StopPress + Scope Media

Southern connection: a look at communications agency Scope Media

NZ Marketing chats with Scope Media founder, Celia Crosbie, about 'doing' PR in the beautiful surrounds of Queenstown and Wanaka.

By StopPress + Scope Media | April 30, 2019 | Sponsored content

L-R: Celia Crosbie and Alexa Forbes

When was Scope Media founded and how has it evolved since then?

Crosbie: I had been working as a journalist for ten years in New Zealand and in London prior to setting up Scope Media in 2013. I wanted to apply a journalistic approach to PR and communications content for our clients. Not just to press releases written as news articles or media relations, but also ensuring we would apply an objective lens to any strategic communications work.

We’ve found this approach has worked well for clients with projects that require community engagement, or a specific action in mind – whether to make a submission to the local council, to attend an event, or to become an advocate for a product, business or community organisation.

I set the company up with Alexa Forbes, a well-known PR practitioner based in Queenstown. She has been a fantastic mentor and advisor to me since moving into PR.

In the almost-six years since then, we still focus on our brand promise of ‘sharing your stories’ – in a wider context. We exist to help people be seen, heard and better- connected. We create content for intended audiences with a strong strategic approach, we recognise and understand the need for authenticity and transparency and we know the power of storytelling through people.

Having lived and worked in Queenstown and Wanaka for a long time now, we are regarded as being the most connected and networked agency in the Southern Lakes. We also have a wealth of expertise in crisis communications management.

We’ve always had a keen interest in the digital space and recognise the power of social media and digital marketing as part of the communications toolkit. As algorithms have changed, paid content and native advertising can’t be ignored as part of the overall marketing communications mix. Our team has grown to include a digital media specialist, who supports our clients with advanced digital strategy, digital media buying, Google Ads and social media marketing.

We’ve also expanded to include a senior creative, who comes from an advertising agency background, to help our clients with brand story development, creative writing, brand campaign concepts and creative territories.

All up we now have a team of five, each specialising in different areas of communication. I have also become an Accredited Public Relations professional through the Public Relations Institute of New Zealand.

One of the key things marketers are looking for in a PR agency according to NZ Marketing’s Agency Perceptions research with TRA, is a creative, cutting edge and proactive approach — how does Scope fulfill this?

I think we fulfill this in more than one way. Firstly, with three former journalists on our team, we understand the importance of being proactive, rather than being reactive, in a news sense. It’s thinking about the wider context (like timing, community sentiment, other events, people involved) in a situation, or within a community, that can give you the best insights for a campaign. Secondly, having
a creative team member to help come up with amazing ideasto help reach a target audience certainly helps us take a cutting- edge approach.

Scope Media defines itself as full-service communications agency – what makes its approach unique?

Hopefully I’ve answered this above, but as we’ve evolved, we’ve strengthened our offering to now become a marketing communications agency. To add
to this, we are the only PR and communications agency in this region specialising in digital media strategy and buying.

How does being based in Queenstown and Wanaka influence how Scope Media operates?

That’s a really interesting question! Queenstown and Wanaka are wonderful communities – though both very different. Universally,
as communicators, we’re in the business of dealing with people. But in smaller communities, this absolutely rings true. It really comes down to your connections, your understanding of the communities you’re dealing with, and being authentic and genuine. This is definitely how Scope Media operates.

Are there any myths about PR you’d like to see busted? 

There’s been some recent media about PR being referred to as ‘spin doctors’, where PR professionals are thought to massage an answer into something they want to give rather than the answer they should be giving. PR professionals follow a Code of Ethics, which first and foremost, states that we must operate with advocacy and honesty. Proper PR and communication is open, honest and transparent.

What advice do you have for clients looking to improve their communications?

We believe everyone has a story to tell. Look for the stories within your team, your people. These stories help build your brand and authenticity. The trick is to know how to tell their story in a way that resonates with your audience. If in doubt, ask a professional for help!

Contact details

This article was originally published in the recent Agency issue of NZ Marketing

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