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Brooklyn Firm Works for Free to Attract Top Talent

Praytell

Today Brooklyn-based boutique firm Praytell Strategies announced the launch of its Passion Project, in which the company will offer up to $30,000 in varied services to non-profit applicants each quarter.

Of course all agencies are familiar with the benefits of pro-bono work in terms of building on reputation, expanding client rosters and scoring a few media mentions.

The Praytell project, though, is unique in a few ways — first being that it was inspired by the work of the MAC AIDS Fund (a Praytell client).

We spoke to founder/CEO Andy Pray to find out more.

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Ketchum Shuffles Its Tech Leadership

ketchum_logoIn what looks like a strong pivot toward the tech sector, Ketchum orchestrated a game of musical chairs involving several top executives within its San Francisco-based Access Communications shop and its Global Technology Practice this week.

Partner Susan Butenhoff, who founded Access and served as both president and CEO there until this week, will now serve as director of the firm’s tech practice while retaining the title of chief at Access.

Matthew Afflixio, who worked under her as EVP/creative director, has been promoted to president.

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Cinnabon Doesn’t Need Advertising; Good Marketing and Branding Are Enough

Cinnabon-Reaches-1000th-Bakery-Milestone

Today’s conventional wisdom would suggest that aggressively expanding a brand solely focused on a singular sugary baked good is folly. Cinnabon isn’t quite the ill-fated Crumbs, despite some similarities, and President Kat Cole has been aiming high:

  • “We’re building the world’s greatest brand,” she told Nation’s Restaurant News.
  • “Eventually it will end up in the bucket with brands like Oreo and Hershey,” she told Forbes.

Indeed 2013 was a busy (and profitable) year for Cinnabon; the chain added 110 new locations, bringing its total now up to nearly 1,200 and saw $1 billion in retail product sales from all divisions worldwide, including franchising, consumer package goods and food-service licensed products.

It also spent only $33,000 in advertising.

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Spin the Agencies of Record

Hong Kong

  • Santa Monica firm Phelps will be social media marketing AOR for the U.S. wing of the Hong Kong Tourism Board, using the group’s social networks to promote “Asia’s World City” as an American travel destination.

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Q&A: Top Firms Expanding into the Asia Pacific Region

World Map

It’s not exactly news that the Asia Pacific region is one of the biggest opportunities for international firms looking to expand and serve a more global audience. Allison + Partners recently opened an office in Singapore while firms like Edelman and Ogilvy have maintained a presence in China for some time.

Still, much of the market remains untapped by top Western firms, and the act of reaching the billions of consumers living in the Asia Pacific region presents significant challenges for many US-based organizations.

Siegel+Gale recently announced a partnership with Gramco, Japan’s largest branding firm, in the interest of better serving the Chinese public.

We spoke to Jason Cieslak, president of Siegel+Gale’s Pacific Rim operations, to get his take on the trend.

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MWW Names New Chief Strategy Officer

Mww_logo

New York/New Jersey firm MWW announced the hiring of Jess Seilheimer as Chief Strategy Officer.

Seilheimer, who previously served as SVP of digital innovation/strategic planning at Havas, brings more than 15 years of agency experience to the new role.

After leaving Havas, Seilheimer founded the consulting group Cretegic, where she advised startups and other digital businesses on “accelerating strategic planning”; at MWW she will oversee strategic planning and marketing communications strategies across clients.

In addition to her agency history, Seilheimer has contributed to various publications covering the tech and startup worlds and served as an ambassador for SocialMediaWeekNYC.

She will report directly to MWW founder/CEO Michael Kempner.

Multimedia Case Study: Foreplay Edition

beforeplay2

Question: how does a marketer get Millenials to think seriously about their own sexual health?

An ongoing campaign called “beforeplay” (get it?), created by ad shop Vermilion and promoted by Bluetone Marketing & PR for the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, tasked the agencies with answering that question.

The larger goal was incredibly ambitious: to reduce the number of STDs and unintended pregnancies in the state of Colorado (which had one of the highest rates in the country).

How did they go about it?

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Roll Call: Allison + Partners and Rubenstein PR

This week, Allison + Partners announced the opening of its newest office in Singapore as well as the hiring of Serina Tan, who will serve as vice president.

Tan brings more than 12 years’ experience to the role, including stints at various agencies and work with clients in the consumer products and services, technology, food and beverage, tourism, automotive and professional services sectors. Before joining Allison+Partners, she served as regional account director at Porter Novelli. Highlights of her career include a cause-related program for HP as well as the launch of the first McCafé in Singapore, the McDonald’s “I’m lovin’ it” tag launch and a brand refresh for the Singapore Zoo. Ms. Tan has lived in Singapore, Japan and Malaysia and she is fluent in Chinese, Japanese and English.

Ms. Tan’s first assignment will be to create a comprehensive campaign for Plaza Singapura, one of Singapore’s largest shopping malls, but she will also play a role in the expansion of Allison + Partners’ Asia Pacific operations. Co-founder and COO Andy Hardie-Brown says,”Based on current levels of business activity we will more than double our Asia Pacific headcount over the coming year.”

New York’s Rubenstein Public Relations hired Jason Ledder as media department group head. He will specialize in earning media mentions for clients across Rubenstein’s portfolio.

Ledder brings more than 15 years of agency experience to the role, most recently serving as VP of media relations at R&J PR. In the new position, he will develop and execute all media relations activities — be they national, regional, local or hyper-local. Richard Rubenstein writes, “We look forward to the additional exposure he will generate on behalf of our clients and public relations campaigns.”

Spin the Agencies of Record

shutterstock_98568848

  • Haberman of Minneapolis has been chosen as AOR for Traditional Medicinals, an herbal tea-maker based in Sebastopol, California. Haberman, which will handle all brand communications, PR, media buying, social media and advertising for the company, was chosen for its familiarity with “mission-driven brands”; Brian Wachtler, president of Haberman, calls the company “an original herbal tea pioneer” (and no, before you ask, the teas do not contain that kind of herb).

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Spin the Agencies of Record

walnutz

  • Edelman will be PR AOR for the California Walnut Board and the California Walnut Commission, effective September 1. Edelman will handle all PR and social duties for the organization, which was previously known as the Walnut Marketing Board; the org was established in 1948 to represent the state’s walnut growers and handlers. Edelman will focus on raising awareness of the walnut’s “robust health benefits and innumerable culinary applications” (love that one) and protecting its reputation against its sworn enemy, the hazelnut.

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