The new digital engagement and social media marketing practice will focus on a combination of digital communications, web development, search and social media marketing to deliver the old chestnut of meaningful engagement with stakeholders.
In what Bullet PR director Nicholas O'Flaherty says has been “a very productive and massive year” for the company, the merge is “the icing on the cake”.
O'Flaherty says the main reason for the shift was "that we made a determined effort for five years ago to make a strong presence online"—an outcome he says can be achieved through the combination of Ogilvy NZ's technical cred and Bullet PR's experience.
But while that may be the case, it’s not the only motivation, with O'Flaherty acknowledging that Bullet PR was acquisitioned by Ogilvy NZ. Exactly how much the company was sold for however is a detail he was reluctant to divulge.
And while staff retention can be a sore point with mergers, O'Flaherty says all Bullet PR staff have kept their jobs through the merge. Staff members aren’t the only ones staying—so is the Bullet PR brand, which will remain a full service PR company, with Ogilvy NZ’s PR business (but not its in-house PR, handled by Bill Ralston) merging into the brand.
Ogilvy NZ managing director, Greg Partington, said in a statement the move to join forces just makes sense.
“Over the last few years Ogilvy has built an enviable reputation in the digital space, while Bullet PR has been the leader in online public relations in New Zealand for a long time,” he says. “The combination of these capabilities in Ogilvy 360˚ Digital Influence gives our clients world class social media marketing, building word of mouth, both on and offline.”
With Bullet PR this year having been heavily involved in a range of online projects—including creating podcast capabilities for clients like realestate.co.nz and a Facebook app for Contiki—O’Flaherty says that in todays’ environment “... a more integrated marketing offering generates the best overall results for clients".
Greg Whitham, Head of Ogilvy Interactive and newly elected chair of CAANZ Digital Leadership Group, is also positive about the move.
“We have made significant inroads over 2010, bringing notable presence to some of our largest clients within the digital social space. Having the direct contact and support of a proven industry leader like Bullet PR completes our offering, and will ensure that our clients’ share of earned media and word of mouth is dramatically in their favour.”
Bullet PR will be shifting premises to Ogilvy NZ’s Parnell offices in about a month’s time.