LONDON — New banking fintech Lanistar (pictured) has hired Centropy PR after a four-way competitive pitch. The technology agency, founded by former Hotwire board director Steven George-Hilley, will lead Lanistar’s PR and communications strategy, providing messaging, media relations and social media support. Lanistar was founded by entrepreneur Gurhan Kiziloz and has secured £2m seed funding for a new debit card product. As part of its marketing effort, Lanistar is offering early supporters and online influencers the opportunity to own part of the company, helping raise the company’s profile and reach its target valuation.

LONDON — George Robinson has left Newgate Communications, where he was an associate partner, to take up the role of head of UK government relations at travel timetable and ticketing platform Trainline. Before joining Newgate in June 2018, Robinson spent nearly two years at public transport operator Abellio, where he was head of policy and communications.

LONDON — Swisse Me, a new UK sister lifestyle nutrition brand to Swisse, Australia’s biggest vitamin, supplement and personal care company, has asked Threepipe’s dedicated Amazon team, Emergent, to help launch its new range of wellness products, including collagen smoothies, jelly sticks and daily shots, including building an Amazon brand store.

LONDON — Digital studio TheSoul Publishing has appointed 5W Public Relations and Milk & Honey PR as its agencies of record in the US and Europe respectively. TheSoul Publishing’s portfolio of media brands, covering areas such as life hacks, craft projects and beauty tips, are among the top YouTube channels globally. The company recently hired Golin’s Eric Schultz as director of global communications.

LONDON — The Public Relations and Communications Association (PRCA) has carried out its first weekly Confidence Tracker to gauge levels of optimism amongst PR professionals during the COVID-19 crisis. Senior agency and in-house professionals were asked: “How confident do you feel about the future of your organisation right now?” The findings were: 18% very confident; 36% quite confident; 29% neither confident nor unconfident; 11% not very confident; 7% not confident at all.

LONDON – The PRCA is also offering six months’ free individual membership to anyone who has lost their job in the industry, or to anyone who is self-employed and has seen a significant decline in their income, to help people access resources, keep up their professional development, and interact virtually with their peers. The offer is open to members and non-members: email [email protected]

LONDON — Reputation intelligence company Alva has published its second weekly report of data quantifying and ranking the reputational impact of initiatives announced by businesses and other organisations in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. The research found that businesses are more likely to get a positive reception for large-scale pledges in response to COVID-19 if their announcements are made early, and if they are the company’s initiative rather than following government decree.

MOSCOW — iMARS Communications has signed an agreement on collaboration and cooperation with VIBE Agency, a full-service US-based event planning agency. The companies have agreed joint activities for communications and event support for American companies entering the Russian market, and for companies from Russia and the CIS entering the US market.