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How PR adapted in 2020

By Elliott Richardson in Marcoms News on
2020 proved a challenging year for most businesses and public relations was no exception.
Some PR outfits were already working remotely, while others had to quickly shift from the office to the spare room at home.
Influencing spoke to a number of PR professionals about how they adapted to a rapidly changing workplace.
Pru Quinlan from Einsteinz says that the agency was already a work from home outfit prior to the pandemic, so making the shift was fairly straightforward.
“Einsteinz possibly fared better than many agencies as the majority of our team has worked remotely since we opened our doors in 2000.  That meant we had all the infrastructure and the culture in place to support the last couple of team members to shift into full WFH mode and it was thankfully pretty straightforward.”
Quinlan adds that the agency’s long-term remote working situation meant they were uniquely placed to assist their clients to adjust to working-from-home.
“We were in a great position to help our clients adjust to their own WFH situations and to get on the front foot for a range of activities and projects. Overall we found our clients even more willing to invest in their communications activities and increasingly open to recognising the need to support publishers.  While it was a tough year emotionally for many, it was a very positive one in general,” she said.
Sharon Williams at Taurus Marketing said she believed there was an opportunity to make a difference in a challenging year, while the safety of her staff remained top of mind.
“Crisis always creates opportunity for change, so I knew I had an opportunity to make a positive difference. It was a battle, and unprecedented for Taurus but I looked at the challenges and weighed up all scenarios and made a plan. The priority was the safety of my family and the team and their families. 
“I knew I had to remain calm and have clarity to make fast decisions, so I was disciplined with sleep, exercise and I eventually took staycations to get a break from the stress. I created surprises for my team and family and planned forward with new products and services.”
Williams added that she chose to increase her communication across the board.
“I chose to over communicate, with staff and customers and checked in on each team member/client leader to ensure they were as safe as possible and had a plan. I held the line, remained optimistic, and created space to connect each morning, instigated Wednesday social zooms and CEO breakout meetings for our client leaders. Each week I announced my learnings to my network and encouraged Taurus Client CEO’s to do the same. We increased our communication to clients.”
As the pandemic continued and companies became used to the new normal, Quinlan said she and Einsteinz altered their approach to better work with stakeholders.

“We honed our approach rather than changing it.  Relationships became even more important than ever – with our clients, the media, our partners and other stakeholders – and collaboration underpinned some of most effective campaigns.  In many ways the period of isolation and then ongoing WFH has provided a refreshing, if enforced, opportunity to consider ‘what would we like to change’ and ‘what do we need to change’.  And yes overall I’m generally a ‘glass half full’ kind of person,” she said.
At Taurus, Williams said the company became more direct and refreshed their offerings.
“We have always been no bull, but we go faster, cut to the chase quicker and closed ranks with our clients and the team. We have refreshed and reinvigorated all our products and services and come up with new ones,” she said.
As 2021 continues to roll on and the pandemic situation has begun to change in Australia with many businesses welcoming employees back into offices, Quinlan says Einsteinz will continue with its remote working set up while focusing more on partnerships when it comes to clients.
Partnerships will be our focus for 2021 – from paid media partnerships which will feature strongly in our integrated communications plans (and thankfully our clients now understand the value and importance) through to ongoing and increased collaboration with other industry peers and stakeholders.    And the WFH logistics?  It’s clear most of the team is keen to continue it, so we’ll be maintaining it for the most part and ensuring we stay connected with regular check ins and social catch ups,” Quinlan said.
Williams said Taurus is looking forward to a strong year and believes she has set her team up to meet the ongoing challenges in the business world.
“It’s going to be a great new year and we are going to need to be confident in uncertainty. Any difficult times are a challenge and a challenge is good. I am focused on providing an environment that while the world is in turmoil, my team can see a future, see a strategy for themselves and all around them. It’s a great challenge. Taurus is better than ever this year.”

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The MINT Partners adds new clients

By Jonas Lopez in Marcoms News on

The MINT Partners is coming into the autumn season with new clients on the books.

In the property portfolio, MINT will aid Cbus Property’s PR and social media effort to promote the new 111 Castlereagh luxury residential development complex in the Sydney CBD. Property lessor Dexus will also tap MINT to build up brand awareness for the MLC Centre’s new dining, retail and entertainment precinct.

Under the food industry practices, the agency will run PR/influencer support for NZ baking brand Hill Street, which is introducing the Australian market to a line of healthy, easy-bake mixes. It will also promote Andrew Connole’s “For the Love of Bread” documentary show on SBS, which started airing last night and ends on 25 April.

On the consumer goods front, MINT has landed representation for luxury underwear brand Simone Pérèle, which sought an agency for PR/integrated influencer communications as it enters the Australian market.

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Russell leaves Twitter ANZ

By Jonas Lopez in Marcoms News on

Stewart Russell has departed his ANZ regional communications lead position at social media network Twitter.

He stated in a series of Tweets and on a LinkedIn post that he was ready to leave the company and fly home to the UK. 

Russell first joined Twitter in August 2013 as part of Twitter UK’s communications department and went to Sydney in April 2019 to lead the ANZ regional team.

He can be reached on Twitter @StewartRussell.

Aruga scores fresh clients and staff

By Jonas Lopez in Marcoms News on

Integrated communications agency Aruga is entering autumn with more staff and new, expanded accounts, reported Mumbrella.

Sarah Wilson joins as PR accounts director. She wields nearly 20 years’ experience, mostly marketing and events management for News Corp Australia, and two hospitality businesses in Rockhampton, QLD.

Sia Cambaclis starts as social media accounts manager. She just finished three years running accounts at The Red Republic. 

Isaac Purcell takes up a senior graphic designer post. He recently exited Urbis after two years.

On the client side, Aruga has announced a raft of new accounts and expanded campaigns.. 

On the new accounts list, Aruga is now in action for Tourism Whitsundays, Economic Development Queensland Northshore (Brisbane), Tourism Bundaberg, Brisbane Festival 2021, Tattersall’s Club, the Brisbane Cycling Festival, UQIMB Soils for Science, Burger Urge, and the Institute of Modern Art.

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New promotions in at Havas

By Jonas Lopez in Marcoms News on

The Havas Group has unveiled a number of new executive promotions.

The conglomerate announced that One Green Bean CEO Simone Gupta is now the CEO of Havas PR Australia, with both One Green Bean and RED Havas under her aegis. She will continue as One Green Bean CEO while working alongside RED Havas MD Steve Fontanot.

“Simone is a trusted and experienced leader and has worked successfully within a creative group environment in the past. In her role as CEO of One Green Bean, and as an integral part of the Havas Village leadership team, Simone has shown herself to be smart, decisive, empathetic, and resilient,” said Havas Group ANZ chairman Anthony Freedman.

Over at the Havas Media Group, Danni Dimitri has been elevated to the new head of strategy, Sydney. She had been the company strategy director for three years. 

“Danni has driven value for clients time and again through her proven ability to discover what unlocks ideas that influence audiences to act. We&rsqu

Enero lets go of Frank PR stake

By Jonas Lopez in Marcoms News on

Enero Group Ltd has sold its majority shares in Frank PR (pictured).

The ASX reported that Frank PR founder and chairman Graham Goodkind and managing director Alex Grier closed a deal with Enero to buy its 75 per cent stake in the company, which it originally acquired in 2007. The final amount is estimated to be $1.5m in cash.

Goodkind and Grier owned part of Frank PR’s 25 per cent minority stake.

“At heart we’re entrepreneurs, so we have always been keen to take the business independent again one day. I am grateful to Brent Scrimshaw and the Enero board for the way they have conducted negotiations and wish the group every success in the future,” said Goodkind.

Red Havas launches health offering

By Elliott Richardson in Marcoms News on
Global public relations and communications company Red Havas has established Red Havas Health due to increased demand from clients.
Red Havas Health is a global health network, bringing together professionals from Australia, U.S., UK, Singapore, Vietnam, the Philippines, Italy, France and Germany.
Red Havas Australia’s Health boss, Sue Cook, said the extra focus on health over the past two years, as well as a growth in healthcare clients, led the company to set up the new offering.
“This expanded focus on healthcare PR from our group ensures that while our Australian clients continue to receive the localised approach to modern healthcare communications, there will be the added benefit of having access to Red Havas Health’s global insights,” said Cook.
“Our goal is to transform health communications into meaningful health conversations so we can improve health understanding and outcomes – for individuals, as well as tho

WE Communications Australia tweaks leadership

By Jonas Lopez in Marcoms News on

WE Communications Australia has made changes to its executive line-up.

The agency announced that CEO Gemma Hudson is moving up as EVP for health innovation and growth, with a key remit being bolstering healthcare-based accounts in the APAC region.

“Gemma is an exceptional global health leader and has been instrumental in developing the agency’s health practice in Australia and leading international, cross-market client relationships within the agency’s network,” said WE Communications EVP for Singapore/Australia Rebecca Wilson.

Dan Woods is now managing director. He had been the agency’s acting CEO for most of 2020, and was recently appointed part-time board member of the PRIA Registered Consultancies Group Advisory Council.

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