media and communicationThe selection of nominees and winners for the four categories will be based on the SGCA Jury Committee, which comprises HE Mohammed Jalal Al Raisi, (pictured), Chairman of the Jury Committee; HE Ali Jaber, Group TV Director of MBC and Dean of the Mohammed Bin Rashid School for Communication at the American University in Dubai; HE Dr. Ali Qasim Jawad Al Lawati, President of The Royal Academy of Management in Oman; HE Shihab Alhammadi, Vice Chancellor for Financial and Administrative Affairs - University of Sharjah; Mohammed Majed Al Suwaidi, Acting Director of Sharjah Sports Channel (SSC); Mona El-Shazly, prominent Egyptian media personality and TV host; Sami Al Reyami, former Editor-in-Chief of Emarat Al Youm newspaper; Dr. Yasar Jarrar, Senior Strategy Advisor focused on emerging markets and author of “The Sheikh CEO” book; and writer and media personality Dr. Ahmed Abdel Rahman Al Arfaj.Celebrting individual communication endeavoursHE Mohammed Jalal Al Raisi, Chairman of the SGCA jury committee said: "We take great pride in our ongoing partnership with the prestigious and coveted Sharjah Government Communication Award. Leveraging the expertise of each jury member, these special award categories seek to recognise leading achievements and honour exemplary societal models that inspire the public to engage positively and actively."He said: "Our communities have many commendable experiences that positively utilise communication tools effectively and deserve public recognition. It is our responsibility as jurors to highlight these achievements. The categories span various facets of government communication, including outstanding leadership, strategic contributions, and positive social impacts. Showcasing these achievements reinforces values of innovation and excellence in communication and fosters further contributions towards a more connected, developed, and positively influenced society."Best Distinguished Government Official AwardThe Best Distinguished Government Official Award honours government officials who have demonstrated exceptional leadership, inspiring dedication, and effective contributions that go far beyond the expectations of their official roles. The award seeks to highlight those who take a hands-on approach and interact directly with the public, employees, and society, creating wide-reaching positive impact both in the entities where they work and in society by improving public services, adopting innovative initiatives, and enhancing transparency and accountability in government administration.Individuals with Strategic ContributionsThe Best Individual to Have Contributed Strategically to the Field of Government Communication celebrates exceptional individuals who have played a pivotal role in positive change and a profound impact on government communication through contributions to elevate communications between governments and citizens through strategic, scientific, and applied contributions. The award also recognises individuals who have provided creative and innovative solutions to advance strategies, transparency, and credibility.Best Communication with Impact on Remote CommunitiesThe Best Communication with Impact on Remote Communities award category honours individuals who have shown exceptional creativity and excellence in designing and implementing communication strategies targeting remote areas with tangible positive results. The award recognises those who have utilised new or unconventional tools and technologies to overcome communication challenges in those regions, as well as those who have developed strategies that transcend geographic and cultural barriers. The jury will consider several key contributions, including developing and implementing strategies that address the unique privacy and challenges of remote areas.Best Individual Positive Social Impact AwardThe Best Individual Positive Social Impact Award honours individuals who have made a substantial social contribution by directly influencing large groups of people, inspiring them to take on positive roles, and becoming effective public role models. This award category recognises community figures and social media influencers who have utilised their social media stardom to drive initiatives, practices, and communication campaigns with profound and positive social, developmental, and cultural impacts, contributing to societal advancement.

UNWTO welcomes New Perspective Media as new affiliate member

The United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) has welcomed Dubai-based New Perspective Media (NPM Group) to its expanding network of affiliate members. NPM Group joins 38 other entities from across the globe, including for-profit companies, non-government organizations, and education and research institutes.New Perspective Media is an 18-year-old integrated marketing and communication agency with offices in the Asia-Pacific region. The new members represent a diverse range of backgrounds and come from various regions: 6 from Africa, 10 from the Americas, 3 from Asia and the Pacific, 13 from Europe, and 7 from the Middle East. Their admission was officially endorsed during the 121st Session of the Executive Council, held in Barcelona, Spain, on June 10-11.The UNWTO Affiliate Membership aims to invigorate local tourism sectors and connect leading private entities within the largest network of its kind in the field of tourism. This network now comprises a total of 500 entities."We are grateful and thrilled to advance public-private cooperation through this affiliate membership under the United Nations World Tourism Organization," said Dr Karen Remo, (pictured), CEO and Founder of NPM Group and The Filipino Times. "We are committed to UNWTO’s goal of enhancing a new generation of partnerships with governments, civil society, academia, and the business community by promoting the exchange of knowledge to contribute to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals."The UNWTO, the specialized United Nations agency responsible for the promotion of tourism, has long considered the private sector to be an integral partner in fulfilling its mandate of promoting sustainable development in tourism. Notably, UNWTO is the only UN agency that includes private sector members in its governance structure.As a destination management and private tourism promotions agency, NPM Group has collaborated with notable clients such as the Philippines’ Tourism Promotions Board, Hamburg Tourismus in Germany, Saudi Arabia’s Royal Commission of AlUla, and Cebu Pacific, one of the Philippines' leading airlines. NPM Group is also the parent company of The Filipino Times, the largest digital news agency for overseas Filipinos and the biggest free newspaper in the UAE.

Evident names Fran Ayala as Head of Strategic Planning

Evident Integrated Marketing and PR, a Philippines-based agency, has named Fran Ayala as the new Head of Strategic Planning. In this capacity, Ayala will assist clients with purpose-driven branding and marketing strategies designed to foster business growth and create positive social change. She will report directly to Cecile Dominguez-Yujuico, the Founder and CEO.Ayala recently returned to the Philippines after spending 13 years in Hong Kong, where she expanded her agency portfolio by leading Text100’s (now Archetype) content marketing team, launching The Economist Group’s PR agency, TVC, in the Asia Pacific region, and managing global and regional accounts for Edelman."Fran's work with global agencies and leading brands positions her perfectly to elevate our clients' market presence and business growth through compelling storytelling. We're delighted to welcome her aboard," said Cecile Dominguez-Yujuico.  “I’m delighted to be back in the Philippines and joining a team of colleagues who believe that purpose is at the heart of all successful branding and marketing. There are so many brands in this country doing impressive work, and I want to help tell their stories in a way that sustains their business growth and makes a positive social impact,” said Fran.

WE Communications appoints Nichole Provatas as EVP

WE Communications (WE) has announced the appointment of Nichole Provatas as executive vice president and international head of integrated marketing. This new role expands upon her previous position as executive vice president, APAC head of integrated marketing. Prior to that, she served as the global head of digital, creative, and strategy.In her new role, Provatas will lead WE's borderless experience team (BET), a globally decentralized group that offers client counsel, creative execution, strategic insights, and data capabilities to clients worldwide.Before joining WE, Provatas was at Adobe, where she held roles as head of brand communications and advocacy, APAC, and head of social media, APAC. She also worked as an account director and senior account supervisor at Edelman in Sydney and New York, respectively.Additionally, WE Communications has appointed Brian Keenan as executive vice president and international head of insights and analytics. Keenan will be responsible for enhancing WE's insight, analytics, and strategy capabilities for clients and driving growth across key markets and sectors.Keenan previously held the role of executive vice president, APAC strategy, and head of strategy at WE. His prior experience includes serving as senior vice president of planning and head of business intelligence at Weber Shandwick Australia, as well as senior insights, strategy and creativity planner and global creative initiatives manager at Ketchum in London. According to his LinkedIn profile, Keenan began his career as a guest lecturer at New York University, where he taught global marketing, creativity, brainstorming, and emerging technologies.Both Provatas and Keenan report to Kass Sells, CEO, International, WE.Alongside these leadership changes, WE has appointed Charmaine Lin and Michelle Lim as director and associate director of sectors in Singapore, respectively. Reporting to Troy Lee, head of sectors at WE, Lin and Lim will enhance the agency’s capabilities in tourism, travel and hospitality, technology, B2B, and crisis communications.

CIFDAQ welcomes Arnab Das as VP of Corporate Communications

CIFDAQ, an AI-powered blockchain ecosystem company, has appointed Arnab Das as Vice President of Corporate Communications. Arnab brings over two decades of rich experience in the media, communications, and public relations domain. Prior to joining CIFDAQ, Arnab spearheaded communications at Tap Invest, an Alternate Investment startup, where his strategic prowess significantly contributed to the company's growth trajectory. His leadership was also instrumental during his tenure as the PR Lead for CoinDCX, where he played a pivotal role in establishing it as India's first Crypto Unicorn. With a background spanning 15 years in journalism, Arnab has left a mark across prestigious media platforms including CNBC TV-18, India Today Group, BloombergTV, Loksabha TV, and NDTV. His deep understanding of the media landscape coupled with his insightful storytelling capabilities has garnered widespread recognition throughout his career. Furthermore, Arnab has honed his skills as a public relations specialist during his tenure at HDFC Ltd. and Madison World. In his new role at CIFDAQ, Arnab will leverage his extensive expertise to drive strategic communications initiatives, enhance brand visibility, and foster strong relationships with stakeholders."We are thrilled to welcome Arnab Das to the CIFDAQ family", said Himanshu Maradiya, Founder and Chairman of CIFDAQ. "His decades of experience and proven track record in communications and media will be invaluable as we continue to innovate and expand our presence in the industry. We look forward to his leadership in advancing our strategies".Arnab Das expressed his excitement about joining CIFDAQ, stating, "I am thrilled to join CIFDAQ, a trailblazer in blockchain innovation. Together with our talented team, I look forward to crafting powerful communication strategies that not only amplify our brand story but also drive meaningful impact in the fintech landscape. Our goal is to shape a future-ready ecosystem that thrives on excellence and practical outcomes."Arnab Das's appointment marks a significant milestone for CIFDAQ as the company reinforces its commitment to excellence and innovation in the corporate communications domain.

RICE Communications joins PROI network

RICE Communications, a Singapore-headquartered independent communications consultancy, has been accepted into the Public Relations Organisation International (PROI) network. PROI brings together over 90 PR and communications agencies from 65 countries around the world.“Since our founding in 2009, RICE has been people-led and recognised for its culture, which has helped us grow into one of the largest, most successful independent communications consultancies in Asia. We are eager to join PROI Worldwide and benefit from the deep knowledge of Partners throughout the world,” said James Brasher, (pictured), Managing Partner, RICE Communications.  RICE Communications is known for its award-winning work in B-to-B technology, corporate communications, and consumer marketing. The firm emphasizes a commitment to "stewardship," aiming to create positive impacts for its clients, employees, the industry, and the communities it serves.“RICE is an award-winning consultancy with deep expertise in B2B technology, corporate and consumer industries. With a vision centered on stewardship, RICE continually seeks to positively impact its clients, employees, the industry and communities in which it operates. They are a powerful addition to our global partnerships," said Jeff Lambert, Global Chair of PROI Worldwide and Chair of Lambert by LLYC.

House of Communication awarded PR Mandate for Nemetschek Group in India

House of Communication, a leading integrated marketing communications agency, announced that it has been awarded the public relations mandate for Nemetschek Group in India. Nemetschek Group, headquartered in Munich, Germany, is a global leading software provider for digital transformation in the AEC/O (Architecture, Engineering Construction and Operate) and Media industry. This strategic partnership marks a significant milestone as Nemetschek Group embarks on its journey in India to establish and solidify its presence in this dynamic market.Nemetschek Group, renowned for its cutting-edge software solutions that drive innovation in the AEC/O industry, has chosen House of Communication for its expertise in executing comprehensive PR strategies that resonate with target audiences. This collaboration aims to enhance Nemetschek’s brand visibility, foster strong stakeholder relationships, and cement its position as a market leader in India.Nemetschek India, sees this partnership as a pivotal step in their growth strategy.Commenting on the partnership, Nirmalya Chatterjee, Country VP, Nemetschek Group - Indian Subcontinent said, “We are delighted to collaborate with House of Communication, whose strategic approach and creative expertise align perfectly with our goals. We are confident that their strategic guidance will be instrumental in establishing Nemetschek India as a leader in providing the best alternative and cost-effective BIM solutions to the AEC/O industry of Indian subcontinent."Shivam Trivedi, Director, House of Communication, expressed about the collaboration: “We are honoured to partner with Nemetschek India, a company that stands at the forefront of digital innovation in the construction and building sector. Our shared vision of driving excellence and innovation makes this partnership a perfect synergy. We look forward to leveraging our expertise to elevate Nemetschek’s as a brand and expand its footprint in India.”

One Source bags corporate communication mandate for Vitraya Technologies

Integrated marketing consultancy, One Source, today announced that it has won the corporate communication mandate for Vitraya Technologies, a leading insurtech company. One Source will spearhead and build comprehensive communication strategies for Vitraya Technologies across creative storytelling, online reputation building, and investor relations management.Established in 2019, Vitraya Technologies has grown rapidly, partnering with clientele such as Star Health, Niva Bupa, Bajaj Allianz, and more, in India, as well as Allianz, United Healthcare, and Cigna, globally. The company's proprietary auto-adjudication systems can enable critical decision-making within 'one-millionth of a second', revolutionising the claim settlement process. Leading the account for One Source will be Lead Counsel, Niharika Sagar, reporting into Debaman Guin, Co-lead, Corporate Communication at One Source."Our vision at Vitraya Technologies is to redefine and transform the healthcare claim settlement process," commented Avdhesh Sharma, India-President at Vitraya Technologies on the partnership continuing, "By providing seamless, accurate, and fast settlement systems, we enhance the experience of the entire healthcare ecosystem and bring tangible value to our clients, setting new standards in the industry. We want to partner with a firm which is equally invested in our brand, and One Source was the clear winner"."At One Source, our primary focus is on driving measurable business impact for our clients through integrated marketing strategies”, said Sandeep Rao, Co-founder and Co-Chief Executive Officer, One Source. "Our approach to driving outcomes through earned media enables us to craft strategies that drive growth and success for our clients, ensuring that their business growth remains paramount. By aligning our efforts with Vitraya Technologies' mission to enhance efficiency, trust, and value in the healthcare system, we are confident in our ability to foster mutual growth and success".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.

Shakespeare Communications adds KGI as new client

Shakespeare Communications, a Dubai-based boutique PR firm, has announced its newest client, Krypton Global Investment Consultants LLC (KGI), a consulting firm headquartered in the UAE.KGI has additional offices in Mumbai and London, and ambitious plans to expand into the US and Southeast Asia.The latest client win adds to Shakespeare Communication’s ever-growing roster, from fast food outlets to private banks.Specialising in strategic investment advisory services for high net worth individuals (HNIs), KGI has established itself as a trusted name in the industry, offering a comprehensive suite of services including international real estate transactions, property management, relocation, second passport and residence solutions and more.KGI’s mission is to shift investment paradigms in the HNWI segment, providing clients with the tools and opportunities to grow and protect their wealth on a global scale. Despite being only five years old, KGI has already garnered prestigious accolades, including the ‘International Property Consultant of the Year’ award at the Real Estate & Business Excellence Awards 2020 hosted by CNN, and the ‘Business Excellence Award’ by Corporate Visions in 2021.Ananda Shakespeare, Founder and CEO of Shakespeare Communications, (pictured), said: "We are delighted to welcome Krypton Global Investment Consultants to our client roster. KGI is a remarkable company which has quickly made a significant impact in the investment advisory space. Its commitment to excellence and innovative approach aligns perfectly with our values at Shakespeare Comms. We look forward to leveraging our expertise to enhance both its brand presence and support its growth ambitions."KGI’s renowned expertise in providing reliable, transparent and customised solutions has earned it a stellar reputation among local and international clients. Its deep market insights and strategic advisory services have been instrumental in helping clients navigate the complexities of global markets, identify lucrative investment opportunities and optimise their portfolios. The firm’s dedicated team of professionals, including tax consultants, mortgage lenders and lawyers, ensures every aspect of the investment process is handled seamlessly from start to finish.

PROI Worldwide makes history with women in leadership roles

For the first time in its history, PROI Worldwide has appointed women to its top leadership positions, naming Angela Scaffidi, (pictured), as Global Chair and Nicola Nel as Global Managing Director.PROI (Public Relations Organisation International) is a global network of independent public relations and communications agencies. Angela Scaffidi, founder and managing partner of Australian consultancy SenateSHJ, brings a wealth of experience from her work with clients across the public, private, and non-profit sectors in Australasia. A long-serving member of the PROI Board for the APAC region, Scaffidi is also a fellow of Communication and Public Relations Australia (CPRA) and a member of Chief Executive Women in Australia. With a background at McKinsey & Company and Turnbull Porter Novelli, Angela serves on the boards of Challenge: supporting kids with cancer, McAuley Community Services for Women, and chairs The Missed Foundation. A skilled facilitator and trainer, she has taught at RMIT University and held leadership roles in the Public Relations Institute of Australia and PROI Worldwide.“This appointment is an honour. I look forward to working with my partners and friends across the globe to grow the PROI’s influence in our industry. Together we have a team of 8,800 people around the world. It’s a powerful force to drive positive change, both in our industry and society. I’m excited to help our partners to flex their entrepreneurial muscle, continue to grow and make an even greater impact on the world,” Scaffidi said.  Nicola Nel, who founded Atmosphere Communications in South Africa over twenty years ago and grew it into a leading PR consultancy before its acquisition by Accenture Song in 2021, expressed her excitement about her new role. “I'm thrilled to take on the role of global managing director. The independent network model fosters a spirit of collaboration and innovation that excites me. I firmly believe that the work of independent communications agencies will play an integral role in the marketing mix going forward and networks such as PROI hold the key to the future of our industry. I'm eager to work alongside PROI's talented entrepreneurial agency owners to shape that future," said Nicola Nel. Nel succeeds Jeff Altheide, who is retiring after nearly 45 years in public relations. Scaffidi is the second woman to hold the global chair position in PROI's 50+ year history, while Nel becomes the third global managing director.

Sanjeev Anand charts out the road ahead for Dentsu Creative PR

In a strategic move to align more closely with the evolving needs of its clients, Dentsu Creative India has restructured its creative business. The new formation comprises three distinct portfolio brands: Dentsu Creative Webchutney, Dentsu Creative Isobar, and Dentsu Creative PR. This reorganization aims to leverage the unique strengths of each brand to provide comprehensive, tailored solutions in the realms of creative media, digital experiences, and public relations.Dentsu Creative Webchutney, renowned for its groundbreaking campaigns, continues to push the boundaries of advertising and media engagement.Dentsu Creative Isobar, a leader in digital transformation, focuses on creating immersive, user-centric digital experiences.Completing the trio, Dentsu Creative PR specializes in public relations, offering strategic communication solutions to build and maintain a positive brand image. With a keen understanding of the media landscape and consumer behavior, Dentsu Creative PR crafts compelling narratives that resonate with target audiences and bolster client reputations.Also read:Webchutney and Isobar are complementary pillars of Dentsu Creative: Amit WadhwaDentsu Creative Promotes Surjo Dutt To CCO - Dentsu Creative WebchutneyTo understand the reimagining and strategic communication, and the impact of Dentsu Creative PR on Dentsu Creative, Adgully spoke to Sanjeev Anand, President, Dentsu Creative PR, to know what Dentsu PR brings to the table in terms of clients and brands and more.Talking about Dentsu Creative PR reimagining and reintroducing the creative business within the PR landscape, Sanjeev Anand, elaborated, “At Dentsu Creative PR, we are at the vanguard of reshaping the creative business within the PR landscape through the seamless integration of innovative storytelling, data-driven insights, and cutting-edge technology. Our approach is centered on providing holistic and impactful communication solutions that connect with diverse audiences across a variety of media. By leveraging our vast network and the promotion of collaborative and innovative culture, we ensure that our clients’ communications reach and deeply engage their intended audiences, resulting in significant outcomes and enduring relationships.”Dentsu Creative PR’s operations integrate with the broader Dentsu Creative frameworkAnand said, “Dentsu Creative’s broader framework enhances the functionality of Dentsu Creative PR. Utilizing the resources and synergies of a vast framework, Dentsu Creative PR functions as a crucial component of the larger Dentsu Creative network. It allows us to offer clients holistic solutions to their business challenges all under one roof. Through the integration of Dentsu’s capabilities we have strengthened our capacity to provide comprehensive and innovative solutions. To improve efficiency and effectiveness, recent changes have focused on streamlining operations, enhancing collaboration across teams, and implementing advanced technologies. We now work on clusters, serving the top clients of Dentsu India and not merely on public relations. Such initiatives are intended to provide our clients with seamless and superior service, keeping us at the forefront of the industry.”Unique values that Dentsu Creative PR bring to the tableAnand, emphasized, “Dentsu Creative is driven by the philosophy of ‘Innovating to Impact’. With a combination of creative innovation, strategic insights, and global reach, Dentsu Creative PR brings a unique value proposition to the table. Our ability to craft engrossing narratives that resonate with diverse audiences while utilizing data and technology to maximize engagement and impact is what makes us strong. We excel in brand management, strategic communications and crisis communications, ensuring that our clients' brands are not only visible but also significant and relevant. Our integrated approach, combined with a deep understanding of market dynamics and consumer behavior enables us to deliver exceptional public relations, client engagement, and brand management results.”Dentsu Creative PR’s approach client relationsAnand shared, “Our client relations strategy is based on a foundation of openness, trust, and customized solutions. We place high priority on the unique needs and objectives of each of our clients, allowing us to create customized strategies that deliver outstanding results. Regular communication, proactive problem-solving, and a commitment to excellence are at the core of our service philosophy. By continuously seeking feedback and adapting to the evolving landscape, we ensure that we not only meet but exceed clients’ expectations, fostering long-term partnerships and achieving the highest level of client satisfaction.”Vision for the futureSpeaking about his vision for the future of Dentsu Creative PR, Anand added, “My goal for Dentsu Creative PR is to establish ourselves as the foremost authority on innovative and impactful public relations. By consistently pushing the envelope of creativity, adopting cutting-edge technological advancements, and keeping a laser-like focus on client success. Our strategic initiatives include investing in talent development, fostering a culture of collaboration and inclusivity, and expanding our capabilities through strategic partnerships. By staying ahead of industry trends and consistently delivering exceptional value, we will influence PR’s future and drive success for our clients and stakeholders.”

Clemenger Group appoints Freya Bidwell as Agency Communications Manager

Clemenger Group has appointed Freya Bidwell as the new Agency Communications Manager, a role created to oversee national communications for leading firms within the group: Porter Novelli, Traffik, and LEVO.With a diverse background spanning creative agencies and journalism, Freya brings valuable experience from her previous roles at Saatchi & Saatchi and The Works, part of Capgemini, where she spearheaded communications strategies.Les Timar, CEO of Clemenger Group, expressed enthusiasm about Freya's appointment: "We are thrilled to welcome Freya to Clemenger Group as our new Agency Communications Manager. Our specialist agencies are an integral part of the Group and highly regarded in their respective fields for solving critical business challenges. Her experience will be instrumental in further enhancing the reputation of Porter Novelli, Traffik, and LEVO, and sharing stories of their work, people and industry perspectives."

Elite PR joins GHMC as exclusive Taiwan agency

Global Health Marketing & Communications (GHMC), a network of independent healthcare agencies worldwide, has announced the addition of Elite PR, a Taiwan-based communications agency. The addition strengthens GHMC’s offerings in the Asia-Pacific region and expands the capabilities of the network.Established in 1987, Elite PR employes 150 people and has 13 subsidiaries, among which HealthCom, MediCom, and MediCom APAC focus on the healthcare sector. These entities provide healthcare clients with insightful communication services on a regional and global level. Over the past decade, the three healthcare teams have won 17 PR Awards Asia. With this partnership, Elite PR will gain insights and reach on a global scale while GHMC expands its APAC offerings.“We are thrilled to add Elite PR and its vast array of healthcare communications capabilities to the Global Health Marketing & Communications network,” said GHMC President, Tim Goddard. “The Asia-Pacific region is becoming increasingly important for the commercial success of global life science companies. Having Elite’s deep in-market knowledge and expertise to help navigate the complexities and nuances in country, and across the region, further strengthens GHMC’s position in APAC and will add tremendous value to our clients around the world. For many years we have leaned on the Elite team to gain insights and expertise into the market in Taiwan, and to welcome the team as an official partner will be equally beneficial to current partners in the network and Elite PR themselves.” Taiwan's healthcare system has been widely praised, with the National Health Insurance (NHI) system significantly reducing the financial burden on the public for medical treatment and prescription medications. Medical product promotion in Taiwan is subject to strict regulatory limitations, creating the need for a variety of creative approaches in health marketing and communications in the market. These strategies, refined over the past decade, have helped Elite PR assist even more patients through their efforts.“We are extremely excited to grow our global footprint and expand our local and regional healthcare services by joining the GHMC family,” said Elite PR Group General Manager, Jason Chang. “This partnership will generate more service models and business opportunities, enabling our healthcare teams to deliver for clients on a worldwide basis.”‘"We are very excited to have Elite PR group from Taiwan as our esteemed partners. The partnership helps increase our combined reach in the APAC region. Their deep health expertise and insight-driven communication will add value to our regional campaigns and outreach," said Priti Mohile, CoFounder of MediaMedic Communications, the exclusive India partner of GHMC.As the exclusive partner in Taiwan, Elite will join three other APAC partner agencies including Spurwing in Singapore, VIVA! in Australia and MediaMedic in India.

Swagata Gupta rejoins NPCI as Head of Corporate Communications

Swagata Gupta has rejoined the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) as Head of Corporate Communications. NPCI also announced her new appointment on their LinkedIn."We are excited to welcome Swagata Gupta as Head of Corporate Communications at NPCI! She is returning to us with a wealth of experience from successfully helming award-winning PR campaigns. Beyond work, Swagata is a big-time traveler and a CrossFit enthusiast. We're really proud to have her vision and leadership back with us. #NPCIFamily"Prior to rejoining NPCI, Swagata was working with HDFC Bank as Vice President of Corporate Communications. She has also been associated with other payment gateway companies before joining NPCI, including CashFree Payments as Senior Director & Head of Corporate Communications & Public Affairs.From May 2019 to April 2021, she was heading PR & Corporate Communications at NPCI. She has served other insurance firms, including Future Generali India Insurance Company Limited, where she was heading Brand, Communication & CSR.In addition, she has been associated with PR firms such as Adfactors PR for over four years and Hanmer MS&L for over a year.

Khemwanta Tangon joins Occasions PR as director

Khemwanta (Beau) Tangon is embarking on a new chapter in her hospitality marketing career, taking the helm as director, Thailand at Occasions PR based in Bangkok. This move comes after a successful tenure at The Peninsula Bangkok, where she further honed her skills.Beau brings a wealth of experience to Occasions PR, having spent 18 years in the communications arena within the hospitality industry. Prior to The Peninsula Bangkok, she held positions at renowned establishments like Grand Hyatt Erawan Bangkok, Le Méridien Bangkok, and Sheraton Grande Sukhumvit. This comprehensive background equips her with a deep understanding of the Thai hospitality landscape, its customer base, and current market trends.Beau possesses a Master's degree in Marketing and over 15 years of experience. This expertise allows her to develop and execute strategic and creative marketing initiatives, encompassing brand marketing and digital marketing. Her focus is on creating a distinctive brand identity and implementing successful digital marketing campaigns.Beau's passion lies in crafting memorable and authentic guest experiences. She achieves this through a combination of effective marketing communications, digital marketing strategies, social media engagement, and public relations. Her skillset also covers customer relationship management, reputation management, and crisis management, ensuring a holistic approach to guest relations.Beau has also served as a Marketing Specialist Representative for Hyatt South East Asia. This role involved sharing her knowledge and best practices with other Hyatt properties in the region, fostering collaboration within the group.With her extensive experience and strategic thinking, Khemwanta (Beau) Tangon is poised to make a significant contribution to Occasions PR's continued success in Thailand.

Rob Morbin leaves ICCO after six years

Rob Morbin, the executive director of the International Communications Consultancy Organisation (ICCO), is departing after a six-year tenure with the global PR organisation.Morbin joined ICCO in 2018 from the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) and has played a pivotal role in the organization’s growth. He initially served as deputy chief executive under the late CEO Francis Ingham and assumed the role of executive director in May 2023. During his time at ICCO, Morbin also contributed to the senior management team of the Public Relations and Communications Association (PRCA).Under Morbin's leadership, ICCO has expanded its presence in the Middle East and Southeast Asia, enhancing its services, products, events, and competitions, such as the annual World PR Report. The organization, representing PR associations and agencies across 70 countries, has also elevated the profile of PR at Cannes Lions through collaborations with PRovoke Media and WorldCom, and provided its members with platforms at the Council of Europe and the United Nations through its partnership with the UN Development Programme.Grzegorz Szepanski, ICCO president and CEO of Burson Poland, expressed gratitude, saying: “I would like to give a heartfelt thanks to Rob for his transformational impact on ICCO over the past six years. He has risen to unprecedented challenges, driven new initiatives, and opened up exciting opportunities for members around the world. We wish him every success in his next venture.”The current leadership team at ICCO includes interim CEO Andras Sztaniszlav, a partner at the Hungarian strategic communications agency PersonaR, who joined at the beginning of this year. Additionally, former ICCO and PRCA membership director Steve Miller has recently left both organizations to return to CIPR.

Bob Gold & Associates taps Eric Becker to lead streaming media communications

Los Angeles-based Bob Gold & Associates, a 27-year-old boutique PR & marketing services agency, focused on technology, media and telecom, is expanding its core PR practice areas with the establishment of a streaming media and pay TV communications group to be led by Eric Becker in Denver. The new venture extends the agency’s strategic communications counsel for media, entertainment and content technology companies in the streaming era.Becker, a former SVP at Starz and strategic communication agency, ICR, has an extraordinary success record and well-established relationships in the media and entertainment space. He will report to company VP & GM Chris Huppertz, and work closely with Bob Gold.The company’s streaming media and pay TV communications group specializes in providing comprehensive strategic communications counsel for its clients, including account-based PR, corporate messaging development, PR and communications execution through earned media, speaker placements and awards, new product and service launches, executive communications and thought leadership campaigns that are critical to generative AI searches.“I have known Eric Becker professionally and personally for 25 years. He is a consummate professional who specializes in ‘pulling rabbits from a hat’ look easy and yet unexpected. In truth, he works tirelessly and always from the heart. He is simply extraordinary, and our clients are so lucky to have him lead their PR agency efforts,” said Bob Gold, founder of his eponymous agency.“Entertainment media – and the technologies and companies that get it to viewers – is a huge, demanding and dynamic business. Now, more than ever, thoughtful strategic corporate messaging and campaigns are needed for companies to break through industry noise and disruption,” said Becker. “We see great opportunities to tell stories and drive sales. Bob’s vision, track record of success, and passion for the business is legendary. I am thrilled to collaborate with Bob and his amazing team and truly make a difference for the benefit of our clients.”

Max Level bags PR mandates from NODWIN Gaming and SuperGaming

Max Level, India’s premier marketing and PR agency crafted by gamers for gamers, has secured the PR mandates of two of the nation’s leading gaming and esports companies, NODWIN Gaming and SuperGaming.Established in 2014, NODWIN Gaming is a leading South Asian gaming and esports company and a key subsidiary of Nazara Technologies Ltd. The company has expanded its footprint across South Asia, Singapore, the Middle East, and Turkey, specializing in the development and monetization of gaming and esports intellectual properties such as leagues, tournaments, and reality shows. NODWIN Gaming has played a pivotal role in the evolution of esports into a mainstream phenomenon in India, pioneering the industry and engaging the youth demographic to spearhead the digital entertainment revolution.Gautam Virk, Co-founder and CEO NODWIN Gaming said, “NODWIN Gaming has always strived to consistently innovate and push the boundaries in the esports, lifestyle and entertainment domains, and partnering with Max Level as our PR and communications partner aligns seamlessly with our overarching vision. Having worked closely on numerous projects in the past, we are confident that Max Level's strategic approach and deep understanding of the gaming and esports industry will significantly bolster our brand presence. This partnership will enable us to achieve brand advocacy among a diverse audience of esports enthusiasts, gamers and other industry stakeholders alike”SuperGaming is a Series-A funded game developer, building India’s gaming revolution. Known for building popular titles including MaskGun, Battle Stars, they are currently building Indus, an Indo-futuristic Battle Royale, which is one of the most ambitious games from the country till date and has 11 million pre-registrations and counting.“At SuperGaming, we are committed to revolutionizing the gaming industry in India and beyond, and working alongside Max Level as our official PR partner marks a step forward in our journey. Their deep-rooted understanding and extensive experience in the gaming and esports ecosystem makes them an ideal partner to elevate our brand presence and together, we aim to put India on the global gaming map,” commented Roby John, CEO and Co-founder at SuperGaming.Max Level is a holistic marketing and PR agency founded by gamers, specializing in comprehensive B2B services tailored for gaming and esports audiences. As the official PR and communication partner of NODWIN Gaming and SuperGaming, Max Level will leverage its expertise to curate innovative and impactful PR strategies that not only resonate with gaming audiences but also establish deeper engagement, and accelerate brand growth.“We are thrilled to be named the official PR and communication partner of two prominent entities in the gaming and esports industry in India. We have built Max Level over a decade from the ground up with a deep understanding and passion for the gaming culture. We will extend this expertise to amplify the voices of these iconic brands. As a leading agency working with many top brands, our objective is to continue collaborating with more companies and organizations in India and globally to tell their stories and contribute to their overall growth,” said Siddharth Nayyar, Chief Revenue Officer at Max Level.With the addition of NODWIN Gaming and SuperGaming to its diverse portfolio which includes esteemed brands such as KRAFTON, Saudi Esports Federation, ESL Faceit Group, ASUS ROG, Jio Games, TVS, HyperX and more, Max Level strengthens its foothold in the Indian gaming and esports industry.

Tim Mulvey, Melissa Miller join Precision as Sr VPs in communications team

Tim Mulvey, a Capaitol Hill communications veteran, and Melissa Miller, an experienced campaign communications professional who recently led policy communications at Ford, have joined Precision as senior vice presidents in the communications department.Mulvey brings over a decade of Capitol Hill experience to Precision. He most recently served as communications director for the House Select Committee investigating the January 6th attack on the US Capitol. Prior to that, he spent nearly seven years as the Democratic communications director for the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, where he managed communications on international relations, national security, and oversight activities involving the State Department and other foreign-affairs agencies.Miller comes to Precision from Ford, where she played a key role in maintaining and enhancing the company's reputation while promoting its policy agenda, particularly during its transition to electric vehicles. Before her tenure at Ford, Miller had a decade of experience on the campaign trail, including roles as deputy communications director at the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) and press secretary at the Democratic Governors Association (DGA).

COLORS Gujarati names ThinkInk Communications as new PR Agency

COLORS Gujarati, the leading Gujarati entertainment channel, has appointed ThinkInk Communications as its official Public Relations agency.Effective immediately, ThinkInk Communications will be responsible for all media inquiries related to COLORS Gujarati and its diverse programming lineup. This includes press queries, interview facilitation, securing assets and behind-the-scenes content, and providing on-set details.ThinkInk Communications is a full-service PR agency specializing in creating strategic communication programmes for a wide range of clients. With a focus on media relations, brand development, and content creation, ThinkInk is dedicated to delivering exceptional results.For two decades, the agency has fueled the growth of B2B companies, from category leaders to late-stage startups and even publicly traded giants, by boosting their visibility and credibility.

The art of simplicity in communication: Abhishek Chakraborty

Authored by: Abhishek Chakraborty, Brand Communication Manager, Oriflame IndiaI pursued a degree in Advertising, Marketing, and Communication, which I fondly refer to as 'BABA,' instead of the more conventional 'MBA'. This degree taught me lessons that no other education could. I was always an average student, excelling in subjects I liked and struggling with those I did not. While my prefrontal cortex was still developing, my father (baba) would take me to his office. We would discuss advertising campaign briefings and debriefings as a fun activity during my summer holidays or late-night campaign executions in an era before Photoshop, Illustrator, and Artificial Intelligence (AI). A man of action, creativity, and simplicity, my father taught me that simple communication is the most complicated task and how important it is to distil simplicity from the chaos of business challenges, marketing objectives, and communication noise.In my 13 years of industry experience, one thing I have come to learn to appreciate is the simplicity of communication. The place of adaptability to new trends is uncompromisable, and thinking outside of one's work role in tackling problems holistically for a brand is critical. All of these experiences shaped my way of thinking in terms of marketing and communications, and this gave me clarity and efficiency in navigating complexity in the space.Just as there may never be another superstar like Rajesh Khanna or Shah Rukh Khan, there may never be another ad guru like Piyush Pandey or Alyque Padamsee, who mastered the art of commercial communication. One of my early mentors told me that the age of 23-35 is the golden period for learning and exploring and that staying relevant requires continuous learning. I took this advice to heart, staying hungry to learn despite financial responsibilities. Choosing an agency with a lower salary but more learning opportunities was one of the best decisions I have made. I gained invaluable insights into what not to do. Working with mid-sized and multinational agencies, I honed my skills in both mainline and digital marketing. Joining a start-up taught me the importance of frugality, agility, and the fragile nature of business, while working with giant FMCG and wellness brands showed me that when large companies move, everyone takes notice. This diverse experience has helped me connect the dots of marketing more effectively, allowing me to 'do more with less.'In today's competitive world, optimisation is key. Whether using AI tools to save costs and increase efficiency or optimising content to make it relevant for consumers, it is crucial to stay ahead. Remember, data is an enabler and a hard truth that helps in making the right choices. However, you are still communicating with people, so blending the hard truth of data with the softer side of consumer behaviour is essential for success. A purely data-driven approach or solely relying on consumer hypotheses might not work. In the age of personalisation, CRM, and engagement platforms, the right mix of content helps you deliver the right message to the right people at the right time.One challenge though that I have repeatedly observed, especially with global brands, is launching global marketing campaigns without considering local nuances—both cultural and linguistic. These campaigns often fail because they fail to resonate with domestic emotions. While the brand's tonality should reflect its core values, it must also adapt to the market it serves. Regional giants and start-ups excel at localisation, making them more relatable in this hyper-local, hyper-connected world.Lastly, and most importantly, I have upgraded my skills three times in the past 12-13 years, transitioning from mainline to digital to AI automation while moving from agencies to brands. So, I realise that the only steadfast factor is to keep evolving and changing as per the need for dynamism in the market, without forgetting one thing at the core of it all: 'Keep It Simple, Silly!DISCLAIMER: The views expressed are solely of the author and The does not necessarily subscribe to it.

RD Deshpande, ex-Byju’s, now President at PR Professionals

PR Professionals, the flagship company of the PRP Group, announced the appointment of Wing Commander RD Deshpande (Retired) as President of Defence Business and HR Services. This strategic appointment marks a significant step in strengthening its leadership team and expanding the company’s expertise in the Defence sector and HR Services.Wing Commander RD Deshpande joins PR Professionals following his tenure with Byju’s where he led the Learning and Development function and spearheaded critical initiatives aimed at Organizational Development. With a distinguished military career spanning 22 years, he brings a wealth of leadership experience and specialized knowledge to the existing, diversified, and experience-rich team at PRP Group.A decorated military veteran, WinCo RD is a recipient of the prestigious “Chief of Air Staff Commendation” for exemplary leadership during his career in the Indian Air Force. He has also held leadership roles in esteemed organizations, such as; Reliance Retail Ltd., Byju’s, ISHRAE, and Critical Care Unified Pvt. Ltd.  An alumnus of some of India’s most esteemed institutions, such as; IIM Ahmedabad, Air Force Academy, Air Force Administrative College, Air Force Intelligence School, and the National Defence Academy, WinCo RD has honed his expertise and developed niche through rigorous academic and professional training. Apart from these, he has also successfully completed courses from the globally renowned institutions, like; XLRI, Jamshedpur and Jack Welch Management Institute, Strayer University, U.S.At PR Professionals, WinCo RD will lead its Defence business along with HR Services. It is aligned with the Vision of the Founder and Managing Director, PRP Group, Dr. Sarvesh Tiwari and this expansion marks the very thought-through and robust strengthening plans of the company. Dr. Sarvesh shared "We are delighted to welcome Wing Commander RD Deshpande to the PRP family. His extensive experience in Defence and Corporate Leadership, coupled with his expertise in HR, PR and Learning & Development, will prove to be invaluable for the company as we expand our offerings and reinforce our commitment to excellence. His unique experiences and perspectives from the Armed Forces, sound knowledge and stellar educational background adds a professional flavor to the team. We are confident that his visionary approach and strategic insights will drive significant growth and innovation for our clients and the organization."With over 28 years of rich and diversified experience in "People Functions”, WinCo RD is a visionary, strategist and an expert in defining policies, processes, and implementing reforms. He is a certified Behavioral Trainer, excelling in ‘Outbound, Facilitation, and Experiential Training’. He is also an ‘Executive Presence Coach’.Commenting on his appointment, Wing Commander RD Deshpande said, “I am thrilled to join PRP family and am eager to contribute to the company’s mission of excellence in Defence business and HR Services. I am excited and at the same time committed to drive impactful initiatives and support the growth of our clients and the organization.”PR Professionals has significantly expanded its senior leadership team, further bolstering its ranks with seasoned professionals. Most recently, the company welcomed Nishant Singhal as President Strategy. Furthermore, in the preceding year, PR Professionals made strategic appointments to enhance its leadership cadre. Varun Aggarwal was appointed as Assistant Vice President (AVP) for Business Development, bringing his wealth of experience and expertise to drive business expansion initiatives forward. Additionally, the company added Sanjay Singh to its team, a distinguished media and PR veteran, who assumed the role of Vice President.PR Professionals is an integrated communications company that has been delivering quality and excellence since 2011 and has also initiated several philanthropic activities. It provides end-to-end branding and customized public relations solutions that enable businesses to become market leaders. From humble beginnings, PRP today has 12 offices in India and six offices in offshore locations. The 150-member team shares Tiwari's passion for doing extraordinary things in PR and making a difference to the underprivileged through philanthropic activities.

Harpic Loocator’s Silver win at Cannes Lions brings cheer to Tgthr and Avian WE

Tgthr Mumbai won a Silver for its campaign done for Reckitt Benckiser brand Harpic, titled ‘Loocator #BeFreeToPee’, in Glass: The Lion for Change category.<iframe width="560" height="315" src="" title="YouTube video player" frameborder="0" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; clipboard-write; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture; web-share" referrerpolicy="strict-origin-when-cross-origin" allowfullscreen></iframe>As part of the campaign an app was launched that helped women find directions to a public toilet nearby, rate the public toilets and even add new toilets to the network. It was a tech-driven crowdsourced initiative. A short video was also launched as part of the campaign that depicted the travails of women outside their homes struggling to find a restroom and facing acute personal discomfort. The film states how 70% women struggle to find a usable public toilet, and how the Harpic Loocator app helps women find a public toilet, along with ratings.While the campaign was ideated and executed by Tgthr Mumbai, Avian WE handled public relations in the India market.Reacting to the Silver win at Caness Lions 2024, Avian WE commented, “We are delighted to bring home Silver for Glass Lions for the Harpic Loocator #BeFreeToPee campaign. We are proud to partner with Reckitt Benckiser and Harpic and leverage the power of communication to help women locate public restrooms while on the move. A big shout out to the team for pushing boundaries and making meaningful change.”

StoryBox secures €5.5M to revolutionize corp comm video creation

German AI startup StoryBox has secured €5.5 million in Series A funding to fuel its mission of transforming how businesses create and manage videos.This round was led by newcomer Wille Finance, alongside continued support from existing investors BayBG, High-Tech Gründerfonds (recently backing Cultimate Foods and Synthara), CK Ventures, and G8 Way Ventures.StoryBox is determined to revolutionize video creation for enterprises. The fresh capital will be used to:Further develop their platform: Enhance existing features and functionalities.Expand existing business areas: Strengthen their foothold in current markets.Explore new territories: Broaden their reach and customer base.Investors are impressed by StoryBox's unique approach:Seamless blend of technology and human touch: StoryBox leverages AI to streamline video creation in HR, communications, and social media, but keeps the human element for a more engaging experience.Empowering employees: StoryBox's user-friendly interface makes video creation accessible for everyone, not just technical experts.As highlighted by Alexander Ullmann from BayBG, video is a booming market, and professional video content is crucial for modern corporate communications. StoryBox simplifies video creation with its "no code" solution, minimizing technical hurdles.High-Tech Gründerfonds acknowledges StoryBox's impressive progress since their initial investment in 2020. This Series A funding will fuel further growth, particularly in bolstering their AI capabilities.Founded by Ben Rodrian and Rusmin Causevic, StoryBox offers an enterprise-grade video creation management platform. Their focus on usability and innovation aims to transform how companies communicate through video.Ben Rodrian, (pictured), founder-CEO, StoryBox, said: “We are delighted to have attracted such a prestigious investor as Wille Finance and to have convinced them of our vision to revolutionize corporate communications with video.”AI for efficiency and precision: StoryBox's AI technology streamlines video creation, enabling companies to generate high-quality content quickly.User-friendly interface: A simple and intuitive interface makes video creation accessible to everyone.Integration and impact: Videos can be seamlessly integrated into existing communication channels, boosting HR strategies and overall communication effectiveness.StoryBox tackles the challenge of efficient and scalable video content creation for businesses. Their end-to-end solution streamlines the entire process, dramatically increasing content production and management productivity.StoryBox's impressive client list includes renowned companies like Allianz, Evonik, RWE, and Telekom.With this successful funding round, StoryBox is poised to revolutionize video creation for enterprises, empowering businesses to leverage the power of video for improved communication and brand engagement.