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.

Weber Shandwick launches Elections Matter: India Report

Weber Shandwick India, today launched the “Elections Matter: India Report”. The survey led by the Corporate Advisory and Public Affairs practice, examined election sentiments around news consumption habits, trust in different information sources and voting behaviours and motivations among Gen Z (18-24 years) and Millennial (25-44) consumers in India. Key findingsMedia consumption behaviour w.r.t. current events, news & politicsGenerational differences in news consumption: Stark contrast exists in news engagement between Millennials and Gen Zs. Over 55% of Millennials followed news daily, compared to about 36% of Gen Z with males significantly more inclined to current events, news & politics. While TV is among the top 3 news sources, there was a significantly lower preference among Gen Zs (44%) compared to Millennials (60%).Reaffirmation of digital consumption surge: YouTube is the leading platform for consumption of current events, news and politics, in keeping with the digital media uptake. It was the dominant information source across all demographics, particularly driven by Delhi, while TV channels were on top in Chennai and Bangalore. It was followed closely by Instagram, TV, and WhatsApp.Most watched is necessarily not the most trusted: Google search, print media, and digital news media had a higher trust quotient compared to most social media platforms.Traditional media resonating stronger for Millennials: Print media continued to have higher acceptance among Millennials. 45% Millennials consumed print media for news and politics compared to only 31% Gen Zs. This preference pattern was evident even in the consumption pattern for television. South India especially Chennai and Bangalore had a stronger leaning to television than the rest of India. Also, 42% males favoured print versus 33% of women. Print media was also high on trust compared to most social media platforms.Concerns about misinformation: After fake news websites, social media influencers topped the list for spreading misinformation. Males in particular were especially distrustful of them.Sentiments towards elections & votingMotivated Millennials and less enthusiastic Gen Zs: Millennials were significantly motivated by elections and voting due to a strong sense of civic duty and the desire for educational reform. Chennai and Hyderabad had a higher sentiment comparatively towards elections. In contrast, Gen Z showed less enthusiasm, hinting at a potential apathy in political engagement. Priority issues for elections and new government expectations: Civic and social factors such as infrastructure development, outweighed economic concerns and party manifesto promises as primary voting motivations across gender and generational cohorts. The state of the economy and education were the most pressing issues both for the current elections and future government focus, reflecting widespread concerns about socio-economic and educational development. This shift suggested a future-oriented approach to polling, with voters seeking macro-level changes for a better future.Regional differences in voting motivations: Voters in Delhi focused on infrastructure development, while those in southern regions, such as Chennai and Bangalore, prioritized voting for candidates who promised to bring about change and impactful leadership.Gender-specific concerns towards elections: While economy, education and public safety were perceived to be among the top priorities for the recent elections, women were particularly interested in women empowerment issues, highlighting the importance of gender-specific policy agendas. Also, over 55% would like the new government to focus on economy, education and healthcare agendas.Commenting on the consumer survey findings, Rohan Kanchan, MD – Consulting and Head of Public Affairs, Weber Shandwick India, said, “This report underscores the dynamic nature of news consumption and electoral engagement in today’s digital age. Even as broader generational trends are known, nuances within the cohorts reveal a break from the pattern. For instance, the connection of Influencers in consumer motivations vis-a-vis trust in perception, might have implications in analyzing corporate reputation and development of future strategies. Our national commonalities peppered with our regional disparities, continue to provide an interesting lens to any consumer study such as Elections Matter.” The survey was conducted by YouGov among 1,000 respondents from the top 10 cities in India, including Mumbai, Delhi-NCR, Chennai, Kolkata, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Pune, Lucknow, Jaipur, and Ahmedabad. The demographics of the survey were balanced, with a near-equal split between males (51%) and females (49%), and evenly distributed between Gen Zs and Millennials.

Walther Kranz expands to MENA with new Dubai office

Turkish PR agency Walther Kranz has launched its new office in Dubai, marking its official entry into the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) market. This strategic expansion is part of the agency’s broader initiatives to strengthen its global footprint.The new Dubai office represents a pivotal step for Walther Kranz as it aims to bolster its presence across the MENA region. The agency’s local team will offer a comprehensive suite of services, including public relations, media relations management, leadership communication, and crisis communication, tailored to meet the needs of clients in the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Kuwait, and Saudi Arabia.Walther Kranz's impressive portfolio features prominent brands such as Albaraka Türk, MNG Kargo, DHL eCommerce, Rolls Royce Istanbul, Lotus Türkiye, Destek Patent, Globelink Ünimar, ?stanbul Portföy, Logo Ventures, TechOne VC, and twozero Ventures. The agency is committed to leveraging its expertise to deliver top-tier communication strategies and solutions.In addition to its standalone capabilities, Walther Kranz will collaborate with othagencies er within its group to provide a 360-degree approach, ensuring a holistic range of services for clients. This collaborative effort underscores the agency’s dedication to offering comprehensive and innovative communication solutions in the rapidly evolving MENA market.The inauguration of the Dubai office is a testament to Walther Kranz's vision of globalization and its commitment to extending its high-quality PR services to new markets.

Walther Kranz expands to MENA with new Dubai office

Turkish PR agency Walther Kranz has launched its new office in Dubai, marking its official entry into the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) market. This strategic expansion is part of the agency’s broader initiatives to strengthen its global footprint.The new Dubai office represents a pivotal step for Walther Kranz as it aims to bolster its presence across the MENA region. The agency’s local team will offer a comprehensive suite of services, including public relations, media relations management, leadership communication, and crisis communication, tailored to meet the needs of clients in the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Kuwait, and Saudi Arabia.Walther Kranz's impressive portfolio features prominent brands such as Albaraka Türk, MNG Kargo, DHL eCommerce, Rolls Royce Istanbul, Lotus Türkiye, Destek Patent, Globelink Ünimar, ?stanbul Portföy, Logo Ventures, TechOne VC, and twozero Ventures. The agency is committed to leveraging its expertise to deliver top-tier communication strategies and solutions.In addition to its standalone capabilities, Walther Kranz will collaborate with other agencies within its group to provide a 360-degree approach, ensuring a holistic range of services for clients. This collaborative effort underscores the agency’s dedication to offering comprehensive and innovative communication solutions in the rapidly evolving MENA market.The inauguration of the Dubai office is a testament to Walther Kranz's vision of globalization and its commitment to extending its high-quality PR services to new markets.

JPMorgan Chase taps Drew Pusateri as crisis communication head

JPMorgan Chase's Consumer and Community Banking (CCB) group has named Drew Pusateri as its new Executive Director of Crisis and Reputation Communications, effective June 24th.Pusateri's Responsibilities:Serve as the primary communications contact and advisor for CCB on crisis issues.Collaborate with leaders across all CCB business lines and functions.Work closely with other company departments like government relations, legal, marketing, and technology to ensure coordinated communication during crises.Background and Experience:Pusateri brings a diverse background to the role, having previously held positions in:Autonomous Vehicle Industry: He led strategic communications at Cruise, developing proactive communication strategies and crisis plans.Social Media Communications: He managed strategic response communications at Meta (formerly Facebook).Government and Politics: He served in the U.S. House and Senate, including as a senior staffer for Senator Claire McCaskill and on the Homeland Security Committee.“Banking has a high impact and importance in people’s lives. Helping the company make the best decisions it can, both for employees and customers, is something I will be focused on and something I have cared a lot about throughout my career,” said Pusateri.

Sharjah Government Communication Award entries open

The 11th edition of the Sharjah Government Communication Award (SGCA 2024) has extended a global invitation to government agencies, organisations, and private sector leaders to compete in the newly introduced category, "Best Investment in Soft Power to Support Communication Programmes." The category recognises those excelling in harnessing arts, sports, technology, culture, and education as effective communication tools to achieve development goals and strategies. As one of 13 categories open for direct submission, applications are accepted until August 1, 2024, via the award’s website, will compete to showcase their exceptional programs and initiatives that innovatively leverage soft power to achieve vital developmental objectives. This new category includes two awards - exclusively targeting government institutions and private companies and recognising their pioneering efforts in using soft power to drive impactful and positive change in societies and among the public.Culture and Art: Potent Communication ToolsThe ‘Best Investment in Soft Power to Support Communication Programmes’ award category seeks to honour outstanding efforts that have significantly enhanced public perception. It celebrates pioneering contributions in organising cultural and artistic events that reflect community values and culture or foster understanding between societies. Moreover, the award recognises investments across various sectors that create a positive impact through the power of arts, culture, knowledge and sports, addressing public interest issues, promoting positive values, and delivering beneficial messages to society and countries.The award also celebrates soft power efforts to engage youth and encourage them to adopt healthy lifestyles. It honours initiatives that strengthen international relations and enhance the cultural image of the country or institution. Recognising the vital role of soft power as an effective communication tool that transcends geographical and cultural boundaries, the award emphasises its importance in fostering global understanding and connectionsProjects should demonstrate exceptional creativity and innovation in using soft power as a communication tool or in organising artistic, cultural, and sporting events. They should also prove effective audience engagement, sustainability of initiatives, and measurable impact. For detailed criteria, applicants can refer to the award's website.Submission criteriaTo ensure a successful submission to the SGCA, applicants need to submit an executive summary not exceeding 250 words, as well as a comprehensive and organised 1,000 words file that uses suitable headings, paragraphs, and illustrations to support the submission in addition to a summary or table of contents as an overview of the file. It is also recommended that the award file include introductory media such as infographics, videos, and photos, all of which must meet the specific criteria of the award category. Participants can submit their works that meet the award's criteria on its website, which offers comprehensive details about all the categories, criteria, and participation requirements.

Why PR needs to be a marketing constant for brands in a transformation era

Authored by Ganapathy Viswanathan, Independent Communication ConsultantPR had enough struggle for both respectability and clarity of purpose, but the industry has clearly overcome that today and every brand is very closely embracing with PR as an important communication tool when they draw their overall marketing plan for their company and their respective brands. Clients must be now more open to try and explore new avenues in PR and will be looking at more innovative ways to explore Public Relations especially in today’s digital world.  The year 2023 saw more openness and embracing of brands with PR and it looks like 2024 will drive many clients to examine and explore PR closely in their annual marketing plans. I personally feel we may not see any major shift in 2024 as some of the challenges in the area of talent and content creation will continue to bother the industry. Agencies will have to beef up their technology set up and operations with the right talent so that they can manage clients and meet their expectations set.So, what can agencies and do and how can clients collaborate better with their PR partners and get their best for their brands from a communication point of view. And let us examine how PR can bring in that value and differentiation for the brands for them to leverage this communication tool.I think you cannot build a strong reputation for your brand without PR. To achieve the trust and credibility for your brand there is no other communication tool other than PR. Yes, it is a slow process and it takes time but once your brand establishes the credibility it will stay for a very long time unless something really goes wrong with the brand.PR can help both reputed brands and start up business to build their reputation. Some kind of self-belief should be instilled in the stakeholder’s mind to make them believe that PR works. This can only happen once you explore that channel with a clear clarity of thought.Adaptability is possible when you think of PR. A PR campaign can work in synergy with advertising or any other 360-degree communication. While your messaging should be within the broad pillars of the advertising campaign but you have the freedom to deviate and have different approach to reach your audiences so long as the core messaging is same.Your credibility quotient has more weightage as PR is built through third party endorsements. Consumers and your end audiences tend to believe more on messages delivered by journalists than the paid advertising campaign that is planted in various media.Brands in any case do invest a lot when it comes to advertising and promotional campaign. So, as compared to that PR investments are less but you need to have a clear thought process as to what will be the role of PR and how you will leverage it with your main campaign. The perfect orchestration and the clarity between the both will bring in results.Brand building is a continuous process. Running an advertising campaign in long bursts will always be a challenge keeping in mind the exorbitant media costs and cash outflow. Hence you will be only able to run in short bursts by taking breaks. But with PR you can keep continuing the efforts as the cost you entail will be comparatively low and you can be present in the media with being out of sight.In today’s dynamic media landscape especially after the advent of social media the need of online reputation has become very pivotal. So, you cannot ignore from your brand being trolled and you need to be agile and alert to take the remedial action in case your brand gets some negative publicity. Hence, the need of PR comes into play for brands to embrace it.Education and creating awareness about the role of PR should keep happening. The more we run seminars and panel discussion this will not reach the desired audiences. IMAGEXX summit a PR conference from Adgully which is in the fourth year is one of the best platforms to preach and educate as to how brands can benefit from the power of PR.PR is now the most spoken about communication tool as more and more brands are embracing with lot of confidence. Clients have witnessed results in building the credibility of their brands. As we move forward the PR landscape in India is undergoing a fascinating metamorphosis, driven by a dynamic fusion of digital innovation and more emphasis towards influential marketing.While growth depends on several internal and external factors but the intent shown by many clients both brick and motor and the startups are a good sign for the communication industry. Network companies should use their global expertise and knowledge to widen the canvass for PR being an important communication tool for brands to continuously engage with and build their brands.

Print, TV top choices for small-town Gen Z: MSL study

MSL India, the strategic communications arm of Publicis Groupe, recently launched an exclusive report Make Way for Bharat Z that decodes the lives of India’s Gen Z from tier 3 and 4 cities. A one-of-a-kind report, Make Way for Bharat Z decodes the power of India’s small-town Gen Z. The report has found that 83% of respondents selected print media as their top source of daily media consumption for information while 86% chose television as their main source of daily media consumption for entertainment. MSL roped in the consumer pulse platform LocalCircles to reach 16,000 Gen Z respondents from 191 tier 3 and 4 cities across India. The report offers valuable insights into the consumer and spending behaviour of Bharat Z that make them stand out from their metro counterparts. Such as This report showcases the diverse nature of India’s Gen Z and how they cannot be put in one box. To tap into this evolving consumer pulse, MSL has also launched MSL Mojo, an offering that empowers brands to create assets that inspire and explore partnerships that evoke a sense of community to further accelerate brand voice. Offering innovative solutions like influencer marketing, branded content, and community engagement, MSL Mojo’s comprehensive suite of services promises to drive unparalleled engagement and growth for brands.Amit Misra, Chief Executive Officer of MSL South Asia, shared his thoughts on the occasion of the launch of MSL Mojo: “Culture is the driving force shaping our future and Gen Z, with their vibrant energy, diverse perspectives, and digital fluency, are at the forefront of this cultural revolution. We at MSL wanted to create a culture engine that would shape opinions, emotions, and consumption. That’s how we came up with MSL Mojo, our culture engagement platform that will help brands navigate through these changing times.”

From vision to vanguard: Digisha Shah on DSPR's 13-year journey

Digisha Shah, PR and brand consultant, and founder of DSPR, shares her experiences and insights on the remarkable journey of DSPR. From its inception in 2011 to its current status as a dynamic force in the PR industry, Digisha discusses the evolution of her vision, the challenges faced, and the innovative strategies that have driven DSPR's success over the past 13 years.Can you share the initial vision you had for DSPR when you started in 2011, and how that vision has evolved over the past 13 years?  When I founded DSPR in 2011, my vision was centered on making a mark in the hospitality and fashion industries, serving as a voice for brands through effective PR strategies. Over the past 13 years, this vision has expanded significantly. We've moved beyond these initial segments, exploring a broader array of media avenues, from traditional to digital platforms. Our growth has also seen the integration of various segments, such as weddings, F&B, travel, photography, and luxury. The evolution of our vision includes our foray into the wedding industry, an area we had not originally planned to explore, but one where we have built substantial expertise.What were some of the biggest challenges you faced in transforming DSPR from a one-woman venture to a team of 30 professionals, and how did you overcome them? The transformation came with its challenges, like finding and retaining the right talent, building a cohesive culture, breaking industry stereotypes, and earning client trust. We stayed true to our core values and culture, even if it meant letting go of promising talent that didn't align with our ethos. This steadfast commitment helped us attract the right kind of professionals who contributed to our growth. Emphasizing teamwork and skill development ensured high-quality output, which in turn attracted more clients and solidified our reputation for excellence.Initially, we also received a lot of discouraging comments and judgment from people for being a young, women-led team, but we ensured we gave our 100 percent to people who trusted us. In what ways has DSPR integrated traditional PR practices with digital media strategies to stay ahead in the ever-evolving landscape of PR and marketing?  We offer comprehensive services, including social media management, content creation, and collaborations. Our approach is holistic, ensuring consistent communication across all platforms—print, digital, and audiovisual. We try to capture consumer attention from every angle, making a lasting impression on their minds.How did DSPR adapt to the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly in expanding into the wedding industry and adopting innovative methods like online events?During the COVID-19 pandemic, we maintained a positive outlook, which was crucial for team morale. Daily online catch-ups and fun activities kept the team engaged. We explored viable segments like the wedding industry and innovative concepts such as online events. We also brainstormed the 'workation' concept along with SaffronStays, allowing people to work from private villas, turning a challenging situation into an opportunity. This adaptability not only sustained us through the pandemic but also opened new avenues for growth.Can you discuss some of DSPR's most notable projects, such as the Taco Eating Competition with New York Burrito Company or managing Kylie Cosmetics’ launch at Mumbai Duty-Free? What made these projects stand out?The launch of Kylie Cosmetics at Mumbai Duty-Free was a groundbreaking project, marking the entry of an international beauty brand into India on an exclusive platform. We created an experiential center at the airport, allowing influencers and journalists to connect with the brand directly and get a firsthand experience of the products, resulting in extensive and impactful coverage across various media. The taco-eating competition with the New York Burrito Company was another standout project. We focused on influencer activation and made them participate in the competition before the real audience came in, thereby leveraging their vast networks to generate buzz. The event saw over 1000 participants, tripling our initial projections and establishing the competition as a valuable intellectual property for the brand.Rebranding Mumbai Duty-Free as Ospree Duty-Free was also significant. We managed a high-profile trade event in Delhi, garnering extensive coverage and leveraging LinkedIn to reach relevant audiences, ensuring the rebranding was noticed and remembered.We have worked on legacy brands like Pritam Restaurant, which has been in the F&B business for 80 years now, also Butterfly High, stemming from their iconic mother brand, Shiv Sagar. We make sure to convey their legacy stories to the public in an effective manner. How does DSPR approach building deep client relationships and crafting tailored strategies that align with each brand's unique identity and goals? Can you provide examples of how this approach has benefited your clients?  Building deep client relationships is at the heart of DSPR's approach. We see ourselves as partners, not just service providers. Transparency, setting clear expectations, and performing beyond commitments are key to our strategy. For instance, with SaffronStays, we've been partners for over five years, supporting them from their early days, and developing the 'workation' concept with them has been fulfilling for both of us. For Mumbai Duty-Free (now Ospree), we guided them through COVID-19 challenges and their subsequent rebranding. When Coppetto joined us, they were an upcoming home-grown brand with big dreams. Through our support and strategic guidance, they have grown significantly and are now one of the top gelato brands in the country. By understanding each client's vision and mission, we align our services to support their goals, resulting in long-term, successful partnerships.What future trends do you foresee in the PR and marketing industry, and how is DSPR preparing to continue its success and innovation in this dynamic field?Content generation, especially in video and podcast forms, is the future. We are already building a dedicated content team and training our current team in content marketing. Storytelling will remain crucial, with an emphasis on transparency and authenticity. We encourage brands to be honest about their stories to stand out genuinely in a cluttered market. By staying ahead of these trends and being innovative, DSPR plans to perform efficiently in this dynamic field.

Angela Spain joins OMG Content NZ to lead PR efforts

Omnicom Media Group (OMG) has appointed Angela Spain, a senior PR and communications leader, as the new General Manager of PR for OMG Content in New Zealand. Spain brings a proven track record of client focus and collaboration, along with expertise navigating the evolving media landscape.Gina McKinnon, CEO of OMG Content for New Zealand and APAC, said: McKinnon said, “Angela is a well-respected and experienced leader in the industry. She is known for her laser focus on client outcomes and working collaboratively with media partners to drive innovation and creativity for her clients. With content becoming even more important due to New Zealand’s changing media landscape, we’re excited to bring Angela onboard to build on our world class offering across the Group.”Spain joins OMG from her own PR and communications consultancy, Archer. Spain said: “Everyone is under increasing pressure to maximise marketing budgets, especially in an uncertain or tight economy, and rightly so. Having ambition and a clear purpose for your brand or business will help you stand out. Long term, consistent brand story telling about this purpose is the most impactful and effective way to do this."

Burson announces APAC leadership team

Burson, the newly formed global communications powerhouse born from the merger of BCW and Hill & Knowlton, has bolstered its leadership team across the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region. This strategic move strengthens Burson's ability to deliver innovative communications solutions for clients navigating today's dynamic landscape.Experienced Leaders at the HelmThe appointments include seasoned professionals with extensive experience in the communications industry. Rikki Jones, a 10-year veteran at GCI Health, will spearhead Burson Group Singapore as CEO, while concurrently leading GCI Health Asia-Pacific as President. Cindy Lim, with over three years at BCW Global, takes the reins as CEO of Burson Singapore. Lim brings a wealth of knowledge from her previous roles, including shaping marketing and communications strategies for prominent clients.Regional Expertise Across APACBurson's leadership extends beyond Singapore. Justin Then, formerly CEO of Malaysia for Hill & Knowlton, assumes the CEO position for Burson Malaysia. Additionally, Burson has appointed market leaders for key APAC markets:  Claire Li: CEO, Burson Greater China  Marianne Admardatine: CEO, Burson Indonesia  Tsuyoshi Takemura: CEO, Burson Japan  Wachiraporn Pornpitayalert: Market Leader, Burson Thailand  Tom Horn: Market Leader, Burson Australia and New ZealandHS Chung, CEO of Burson Korea, will continue to lead the Korean market while also serving as North APAC CEO.Focus on Client Needs and Innovation"In a rapidly changing world, clients require the best talent and resources to tackle complex challenges," said HS Chung, North APAC CEO. "Burson's extensive network across APAC offers clients access to a diverse team of specialists with proven experience."Adrian Warr, who will join Burson as South APAC CEO in September, emphasizes the agency's commitment to innovation: "We are dedicated to delivering exceptional value to clients through creative thinking and cutting-edge strategies. Burson's world-class talent will translate this commitment into building reputation capital, a crucial competitive advantage for our clients."Building on a Strong LegacyThis leadership announcement comes after WPP's merger announcement in January, combining BCW and Hill & Knowlton to create Burson. With over 6,000 employees in 43 markets worldwide, Burson honors the legacy of Harold Burson, a pioneer in modern public relations.Adrian Warr, the impending CEO for South Asia-Pacific, will cover Burson's business in India, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand and Malaysia.

Burson appoints Ruud Wassen, Chief Client Officer, Brussels

Burson appoints Ruud Wassen, Chief Client Officer, BrusselsGlobal communications agency Burson has appointed Ruud Wassen as Chief Client Officer, Brussels. In this role, Wassen will play a key part in serving and growing the agency’s clients in Brussels.Wassen will work closely with Burson teams, particularly in the sustainability and healthcare sectors, to enhance client service and innovation. His prior extensive experience includes serving as the Chief Marketing Officer for the international arm of Cigna Healthcare, a multinational health services company. Prior to that, he held senior leadership positions at Teneo, where he established the Brussels office in 2013. He also previously led the Energy practice at Burson-Marsteller.Andrew Cecil, CEO of Burson Brussels, said: “Wassen brings deep expertise in advising businesses at the most senior levels on strategic communications and EU policy. His considerable expertise will be particularly valuable to our clients during this unprecedented period with multiple elections around the world and constant state of political change.”“I am thrilled to return to Burson and to work alongside a talented team and in a dynamic business focused on building and protecting reputation for clients,” said Wassen. “Having counselled some of the world’s most respected companies, I am eager to leverage my experience to further strengthen Burson’s client focus, offer and services. With a year of political change ahead, I’m delighted to have the opportunity to be part of this premier global communications firm with such a strong legacy in public affairs.”

Boeing names Penny Burtt as Southeast Asia President

Boeing has announced Penny Burtt as the new president of the company’s Southeast Asia business, effective July 3.Burtt will be based in Singapore and oversee the company’s strategy and operations as Boeing expands its regional presence. She will also become director and chair of Boeing Singapore Pte. Ltd. and president director of PT. Boeing Indonesia.“We are excited to have Penny join Boeing as she brings a strong combination of diplomatic and business skills through her 25 years in the private and public sectors across the region,” said Brendan Nelson AO, president of Boeing Global.Boeing has partnered with stakeholders in Southeast Asia for over 75 years, building aerospace and defense capabilities in the region with offices in Singapore, Indonesia, Vietnam, Malaysia, Thailand and the Philippines. The region is one of the world’s fastest-growing commercial airplane markets and its defense needs are rapidly expanding.“I am delighted to join Boeing and lead our efforts in Southeast Asia, a dynamic region I’ve dedicated much of my career to," said Burtt. "Encompassing ten countries and nearly 700 million people, I look forward to expanding Boeing's presence in this key market."Burtt most recently led public policy and government relations for the Asia Pacific region at Stripe, a financial infrastructure company. Prior to that, Burtt was Group CEO of Asialink, Australia's leading center for Asia engagement, and held Asia leadership positions at Visa and McKinsey & Company. Burtt is a former Australian diplomat who served in Singapore, Indonesia and Malaysia. She is a Board member of the U.S.-ASEAN Business Council.As a leading global aerospace company, Boeing develops, manufactures and services commercial airplanes, defense products and space systems for customers in more than 150 countries.

Cannes: Weber Shandwick takes top prize for Edible Mascot

Weber Shandwick's "First Edible Mascot" campaign for Pop-Tarts shatters barriers, becoming the first PR win in the Brand Experience & Activation Grand Prix at Cannes Lions 2024.This win marks a high point for PR at the prestigious festival, following Golin's "The Misheard Version" for Specsavers, which secured the PR Grand Prix and showcased PR agencies' creative leadership potential.The "Edible Mascot" campaign – a collaboration between Weber Shandwick, Kellanova, Florida Citrus Sports, Publicis, and others – was a massive success. It involved creating a giant, limbed Pop-Tart mascot for the Pop-Tart Bowl and treating players with edible versions after the game. The result? A viral sensation:Over 4 billion impressions$1 million in first-party data acquired15 times more brand mentions than all other non-sponsored bowl games combined.Industrywide TriumphWeber Shandwick's win wasn't the only PR highlight. Ogilvy also secured a Grand Prix for social & influencer with the "Michael CeraVe" campaign, demonstrating PR's growing influence in multi-platform campaigns.Additionally, PR agencies played a key role in securing Gold Lions for:Edelman's "Bar Experience" for HeinekenWeber Shandwick's "Translators" for U.S. Bank (part of IPG's Area 23 network's "In Transit" for NYC LGBT Historic Sites Project)Zeno's support for Rethink Toronto's "Heinz Ketchup Fraud" campaignThis year's Cannes Lions is a testament to the evolving role of PR agencies, showcasing their ability to drive creative, impactful brand experiences.

How PR agencies navigate client expectations and media realities

Authored by Atul Malikram, PR ConsultantIn the bustling world of media, where every headline competes for attention, there's a behind-the-scenes artistry at play. Behind the impactful moments of brand stories lies the intricate orchestration of Public Relations agencies. In this landscape where narratives compete for prominence, PR professionals are the unsung architects, deftly shaping perceptions and driving brand success. Navigating the delicate dance between client ambitions and the ever-evolving demands of journalists and editors, they craft stories that captivate audiences and leave a lasting impression.Let’s dive into the fascinating world of PR agencies and uncover the art of balancing client expectations with the realities of media coverage:Bridge BuildingPR agencies act as the vital link between clients and media platforms. They skillfully navigate the differing priorities and operational constraints of both parties. This pivotal role involves translating client objectives into compelling narratives that not only align with editorial guidelines but also resonate with target audiences.Navigating Client ExpectationsClients often expect flawless execution and extensive media coverage. PR agencies work to align these expectations with the realities of media requirements. They ensure that client stories are strategically positioned to maximize relevance and enhance the brand's visibility and reputation effectively.Understanding Media DynamicsPR agencies educate clients about the intricacies of media dynamics, including clarifying realistic outcomes and emphasizing the crucial role of strategic timing in achieving impactful media coverage. By setting accurate expectations, agencies empower clients to grasp the complexities of PR campaigns. However, agencies also face challenges such as editorial space limitations, where the final decision on story publication rests with the media outlets. This necessitates agile strategies and close collaboration with journalists to maximize opportunities for coverage in competitive media environments.Budgetary ConstraintsOperating within varying budget limitations, PR agencies employ creativity and strategic planning to deliver optimal results. Despite financial constraints, they maximize the impact of media engagements through efficient resource allocation and innovative approaches tailored to client needs. However, clients often expect high-quality coverage at low costs, presenting a significant challenge for agencies. In many cases, it becomes difficult to secure extensive coverage within limited budgets, requiring careful negotiation and prioritization to achieve the desired outcomes while maintaining cost-effectiveness.Advocate Regional Narratives for broad exposureIn the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been a significant shift in media patterns and the guidelines governing news publication. Media outlets have adapted to new norms, altering their approaches to content dissemination and editorial priorities.In regional markets, this shift underscores the importance of tailoring stories and press releases to include local perspectives and relevant facts or figures. By doing so, PR agencies and their clients can effectively communicate the unique value propositions of their brands, services, or campaigns to journalists. This regional focus not only enhances understanding but also increases the likelihood of coverage that resonates with local audiences.In the PR industry, supporting journalists with timely quotes or data is crucial for securing media coverage. Deadlines loom large in these scenarios, underscoring the need for both clients and agencies to prioritize responsiveness and respect deadlines.Strengthening Media Partnerships through Responsive SupportClients and agencies alike must grasp the critical importance of timing in media interactions. Delays in meeting specific media requests can detrimentally impact relationships with journalists, signalling a lack of commitment or preparedness. Such lapses should be minimized to uphold positive rapport and facilitate seamless communication in PR campaigns.By adopting a proactive stance towards media engagements, both parties not only bolster their media relations but also amplify the effectiveness of brand communication strategies within a competitive media landscape. This approach ensures that messages are conveyed promptly and accurately, maximizing opportunities for impactful storytelling and fostering enduring relationships with media partners.In this competitive media environment, where every story counts, PR agencies stand as champions of impactful communication. As they continue to navigate the complexities of client needs and media dynamics, their commitment to innovation and excellence ensures that each campaign contributes meaningfully to the evolving narrative of success.DISCLAIMER: The views expressed are solely of the author and does not necessarily subscribe to it.

Ogilvy PR taps Sophie Paterson to lead new gaming, entertainment division

Ogilvy PR has bolstered its consumer PR and influence practice with the appointment of Sophie Paterson as the newly created Head of Gaming and Entertainment. Paterson boasts an impressive 15-year track record working with leading entertainment brands like Sony Music and Spotify.Leveraging her expertise in communications, digital strategy, and brand development, Paterson will spearhead Ogilvy PR's efforts in the burgeoning gaming and entertainment sector. Her focus will encompass streaming services, music, film and television, publishing, arts, events, and festivals, aligning with the agency's strategy to capitalize on this high-growth market and the increasing demand for innovative fan engagement tactics.Dan Young, Ogilvy PR's Managing Director for Consumer PR and Influence, said: Given the increasing fragmentation of the entertainment industry, it has never been more important for brands to execute effective earned first strategies that connect publicity, social, influence and experiential to drive awareness and engagement. There’s a need for content platforms to drive local cultural salience and engage with the creative community and policy makers alike. Sophie’s proven experience in audience development will enable us to grow our client base in a sector where we already have a strong track record of success. We’re excited to have her on board.”Throughout her career, Paterson has been a vocal advocate for various social causes, including racial justice, LGBTQIA+ rights, and gender equality. Her commitment extends to mentorship programs like AIR Women in Music and volunteer initiatives like Our Soundtrack, Our Stories, and Our Ads, all focused on supporting the music industry during the pandemic.Paterson actively participated in the working group that delivered the landmark National Music Industry Review in 2021/22, a crucial initiative addressing systemic sexual harassment and gender inequality within the Australian music scene.Paterson Excited to Lead Ogilvy PR's gaming and entertainment charge: “I am incredibly honoured and excited to join Ogilvy PR as the head of gaming and entertainment. The gaming and entertainment industries are at the forefront of cultural innovation and influence in an environment where there has never been more competition for eyes, ears, and attention. I look forward to leading our talented team in creating impactful, cutting-edge, culturally relevant campaigns that resonate with audiences across the ANZ and Asia regions, ensuring our clients’ brands thrive in this dynamic landscape.”

Archetype promotes Fabrice Kerboul, Maggie Leung to key roles in APAC

Strategic communications firm Archetype has announced two key promotions within its APAC team. Fabrice Kerboul takes the helm as Sales and Marketing Director, APAC. Leveraging his 13+ years of regional experience with Archetype, Fabrice will lead the company's growth efforts in APAC. He brings a blend of strategic vision and deep understanding of the regional market to this leadership role. Fabrice will utilize data-driven insights and foster global collaboration across departments to ensure Archetype achieves its ambitious goals in the APAC market.Maggie Leung, who joined Archetype in December 2020, has been promoted to a core member of the team. Maggie will spearhead content creation and media strategies for marquee clients like Amazon Web Services and other leading technology players. Her new role expands her responsibilities to include providing strategic content guidance and valuable market and media intelligence to a regional tech client. Maggie's ambition, deep tech knowledge, and strategic thinking, coupled with her strong communication skills in English and Chinese, have made her a bridge between clients, media, and stakeholders. Her swift promotion is a testament to her dedication and talent.

WBD names Robert Gibbs as Chief Communications and Public Affairs Officer

Warner Bros. Discovery has appointed Robert Gibbs as Chief Communications and Public Affairs Officer. In this newly created role, he will oversee WBD’s corporate and business communications as well as public affairs. An experienced and proven communications and public policy leader, Gibbs will officially assume the role on August 5 and report to Chief Executive Officer David Zaslav.“At this transformative time in our industry, Robert is the right leader to assume this new, critical global role, as we continue to grow the Warner Bros. Discovery brand and presence around the world,” said Zaslav. “Robert is an insightful and respected leader with experience spanning Fortune 500 companies, the White House, and winning political campaigns. He will be an invaluable part of the team as we create the most captivating stories and content for consumers around the world. I am thrilled to welcome him to WBD.”“I couldn’t be happier to join Warner Bros. Discovery and to help tell the incredible stories of so many iconic brands across entertainment, news and sports,” said Gibbs. “I’m particularly excited to work with the global team to fully and clearly capture WBD’s vision and communicate the meaningful growth potential in front of us. I am looking forward to getting started and being a part of this world-class organisation.”Gibbs most recently served as a Partner at Bully Pulpit International, a strategic communications, public affairs, and corporate reputation advisory firm. From 2015 to 2019, Gibbs served as the Executive Vice President for Corporate Relations and Global Chief Communications Officer for McDonald’s, where he oversaw the company’s global corporate communications, internal and executive communications, government relations and public affairs work. At McDonald’s, Gibbs globalized the communications function, led communications strategy for the company’s successful launch of delivery service, and drove significant awareness of key strategic initiatives including improved food quality and the “America’s Best First Job” campaign.Prior to McDonald’s, Gibbs held several senior communications and advisory roles in the Obama White House and his presidential campaigns. He was the Obama Administration’s first White House Press Secretary and an Assistant to the President from January 2009 to February 2011. Gibbs began working for Obama in 2004 as Communications Director for his US Senate campaign. He held the same job in Obama’s U.S. Senate office and during his 2008 presidential campaign. After leaving the White House, Gibbs served as a Senior Advisor to President Obama’s 2012 re-election campaign.

Pan Pacific Singapore taps Elaine Chan as Marketing Communications Director

Pan Pacific Singapore, a leading luxury hotel, welcomes Elaine Chan as its new Director of Marketing Communications.Chan brings over two decades of experience in luxury hospitality marketing and public relations across Singapore, China, and the UK. She boasts a successful career holding directorial positions at renowned brands like PARKROYAL COLLECTION, Kempinski Hotels, and Shangri-La Hotels & Resorts.Previously, Chan led sustainability-focused marketing initiatives at PARKROYAL COLLECTION Marina Bay, significantly boosting the hotel's brand recognition within the sustainable hospitality sector.At Pan Pacific Singapore, Chan will spearhead the development and execution of integrated marketing and PR strategies. She aims to leverage both traditional and digital channels to elevate the hotel's profile and attract new guests while solidifying relationships with existing patrons.Expressing her enthusiasm, Chan shared a heartwarming connection to Pan Pacific Singapore. Fond childhood memories of family Sunday lunches at the hotel's renowned Hai Tien Lo restaurant in the 1980s sparked a sense of nostalgia upon her return. Now, she takes immense pride in contributing to the hotel's legacy as a pioneering Singaporean luxury establishment.Chan is energized by the opportunity to build upon Pan Pacific Singapore's rich heritage and reputation. Her focus lies in strengthening the hotel's position within key domestic and international markets. Ultimately, she aspires to leave a lasting mark by contributing to the hotel's continued success.Pan Pacific Singapore remains a flagship property within the Pan Pacific Hotels Group, catering to both business and leisure travelers. The group recently launched a global influencer social media campaign, "#YoursToDiscover," showcasing the diverse experiences offered across its various brands.

Building a legacy: Srishti Mathur’s PR roadmap for Physics Wallah

We are in a new era of Public Relations. In the last few years, the importance of reputation management has taken a sea change. More brands and clients, especially from the leadership teams, are viewing Public Relations from a close range. The industry has undergone a radical change with the advent of social media, which has to a large extent changed the approach to Public Relations. We have a relatively new and young audience that we need to face in the coming years so there are bigger challenges for brands and PR practitioners, who have to be more agile and proactive in their thinking to draw up business solutions for clients.In our exclusive column – PR Conversation – Adgully interacts with leading business leaders and obtains their exclusive views and insights on the various trends in the PR and communications industry.In conversation with Adgully, Srishti Mathur, Director & Head – PR & Corporate Communication, Physics Wallah (PW), speaks at length about how PR and corporate communication in the ed-tech industry differ from other industries, the steps to communicate about ed-tech platforms like Physics Wallah to a skeptical audience, crisis communication in the ed-tech sector and ways to address them, long-term goals for Physics Wallah’s PR and corporate communication efforts, and more.How did your roles in various PR agencies prepare you for your current position at PhysicsWallah? What key lessons and skills from your previous experiences have you applied to your role as Head of PR and Corporate Communication?My 17-year experience in top PR agencies has prepared me well for my role at Physics Wallah. I use these skills to ensure our communications match with Physics Wallah’s educational goals, keeping everything open and trusted with our stakeholders. Growing up with journalist parents helped me strengthen media ties, improving our outreach and impact. My experience allows me to handle the ever-changing educational field effectively, using clear and genuine storytelling that connects with our audience and protects our brand’s reputation. Additionally, my leadership experience is vital in developing a robust PR and communications team that propels our mission. The adaptability and forward-thinking required in fast-paced agencies are essential at Physics Wallah, as we continuously innovate to engage effectively with students, parents, and educational partners.Given your extensive experience across various sectors, how does PR and corporate communication in the ed-tech industry differ from other industries? What unique challenges and opportunities have you encountered in promoting an ed-tech platform like PhysicsWallah compared to your previous roles?Education is a deeply personal and critical aspect of people’s lives. Establishing and maintaining trust with our audience is paramount, requiring consistent transparency and credibility in all communication. Promoting an ed-tech platform like Physics Wallah, demands a deeper focus on mission-driven storytelling and leveraging digital platforms to engage a diverse audience.At PW, we serve a broad audience, including students, parents, educators, policymakers, and the entire educational ecosystem. Each group has unique needs and expectations, necessitating messages that are both specific and cohesive. The success stories of our students provide powerful content that resonates emotionally with our audience.Our mission is to democratize education at scale, reaching students and parents in the remotest corners of the country. Simplifying information to make it accessible and engaging is crucial. Social media and new-age platforms play a huge role in this effort, especially for a digital-native brand, allowing us to reach students far and wide in the language they understand and in the way they consume information. This presents both an opportunity and a challenge, particularly in areas with limited internet access. In such cases, we create awareness using local methods to ensure our brand and its purpose reaches everyone.How do you communicate the value of ed-tech platforms like Physics Wallah to a skeptical audience, ensuring credibility and trust?Our approach to communication is also deeply rooted in transparency. We openly share our methodologies, numbers, success rates, and feedback through detailed case studies and testimonials. This openness helps build and maintain trust with our audience. A key element in our approach is continuously improving our content, community, and communication to meet the evolving needs of our stakeholders. By emphasizing strong corporate governance, we ensure that our actions align with our mission and values, fostering trust and credibility. Consistent messaging across all channels reinforces our brand's reliability. Regular updates, continuous engagement, and prompt responses to queries and feedback help build a dependable image.How do you handle crisis communication in the ed-tech sector, especially in situations where there might be misinformation or negative feedback from users? Could you share some examples?When misinformation or negative feedback arises, our first step is to respond quickly and transparently. We gather accurate information from all internal departments and present the facts clearly to counter any false narratives. We actively listen and learn from our community and our founder Alakh Pandey’s direct engagement and responsiveness to feedback ensure that our community feels heard and valued. This hands-on approach has been instrumental in addressing concerns promptly and maintaining a positive relationship with our stakeholders, even in challenging times. Additionally, we have robust crisis preparedness systems in place and all stakeholders receive calendared training on a regular basis, ensuring they know how to respond effectively to potential crises. This agility allows us to promptly address concerns and issues.In a competitive ed-tech landscape, how do you ensure that Physics Wallah stands out and maintains a strong brand presence?We do this by weaving a compelling narrative around the core elements of the brand – story, purpose, innovation, inspiration, and consistency. The PR strategy strongly focuses on building a strong community, leveraging these relationships to enhance the brand’s consumer voice. Relatable student success stories and data driven communication foster a sense of trust, belonging and aspiration, aligning with the brand’s cultural and social impact. By making education both affordable and innovative, Physics Wallah not only uplifts individual students but also contributes to broader societal and economic advancements. This multifaceted approach ensures Physics Wallah stands out and is continuously resonating with new and existing stakeholders while driving forward its vision for an educated and inclusive India.How do you build and maintain relationships with key stakeholders, including students, parents, and educational institutions?By continuously listening to them and innovating accordingly and acting swiftly to lead the change and provide solutions.What are your long-term goals for Physics Wallah’s PR and corporate communication efforts?Our long-term goals for Physics Wallah’s PR and corporate communication focus on elevating our brand to a cult status. We aim to continue innovating in how we share authentic stories to a diverse audience, enhancing our engagement and solidifying our reputation as India’s most beloved education brand. We are committed to leading systemic reforms in the Indian education system, aiming to impact educational policies and practices significantly. Our efforts will extend to scaling our reach and deepening engagement with the government, think tanks, associations and other relevant stakeholders to ensure lasting benefits for students across India. These initiatives are just the beginning of our journey to make a profound and enduring impact on education in Bharat and then globally.

Brands inadvertently funding online misinformation: Stanford study

A groundbreaking study published in Nature by researchers at Stanford and Carnegie Mellon exposes a multi-billion dollar flaw in online advertising: Due to programmatic advertising, through which brands are unaware of which websites get their advertising, a majority of prominent brands are inadvertently funding online misinformation. The study, which used NewsGuard data to identify misinformation sites, finds that this creates brand reputation risks about which senior executives at top brands remain largely unaware.Unlike other misinformation research before it, which has focused on the demand for misinformation — how false content spreads, who shares it, and what types of interventions reduce belief in falsehoods — this study provides comprehensive analysis of the supply of misinformation: how falsehoods are monetized, what role advertisers and ad tech companies play in this pipeline, and how consumers react to the phenomenon.The study analyzed data from more than nine million ads from 42,595 unique advertisers placed across 5,400 websites between 2019 and 2021. The researchers found that 74.5% of websites identified as sources of misinformation (using data from NewsGuard) were financially sustained by advertising. This heavy reliance on advertising underlines the importance of scrutinizing where ad dollars are being spent.One of the study’s most striking findings is that major brands from a wide range of industries — spanning household products, technology, finance, health, and education — regularly advertise on websites that spread misinformation. The research reveals that at least 46% of brands in each industry had instances of their ads appearing on misinformation sites, with the proportion as high as 82% of brands for some industries. Across industries, the average rate of brands advertising on misinformation sites was 67%. The study found that among the 100 most active advertisers, 55% had their ads appear on misinformation websites. In many industries, brands placed ads on unreliable sites with the same frequency as on reliable websites.The study found that only 20% of corporate executives such as CEOs and CMOs believed that their own company’s advertisements recently appeared on misinformation websites, indicating what the authors called a “presence of a false uniqueness effect among decision-makers.”“This study provides unprecedented data confirming the shocking likelihood of so many brands—two thirds of advertisers—unintentionally supporting misinformation,” said NewsGuard Co-CEO Steven Brill. “This study for the first time also reports how the programmatic advertising industry is so non-transparent that even senior executives at companies are often unaware that they’re part of the problem, with two thirds of companies funding misinformation but only one fifth of executives thinking their company has the problem.”The analysis also highlights the role digital advertising platforms play in exacerbating this phenomenon. When brands and their agencies used these platforms — Google’s ad platform being the most widely used — they were found to be approximately ten times more likely to appear on misinformation websites. This reliance on automated ad placements with little human oversight explains much of the inadvertent funding of misinformation, despite potential consumer backlash and brand reputation risks.Stanford researcher Wajeeha Ahmad, who led the study, emphasized the implications for consumer trust and brand integrity: “As consumers become more aware of misinformation and its sources, brands associated with such content may suffer a decline in demand for their products and services,” Ahmad said. “We find that consumers switch away from using companies whose ads appear on misinformation outlets. This switching effect persists even when consumers are informed about the role played by digital ad platforms in placing companies’ ads on misinformation websites and the role played by other advertising companies in financing misinformation.”Key Findings:  Dominant Business Model:5% of misinformation websites rely on advertising revenue, compared to a higher prevalence of subscription models among non-misinformation sites.  Widespread Issue: 46% to 82% of the 42,595 companies studied in each industry placed ads on misinformation sites. Among the 100 most active advertisers, 55% had their ads appear on misinformation websites.  Platform Influence: Companies using digital advertising platforms are ten times more likely to have their ads appear on misinformation sites.  Consumer Trust at Risk: Brands associated with misinformation risk losing consumer demand.The study’s findings align with previous research conducted by NewsGuard and Comscore that found brands unintentionally send more than $2.6 billion in advertising revenue to misinformation publishers each year. For example, during the COVID-19 pandemic, more than 4,000 brands unwittingly advertised on websites spreading health misinformation about vaccines and other topics, including hundreds of blue-chip advertisers.Last month, NewsGuard announced a new suite of tools to protect advertisers from the ads appearing on misinformation related to ongoing high-risk news topics such as elections, building on its previously announced News Advertising Safety Tiers that enable brands to advertise safely on news content while avoiding misinformation with continuously updated inclusion and exclusion lists.NewsGuard’s brand-safety segments can be activated directly via integrations into a wide range of supply-side platforms, demand-side platforms, and contextual advertising platforms including The Trade Desk, Peer39, Comscore, Pubmatic, Connatix, OpenX, and others. For more information, click here.(Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay)

Prudential appoints Zoe Hibbert as Chief of Corporate Affairs

Prudential plc (Prudential) has announced the appointment of Dr Zoe Hibbert as Chief of Corporate Affairs. Reporting to Chief Executive Officer Anil Wadhwani, Dr Hibbert will oversee Prudential’s Corporate Affairs function, including communications, events and brand strategy. The appointment is effective immediately.Based in Hong Kong, Dr Hibbert brings over 35 years of communications experience across Asia and North America to this role. She held senior positions at global financial institutions, most recently at Visa, where she led the Global Corporate and North America communications teams. Prior to this, Dr Hibbert led the Asia Pacific communications function for Visa, as well as the Product, Innovation and Marketing team. Before joining Visa, she was managing director of Burson-Marsteller Australia.This appointment reflects Prudential’s continued commitment to investing in its communications capabilities and to strengthening its brand across Asia and Africa.Commenting on the appointment, Anil Wadhwani said: “I am delighted to welcome Zoe to Prudential’s leadership team. Her diverse skills and extensive experience make her an invaluable asset as Prudential continues to serve all its stakeholders and expand its franchise in the world’s most dynamic regions of Asia and Africa.”Dr Hibbert has a Doctorate in Communications from Charles Sturt University.

Adgcraft expands its footprints in Mumbai

Adgcraft, a Delhi NCR-based PR agency, has opened its new office in Mumbai. The new Mumbai office, situated at Hive8, Kohinoor Square, Dadar West, will serve clients in the BFSI (Banking, Financial Services, and Insurance), corporate, lifestyle, influencer marketing, and hospitality sectors. With the opening of the Mumbai office, Adgcraft aims to leverage its extensive experience and industry knowledge to help clients achieve their communication goals. The agency's proven track record in handling high-profile PR mandates and delivering impactful results positions it as a trusted partner for businesses looking to enhance their brand presence and engagement.Abhinay Kumar Singh, Managing Director of Adgcraft, expressed his enthusiasm about the new office launch: "Over the years, we have evolved into a trusted partner for over 100 brands, delivering comprehensive PR services to customise meet our client's diverse needs. Looking ahead, our goal is to continue expanding our capabilities, leveraging our industry expertise and talented team to drive measurable results for our clients. The launch of our Mumbai office marks the beginning of an exciting new chapter for Adgcraft as we aim to further strengthen our position as a leader in the PR industry."Rahul Adap, Vice-President, Growth & Strategy at the Mumbai office, said: "Establishing our presence in Mumbai signifies a strategic expansion into one of the most dynamic and diverse business environments in India. Our team is ready to bring Adgcraft’s PR strategies to clients here, helping them to navigate the unique challenges and opportunities in this vibrant market. We are committed to offering personalized and effective communication solutions that meet our client's needs and help them achieve their goals."Adgcraft also works with global clients from the USA, South Korea, and other countries, further extending its reach and expertise in the international arena. Additionally, the agency has collaborated with numerous startup incubators, providing strategic communication support to help emerging businesses grow and succeed in competitive markets.Adgcraft's vision is to become a one-stop solution provider for all comprehensive PR and brand communications strategies, delivering complex messages in the simplest manner. The agency's motto, “Your Story is your strength, and communication is ours,” reflects its commitment to crafting powerful narratives that resonate with audiences and drive meaningful engagement.