Marketing Featured East Asia

The Hoffman Agency to handle Microsoft HK’s PR duties

Hong Kong – Integrated communications agency The Hoffman Agency has been recently appointed by the Hong Kong arm of tech giant Microsoft to handle its public relations business, effective 1 July. Said appointment comes in line with the company’s 30th anniversary and the upcoming launch of Azure Availability Zones in Hong Kong.

Through the agency appointment, The Hoffman Agency will work to strengthen Microsoft Hong Kong’s position as a leading technology partner for Hong Kong businesses with a focus on cloud computing, hybrid workplace and cybersecurity. In short, this will bring a fresh perspective to strengthen Microsoft Hong Kong’s communications efforts.

In addition, the agency will be responsible for developing external communications programs, aimed at showcasing how Microsoft Hong Kong is using its technologies to empower individuals, businesses and organizations across different sectors, and its partner network, to emerge stronger in the post-COVID world. 

According to Kevin On, general manager for Hong Kong at The Hoffman Agency, both companies share the same vision of empowering companies to solve business problems. He added that the agency will take a fresh, innovative approach to communications and support Microsoft Hong Kong to achieve more as they celebrate 30 years in the city

“Microsoft plays a key role in helping businesses transform globally and locally, and we are excited to be a part of this. There are unique and powerful stories behind every technological advancement, and our mission is to bring these to the fore and convey Microsoft’s empowered Hong Kong narrative in a compelling way,” On stated.

The Hoffman Agency has also been recently appointed by Shutterstock earlier this year to handle the company’s communication accord from March to December 2021.

Platforms Featured Southeast Asia

This new PR super app aims to democratize the public relations realm

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia – In a ‘new normal’ setup, public relations have long embraced digitalization, evident with the launch of PR distribution websites and their wider reach across global and regional markets. But traditionally, these news distribution sites only focus on the press release distribution side, and not about enriching the media experience.

Enter Malaysia-born the new platform catering to a whole slew of public relations services, ranging from virtual PR consultation, translators for story localization and professional writers on-site.

Founded by public relations practitioner Manminder Kaur Dhillon and former broadcast journalist Puspavathy Ramaloo, Supernewsroom aims to cater to anyone, whether a budding startup company or a well-recognized Fortune 500 company.

Users can access the platform for free and get 10 credits valued at US$0.50 each upon signing up. They can access the media database and send press releases to 30,000 journalists across eight countries, namely Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Hong Kong, Vietnam, and others in the region. The pre-paid credits are deducted with every email sent from the platform and can be topped up anytime.

In addition, users can ask for PR advice, get their press releases written and translated into local languages. 

Supernewsroom founders (left) Manminder Kaur Dhillon and (right) Puspavathy Ramaloo

For Manminder, who also serves as the platform’s CEO, the aim was to create an all-in-one public relations platform when we started off five years ago as part of the Intelectasia agency. She added that they have stayed true to their brand tagline of ‘The easiest way to get publicity for your brand’ by making it credit based, instead of having users pay a subscription fee, a better user interface and user experience, as well as some new features.

“It is designed for anyone – whether you are new to public relations or an experienced practitioner. On, users can select the tags that are most relevant to their brand and/or press releases to get matched to the right publications or journalists. By using an in-built email blast, they can send out their content instantly. The best part is that now the users can hire experts directly on the platform by using the pre-paid credits,” she added.

She also stressed that one of their top priorities nowadays are collaboration with media agencies, owing to the establishment’s partnership with more than 60 media organizations for guaranteed placements across the region.

“The platform is also allowing media agencies to better monetize their sites. Media agencies are earning through content placements with us and this is strictly based on their editorial policies. Ultimately, we envision that will be the marketplace for users to get access to professionals from the industry, be it PR consultants, content creators, and for content placements,” Manminder explained.

Users can view each campaign – the targeted media list, create favourite media lists/folders for a certain topic or press release, and with the Google News integration, they can monitor the success of their PR campaigns.

Scaling up fast globally will be one of key focus areas according to Manminder, and to achieve that, Supernewsroom is ramping up its digital marketing efforts, among others. 

“There are many plans in the pipeline to scale up fast. Our aim is to have a strong foothold globally, especially in key markets such as Southeast Asia, Asia Pacific, and the US,” Manminder added.

Marketing Featured ANZ

Thrive PR remains agency of record of ASUS in ANZ

Sydney, Australia – Australia-based independent public relations agency Thrive PR has been reappointed by computer company ASUS as its public relations agency of record in the ANZ region, following a renewed competitive pitch.

Thrive PR has been ASUS’ agency of record in the region since 2017. In this renewed partnership, Thrive PR will continue to manage all of the tech giant’s product launches and announcements in ANZ, to reach ASUS communities across key market segments including lifestyle, gaming, smartphone users and commercial.

In addition, Thrive PR will also work with ASUS on their brand strategy to help drive ambitious growth objectives in the local market.

For Leilani Abels, managing director at Thrive PR, the agency has always been inspired with the ethos ASUS’ branding holds, which is ‘we dream, we dare…we are always in search of incredible ideas and experiences’.

“My role is to provide Thrive’s clients with the best PR talent to help achieve their business goals and to give the Thrive team opportunities to work with the world’s biggest brands who are best in class. I’m confident the ASUS x Thrive partnership will continue to go from strength to strength with renewed ambitions,” Abels stated.

Meanwhile, Farzeen Quadir-Hegde, head of marketing – SYS BG at ASUS, commented that Thrive is as passionate about technology and innovation as they are, which aligns harmoniously with ASUS’ brand values to aspire to deliver the incredible in everything they do.

“The team has consistently shown an innate understanding of our brand and products, with ideas that challenge traditional thinking, and deliver outstanding results time and time again. We’re excited to see what’s to come,” Quadir-Hedge added.

Thrive has been working closely with tech companies as their clients, including being reappointed by tech company Ubisoft, which has been their client since 2015.

Marketing Featured APAC

PR agency Golin sees new chief creative officer take helm in APAC

Singapore – Golin, a public relations agency under the umbrella of the Interpublic Group (IPG) has appointed Shouvik Prasanna Mukherjee as the new chief creative officer for the agency in its APAC operations, where he will be responsible in leading Golin’s data-driven, earned-first creative ideas to inspire and create change for clients across the region. 

Mukherjee brings over 16 years of experience across advertising and public relations disciplines to this role and is a sought-after thought leader. He regularly speaks at industry conferences, engages in mentorship programmes and delivers guest lectures at multiple universities in Singapore. Mukherjee has been a member of the jury for industry awards including the Cannes Lions, Spikes Asia and the SABRE Awards.

In his new role, Mukherjee’s first point of business will be to shape and grow a global creative team across the agency’s markets in Asia Pacific to deliver ideas that earn attention, build businesses and deliver exceptional client results. 

In addition, He will oversee the firm’s conceptual creators, graphic designers and content production teams for the region, and he will take an active role in building the data analytics capabilities in Singapore where he previously held the role of executive creative director since 2015.

Speaking about his appointment, he said, “Earning attention requires brave creativity that is culturally relevant and fuelled by insights and analytics. It delivers business results, as well as inspires awe, breaks stereotypes, and basically blows the mind. I’m excited to expand this incredible team so we can service more clients across the region with bold ideas.”

He will be reporting to Darren Burns, president for Asia Pacific at Golin. In addition to his chief creative officer role, Mukherjee will continue to lead the data, analytics and content team in Singapore.

“Shouvik has been an integral part of the Golin team for over a decade, leading multiple award-winning campaigns. He will bring unparalleled energy and passion to drive growth by focussing on regional collaboration and earned-first creative ideas,” Burns stated.

Mukherjee has conceptualized and executed award-winning campaigns for Golin clients including Guinness, Heineken, McDonald’s, Magnum, Nespresso, Panasonic, Porsche and Twitter.

Technology Featured Global

MSL to onboard Onclusive’s PR analytics tech for all global clients

New York, USA – In a bid to empower global PR clients with timely PR tech solutions, PR technology, global public relations firm MSL has announced that it is extending its partnership with media monitoring company Onclusive to offer its PR Attribution service globally, which has previously only been available to MSL’s US clients.

Said service is a PR software that enables public relations key persons to use blended deterministic data with artificial intelligence to their PR services. The PR Attribution service links individual articles and pieces of content to specific business outcomes, allowing for precise PR analytics with truly actionable insights. 

Instead of relying on proxy metrics like coverage volume and potential reach, PR Attribution delivers real-time sights, including total volume of website visits from earned and owned media; specific website interactions by individual content; projected revenue impact of individual content; and trending statistics by communications campaign, message or topic.

MSL said that in terms of its features, all PR Attribution™ data is aggregated, anonymized, and designed to comply with worldwide data privacy regulations. 

The software will be integrated into solutions for current and new MSL and Publicis Groupe clients globally. 

According to Bryan Pedersen, chief innovation officer at MSL U.S, they have spent the bulk of the past two years at MSL honing an earned-first tech stack based on co-development partnerships, connected APIs and rich Epsilon data that has powered insights and innovation in ways that haven’t been possible for the public relations industry until now.

“Onclusive’s PR Attribution™ model has brought us unmatched visibility to PR measurement, deprioritizing industry vanity metrics and inaccurate forms of attribution. Extending our partnership globally further cements MSL’s leadership in ‘influence impact’ and competitive advantage in comms tech.” Pedersen said.

Meanwhile, Dan Beltramo, CEO at Onclusive, said, “Attribution has become standard best practice in marketing, and we are proud to have brought a similar set of advanced capabilities to communications practitioners. As the industry’s first and most accurate attribution solution, PR Attribution™ is changing PR measurement. Utilizing Onclusive’s best-in-class data science we are proud to be a strategic partner to MSL and their clients globally.”

Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

iFly SG to amp up position in sports space, taps PR agency Ruder Finn Asia

Singapore – iFly Singapore, the skydiving destination in the country, aims to strengthen its positioning in the sports and lifestyle spaces, and it has recently partnered with integrated communications agency Ruder Finn Asia to handle all of its public relations business. 

Ruder Finn Asia is the Asia Pacific subsidiary of New York-based Ruder Finn. iFly Singapore has tapped the agency for a one-year remit, where it will be responsible for providing strategic counsel and management of media relations with the aim to enhance the brand’s entire spectrum of marketing campaigns. Beyond PR, the agency will also be iFly Singapore’s digital partner for all publicity campaigns. 

iFly Singapore, which is situated in the Beach Station in Sentosa in Singapore, provides a themed indoor skydiving facility with a wind tunnel that allows both first-time flyers and professional skydivers to enjoy the sport. The destination was put up in 2011 and this year, it marks its 10th year in the business. 

The celebration will be one of the agency’s marquee campaigns for the brand which is currently in the works. Furthermore, a component of the whole appointment covers venue publicity for Sky Garden Sentosa – the rooftop event space owned by and located at iFly Singapore. 

Brian Witte, Ruder Finn Asia’s deputy general manager, said that the agency is delighted to have partnered with iFly Singapore, one who has been making a great impact in Singapore’s sports and lifestyle sector. 

“We are focused on helping the brand transform its purpose communications approach and more effectively engage with the people who matter most to the brand,” commented Witte. 

Meanwhile, Lawrence Koh, CEO of iFly Singapore, expressed similar sentiments, “We look forward to our collaboration with Ruder Finn Asia to touch the hearts of everyone through our sport. Since our inception 10 years ago, iFly Singapore has achieved many milestones, from setting new Guinness World Records with special needs students to grooming gold medallists in international indoor skydiving competitions. We want to continue this momentum beyond 2021 and strongly position indoor skydiving as a sport for both beginners and enthusiasts in Singapore and the region even more.” 

iFly Singapore’s wind tunnel has been home to a number of Guinness World Records in Skydiving. In 2019, it broke its own record of 227 flights in indoor tandem skydiving to achieve a new record of 300 flights. This was achieved by a team of 80 people which comprised a mix of volunteers and teachers, and some skydivers from iFly Singapore. Special-needs students were also part of the feat. 

Marketing Featured Global

Global PR firm Edelman launches new global center for ‘trust’ studies

New York, USA – In a greater aim to widen its studies of trust across global institutions, global communications and public relations firm Edelman has announced the launch of the Edelman Trust Institute, which is now the firm’s dedicated global center for studies concerning trust across businesses, media companies, academia, and the general civil society.

The global center launch is built upon the company’s reputation for trust-centric studies for the past two decades, most notably its Edelman Trust Barometer, a series of studies that the firm conducts across various markets and industries globally to measure the level of consumer trust these institutions have built across their clients and their constituents. 

Russell Dubner, global vice chairman of Edelman, shared that the reason they invested in the Edelman Trust Barometer is their strong belief that consumer trust and its impact on the world deserved to be studied and understood.

“Society is at an inflection point, and we believe that trust is the foundational currency of stakeholder capitalism and a defining business metric for companies and brands. Trust guides leadership, strategy, policy, and sustained action and has never been more valuable to institutional and business leaders,” Dubner said, who now also serves as a chairperson for the Trust Institute.

The ultimate goal of the Edelman Trust Institute is to provide leaders across institutions with a deeper understanding of the state of trust and equip the C-suite and boards with actionable insight about the changing dynamics of trust-building and erosion. The Trust Institute will serve as a partner to academia, leading companies, foundations, and other institutions committed to understanding and expanding trust.

Richard Edelman, CEO at Edelman, notes that with business deemed to be the most trusted institution globally and inevitably himself afforded the same reputation, it’s clear that trust is the element that binds business stakeholders together. 

“This is why we are making a multi-year investment in a collaborative endeavor with academia and other leading thinkers to build a deeper understanding of trust and its linkage to success. The Edelman Trust Institute is the next chapter in our commitment to the study of trust,” he stated.

As a start, the Trust Institute will be releasing a slew of brand trust reports throughout the latter parts of June this year, as well as the aspect of returning to work by September. They will be also releasing a series of studies about sustainability by November this year, which coincides with the observance of the UN Climate Change Conference (COP 26).

The company will also delve into a library of the firm’s global trust tracking data on more than 200 companies and brands as well as a growing pool of trust data based on the firm’s proprietary algorithms that process ‘trust signals’ from editorial and user-generated content. This data, traditionally used for the firm’s trust methodology, R&D, and client engagements, will be used to generate new insights and foresight on the state of trust.

In addition, Edelman has also appointed Justin Blake as the Trust Institute’s first-ever executive director, where he will be responsible for setting the Institute’s editorial agenda, forging partnerships with academic institutions and other partners, overseeing the development of Trust Labs and content related to the state of trust.

He still retains his other current position as global chair of Executive Positioning at Edelman, and will report to Dubner, and will be based in New York.

“At the time we were doing one report a year. This past year we produced 12 Trust Barometer reports and Trust is now at the center of conversations by leaders across institutions. It has been incredible to have a ring-side seat as it’s grown in scale and importance. I’m excited to now help it expand its impact, supporting institutions as they seek to build and maintain trust during these skeptical times,” Blake stated.

To strengthen the capabilities of the Edelman Trust Institute, the firm has assembled a core group of advisors to shape its research, programming and partnership agenda. This diverse group of professors, former journalists and authors are authorities on the intersection of business, media, policy and civil society.

The board includes Pierre Chandon, the L’Oréal chaired professor of marketing—Innovation and Creativity at INSEAD and director of the INSEAD-Sorbonne University Behavioral Lab; Stephanie J. Creary, organizational scholar and assistant professor of management at The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, among others.

Marketing Featured South Asia

Maserati India awards PR, digital duties to Alphabet Media

India – Global luxury vehicles company Maserati in India has awarded its public relations and digital mandate to communications agency Alphabet Media.

Maserati is an Italian manufacturer of luxury automobiles including a tradition of successful cars, namely the Quattroporte flagship, the Ghibli sports sedan, and the Levante.

As per the mandate, Alphabet Media will be responsible for Maserati’s strategic planning, media relations, digital campaigns, and providing integrated communication solutions in the country.

Bojan Jankulovski, the head of operations at Maserati India, shared that the brand is driven to challenge the status quo being innovative by nature, powered by passion, and unique by design.

“The partnership with Alphabet Media is the embodiment of all these values. We are pleased to onboard the agency as our communications partner in India and we look forward to a great working relationship with the team,” said Jankulovski.

Meanwhile, Alphabet Media’s Founder Tejal Daftary commented that they are delighted to get the opportunity to work for an iconic brand like Maserati in India. 

“We are committed to delivering Maserati customer experience through well-planned communications to further strengthen the brand’s presence in the country,” said Daftary.

Alphabet Media is a public relations and communications agency that provides strategic and integrated solutions. It also offers services across public relations, marketing communications, and digital communications.

Marketing Featured APAC

Redhill strengthens agency lineup with new MD appointments

Singapore – Redhill, a global communications agency based in Singapore, has announced its new managing directors namely Marienelle Castelino and Tavy Cussinel, in response to their growing clientele base in the Asia Pacific.

Through their new roles, Marienelle will deepen her focus on brand leadership and corporate mandates in markets across Asia-Pacific, specifically Singapore, Indonesia, India, and Cambodia, while Tavy will focus on growing the agency’s education, healthcare, luxury, and lifestyle portfolios.

Marienelle joined Redhill as regional director of strategy in November 2017 and brings over 13 years of experience in brand communications and corporate reputation to the agency. Prior to Redhill, she held client leadership roles for marquee brands like McDonald’s, Pepsi, Mondelez, Coca-Cola and P&G.

Meanwhile, Tavy became Redhill’s director of strategic communications and rose quickly through the ranks. She has spent over two decades working with household names such as Calvin Klein Cosmetics (UK), Parfums International (Europe), Unilever Cosmetics International (Europe), Coty, Rimmel, and Adidas. Previously, she founded and scaled a public relations agency in London, which she sold in 2011 to focus on raising her family.

“I am excited to see the additional growth that Marienelle and Tavy will achieve for Redhill as they build on the excellent work that they have done during their years with us. Despite the pandemic, Redhill has continued to expand and we are ready to push ourselves even further – both in markets and in verticals,” said Jacob Puthenparambil, CEO and founder of Redhill.

He added, “I have full faith in our leadership team to steer the wider Redhill family to greater heights as we focus on our end goal – to become the DBS or Singapore Airlines of the communications world.”

To add to the recent appointments, Redhill has announced the promotions of several Redhill executives namely Marion Ang and Jaslin Tan as senior account managers; Dipti Jaiswal and Clara Tan as account managers; Joseph Ng, Ruth Tan and Septy Wulandari as senior account executives; and Adriana Abidin, Junyi Kuo and Angelica Muk as account executives.

“At Redhill, we are committed to the development of our employees and building a strong culture of internal growth. Each of these individuals has shown dedication and commitment to the success of their clients and the agency, and I congratulate them on their well-deserved promotions. An agency is only as strong as its team, and as I look at our fantastic Redhill family, I am confident of our success,” Puthenparambil added.

Redhill’s recent promotions aims to bolster their existing clientele base, including recently of circular fashion Style Theory, where they were appointed as public relations partner for the brand in Singapore.

Marketing Featured APAC

Comms consultancy RICE appointed as SG, HK partner by IWG

Singapore – As flexible workspaces company IWG aims to gain momentum for its presence in Asia Pacific, they have recently announced that communications consultancy RICE will be an official partner of IWG in Singapore and Hong Kong, two of IWG’s key hubs in Asia.

RICE was selected as IWG’s partner after a comprehensive review of its communication partners worldwide. Harnessing the synergy across team members in both cities, the RICE team is led by Agung S. Ongko, RICE’s director, strategy and insights based in Singapore and Phoebe Sou, general manager of RICE’s Hong Kong office.

“A leader and true innovator in the workspace industry, IWG is a people-focused, purpose-driven organisation committed to lending their expertise and solutions to address today’s biggest workplace challenges. We are eager to help shape and tell their stories here in Asia,” said James Brasher, managing partner at RICE.

IWG’s presence in Asia has been strengthened as well with their deal with NTT (Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corporation) to provide 300,000 employees across the Japanese telecommunications company’s portfolio with access to IWG’s workspaces. The agreement comes off the back of IWG’s previous biggest ever deal with financial services firm Standard Chartered for its 95,000 employees.

With a global network of over 3,300 workspaces in 120 countries, IWG makes it possible for organizations and individuals everywhere to take a new approach to the traditional working day.

Simon Condon, head of communications at IWG Group, said, “While the hybrid way of work has been underway for several years, the pandemic has accelerated its adoption and it is now here to stay. With RICE as our communications partner in Singapore and Hong Kong, we look forward to driving the conversation forward on the future of work in Asia’s leading commercial and financial centres.”

The RICE agency also operates LAB360, a business unit that helps brands design, integrate, and innovate marketing and communications for business growth. In addition, they help brands tell multifaceted stories and engage audiences with personalized precision.