Asia-Pacific Technology PR Consultancies of the Year 2017 | Holmes Report

2017 Asia-Pacific Technology PR Consultancies of the Year

The 2017 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 were announced and honoured at the 2017 Asia-Pacific SABRE Awards, on 14 September in Hong Kong. Analysis of all Finalists (and Winners from 15 September) can be accessed via the navigation menu or below:

Text100 (Next15)

Text100’s 35-year technology heritage has always given it an edge on many of its rivals — particularly in Asia-Pacific, where a 20-year-old presence translates into strategic depth in key markets across India, Australia, Southeast Asia and Greater China. And while the firm’s ‘Vision 2020’ global restructuring has dominated the headlines, a quiet transformation is also underway in Asia under the leadership of new regional chief Lee Nugent.

Overall revenues grew 7% to around $20m in 2016, with profits up 24% to around $3.6m from 313 staffers in the region. There was significant new business (much of it multi-market) from Red Hat, NetApp Rolls Royce, China Telecom, Nvidia, Alibaba, Bosch, Harman, Netsuite and TVS Motors — joining an existing client roster that features IBM, Adobe, Lenovo, Cisco, Four Seasons, DHL, Telenor, Swift, Ikea and Gartner.  

In particular, the firm has invested considerable resources into talent and training, enhancing its leadership across creative, insight/analytics and business development. Always renowned for its culture, former regional director Anne Costello now oversees global people development from Australia, while the regional leadership team also includes Malaysia and mainland China head Meiling Yeow; Rosemary Merz in Hong Kong; and Singapore leader Marc Ha.

Text100’s commitment to innovation continues to stand out across an in-house service offering that features strategy, content, PR, social media, and creative technology. Last year, for example, thefirm  launched a dynamic newsroom that features trackable assets, social sharing, SEO, content retargeting and mobile optimisation. And the firm’s digital capabilities remain a notch above many of its rivals, evidenced by a range of impressive campaigns. For Roam-E, Text100 won a SABRE Award for its work across brand development, content, email, social, paid and influencer management, which helped the flying selfie gadget book more than 250k in indicative orders from 15 countries. Text100 also helps to demystify IBM’s Watson by tackling Australia’s melanoma challenge, directly generating $5.6m in revenue. Finally, for TeamIndus, Text100 developed a storytelling effort that helped raise $70m in a bid to put India’s first spacecraft on the moon in 2018. — AS 


IN.FOM (Independent)
Last year’s Technology Consultancy of the Year, In.fom, is in the vanguard of a new generation of Asian PR firms—all launched in the early years of this decade—that have eschewed the scale and bureaucracy of established firms, for an approach that prizes sustainable employee and client relationships.
The leadership team includes managing partners Wong Voal Voal and Mike Liew, who bring impressive pedigrees with global agencies H+K and Burson-Marsteller, respectively, and who understand the transformation of marketing and technology. Xiuwen Lien heads its key Microsoft relationship, which has been a consistent award-winner in recent years.
Last year saw continued healthy growth, with fee income up by more than 20% to around $3.3 million, with Microsoft adding Xbox Asia-Pacific work to the firm’s existing Singapore and Asia-wide assignments, and new clients including UnionPay Southeast Asia, Parallels, Nokia Networks Asia Pacific, Intralinks, Expedia and Logicalls joining a client roster that also includes CA Technologies, Herbalife, Intel, and Singtel.
As ever, the work impresses: the firm managed Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella’s tour of nine Asian cities in 2016, picking up a SABRE Award for media outreach that generated more than 1,800 stories across six countries. This year, the firm promoted the software giant’s regional Digital Transformation Study and “youth and technology” outreach. — PH

Rice Communications (Independent)
With 30 people in Singapore, Myanmar and now Hong Kong, and fee income of $3.3 million, Rice Communications is beginning to transcend the “boutique” label and establish itself as one of the leading independents in South-East Asia, leveraging a focus on workplace culture to achieve stability and consistency in an often turbulent marketplace, and the leadership of Sonya Madeira, who founded Rice in 2009, and partner/director James Brasher to compete with larger multinationals for regional assignments in the technology sector: more than 80% of Rice clients are now serviced in multiple markets.
While the core technology business continues to account for about two-thirds of the firm’s fee income, Rice has been diversifying into adjacent areas, including marketing tech, consumer, corporate, hospitality, financial services, and some government work. New business over the past 12 months came from Thales, Ooyala, ECA International, VML, Blu, Get in the Ring, Houzz, Digital Shadows, Dow Chemical and Oracle, while the firm continues to work for longtime retainer clients such as Palo Alto Networks, Hilton Worldwide, Inmarsat, Subaru, Bosch, LinkedIn, Eset, FICO, National Instruments, and Digital Realty.
High-profile assignments included the “Bring In Your Parents” initiative for LinkedIn, based on the insight that many parents don’t really understand what their kids do at work; establishing Palo Alto Networks as a credible industry leader and authority in the cybersecurity space; and generating extensive coverage of Inmarsat’s regional growth story on the back of the opening of a new office in Singapore. — PH

Sling & Stone (Independent)
Founder/CEO Vuki Vujasinovic started Australian firm Sling & Stone just over six years ago with just one solid client — and since then, has doubled every year. The agency positions itself as the firm for “the world’s best challengers, disrupters and entrepreneurs” where work is fueled with passion. 

Hiring was a big focus this year with Vujasinovic acknowledging “we know as we scale from a midsize agency to a large agency, that we will lose what has made us special, if we don’t make the right hiring decisions.” To deal with this, Sling & Stone has become transparent about its internal workings and culture to the public.

New clients like Twitter, Slack, Stripe, Campos Coffee, Guzman y Gomez, HealthEngine
and Trov join existing clients Findex, GreenSync, Xero,, Shoes of Prey, Domain
Xero, Campaign Monitor, Autodesk, Nearmap, Criteo, Meltwater and Brightcove to fuel 71.6% revenue growth with a team of 31 people in 2016. — AaS