New minions, underlings and juggernauts get feet under desks

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Porter Heights

Joanna Macfarlane, Bill Rundle, Andrew Craig, Alexandra Speedy and Strahan Wallis

With some significant new business on its books, Pyar agency Porter Novelli has strengthened its corporate and marketing communications offering and added five new consultants to its roster, adding to two other hires earlier this year.

Managing director Jane Sweeney says despite marketing and PR budgets being tight in recent times, Porter Novelli is experiencing a steady increase in demand for services.

“We’ve seen a real trend during and immediately post-recession towards agency consolidation as clients look for the administrative and cost efficiencies from using one communications service provider.”

Specialising in technology and corporate communications, Porter Novelli works with the likes of Vodafone, Microsoft and Visa, among others, and has also won work recently from firms such as Rex Bionics, Endace and Vero. But Sweeney says Porter Novelli also made its mark this year with its work on the Colenso’s Yellow Chocolate campaign, which won the Titanium/Integrated Award at Cannes.

Strahan Wallis has well over 10 years experience as a PR and communications consultant in New Zealand and Europe, specialising in corporate and financial communications, and he joins as senior account director. He has delivered communications solutions across an array of industries including financial services, agribusiness, sports, pharmaceutical, drinks, oil and gas and others. And most recently he was national communications and marketing manager for KPMG in New Zealand and before that worked for Credit Suisse as vice president of corporate communications in London.

Account director Andrew Craig has returned to Porter Novelli after two years travelling overseas and working in London and is a media relations and reputation management expert, with seven years of experience consulting to a number of major international and local brands across a variety of industry sectors. He has developed and managed campaigns for brands including Visa, Westpac, Gillette, Cisco, Pfizer and Staples Rodway.

Account director Joanna Macfarlane has spent 10 years in PR, both in-house and in consultancies in New Zealand, Ireland and England. She is fresh from leading UK PR agency Fishburn Hedges where she headed up the high-profile Love Food Hate Waste campaign which raises awareness of the £10bn worth of good food wasted in the UK every year. She previously spent four years at British Telecom where she helped to effectively communicate the biggest IT transformation project in the world internally, to stakeholders and media.

Senior account manager Joanna Glover joins Porter Novelli from Marlborough wine producer Seresin Estate where she has worked as the company’s marketing manager for the past 18 months. Previously, she worked as a journalist and producer with TVNZ, writing and producing stories for One News, Tonight, Midday and Breakfast, and was news editor at Southland TV.

Bill Rundle joins Porter Novelli as senior account executive from PR agency PPR where he worked on clients such as Dell, Black & Decker, Sanitarium and Bunnings. He graduated with a Bachelor of Communication Studies from Auckland University of Technology in 2008.

And two recent graduates from the Bachelor of Communications degree from Auckland University of Technology, Alexandra Speedy and Will Seal, have also joined as account executives.

Mycock heads to MySpace

MySpace and IGN Entertainment have announced the appointment of Peter Mycock to the role of commercial director for MySpace and IGN Entertainment Australia and New Zealand. In this newly created role he will oversee all commercial operations, including business strategy and partnerships, sales team leadership and corporate development.

Prior to joining MySpace and IGN Entertainment, Mycock worked across a breadth of digital environments, most recently AOL in the UK. And while there he headed the search, affiliate and lead generation division of Platform A, resulting in exponential yield and revenue growth. Other roles include sales director for Buy.at, one of the UK’s largest online affiliate marketing companies that was ultimately acquired by AOL, following 123 percent growth in sales revenue.

“I am excited to be joining MySpace at such a pivotal time in the industry, where content discovery, self-expression and understanding the consumer DNA will be critical to enabling the appropriate interaction between publisher, advertiser and community,” he says. “MySpace, IGN and AskMen provides an exceptionally innovative platform which should enable us to better understand this interaction and ensure that we are at the epicenter of the social conversation for Music, Entertainment, Gaming and Lifestyle.”

Managing director for MySpace and IGN Entertainment Australia and New Zealand, Nick Love says Mycock brings extensive digital sales leadership and commercial experience to the team, but also has a first class track record in mentoring and developing people whilst growing revenues and yield.

Research engine optimisation

The Nielsen Company’s Asia Pacific online division has announced the appointment of Gai Le Roy to the role of vice president research – audience measurement, effective immediately. Le Roy, who has worked in the media research sector for the past 20 years, will spearhead ongoing research and development of Nielsen’s online audience measurement capabilities in the region, working closely with the company’s clients and client management teams to contribute to achieving Nielsen’s audience measurement vision.
“The Asia Pacific region is a major focus for Nielsen over the next few years and as such, we are investing in bringing the industry’s top researchers into our business to deliver world-class data and research to our clients,” says Megan Clarken, managing director, Asia Pacific for Nielsen’s online division. “Gai is widely recognised as one of the best in the business and we are excited to have her join our team.”

Le Roy has specialised in online media for the last 12 years and worked for Australia’s first online consulting company, www.consult, before moving to ninemsn as insights manager and senior analyst. Le Roy has been heavily involved in many online research and ratings ventures in the Australian market, and most recently chaired three councils for IAB Australia; research, measurement and standards and guidelines.

In her new role, she will be based in Nielsen’s Sydney office and will report to Nielsen’s online managing director for Asia Pacific, Megan Clarken.

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