SYDNEY — Australian retailer Woolworths has shifted consumer PR and influencer support duties to Society following a competitive review. 

Society is hired after a three-stage review that took place at the end of last year, and replaces incumbent firm PPR, which was absorbed by BCW in 2019. Society was founded by former PPR executive director Dena Vasallo in 2017.

Society will support the Woolworths PR team across the supermarket’s seasonal and major campaign activity, product launches, community and local marketing activity, as well as the ongoing management of the retailer’s influencer engagement program.

“Due to the impact of Covid, the way we need to communicate with our customers has rapidly evolved," said Woolworths GM of group external communications and community, Peter O’Sullivan. "As a result, we wanted to take a fresh approach to the way we work with our agency partner to support our PR and influencer management needs within Woolworths Supermarkets."

“After an extensive RFP review process, Society proved they can challenge traditional thinking and innovate the way we communicate with the many and varied communities we serve across Australia."

Society's remit covers consumer brand PR, focusing specifically on Woolworths' supermarkets. O'Sullivan told PRovoke that the company handles the majority of the group's corporate PR in-house, occasionally bringing in specialist support on an ad hoc basis. 

In July last year, former Qantas Senior Adviser of PR and publicity Will Lehnertz joined the Woolworths external communications team as PR manager. Cleo Trifonas also recently joined the Woolworths team as PR specialist.