LONDON —  Zeno Group has moved into Web3, launching Z3, a global think tank made up of Web3 and other specialists to counsel clients on emerging technologies and execute immersive digital experiences that deliver business impact. Z3 will be led by Rob Stone, Zeno’s director of digital strategy and innovation at 3 Monkeys Zeno in London, who has consulted with clients across food and beverage, health, retail, financial communications, hospitality and consumer products on strategies for the metaverse, marketing campaigns that use VR and AR, launching cryptocurrencies and NFT projects. Z3 will offer products and services including training, strategy, creative production, issues management and event production. Zeno has also acquired land on metaverse platforms including Decentraland to serve as a ‘playlot’ for employee and client experimentation.

LONDON — Ready10 has been appointed by, one of the UK's biggest jobs and careers sites, after a competitive pitch; it is the company’s first partnership with a consumer agency dedicated to the brand’s own PR for more than five years. The agency’s brief is to increase awareness of and drive engagement with’s ‘Love Mondays’ brand positioning. The team at Ready10 is also tasked with delivering creative campaigns, running the press office, and supporting the rollout of new features on Reed’s mobile app.

CAPE TOWN — Pan-African public policy, government relations and public affairs firm, Ethicore Political Lobbying and Jordanian-founded strategic communications and public relations firm Bashir Mraish Consultancy (BMC), have formed a strategic alliance, entering into a regional Africa-Levant partnership agreement. Ethicore is headquartered in both Cape Town and Johannesburg and with its subsidiary, Africa Government Affairs Xchange, covers more than 24 African markets. BMC has a footprint across markets including Iraq, Jordan and Palestine, extending to Doha, Saudi Arabia, Oman and UAE.

LONDON — Technology specialist Missive has won a competitive four-way pitch to deliver an integrated PR and communications programme in the UK for small-to-medium business HR platform HiBob. Missive’s appointment comes following rapid growth for HiBob in Europe and the US, with the company now embarking on M&A activity as well as further international expansion. The company has raised $300 million in the last 10 months, with its latest $150 million round announced in mid-August valuing HiBob at $2.45 billion.

LONDON — Instant payments and rewards platform Cheddar, which was launched earlier this year, has appointed performance-driven marketing and communications consultancy Hard Numbers as its lead PR agency in the UK. Cheddar enables secure, direct payments between existing UK bank accounts via a mobile payment solution and is free for consumers to use. Cheddar recently acquired Upside, an open banking-enabled marketing platform, which connects retail brands with consumers by offering personalised cashback, which will be used to further develop the payment platform.

MUNICH — Nemetschek Group, the manufacturer of projector and laser TVs, has named technology specialist Schwartz Public Relations as its PR agency in Germany and Austria. Schwartz PR will be responsible for communications strategy, as well as the positioning of CEO Yves Padrines and developing content to raise the profile of Nemetschek in daily and business media, as well as special interest media in the areas of media and entertainment, architecture, engineering, construction and real estate.

LONDON — Purpose-driven communications specialist Barley Communications is now a majority employee-owned company, following the sale of 80% of the shares held by the agency’s founders, James Ford and Sam Williams, to an employee ownership trust (EOT). Ford and Williams have each retained a 10% shareholding and both take up the role of co-CEO. Barley has 12 permanent staff and works with more than 40 consultants and specialists. The agency’s client roster includes Borough Market, East West Railway Company, National Trading Standards, the NHS and a number of charities including Compassion in World Farming.

LONDON — Food and drink communications agency Sharp Relations has been appointed by five vegan brands, including street food brand Biff’s Plant Shack (pictured), for which the agency will be running trade and consumer PR as its retail range expands from Waitrose to Sainsbury’s. The agency is also working with plant-based seafood company Seabloom Food, which makes a tuna-alternative made from organic Scottish seaweed; start-up Feisty Foods, producers of Hatari single variety chilli sauces and mashes; plant-based pizza brand One Planet Pizza; and healthy ready meal start-up PrepKing.

LONDON — PR, social media and experiential agency Popcorn has been appointed by The Mindful Birth Group to drive awareness around its new Mindful Birth antenatal and postnatal support packages. The company was founded by antenatal educator and doula Emiliana Hall, who has taught thousands of parents globally, including celebrities, through live and online courses. Popcorn’s brief is to empower and inspire parents, demonstrating how the group delivers more than NCT, which dominates the market, and driving recruitment among midwives and new parents for the new training programmes.

HAMPSHIRE, UK — Jargon has been appointment by cloud-based retail management firm Teamwork Commerce to build awareness of the brand in key US and UK markets, targeting retail, fashion and technology media. The 30-year-old company, which works with some of the biggest retailers in the world, provides point of sale, order management solutions, inventory control, CRM and analytics.

LONDON — Ranieri Agency, which specialises in consumer PR, technology and gaming, has been appointed as the retained communications agency for Cedar Electronics, a global supplier of automotive and consumer electronics, including connected radar/laser detectors, smart dash cams, CB and marine radios. The agency will handle creative campaigns and influencer relations for Cedar’s UK brands, Cobra Electronics and Escort with the aim of taking the brands beyond consumer technology and automotive coverage into the mainstream media.

LONDON — The Education and Training Foundation (ETF), a not-for-profit body for professional development and standards in further education and training in England, is partnering with Stand Agency to launch an advocate-led campaign to raise the status of the further education sector, champion its professionalism, and improve outcomes for learners, teachers and trainers. The partnership follows research with the sector, conducted by ETF and its membership body, the Society for Education and Training (SET). Stand’s brief includes leading on creative development and delivery of the campaign.

LONDON — Wise Up PR has been appointed by payment and card solutions fintech Transact Payments, with a brief focused on a media relations and content creation. The company provides UK and European Banking Identification Number sponsorship, modular payment, debit, credit and prepaid card services.

DUBAI — The Public Relations and Communications Association Middle East and North Africa (PRCA MENA) has announced the appointments of five new members to its board. Natasha Hatherall is CEO and founder of independent agency TishTash Communications; Rosa Bullock is the founder of Sociate, an agency specialising in PR, marketing, social media, copywriting, and content creation; Imad Lahad is the managing director of APCO Worldwide's Dubai office and head of APCO’s AI Comms Lab; Joseph John Nalloor leads the media and communication programme at Murdoch University Dubai; and Louay Al Samarrai  is joint MD and co-founder of B2B marketing agency Active.