One of the country's larger PR companies, SenateSHJ, has merged with PR Partners in Auckland, bolstering its expertise in consumer and ICT sector and making it one of the largest privately owned communications consultancies in Australasia.
SenateSHJ, which "helps clients build and protect their reputations, influence people and solve their most challenging problems" and offers a range of services, has offices in Auckland, Wellington, Sydney and Melbourne and a total of 49 staff across both countries (it has 23 staff in New Zealand). And as a result of this merger, PR Partners managing director Julien Leys will become general manager of the Auckland office and bring his four staff across.
“We know Julien well and have been talking with him for a long time about this move. He and his team bring additional expertise to our financial, public affairs and technology sector communications, which will enable us to offer stronger reputational risk management services in Auckland,” Green said in a release. "We have a very high regard for the award-winning work of PR Partners. By coming together, we will offer an Auckland team that we believe is second to none. Auckland is an important area of growth and the combination of our teams provides us with the strength of experience we need to continue our growth in this market.”
When asked if any money changed hands in the deal, Green said Leys became a shareholder in SenateSHJ NZ and there was a small payment in addition that reflects PR Partners' physical assets.
"The payment is confidential to both parties.”
Leys, who rebranded to PR Partners from JML Communications in 2012, said the merger would bring his team into a like-minded, wider trans-Tasman business.
”Our combined senior team and our strength in public affairs, government relations and financial communications firmly establish us as national leaders in reputation management. We will also advance the strong growth we have experienced over recent years across our whole trans-Tasman group.”
Green says there was growing demand from public and private organisations for advice in managing reputational risk and developing communications that actively tell their story.
“Directors understand their senior executives are operating under new levels of intense—and often unforgiving—public scrutiny. To manage reputational risk, their performance must constantly build, or maintain credibility."