Independent comms agency APRW launches training initiative for employees

APRW Pte Ltd (APRW), one of Singapore's earliest and largest independent integrated communications agencies, announces the launch of APRW+, a comprehensive training initiative for its full-time employees. APRW is the first independent communications agency to work with NTUC U SME to build an Operation and Technology Roadmap (OTR). Designed to empower and benefit APRW employees with continuous industry learning and professional development, the programme aims to upskill, upgrade and uplift employees both professionally and personally. It also underscores APRW’s dedication to providing valuable learning resources for its employees to thrive in an ever-evolving industry. Driving value in employees with upskilling and integrated industry skills With nearly 30 years of experience in delivering excellence in communications for clients across the Asia Pacific region, APRW continues its dedication to creating significant media and digital presence for clients. The agency also recognises the importance of nurturing talent, and enabling them to reach their full potential and achieve their career goals.The APRW+ programme aims to fast-track employees' development, offering opportunities for employees to participate in certification programmes, managerial development schemes, and robust hands-on training initiatives. APRW+ offers a comprehensive array of skills-enhancing courses that are conducted in-house as well as by external trainers from accredited organisations and educational institutions for employees at various stages of their careers. It aims to instil a proactive approach to learning and a mindset of continuous development in employees. The programme will also expand employees’ industry knowledge, maintain their relevance in the dynamic professional landscape as well as enabling them to stay abreast of the latest technological advancements.“In the ever-evolving landscape of communication, we embrace the dynamic challenges posed by technology and the rising complexities of modern communication. To remain confident and resilient, we understand the imperative to upskill, staying ahead in anticipation of change. As an agency, we recognise that in today's paradigm, controlling the narrative requires adapting to societal changes such as adopting digital tools, which can be seen as an addition to help with efficiency,” said Cho Pei Lin, Managing Director of APRW.Moulding talents to future leaders of tomorrow with opportunities in Singapore and beyond APRW+ consists of five levels, each representing a step forward in the growth and development of client account servicing employees, starting from executive-level to transitioning into leadership roles. It includes a mix of core and non-core electives ranging from foundational topics to management and managerial-related modules to growth, diversification and adaptability. Employees can also look forward to curated seminars and global engagements via webinars, conferences and training programmes for overseas exposure. This includes partnerships with agencies from IPREX, a leading global communication and public relations network. APRW is the sole IPREX representative in Southeast Asia, representing Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia, the Philippines, Vietnam and Malaysia."As the world becomes increasingly interconnected, opportunities for overseas exposure at work are highly valuable in helping professionals broaden their horizons and gain new perspectives. For instance, at the upcoming IPREX Annual General Conference in Greece later this month, we will be joined by communication experts from around the world, giving us a platform to interact and exchange best practices with them. It is going to be an eye-opening trip and I am grateful to the agency for providing such opportunities for us to step out of our comfort zones and embrace new learning experiences,” said Bijal Doshi, Senior Manager at APRW. Beyond just upskilling and training, APRW+ also serves as a foundational ground for the agency’s future leaders. The Director Mentorship Programme at the final stage aims to ease selected employees into leadership roles and to be owners and part of the business as well, to be well-equipped and familiar with the different functions of running an agency - from HR, business to finance and budgeting.With APRW+, the agency sets a benchmark for empowering its employees to thrive in an ever-evolving landscape, ensuring that they are well-equipped to navigate the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead.

Glad U Came launches #KabHaiMothersDay Campaign to Celebrate Moms Across India

This Mother's Day, Glad U Came, an award-winning PR and Influencer Marketing Agency, is proud to launch the heartwarming #KabHaiMothersDay campaign. This initiative aims to spark conversations and heighten awareness about Mother's Day, reminding everyone to cherish and appreciate the incredible women who raised them.The#KabHaiMothersDay campaign centers around a heartwarming video that will be released on both Instagram and YouTube. This emotionally charged video will capture the essence of motherhood and the importance of celebrating mothers. The campaign leverages the emotional connection people have with video content to spread its message and inspire action.<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>In a fast-paced world filled with hustle and bustle, it's easy to overlook the quiet, steadfast love that our mothers provide. They are the unsung heroes who sacrifice so much to ensure our happiness and well-being. As Glad U Came, embarks on the #KabHaiMothersDay campaign, let's take a moment to reflect on the countless ways our mothers have shaped our lives with their unconditional love and unwavering support. Glad U Came anticipates the #KabHaiMothersDay campaign to create a significant nationwide impact. Together, let's make every day feel like Mother's Day by showing our appreciation in both: big gestures and small acts of kindness. After all, our mothers deserve to be celebrated not just on one day, but every day! Let's make every moment count. By sharing the video and using the hashtag, people will be encouraged to express their gratitude and love for their mothers in a personal way."We believe this campaign will not only raise awareness about Mother's Day but also inspire heartfelt gestures of appreciation," says Maddie Amrutkar Founder & CEO at Glad U Came. "Ultimately, we hope to make #KabHaiMothersDay a national movement, ensuring everyone takes the time to celebrate the incredible women who shaped who we are today."

McDonald's 'Grimace's Birthday' wins at PR awards

McDonald's "Grimace's Birthday" campaign, created by Golin, was the star of the North American SABRE Awards, winning the top prize for Best Public Relations Campaign of 2023. This marks a historic night for Golin, becoming the first agency ever to snag three major awards: Best Agency to Work For, Large Agency of the Year, and Best in Show.The award-winning campaign addressed a significant drop in birthday celebrations at McDonald's. They brought back a beloved character, Grimace, to reignite excitement. This clever strategy resulted in a staggering 900% increase in birthday celebrations at McDonald's after five years of stagnation."This campaign was pure, fantastic consumer marketing," said Paul Holmes, head judge and founder of PRovoke Media. Awards often favor purpose-driven initiatives, but sometimes, great PR boils down to a creative idea that captures consumer imagination and fosters meaningful engagement."And the results in this case were nothing short of phenomenal," he concluded."Grimace's Birthday" triumphed over other impressive campaigns to win the coveted Platinum SABRE. These finalists included:  Dove's "Black Hair is Professional" with Ogilvy  SAG-AFTRA's "2023 Negotiations and Strike Campaign" with SAG-AFTRA  DHL Supply Chain's "Step Up for Safety" with Fahlgren Mortine  Aura Freedom's "For Her" Campaign with Veritas Communications and Forsman & Bodenfors"These finalists represent the incredible range of PR work seen this year," said Holmes. "From social justice efforts by Dove to navigating the Hollywood strike for SAG-AFTRA, to internal communications for DHL, any of these campaigns could have rightfully won the top prize."Ogilvy walked away as the biggest award winner, taking home eight trophies. MSL and Weber Shandwick followed with five awards each, while BCW snagged four. Finn Partners, Golin, and M Booth rounded out the top with three awards apiece.

Weber Shandwick UK names Yan Elliott as Chief Creative Officer

Weber Shandwick UK has named Yan Elliott as its new chief creative officer, a newly-created role. Elliott has been serving as the agency's interim creative lead since September.Prior to joining Weber Shandwick, Elliott held creative leadership positions at several prominent London advertising agencies, including Mother, Lucky Generals, The And Partnership, and most recently as executive creative director at AMVBBDO. During his career, he has developed award-winning creative campaigns for clients such as Dr Pepper, Orange, Sky, and RNIB.In his new role, Elliott will be responsible for leading Weber Shandwick's creative department and overseeing the strategy and execution of creative campaigns for the agency's clients. Some of his recent work for Weber Shandwick includes a collaboration between Budweiser and artist Sir Peter Blake, resulting in the launch of a limited-edition pop art can featured in an interactive exhibition in London, housed in the "world's first fridge frame" to keep it cool.Based in London, Elliott will oversee a team of creatives across Weber Shandwick's UK offices in London, Manchester, and Scotland. He will report to UK president Amy Garrett, who expressed her enthusiasm about the new hire. "We are thrilled to have Yan as part of our team," said Garrett. "His wealth of experience and innovative approach to creativity, which lies at the heart of our business, will elevate our brand and drive forward our strategic vision for our clients and colleagues." Elliott shared his excitement about the new opportunity, stating, "Weber Shandwick is an agency boasting a diverse range of talent, capabilities and expertise. It's a new world for me, and I have been blown away by the talented people and the smart way they go about their work. I am excited about collaborating with our talented teams to unleash the business's full potential. It's impactful creativity that can take our clients to new heights."

Hoffman Agency Asia-Pacific MD leaves after six months

Dominique Rose Van-Winther has decided to leave the Hoffman Agency, where she served as the Asia-Pacific Managing Director since November. Her departure comes six months after taking over from Caroline Hsu, who was promoted to the position of Chief Global Officer within the agency. Caroline Hsu confirmed Van-Winther's decision to pursue her passion in AI and next-generation technology, citing her contributions of energy, fresh ideas, and new perspectives to the tech-focused agency. Hsu will now resume her role as the primary lead for Asia-Pacific while retaining her position as Chief Global Officer. The agency is currently evaluating its options regarding the MD position. Van-Winther, who previously spent over a decade at Weber Shandwick in Asia-Pacific and later ran her consultancy focusing on AI and new technologies, expressed her dedication to the next-gen tech space. She emphasized her focus on deep tech, VC, AI, crypto, and their integration with communications, change management, and training. Reflecting on her time at Hoffman, Van-Winther expressed gratitude for the rewarding experience of working with a dedicated team and a diverse client portfolio. She acknowledged the support and understanding from Caroline and the leadership team as she transitions towards her new direction. Despite Van-Winther's departure, the Hoffman Agency remains committed to its AI initiatives through its global AI council, overseen by Asia-Pacific chief strategist Nicolas Chan.

Amazon Ads hires SourceCode Communications as PR partner

Amazon Ads has chosen SourceCode Communications as its new public relations partner after a competitive selection process, according to reports.More than 10 agencies participated in the pitch process, which began in January. SourceCode emerged victorious, securing a contract reportedly valued in the high six figures.The agency will provide a comprehensive range of PR services for Amazon Ads, including strategic counsel, media relations, and event management. This signifies a significant investment by Amazon Ads in its public relations strategy.SourceCode's efforts will specifically focus on promoting the Amazon Ads platform and its offerings to a wider audience. This includes a variety of advertising solutions like display ads, video ads, and sponsored products, which cater to sellers of all sizes on Amazon.Amazon Ads, a leading advertising platform, enables businesses to reach a massive audience of potential customers through Amazon's vast online marketplace.

Priya Dhawan promoted to Head of Communications, YouTube APAC at Google

Priya Dhawan has advanced to the role of Head of Communications, YouTube APAC at Google. Dhawan is a veteran in communications and public affairs, boasting more than 14 years of industry experience. She revealed her promotion on LinkedIn, stating, “I’m happy to share that I’m starting a new position as Head of Communications, YouTube APAC at Google.”Priya Dhawan has been a part of Google for over six years, holding roles such as Head of Policy & Reputation Communications for YouTube APAC and APAC Lead for Product & Policy Communications for YouTube, among others. Prior to joining Google, she spent more than five years at Edelman and also worked with 20:20 Media.

Tinder swipes right on The Academy for UK PR

Tinder has chosen The Academy to handle its creative earned media campaigns in the UK market, following a competitive pitch process.Founded by Mitch Kaye and Dan Glover a decade ago, The Academy boasts an impressive client list including Amazon, Disney, and Mastercard. While remaining tight-lipped about the new addition, The Academy is known for its innovative campaigns.Tinder, part of the Match Group, previously partnered with agencies like Weber Shandwick, W Communications, and Ogilvy Paris. Interestingly, Tinder intends to maintain these collaborations for project-based work.The Academy's win comes amidst a period of growth. The agency, a finalist for PRovoke Media's EMEA consumer agency of the year award, saw fee income increase by 9% last year, reaching £6.5 million.This expansion is further reflected in their recent creation of dedicated "columns" within their structure. Sophie Pettifer, who joined in 2016 during the Shine merger, will spearhead an entertainment column. Meanwhile, Sam Beecham, joining in 2017, will lead a newly formed sports column, assuming the title of Head of Sport.

MENA Young Lions PR: Alexandra Richards, Sara Al Dehni clinch the crown

PRCA MENA, the Public Relations and Communications Association in the Middle East and North Africa, has announced that Gambit Communications’ Alexandra Richards and Sara Al Dehni have won the MENA Young Lions Competition 2024 for their #LendTheirVoice campaign. The star duo will go on to represent the MENA at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity.Responding to a brief set by Shamsaha, Alexandra and Sara beat a field of 16 teams. Each team had 24 hours to create a campaign that would help Shamsaha to target audiences from expanded regions, especially focusing on support to victims of GBV in Palestine and Sudan.Sylvia Marcus, the Partnerships and Business Development Manager at Shamsaha, commented: “At Shamsaha, we believe in the power of collaboration and innovation to drive positive change. Partnering with the PRCA MENA Young Lions Competition allows us to amplify our message of women's empowerment and protection throughout the Middle East, inspiring a new generation of advocates and change-makers.”PRCA’s Head of EMEA, Monika Fourneaux MPRCA said: “Each competing team has demonstrated exceptional skill and creativity. The breadth of innovative campaigns highlights the incredible diversity of young talent in our region. Congratulations to Alexandra and Sara for their outstanding achievement, and we extend our best wishes to them for success in Cannes. Thank you to all participants for your contributions, and we look forward to seeing you again next year.”

Concept Group Partners with Numb3r Impact Agency to Innovate Digital Advertising

Amidst the ever-evolving digital advertising landscape, Concept Group, India's largest independent agency network, has partnered with Numb3r Impact Agency, led by Rishi Kishnani and Tanmay Bahulekar, to revolutionise traditional advertising paradigms and introduce a new era of creativity and innovation. Concept Group's industry expertise, combined with Numb3r Impact Agency's proficiency in audio and video solutions, creates a potent combination poised to deliver highly effective campaigns.By pooling their resources, knowledge, and creative capabilities, both Concept Group and Numb3r Impact Agency aim to push the boundaries of traditional advertising models and introduce fresh, impactful approaches to engage audiences. Together, they seek to establish new standards for creativity, effectiveness, and impact in the digital advertising landscape.This collaboration benefits clients by offering access to a comprehensive suite of cutting-edge advertising services that integrate creativity, technology, and data-driven insights. Clients can expect campaigns that capture attention and drive tangible results, including increased brand visibility, enhanced audience engagement, and higher conversion rates.Vivek Suchanti, Chairman of Concept PR, expressed his enthusiasm about the partnership, stating, "I'm thrilled to partner with Numb3r, an agency that resonates with my belief in adaptable creative video solutions. It's refreshing to be part of a fluid, new-age agency where learning and the development of AI tools are at the core of our innovative approach."Tanmay Bahulekar, Founder-Partner of Numb3r Impact Agency, also shared his vision for the partnership, "As a keen observer of the evolving video solutions landscape, our aim at Numb3r is to create tangible impact for our clients. Staying ahead of the learning curve and collaborating with passionate minds fuel our journey towards redefining industry standards."Rishi Kishnani, Co-Founder and Partner at Numb3r, reflected on the new alliance, "Joining forces with Concept Advertising marks an exciting new chapter for Numb3r. Their trust not only validates our innovative approach to digital advertising but also propels us towards greater heights. We're thrilled to collaborate with Vivek Suchanti and his team, leveraging their expertise and resources to drive even more impactful campaigns. Together, we're poised to redefine the digital advertising landscape and deliver unparalleled results for our clients."Beyond a mere business alliance, the partnership represents a convergence of shared values and a relentless pursuit of excellence. With a focus on innovation, creativity, and client-centric solutions, both Concept Group and Numb3r Impact Agency are poised to deliver measurable results that drive business success.