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Marketing Featured ANZ

WiredCo. launches new PR offering WireCast

Australia – WiredCo., an Australia-based advertising agency, recently announced the launch of their new digital PR offering named WireCast.

WireCast is developed by Founder and Managing Director Angela Hampton and Partner David Kennedy-Cosgrove, as well as Managing Partner and co-owner Michelle Hampton

With WireCast, the company aims to spotlight earned media in top-table strategy discussions. 

“Our digital campaigns get supercharged whenever earned media is integrated so we’ve created an offering that not only amplifies what we already do but also elevates PR to play a much more meaningful role,” said Michelle.

On what inspired her to develop WireCast, Michelle said, “WireCast is our optimised earned media offering that’s measurable. We created it to try and tackle what’s held the industry back from the same level of growth and progression as other marketing disciplines.”

She added, “Measurement is still a big issue when it comes to earned media and many marketers continue to view it as a single channel, single purpose ‘add-on tool’.”

Moreover, WiredCo. wants to elevate earned media for brands by emphasizing WireCast’s competitive advantage of tapping into the smarts of performance marketing and SEO systems.

“So by addressing what’s been holding earned media back, there’s enormous potential for significant growth,” Michelle added.

WiredCo., previously known as The Wired Agency, is an award-winning digital and creative agency that offers tailored media experiences, content creation, and consumer research services, amongst others.

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Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

realme Philippines names OMG’s FUSE as new PR agency of record

Manila, Philippines – As part of realme Philippines’ new strategy, the consumer electronics company has formally announced its partnership with FUSE, the PR agency under Omnicom Media Group – Philippines, to be its new PR agency of record. This partnership aims to further strengthen the brand’s top position in the local market. 

The adjustment to the PR agency will be supporting realme and narzo as two independent brands moving forward. With this, another agency will be reaching out to media partners for all narzo Philippines concerns. 

“We ask for everyone’s full cooperation with the changes so that we may have a smooth transition for all parties involved. For any clarifications and concerns, please do not hesitate to reach out to the concerned agencies,” said realme Philippines, in a formal statement.

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Marketing Featured Global

Red Havas nabs global PR remit of mobile ordering platform me&u

Australia – Global public relations agency Red Havas has been appointed by Australia’s mobile ordering and payment platform, me&u, to handle its global communications program including consumer, trade, and brand building.

The remit will see Red Havas managing the platform’s PR services and media relations across B2B and B2C in Australia, the UK, and the USA. Red Havas will be driving brand fame, asserting me&u as the global leader of at-table ordering innovation, and showcasing the brand’s ongoing commitment as an ally to the hospitality industry.

Katrina Barry, me&u’s CEO, noted that Red Havas is an impressive team, an agency with a global footprint and experience in both the corporate and consumer comms space.

“Their first response hit the mark and there were real synergies with their strategic and creative thinking and me&u’s vision – so much so that we awarded them the business and moved straight into execution. We look forward to working with Red Havas to shake up the hospitality industry in a meaningful way,” said Barry.

Meanwhile, Alex Bryant, Red Havas’ executive director, shared that me&u is a game-changer for the hospitality industry, born out of a need to bring much-needed disruption to the sector.

“The brand is building a better future for hospitality to inspire extraordinary memories and we are excited to tell that story in a meaningful way, cementing me&u as the category leader and hospitality innovator,” said Bryant.

In April 2022, Red Havas has expanded its presence in the strategic corporate communications space following the launch of a dedicated corporate affairs practice. With this, the company has named the 20-year industry veteran Matt Thomas as the new executive director of corporate affairs.

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Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

Bud Communications’ SEA region expansion a response to tech client demand

Singapore – PR & marketing agency Bud Communications has expanded its presence in the Southeast Asian region by designating new appointments across its PR and digital content in Singapore, Jakarta, and Sydney.

The first appointment is Sherawaye Hagger (left of the banner picture), the agency’s new client director, and will report to Oliver Budgen (right of the banner picture), founder and managing director of Bud Communications. Prior to joining the agency, she had more than 15 years of integrated communication background and was a former practice director of H+K Strategies Singapore.

The agency has also appointed a new account executive, Virginie Cosentino, and a new account manager Maina Harjani, who was a former managing editor of Indonesia Tatler. Cosentino will overlook the agency’s digital offering, while Harjani will overlook the agency’s regional capability and editorial and content offering.

Stuart Edwards is the agency’s newly-included non-executive director, and will advise on operations and business growth and receive reports from the three aforementioned hires. Prior to joining Bud Communications, Stuart was the founding partner of the business advisory service Edwards & Cowas, was previously COO of Edelman APACMEA, and managing director and part-owner at MullenLowe Profero which was acquired by IPG in 2014. 

“As we dust ourselves off from a turbulent year that has rocked tech companies around the world, the response we’ve seen from our clients vindicates Bud’s journey in becoming Asia Pacific’s leading PR agency for challenger tech brands,” said Budgen.

He also added, “COVID-19 has shown us that as tech companies adapt to fit a changing consumer landscape, they’re increasingly looking for agile, kinetic partners that can offer impactful communications that deliver true strategic value. As a fresh, challenger agency we are extremely proud of how far we have come this year and as 2021 approaches we’re committed to continuing the momentum into the new year.”

Bud Communications’ team and regional expansion have been an effect of recent clients that they are working on, including OTT-revenue management platform, Evergent, electronics e-commerce company RS Components, entertainment marketing agency Culture Group, media intelligence company CARMA ASIA, and cybersecurity firm, White Ops.

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Marketing Featured Global

GlobalCom PR Network ropes in PR veterans as newest board members

Germany – PR company GlobalCom PR Network (GCPR), an alliance of 80 public relations agencies in more than 100 countries, has appointed communications firm Interprose’s CEO Vivian Kelly, and Singapore-based PR company PRecious Communications’ Managing Director Lars Voedisch, as its newest members of the board, with both bearing the title managing director.

They will join GCPR founder Ralf Hartmann and Richard Merrin, managing director of UK-based PR firm Spreckley, on the GlobalCom board of directors to provide strategic direction for the growing GCPR network. 

GCPR provides clients with a worldwide network of independent PR agencies offering services on crisis communications, media relations, analyst relations as well as influencer marketing and SEO PR. Its PR partners boast of expertise in a slew of verticals such as consumer electronics and lifestyle, financial services, fintech, and also healthcare and IT.

Both Kelly and Voedisch carry with them decades of experience in their field. Kelly has been specifically well-versed in working with tech companies. She founded Interprose in 1998, which provides strategic communications among global B2B tech innovators. In addition, Kelly has been an active advocate for technology companies promoting diversity and inclusion via providing opportunities for brand ambassadors of all backgrounds to serve as spokespeople and thought leaders. 

Meanwhile, Voedisch is known for growing, managing and defending leading brands’ reputations. He has been with PRecious Communications for eight years, having provided strategic communications counsel to over 300 startups across APAC, which includes 15 unicorns as well as enterprises, lifestyle brands, and government agencies. His firm has been honored with multiple industry accolades including the Independent Agency Head of the Year award at the 2019 Marketing Talent Awards. 

Commenting on the appointment, Hartmann said, “We live in a decentralized world, and companies are looking for trusted partners who understand their business, and can scale as they expand into new markets.”

“Our clients are assured of the best, most cost-effective approach to multi-market PR, from experts in their field. Having Vivian and Lars join the board, gives our clients a more comprehensive global view on new markets and how best to penetrate them from an awareness building perspective,” he added. 

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Main Feature Marketing Southeast Asia

#MARKETECHMondays: Norman Agatep, President and Managing Director of Grupo Agatep in the Philippines

To thrive in marketing and public relations where creativity is the name of the game is already a challenge on its own, let alone to achieve tenure in such industry. To become a mainstay—that is a different story altogether.

For the first #MARKETECHMondays episode this September, we feature Norman Agatep. A name that may have been, over the period of time, synonymous to advertising and PR in the Philippines; a living and breathing example of a man whose passion in marketing and corporate communications has lent him an undeniable feature of success, that is, longevity in the field.

Norman is currently the president and managing director of Grupo Agatep, an integrated marketing communication agency put up by his father, Charlie Agatep, a veteran PR man himself.

Norman has been working in advertising and PR since 1990 prior to becoming chief of his family-run agency. But from the year 2015 onwards, that was when he saw his expertise unfold in a novel way, being appointed to roles that would charge him not only with overseeing clientele work, but also with contributing to the growth of the country’s communication industry.

In 2015, he stepped in as president of the Internet and Mobile Marketing Association of the Philippines (IMMAP). Then in 2016, he was elected chairman of the 4As, or the Association of Accredited Advertising Agencies of the Philippines, a non-profit organization covering Ad agencies in the country. The year after, he was reelected to the position, all the while being named as chairman of the advertising regulatory board, the Ad Standards Council (ASC). Currently, he serves as president of the Public Relations Society of the Philippines.

Truly a soldier of the creative industry, his devotion to the work of media and communications goes over and beyond running an agency, but now has proven to be that of dedicating oneself to the country’s advertising and PR landscape.

With all these credentials under his belt, one would wonder, who was he before all of it? We go back to the night of his graduation.

Starting out as an English lit teacher
Before doing agency work, Norman was with the academe, teaching high school students on an array of subjects that are still close to communication: English literature and composition; film theory and appreciation.

As a man looking for a career to build, from the very start, he need not look far ahead having a father that was well-immersed in marketing. But there was this brief incident at the night of his college graduation that further pushed signs that he was meant to do work in marketing communications.

“I remember very distinctly, walking out at the venue of our graduation, I was with my dad and the president of an ad agency came over, and was recruiting me on the spot to join his agency,” said Norman during the #MARKETECHMondays interview.

“When he asked me, my father was there at the time. My dad was saying, ‘But wait, before you even ask my son in your agency, I might as well be the first one to ask him’.”

As inconclusive it may be, accepting that impulsive offer could still have turned a different path for him, but a father has got to know—doe-eyed Norman was very well destined to become successor.

The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree
To say that Norman’s father, Charlie Agatep, is an inspiration to him would be a complete understatement. Norman says that a big part of his passion and work ethic could not have come elsewhere, but has always been deeply grounded from his roots.

The senior Agatep built the agency in 1986, where years later, would be joining forces with multinational advertising leader Euro RSCG, more commonly known today as Havas Worldwide. In 2016, the company returned to its local roots and is now the independent agency, Grupo Agatep.

“The mentoring that I got from my dad was holistic. I would see him at home, and then at work, then back at home again,’ shared Norman.

“The very way that he would dispose [of] himself at home, and the examples he would demonstrate through work ethic in the office, then back at home again; [that] is seamless. So it was something that I was surrounded with 24 hours a day.”

He shares further, “He would demonstrate exactly what effective communication would be. He would be very clear on how he would communicate.”

One of the best lessons he learned from him, the balance of the right and the left brain.

“He is results-oriented. That’s something difficult [for me] [because] I am more on the creative side of communication, so sometimes, it gets difficult for me to focus on results, because I am so buried, entrenched on the task of creating.”

“But [my father], he’s not like that. He’s able to distance himself from work, and see where the work is headed to and what objectives are still needed. So he is results-oriented, [something] I am continually learning from, [and] the quality that I am trying to learn.”

A tale on pitches: failures and successes along the way
When asked about failures and successes, Norman touched on the pitches that he was able to see through and those that just didn’t get the green light.

For him, there have been disappointments in the career he’s led just like everybody else’s; probably an account that he lost or a pitch he didn’t win, but trying to remember them will never be as vivid, as he lives by the attitude of always “moving forward” and never lingering on the missteps.

“I don’t remember them distinctly because the attitude should be to take that situation, and see how you can be better because of it.”

With successes, it would come as a surprise that a particular pitch he felt most proud of was one he didn’t immediately bag, and was in fact only a second choice to the winning idea at the time.

The pitch was for a big advertising campaign for a beverage brand, where five agencies were in competition. Norman’s team was the smallest agency of the bunch. Easily a boulder to overcome at the start, his team had been asked to revise and present twice. But hard work paid off when they received a call the night of the second round.

He recounts, “The night of that second presentation, the brand manager called [and wanted to meet].”

The brand manager goes, as Norman remembers, “We were not so impressed by [your] idea, [and] the other agencies had bolder ideas, but we [enjoy] [working] with you, we feel like we can work through an idea.”

Then the next thing the manager says is something we all ought to learn on the topic of attitude:

“The pitch is an opportunity to see what ideas you have, but it’s also an opportunity to see if we will be able to collaborate on this brand. We did not feel that with the other agencies, we [felt] that [with you], [that] as we collaborate even more, we will get it right.”

Norman as a leader
Leadership is something that has defined most of Norman’s career.

He maintained a directorial position for 19 years before becoming Grupo Agatep’s president. He was creative director of then Euro RSCG Manila for nine years, then managing director of the rebranded Havas
Worldwide Manila for another 10 years.

So how is he as a leader? Even after being in the industry for so long, he reveals that he’s the kind who’s ever hands-on.

“I [wear] several hats. In the office, it’s managing the teams and making sure the clients are happy and serviced well, and making sure delivering what we had promised to our clients; also ensuring that the quality of work is up there. I check on a lot of the work that’s coming out.”

We also asked about the ongoing elephant in the room for the tenured individuals in the creative industry, the ones that hadn’t been originally acculturated to the digital medium: how do you evolve, and lead a young, millennial- and Gen-Z- dominated team?

The way he’s able to manage such team, he chalks it up to his professorship.

“Both my dad and I used to be teachers, where he taught both high school and college. A big part of leadership is training [newcomers]. It [gets] tiring when people eventually move on, and then you have a new set of people to train, but I really like it, and you have to like it to be able to survive this cycle of forever teaching even the basics of PR and marketing.”

He adds, “It’s about loving the craft and being updated yourself, because when I started 30 years ago, there wasn’t online marketing yet. You just have to keep growing as well, and being several steps ahead of the people you’re going to train, and having an open mind that you’re [also] going to learn from them.”

“PR work is grassroots”
Norman gives advice to would-be and aspiring marketers, and he imparts one that is brief, but hits home to the perpetual misconception of what PR work really is.

“There is a preconceived notion that marketing and PR would be a glamorous job, which is sometimes, it’s like that, but it’s a lot of hard work too.”

“If you want to get into marketing, you’ve got to understand it fully. A lot of PR work is grassroots. It’s going to communities, and trying to understand them better, and trying to think of ways to solve the problem of the brands you’re working with.”

Ultimately, he adds, creative PR work starts with oneself.

“Understand brands. Take a look at the brands that you like, try to figure out what makes them successful for you. What did the brands do right that made you patronize them, [ask yourself] how can you use that, and translate that to other stuff that you could do to other brands.”

Watch the full video of this interview on our YouTube channel, going live today at 6:30 pm PST.

If you’re a marketing leader and you want to share your career experience to inspire the marketing industry, please reach out, we want to hear your story.

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Marketing Southeast Asia

Health communications firm SPAG opens new offices in SEA

Singapore – Health communications firm, SPAG, announced new job hires, business expansion in newer markets and fortified partnerships with life sciences and health-focussed companies in the region, further strengthening their position as a leader in health communications. 

“We believe in the immense potential that dynamic Asia Pacific holds and will continue to tap into the business opportunities and creative talents in the region. Our regional expansion is not only pivotal to our continued success and resilience as an organization, but also helps to create more jobs for local talents at a time where job uncertainty is high,” said Priyanka Bajpai, Regional Head, SPAG (pictured)

“Our focus is towards our employees’ welfare as well as developing strong relationships with our client partners which include both start-ups as well as global organizations, to deliver valuable impact on their businesses.”, Bajpai added.

SPAG has hired three communications and creative specialists within the Singapore team to meet the burgeoning demand for integrated communications support from health, nutrition, pharma and life sciences clients in the region. These specialists bring with them a wealth of experience from the healthcare communications, science communications and media relations sectors, to build SPAG’s capabilities and address client needs. 

As part of its business strategy, the firm has also launched offices and added teams in four additional markets – Malaysia, Indonesia, The Philippines and Thailand – to further cement its presence, fortify its influential network and build its in-depth knowledge of local markets in the region. In tandem, SPAG has strengthened and fostered partnerships with new clients to lead and execute impactful projects focused on health and life sciences. 

Commenting on the expansion, Aman Gupta, Co-Founder & Managing Partner, SPAG, expressed, “As Asia Pacific prepares for unprecedented change, health communications is all the more vital in helping organizations get through the damaging effects of the outbreak, retain trust amongst their employees and with industry partners, as well as protect their brands and reputation. This regional expansion is a testament to our commitment to our clients, partners and the industry as we work together to adapt to this new normal while continuing to drive impact, spearhead conversations and influence perceptions.” 

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Main Feature Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

Edelman Malaysia is PRWeek’s Southeast Asia PR Consultancy for 2020

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia – Last week saw Edelman raise the Malaysian flag higher at region’s most respected Marketing Communications and Reputation Building award show, PR Awards Asia.

Now in its 19th year the award show powered by the revered PRWeek & Campaign recognizes the best strategic thinking and performance across Campaigns, People and Consultancies.

Edelman Malaysia emerged winner in a fiercely contested category dominated by four other Singapore based Consultancies. As the award was adjudged on holistic business performance and impact on Client businesses.

Speaking on this distinguished recognition Mazuin Zin, MD Edelman Malaysia shared “We are extremely proud and humbled by this recognition. As this award is a recognition for the holistic business transformation we initiated two and a half years ago of building a consultancy that will take pride in driving Client Centricity through purpose-based work.”

As she further added, “As an organization dedicated to partnering clients to Act with Certainty, especially in these unprecedented times, this regional applause from industry seniors and peers validates our belief that building trust and attention through purpose-based work will continue to shape the role we in the communication business will need to play for our clients.”

This win for Edelman Malaysia comes on the back of similar regional recognitions the agency has earned earlier this year with a global award at MAA GLOBES.