BEIJING—Weber Shandwick has entered into an agreement with the City Image and Branding Research Base of the Communications University of China. The agreement plans for a strategic partnership to encourage exchange between the academic and professional communications sectors, particularly focusing on city branding. Initial activities between Weber Shandwick and the research base will include providing council on global visibility for Chinese cities, co-hosting city branding seminars, creating a base for nurturing future talents through internship opportunities, and exploring the possibility of a jointly-organised global city branding index in the future.

SINGAPORE—European corporate and public affairs firm Hume Brophy Communications has named Yeoh El Lynn (pictured) as its new managing director for Asia. Based in Singapore, she will take over from Una McGirr, who will remain as a senior consultant with the firm. El Lynn brings 14 years of experience across Asia, and was most recently regional business development director for Hill+Knowlton Strategies.

HONG KONG—Waggener Edstrom has been retained by French-Italian fashion brand Ash. WE will be responsible for developing a global brand identity and integrated communications strategy across multiple markets in Asia Pacific, North America and Europe. The firm will develop a refreshed brand architecture and strategy in preparation for the Fall-Winter 2014 collection, and a global social media strategy to engage its consumers in key markets such as Hong Kong, China, Korea, UK, Italy and the US. WE will also establish an online press office to host all communications assets.

SINGAPORE—Edelman Digital has hired Kim Hoang as managing director and Neil Leslie as creative director for Southeast Asia. Both report to Gavin Coombes, president of Edelman Digital Asia Pacific, Middle East & Africa. Hoang was most recently senior vice president for the European digital practice at Weber Shandwick and head of digital for McCann-Erickson in the UK. Leslie is a  writer and creative director, most recently with M&C Saatchi Malaysia. He has also worked as a creative director with OgilvyOne and JWT in Hong Kong.

TAIPEI—JCB International has appointed Strategic Public Relations Group to manage its public relations communications efforts in Taiwan. SPRG has been brought on board to assist JCB, Japan's only international credit card brand, in handling its media relations, marketing collateral production, sales promotion and issue management.

SINGAPORE—Cognito, a communications and marketing consultancy for the financial services industry, has appointed Tim Williamson as its new managing director for the Asia Pacific region, based in Singapore. Williamson was previously a financial journalist at Bloomberg and the BBC in London; an associate partner at Brunswick in London and vice president, corporate, at Weber Shandwick in Sydney. Most recently he was a consultant at Nightingale, a boutique financial public relations agency in Melbourne.

SYDNEY—Financial PR firm Honner Media has made general manager Paul Cheal and account director Susie Bell as equity partners in the firm. They will continue to work closely with founder and managing director Philippa Honner to drive the growth and direction of the firm. In addition, Suk Hee Lee has returned to Honner Media as a senior consultant after two years working with corporate / M&A firm FTI, and Judith Buchan has joined as a senior consultant, after spending two years as senior communications manager with the Institute of Chartered Accountants.