New Asia-Pacific PR Consultancies of the Year 2016 | Holmes Report

2016 New Asia-Pacific PR Consultancies of the Year

The 2016 Asia-Pacific PR Consultancies of the Year are the result of an exhaustive research process involving more than 100 submissions and meetings with the best PR firms across the region. Consultancy of the Year winners are announced and honoured at the 2016 Asia-Pacific SABRE Awards, taking place on 28 September in Hong Kong. Analysis of all Finalists (and Winners from 29 September) can be accessed via the navigation menu or below:

New PR Consultancy of the Year: W Communications

Fast-growing UK consumer PR firm W Communications launched its Asian operation in Singapore last year, in a bid to bring its disruptive mentality — based around the concept of ‘creative commerce — to clients in the region. Founder and CEO Warren Johnson is considered one the UK PR industry’s premier dealmakers, with aspirations that are increasingly global.

The early returns, under MD Annabel Fox, are good, with W demonstrating that it has been able to persuade clients to invest in creativity and strategy, rather than just commoditised media relations.  So far, W has grown to a team of eight working across 16 clients, with particularly strength in F&B, lifestyle and technology. The client roster includes MEATliquor, AppNexus, Ce La Vi, Foodpanda, Orwell & Co, Whittaker’s, Prudential Eye Awards and Princess Yachts. All of which explains why W has exceeded its year one target by 150% and is eyeing further expansion into Bangkok and Bali. — AS


Influence Matters

The Beijing-based Influence Matters was founded in April 2015 by Simon Vericel — a PR specialist who spent 10 years with Racepoint and Hill + Knowlton. His vision was to create a responsive, cross-border agency for startups and SMBs, while also curtailing the the long days that have become common practice in the Chinese PR industry.

Building an agency without any established case studies to lean on has been a particular challenge. Yet between May 2015 and June 2016, the firm signed 17 clients (15 tech, two lifestyle/F&B) including competitive bids involving larger rivals. The firm is also taking an unconventional approach to to recruiting, seeking out bilingual talent from backgrounds other than communications.

The firm reached profitability nine months after its founding in February of this year. Now it’s up to five full-time staffers (plus freelancers, when needed) and revenue YTD is 300% higher than all of 2015. Clients include: Glispa Global Group, Immersion Corporation, Swiss Global Enterprise and Mackevision, among others.

Notable campaigns include its working with the French government to maximize the publicity around La French Tech’s AR and VR programs at GMIC, China’s largest mobile internet conference and working with the Singapore-based EnchantVC for a media relations at CES Asia. — AaS


Poem founders Rob Lowe and Matt Holmes bring top-notch agency pedigree to their 15-month-old venture, having established themselves as two of Australia’s top PR industry executives. Lowe previously founded Eleven PR, while Holmes worked at One Green Bean. Together, the duo has positioned Poem as a ‘more human’ agency, using a collaborative approach to drive creative cultural work across paid, owned and earned media (hence, the Poem acronym).

The agency has grown to six staffers and A$600k in fees, and is expecting to double to around $1.3m during its current financial year. That adds up to an impressive launch, bolstered by such clients as Google Play, Cartoon Network, Annabel Karmel, Luke Mangan Group, Expedia and Icebreaker. For many of these clients, Poem undertakes an impressively broad range of work, include creative ideation, publicity, content creation and social strategy, supported by specialist talent and contractors.
As you might expect, the work has been eye-catching, led by the Icebreaker #LiveWild campaign that used a smart experiential idea to build advocacy around compelling video content, ultimately resulting in the a highly successful store launch. — AS