Kiwi public relations agency and lower-case lovers the pr shop has moved into Aussie territory, opening its Sydney store last week in response to demand from clients across the Tasman. And directors Pippa Lekner and Sally Frewin say their "bullshit free" approach to public relations is what has driven the demand.
“Unlike many PR agencies, we do make guarantees when it comes to results and exposure," Lekner says. "Fundamentally, clients want results more than they want the bullshit that often accompanies public relations activities like over-promising, under-delivering, lack of transparency and exorbitant fees."
She says client demand, a fantastic Australian team, a fabulous office space and an accommodating accountant meant the new addition happened quickly and easily.
Specialising in consumer PR, Lekner and Frewin opened the pr shop in Auckland in 2005 and it now boasts the likes of Lion Nathan, Bell Tea & Coffee, Make a Wish, The Food Show, Pumpkin Patch and Kohu Road. Adding to the team of six in Auckland, the Australian team will consist of two senior consultants, Jane Stabler and Dana Edwards.
And in more pyar newsiness, the founding partner of spice PR, Jackie Ellis has bought out former director Sarah Alexander-Willcox and will take over leadership of both the consumer and corporate teams.
The Auckland-based agency utilises the talents of a pool of senior consultants who have moved out of the full-time workforce.
“The PR industry is predominantly made up of female consultants”, says Ellis. “Our staffing model allows us to benefit from the experience and expertise of these highly talented individuals while allowing them to spend time with their children and families”.
And she says there is a revived interest in PR from brands and businesses across the board.
"We have had interest from both corporate and consumer clients, still conscious of budgets and spending, but realising that now is the time to start building on their profiles and awareness using PR."
Carat New Zealand has announced two key appointments, with Ryf Quail named as the general manager and Katrina Horton joining as client service director.
Quail has over 15 years experience in media and was the media director for WSA Online, Australia’s first interactive agency of the year in 1998. He built WSA Media into the largest digital media agency in the country before selling the business to Emitch. He has also been managing partner of digital at Razor Australia, working with clients such as Nike, SBS, RaboPlus (RaboBank), Navman and HCF.
Horton began her career in media 16 years ago, four years of which were spent with Carat in the UK. Following her return to New Zealand, and prior to joining Carat, she was with Mediawise managing the media team for The Warehouse.
“With a comprehensive media background on a wide range of clients, Katrina was the perfect choice to lead the teams towards a common objective. She has strong organisational and relationship building skills and a focus on translating business goals to effective communications solutions,” Quail says.
But enough about business, let's talk about pleasure: networking night Media Mingle is heading to Sale Street bar on Tuesday, 30 March. And because everyone loves media people, the benevolent Sale St souls have kindly agreed to provide minglers with free beverages and canapés. They've also chucked in a few prizes, including two meals for two at Sale Street’s restaurant, that will be dished out on the night.
Capacity is limited to 150, so register now at the Media Mingle website. Which is a perfect segue into the Young Grower of the Year competition, which has nabbed Zespri as a new sponsor.
Young Grower of the Year is an annual competition run by Horticulture New Zealand to promote the industry and encourage young people to think about horticulture as an attractive career choice.
“Zespri’s signing as the platinum sponsor reflects the important role the competition plays in building the talents of potential young horticulturalists,” said Michelle de Jong, the manager for the competition.
"As the largest horticultural exporter in New Zealand, Zespri is very focused on investing in the growth and development of the industry’s future talent,” said Lain Jagger, chief executive of Zespri.
De Jong says the industry generated more than $5 billion in 2009, compared to $2 billion in 2007. And the goal has been set for horticulture to become a $10 billion industry by 2020.