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We See Things

The latest news we’re following::

AGENCY NEWS // JULY 14, 2021 //     

Allison+Partners ups Kristen Kmetetz, Molly Luby to EVP


NEW YORK: Allison+Partners has promoted Kristen Kmetetz and Molly Luby to EVPs of client service and operations. Kmetetz and Luby were promoted to the new roles in May; both report to New York GM and partner Tracey Cassidy.

AGENCY NEWS // JULY 12, 2021 //     

The Future Of Health: 'Our Storytelling Creates A Bridge Of Empathy'

PRovoke Media

Women's health tech is currently a $700m market that’s expected to boom to more than $1 billion by 2025. What role will communications play in its future?

AGENCY NEWS // JUNE 15, 2021 //     

Allison+Partners Elevates David Richeson to Managing Director, Strategic Analytics + Digital Innovation

David Richeson, Managing Director, Strategic Analytics + Digital InnovationAllison+Partners has promoted David Richeson to managing director, strategic analytics + digital innovation. This newly created role reflects his contributions to expanding Allison+Partners’ data analytics offering. Richeson will drive further avenues for data-driven strategy, communications, and other innovative approaches to deliver greater alignment between communications strategies and business goals for the agency and its clients. Richeson will report to Global President, Worldwide Client Services Matthew Della Croce. READ MORE
AGENCY NEWS // JUNE 9, 2021 //     

How Smile Train Leverages PR For Impact

TruStory FM

In this episode of Cause Talk Radio, Alli and Megan speak with Susannah Schaefer, President and Chief Executive Officer at Smile Train and Scott Pansky, Co-Founder and Social Impact Lead at Allison & Partners about the value of PR for nonprofit organizations.

AGENCY NEWS // JUNE 3, 2021 //     

Watershed Moment: Naomi Osakas Stand Means Future Athlete Press Conferences


Naomi Osaka’s decision to withdraw from the French Open due to anxiety-inducing media appearances has ignited a national discussion about expectations from athletes when it comes to public speaking engagements.

Per the tournament’s code of conduct, media interviews are mandatory for athletes. But for Osaka, the Q&As caused "huge waves of anxiety," so she stepped away from the competition to focus on self-care, she explained in a lengthy statement on social media.

AGENCY NEWS // MAY 27, 2021 //     

#MentalHealth4All + American Foundation For Suicide Prevention

PRovoke MediaThis episode kicks-off a series with Allison+Partners, License to Accelerate: Perspectives on the Future of Health. With May being Mental Health Awareness, in this episode we discuss how the global pandemic has impacted both awareness and action around mental health. READ MORE
AGENCY NEWS // MAY 24, 2021 //     

Agency People News in Brief (May 24, 2021)

SAN FRANCISCO — Allison+Partners has hired health communications veteran Michelle Webb as managing director and North American health practice lead. Webb will be responsible for evolving the agency’s health practice to create a more robust, cohesive, and scalable offering. Most recently, Webb (pictured) was a senior VP at BCW, where she led a corporate health communications portfolio and focused on integrated campaigns for pharmaceutical, device, and nonprofit clients. She’s also held senior communications roles with APCO and The Brookings Institution’s Center for Health Policy. READ MORE
AGENCY NEWS // MAY 20, 2021 //     

Blueair Moves Its PR Business To Allison+Partners

PRovoke MediaWASHINGTON — Blueair, the Unilever-owned air purifier brand, has shifted its PR business to Allison+Partners, ending its roughly five-year relationship with Finn Partners.

As agency of record, Allison+Partners will handle the full scope of Blueair’s communications work including campaign development, brand and product PR and projects such as videos, influencer relations and social media campaigns. READ MORE
AGENCY NEWS // MAY 18, 2021 //     

How do you solve a problem like... a PR nightmare?

The Drum

Barbara Laidlaw, Partner, global reputation risk and public affairs, Allison+Partners

While every crisis is different, I subscribe to the belief that the best prevention is preemption. Most crises spiral out of control when an issue like a product recall, data breach or high-profile lawsuit coincides with ill-equipped communications to manage a reputationally impactful incident. Contrary to popular opinion, most PR nightmares do not just spring up overnight. They are a product of a number of factors that limit a brand’s ability to mitigate the fallout. By focusing on what we can control in a crisis, you will succeed in reducing its impact.

AGENCY NEWS // MAY 13, 2021 //     

2021 SABRE Awards North America Winners

PRovoke MediaThe 2021 North American SABRE Awards, which recognizes Superior Achievement in Branding Reputation and Engagement, were announced at the virtual award ceremony on May 11 along with the Agencies of the Year and Best Agencies to Work For. READ MORE
AGENCY NEWS // MAY 10, 2021 //     

The Working Mother's Bill of Rights

It’s time for a “Working Mother’s Bill of Rights” to serve as a reminder to working moms everywhere they have the right to feel all the feelings they experience and to set healthy boundaries. READ MORE
AGENCY NEWS // MAY 10, 2021 //     

PR Pros In Asia Optimistic Clubhouse

PRWeekWhen the GameStop stock market saga exploded on the internet, Tesla chief Elon Musk used Clubhouse to interview Vlad Tenev, the co-founder of Robinhood, with a live audience of thousands listening in and millions following along on Twitter. That was one of Clubhouse’s ‘breakthroughs’, one in a series of conversations that managed to propel the audio app to gain some 10 million weekly active users and achieve a valuation of US$4 billion to date.   READ MORE
AGENCY NEWS // MAY 5, 2021 //     

Measuring Employee Communications Effectiveness During COVID-19

Ask any in-house communications executive, and they'll tell you about the need over the past 14 months for a comprehensive internal communications plan to keep employees in the know during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Internal communications has changed, too, to include messaging about work-from-home policies to initiatives about public health and safety.

AGENCY NEWS // APRIL 28, 2021 //     

PRWeek Top Consultancies 2021: Asia-Pacific

PRWeek Asia

PRWeek has unveiled its annual rankings of Asia-Pacific's top PR consultancies for 2021. Click here to see global agency rankings

The PRWeek APAC table provides key insights into the status of the PR sector in the Asia-Pacific region in the 2020 calendar year:

AGENCY NEWS // APRIL 28, 2021 //     

Allison+Partners Names Seven Partners

SAN FRANCISCO: Allison+Partners has appointed seven staffers as partners due to their significant contributions to the growth and evolution of the agency. 

The new partners are reputation management MD Todd Aydelotte; B2B technology MD Karyn Barr; New York GM Tracey Cassidy; Washington, DC, GM Tara Chiarell; San Francisco GM Meghan Curtis; U.S. corporate practice MD Jill Feldman; and global reputation risk and advisory MD Barbara Laidlaw.

AGENCY NEWS // APRIL 20, 2021 //     

Agency Business Report 2021: Allison+Partners


In 2020, Allison+Partners saw global revenue drop 5.3%, and the U.S. saw a 6.1% decline. “That was a big deal for us. We’ve never seen a contraction in our 20 years of business,” says Scott Allison, cofounder, global chairman and CEO.  

But he is proud to say Allison+Partners had no layoffs, furloughs or temporary pay cuts last year. It was able to avoid that through cost-saving measures that gave the firm bottom-line growth even as its top line failed to meet expectations. 

AGENCY NEWS // APRIL 20, 2021 //     

PRWeek Reveals The Top 150 UK PR Consultancies in 2021


PRWeek has unveiled its annual rankings of the UK's Top 150 PR consultancies for 2021.

The PRWeek UK Top 150 table provides key insights into the status of the PR sector in the UK in the tumultuous 2020 calendar year, when the impact of COVID-19 saw many more agencies than usual experience falling revenue.

The picture isn't universally negative, though, as a number of consultancies saw growth despite, or in some cases because of, the realities of the coronavirus era.

One headline change is Edelman losing the top spot to Brunswick after the latter reported revenue growth of one per cent in 2020.

AGENCY NEWS // APRIL 20, 2021 //     

Allison+Partners Promotes Jonathan Heit to Global COO

SAN FRANCISCO: Allison+Partners has promoted cofounder Jonathan Heit from global president to global COO.

Heit will work to scale and operationalize the business for expansion, ensuring that policies, technology and processes are in place to drive efficiencies along with growth, the firm said in a statement. Heit will continue to play a pivotal part in global integration.

Heit’s new role is part of an update to Allison+Partners’ executive team structure, according to an agency statement.

"Following a year of challenges to rival any we’ve experienced in our 20 year history, I’m so proud of our team’s ability to retain and grow key clients, win significant new business and quickly adapt to the 'now normal' as we call it," said Heit. "Scott and Andy’s faith in myself and the rest of the global board to execute against the vision for the company’s future is not something we take lightly, and as a group we are very bullish on the prospects for 2021."

AGENCY NEWS // APRIL 12, 2021 //     

Cannes Lions Announces 2021 Jury Members

Cannes Lions
Highest ever representation from global brands, platforms, entertainment and technology companies brings breadth of expertise to the Lions awards. For the first time, the number of female jurors reaches 51% 

12 April 2021 – Cannes Lions has today announced its jury line-up of global experts selected to award the world’s very best creative work and benchmark excellence this June. 

The Lion-winning work will be announced and awarded during Cannes Lions Live, a fully digital experience, running from 21-25 June 2021, that’s included for free as part of the new LIONS Membership, launching in May.  

Jury members hail from across the world and represent the global industry’s leading talent from the broadest spectrum of disciplines. The juries also comprise 51% of female jurors, up from 48% in 2019. 

AGENCY NEWS // APRIL 6, 2021 //     

PRWeek Hall of Femme 2021: Lisa Rosenberg

The Hall of Femme Class of 2021 has been expanded to recognize the tremendous women who stepped up to the plate in the past year and decades prior. 


Many of them cite “mom” as one of their chief mentors. 

All of them are sending the elevator back down to help younger versions of themselves succeed in competitive environments. 

They stress the need to be yourself, be constantly curious, listen actively and lead with humanity and empathy.

They accept it’s OK to not be OK sometimes. 

They prioritize self-care.

All of this was also highlighted as part of PRWeek’s Femme Forward series, which showcases a diverse group of women in PR who describe the challenges of the past 12 months dealing with COVID-19, home schooling, working from home, domestic chores and the racial reckoning of 2020.

With more leaders such as this, brands and corporations can create sustainable working environments, which is especially important in a PR industry that is populated 70% by women.

AGENCY NEWS // MARCH 19, 2021 //     

Clubhouse Lessons For Brands From Demi Lovato


Singer Demi Lovato has been on a media blitz this month with interviews in The New York Times and Glamour to promote her YouTube Originals docuseries, “Dancing with the Devil.” 

But when it came to her forthcoming album, “Dancing With the Devil … The Art of Starting Over,” Lovato chose a relatively nascent channel to announce it: Clubhouse, the audio-only, invite-only chat app that has been growing like wildfire. 


The pop star invited her 55 million followers on Twitter to join her on the app, where she revealed the album to a “room” of fans and industry influencers, including producer Scooter Braun, who teased that Lovato might make an album announcement on Clubhouse to his 3.7 million Twitter followers. 

Entertainment Weekly was among the media that listened in, reporting that she told Clubhouse users, which reached 7,000 during the 75-minute event, that her new album follows “the course of my life and the path it’s taken over the past few years.”   

[Note to brands: while chats aren’t recorded, consider anything anyone might say as on-the-record!] 

Since its launch almost a year ago, Clubhouse has amassed more than 20 million registered users, according to a March 16 update from independent researcher Vajresh Balaji. The app, which is still in beta, invites users to listen in on chats being held in real-time on an array of topics.  

It is also interactive: users can “raise their hand,” have their mic unmuted and add their two cents to the room.  

Jeremy Rosenberg, partner and president of marketing innovation for North America at Allison+Partners, says it’s no coincidence that Clubhouse has taken off during the pandemic.  

AGENCY NEWS // MARCH 11, 2021 //     

Grayling's Barclay Opts for Allison+Partners

Sharon Barclay, who led the enterprise technology portfolio at Grayling as a senior VP, has come on board at Allison+Partners as executive VP. READ MORE
AGENCY NEWS // MARCH 11, 2021 //     

Hampton University Scripps Howard School of Journalism and Communications Announces New Partnership with Allison+Partners

HAMPTON, Va.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The Hampton University Scripps Howard School of Journalism and Communications (SHSJC) has announced a new three-year partnership with Allison+Partners, an award-winning global marketing and communications agency. The partnership will focus on goals to establish a student mentor awards program, support to help enhance the school’s public relations curricula, and introductions for client partnerships with BRAND757, the school’s student-run, PR and branding agency. READ MORE
AGENCY NEWS // MARCH 9, 2021 //     

Regus Owner IWG Shifts PR Duties After Global Agency Review

PRovoke MediaLONDON — IWG, the world’s largest provider of flexible workspaces, with a portfolio of brands including Regus, Spaces, Signature and HQ, has conducted a comprehensive review of its communication partners as it shifts its communications focus to the future of work in a post-pandemic world.

Engine MHP + Mischief has been appointed to develop and lead the global communications strategy for IWG, as well as acting as hub office for markets and implement the strategy in the UK. The win brings together strategic communications advice from MHP’s brand and reputation team, and creative from the Mischief team to build campaigns around the future of work and hybrid working. MD Ian Kirby and director Helen Byard are heading up the agency team.

In the US, Allison+Partners was appointed as agency partner, and the team have already launched IWG’s new flexible workspace concept in retail locations. The agency team is led by Jill Feldman, partner and US corporate MD. READ MORE
AGENCY NEWS // FEBRUARY 25, 2021 //     

Seven 10 Minute PR Career Hacks

Having a break and a quick coffee? Now could be the perfect time to spend a few minutes boosting your career. Here are some simple steps that can be done in a jiffy, yet could have a big impact on your future in PR. READ MORE
AGENCY NEWS // FEBRUARY 17, 2021 //     

How Comms Tech Helped Savvy Marketers use Super Bowl Uncertainty to Their Advantage


Nearly a year into a pandemic, the show went on. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers beat the Kansas City Chiefs, Tom Brady proved that age is just a number and Super Bowl ads took over the airwaves — and our social media channels. 

With more than a full week to digest the Super Sunday campaigns, experts highlight the importance of purpose in brand messaging, noting that companies that chose not to air an ad may have had the strongest message of all. Others are focusing on how big brands carried out large campaigns in spite of the pressures of coordinating remotely on one of the biggest nights of the year. And others note the unpredictability of this unique Super Bowl. 

AGENCY NEWS // FEBRUARY 15, 2021 //     

IPRCCC: ‘Influencers play a crucial role in the consumer cycle but are not the end-all’

The India Public Relations and Corporate Communications Conference (IPRCCC) 2020 was held on February 12, 2021, by the exchange4media group amid much fanfare. The gathering was graced by several industry experts who elucidated upon issues concerning the world of PR and Corporate Communication.

AGENCY NEWS // FEBRUARY 1, 2021 //     

Super Bowl LV Already has a Marketing Winner: Budweiser

Campaign US

More than a week before kickoff, many big brands have teased or fully revealed their Super Bowl ads online. But it is Budweiser, which won’t have its own game day spot for the first time since 1983, that has made the best play. 

Thanks to a purpose-focused call to action, Bud’s ad is scoring in media coverage of who’s in and who’s out for Super Bowl LV on February 7. 

What brands are running big game spots is a business story each year, but the angle has been heightened this season because of the pandemic and its economic impact. Coca-Cola, for example, benched itself after cutting 12% of its U.S. workforce in late December, likely reasoning that spending the estimated $5.1 million for a 30-second Super Bowl ad would be flagged by observers. 

This week, Budweiser said it would bow out of the broadcast, but for a different reason: it has invested in a 1:30-second film called Bigger Picture, narrated by actress and activist Rashida Jones, to drive COVID-19 vaccine awareness and education. It is sharing the PSA-like spot online via earned media, digital buys and social media. 

AGENCY NEWS // JANUARY 29, 2021 //     

Super Bowl LV Already has a Marketing Winner: Budwesier


More than a week before kickoff, many big brands have teased or fully revealed their Super Bowl ads online. But it is Budweiser, which won’t have its own game day spot for the first time since 1984, that has made the best play. 

Thanks to a purpose-focused call to action, Bud’s ad is scoring in media coverage of who’s in and who’s out for Super Bowl LV on February 7. 

What brands are running big game spots is a business story each year, but the angle has been heightened this season because of the pandemic and its economic impact. Coca-Cola, for example, benched itself after cutting 12% of its U.S. workforce in late December, likely reasoning that spending the estimated $5.1 million for a 30-second Super Bowl ad would be flagged by observers. 

This week, Budweiser said it would bow out of the broadcast, but for a different reason: it has invested in a 30-second film called Bigger Picture, narrated by actress and activist Rashida Jones, to drive COVID-19 vaccine awareness and education. It is sharing the PSA-like spot online via earned media, digital buys and social media. 

AGENCY NEWS // JANUARY 28, 2021 //     

6 Takeaways From the Crises of 2020

PR Daily

The usual roundup of crisis stories from the past year—something of a tradition at PR Daily—feels a bit superfluous this year. The COVID-19 crisis, the social justice movement in the wake of the George Floyd murder and the presidential election pretty much sum up the year.

Instead, let’s take a look at the lessons to be drawn from the events of 2020. After all, everything has changed and crisis communicators must adapt—or else.

Here are the lessons industry leaders say we should take from the never-ending crisis cycle we now find ourselves in, and what that means for the future of the industry.

AGENCY NEWS // JANUARY 20, 2021 //     

Telum Talks To... Jeremy Seow, Managing Director, Growth & Innovation, APAC, Allison+Partners

"Look at opportunities where you can generalise and grow, and deepened your expertise in a lot of areas before you look at specialisms slightly later on in your career."
We caught up with Jeremy Seow, Managing Director, Growth & Innovation, APAC at Allison + Partners as he takes us through his unexpected career path in public relations which has led him to be the forefront of integrated agencies. Jeremy tells us how he found success and meaning by embracing his inner generalist, and shares the changes he has seen in the industry since he started out. READ MORE
AGENCY NEWS // JANUARY 15, 2021 //     

Allison+Partners Buys Corporate Comms Shop Sommerfield

NEW YORK — Allison+Partners has bought Sommerfield Communications, a New York boutique shop that specializes in corporate communications.

In announcing the deal, Allison+Partners said the acquisition expands its financial communications, ESG-related communications, executive positioning, thought leadership and B2B communications capabilities.

Sommerfield president Frank Sommerfield, who launched his eponymous firm 25 years ago, will focus on growing those offerings further as as an Allison+Partners managing director. READ MORE
AGENCY NEWS // JANUARY 14, 2021 //     

How to get Media cut Through in These Covid Times

There is only one thing dominating the news right now, so it is not easy to get a journalist’s attention with stories unrelated to the pandemic. We asked senior PR communicators for their top tips for achieving cut through.

Invest time and resources
Sue Grant, managing director, B2B tech, Europe at PR firm Allison+Partners: “In 2020, it often felt like walking on eggshells when reaching out to journalists. Is now a smart or sensitive time to pitch? Is my pitch still timely with the current news cycle? 

“As PRs we need to invest in unique ways to build and maintain media relationships that will pay off. As we enter 2021, building quality relationships with regular contacts will continue to be critically important."

“This might range from investing time (allocating time for teams to read journalists’ content and share feedback separate to outreach on behalf of a client) to investing in resources (perhaps you Deliveroo the journalist’s favourite meal to chat about your news over a virtual lunch). Taking the time to be thoughtful, appreciative and supportive will continue to pay dividends.” 

AGENCY NEWS // JANUARY 6, 2021 //     

PR Pros Offer 21 Words on What They're Expecting in 2021

PRWeekFollowing a year of COVID-19 chaos, we asked PR leaders to give 21-word predictions of what they believe is in store for the profession in 2021.

It's fair to say that last year’s industry predictions round-up didn't quite go to plan. Not surprisingly, nobody PRWeek approached could predict the devastation that the coronavirus pandemic would inflict on the economy and society at large.

Although the vaccines provide hope, the UK is clearly not out of the woods just yet, and there is a great deal of uncertainty about how 2021 will pan out. In spite of this, industry leaders are cautiously optimistic about the year ahead.

PRWeek asked a broad range of agency and in-house communications professionals to gaze into their crystal balls. 

AGENCY NEWS // DECEMBER 16, 2020 //     

Podcast: Allison + Partners' Lisa Rosenberg On Innovation and Creativity During Challenging Times

PRovoke MediaAllison+Partners consumer brands leader Lisa Rosenberg joins Aarti Shah on the PRovoke podcast to reflect on how the challenges of 2020 shaped innovation this year. We also talk about the creative campaigns that broke through a tumultuous social and political backdrop. Rosenberg was also featured on the 2020 Innovator 25 in Americas.  
AGENCY NEWS // DECEMBER 4, 2020 //     

All-staff PTO, no Video Fridays, Wellness Checks: How Team Leaders are Countering Employee Burnout


Agency leaders are sounding the alarm on the stress and pressure their employees are under after months of being isolated at home, a race to finish client work for 2020 on a revenue high and no respite in sight from COVID-19. 

“I’ve never seen anything like this in my career. Folks who usually run through walls are hitting walls,” says Andy Pray, founder of Praytell Strategy. “Those walls are coming from fatigue, stress and build-up of having been in this mental and physical space for eight months.”

“People are feeling the pressure to give 100% when they don’t always feel 100%,” he adds. “They’re hitting walls at rates I’ve never seen before. That’s troubling because we’re not through the woods of this.”

Scott Allison, chairman and CEO of Allison+Partners, agrees.

“There is no sugar-coating it. It has taken a real toll on people,” he adds. “In the first few months of the pandemic, we could be like, ‘We’re all this together, no one was laid off at our agency and we’re all happy to have our jobs.’ But the pandemic went from a sprint to a marathon and it is hard to play that ‘grateful’ message for the long haul.” 

AGENCY NEWS // NOVEMBER 16, 2020 //     

PRovoke Innovators 25 2020 Americas

Creativity and storytelling are at the heart of the consumer brand work Lisa Rosenberg leads at Allison + Partners, highlighted by her success running wide-ranging campaigns, which have supported new products including Gillette razors and purple M&Ms to initiatives like introducing Mercedes Benz’s clean diesel technology and Driscoll’s rosé berries. Rosenberg is also a dedicated leader who invested in her practice’s output and, as such, she stays very much in the thick of team efforts, helping craft strategy and generate ideas. READ MORE
AGENCY NEWS // OCTOBER 27, 2020 //     

America's Best PR Agencies

ForbesAs public relations professionals look to navigate their clients through an uncertain, volatile and noisy year, some of the top agencies are looking to further diversify offerings beyond the classic pitch. Whether it’s becoming more like consulting firms and advertising agencies or adding new offerings like research from data insights and surveys, PR agencies have increasingly sought to integrate with their clients to provide new types of information that help with both external and internal communications. Forbes partnered with market research firm Statista for our inaugural ranking of America’s Best PR Agencies 2021. To develop the list, Statista surveyed more than 12,700 experts and 20,500 customers who nominated more than 5,000 firms. Participants were asked to indicate how likely they were to nominate a particular agency on a scale of zero (very unlikely) to 10 (very likely). Statista then narrowed the list to the top 200 and gave those that received at least the median score a four-star rating and those that exceeded the median score a five-star rating. READ MORE
AGENCY NEWS // OCTOBER 20, 2020 //     

Allison+Partners Forms Middle East Partnership

Orient Planet Group founder and managing director Nidal Abou Zaki.DUBAI — Allison+Partners has expanded its global footprint with its first presence in the Middle East, after forming a strategic partnership with communications agency Orient Planet Group.

The partnership gives Allison+Partners – which has 30 offices across the US, Europe and Asia-Pacific – reach into the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Egypt, Bahrain and Kuwait with Orient Planet’s offices, plus a wider affiliate network across the Arabian Gulf, Levant, Egypt and North Africa.

Orient Planet Group founder and managing director Nidal Abou Zaki, who founded the firm 19 years ago, will serve as the head of the agency’s operations in the region.

Andy Hardie-Brown, Allison+Partners’ co-founder and global vice chair, said: “After several years of global expansion, the Middle East is a natural next step for the continued growth of our agency. Dubai in particular is an important hub for the region, and feeder market into Europe, APAC and Africa.”
AGENCY NEWS // OCTOBER 6, 2020 //     

PRovoke Names Global Agencies Of The Decade

PRovoke MediaPRovoke has named seven firms as its Global Agencies of the Decade — Adfactors, Allison+Partners, Edelman, Hanover, M Booth, W2O Group and Weber Shandwick.

The seven will be honoured at the upcoming virtual Global SABRE Awards on 21 October, where the top three will be counted down to reveal PRovoke's overall Global Agency of the Decade. READ MORE
AGENCY NEWS // SEPTEMBER 28, 2020 //     

CES 2021 Confirms Need for Marketers and Brands to Reimagine, Not Replace

American Marketing Association

By Cathy Planchard, Allison+Partners, All Told Global President

Organizations that spent the first half of 2020 adjusting to meet the pandemic’s challenges learned by mid-summer their pivots would be longer and deeper than expected. This became more evident when events and tradeshows had to be cancelled, postponed or moved online, particularly CES 2021.

The world’s largest tradeshow, which brings 175,000 people to Las Vegas every year, will be fully virtual for the first time. For brands “exhibiting,” the implications of CES’ move run far and wide. How can you showcase your technologies in an environment where they can’t be touched? How can you still get media attention when you can’t physically track down reporters to bring them to your booths? What about all the in-person prospecting and deals you expected to make?

The solution is to reimagine, not replace.

AGENCY NEWS // SEPTEMBER 7, 2020 //     

Mastering the 'Now Normal'

Bangkok Post

The career path that Jonathan Heit took to the public relations industry is unlike that of most people. With an undergraduate degree in sciences and a pre-medical background at Cornell University, Mr Heit, now 48, says he was "on the path to becoming a doctor".

"It was really challenging science-based work and as I really dug into it, I started to realise the element of medicine that I enjoyed: the interaction with patients," the co-founder and global president of Allison+Partners tells Asia Focus. It was at this point when he also realised that he wasn't as strong on the science side of things as he wanted to be.

But "I was always a very good writer, and I was always interested in writing and communications", he notes.

Fresh out of med school, and after spending time on what he wanted to do, "I thought maybe merging two things together, communication and healthcare, could play to some of what I've learned and be where my real passion is". That decision led him to healthcare public relations and marketing communication.

But working with science-based clients could be a little bit limiting, he discovered upon entering the industry. "Science is so defined, so precise that it's a very regulated industry," he observes.

AGENCY NEWS // SEPTEMBER 3, 2020 //     

Happy 19th Anniversary Allison+Partners - Celebrating 2020's Global Day of Giving

By: Scott Pansky 

As we reflect on our 19th anniversary, the world continues to change and we continue to change with it. Similar to when we launched in 2001, just a week before the 9/11 terrorist attacks, our business continues to deal with challenges. Unlike 9/11, the entire world is dealing with the pandemic, economic disruptions and natural disasters. We have had to prioritize, making sure we can take care of our team members around the globe and adapt to new ways of working. We have had to ask ourselves hard questions, commit to change to evolve our culture and provide the best service possible for our clients. As so many have said, “We are all in this together!”

To celebrate the agency’s anniversary, Allison+Partners will again host its annual Global Day of Giving, which allows employees in every office to take time off from work to learn about the issues in their local communities and work as a team to address those needs. Our 2020 theme supports COVID-19 relief efforts, including writing cards and letters to those impacted by the virus and donating food and toiletries. This focus is captured in the commemorative logo featured above, the winning submission from an employee competition. This year’s beautiful design was created by Niphon (Dui) Appakaran in our Bangkok office.


With so much happening around us, this year’s volunteer efforts seem more meaningful than ever. It does not take a company of more than 500 to have an impact. However, one person can make a difference. Helping your neighbor, providing someone living on the street with a warm meal, or thanking those who deliver packages, make meals, or stock the grocery store shelves really does have a positive impact.  

Please join us and make a difference in your community this month, whether it’s sharing a story that puts a smile on someone’s face or just letting them know how special they are. In these uncertain times, this is just one simple way we can all help.  

We look forward to our 20th anniversary next year, when we can finally visit those impacted in person, face to face.

AGENCY NEWS // SEPTEMBER 1, 2020 //     

The Reckoning is Here for China's Global Tech Giants

PRWeek UKBy: David Wolf

To win in a global marketplace that is predisposed to distrust them, China’s emerging tech brands need to rethink the PR function altogether.

As the typhoon gusts of geopolitics blow on the China-US relationship, those same winds are blowing away the assumptions on which our companies and clients have built their businesses for over a generation. Public relations professionals are being called upon to aid the firms caught in the contradictions between commercial goals, Beijing’s global ambitions, and Washington’s open discomfort with those ambitions.

Though this emerging challenge touches upon every industry, the core role that technological superiority and public information now play in global conflict has brought the brunt of the disruption down on the technology business generally and online services in particular. The greatest challenge of all falls upon Chinese companies seeking to extend their businesses beyond their home market. These brands now face a global phalanx of new stakeholders who know little about these firms, who watch their rise with surprise and even dismay, and who have the power to enable the growth of their global business or stop it dead in its tracks.

AGENCY NEWS // AUGUST 17, 2020 //     

Leadership Beyond Disruption: The Now Normal


Amid the crisis, stakeholders need information and inspiration, and this puts unprecedented pressure on organizations to be more flexible, agile, innovative and empathetic.

I seem to hear two expressions every day. The first is “Matthew, you’re on Mute.” And the second is “How are you doing?” I suspect I am not alone. 

The first one is easy to answer – a sheepish grin and a mouse click. How are we supposed to answer that second question? Every day seems to have a week’s worth of news, crises and emotions thrust into it. COVID-19, Black Lives Matter, recession, election, back to school, natural disasters…   


With so much happening at once, you can be forgiven a sense of constant disorientation. We don’t live in the “old normal,” and we’re clearly not in the “new normal.” We live in what I’ve come to call the “Now Normal” – a state of constant change and unpredictability wherein leaders have no prior experience or playbook to draw from to ensure success.

In March, Allison+Partners’ consulting arm, Allison Advisory, developed a framework of strategic approaches and perspectives to guide leaders through the crisis. Our aim was to help our clients craft strategies that wove together communications, marketing and business continuity that would allow their companies to come through this global crisis healthy and more resilient. We based that framework on how experience and logic suggested the disruptive crisis would progress in phases:

  • Shock. The moment the disruption first happens.
  • Orientation. When initial responses are considered, countered and ultimately crafted.
  • Command. The point where you can start taking charge of the situation, being agile to adjust as necessary, given the unpredictability surround us.
  • Recovery. The period when much of the emergency has passed or been contained, but normal operations have not yet returned.
  • Bump. A sudden business surge often resulting from a prolonged period of pent-up demand.
  • Equilibrium. “The new normal.” The sustainable tempo of business post-crisis where organizations must ensure future success and competitive advantage.

With some variation in geography or industry, most of us remain in the Command phase. The timing and nature of recovery remain unclear, and planning beyond month-to-month is little better than guesswork.

With recovery constantly receding before us, clients around the world seek our counsel on surviving, and even thriving, in the Now Normal. And while it seems axiomatic, our first advice is to lead, to be bold, directed and clear in the face of an instinct to drop, hold, wait and watch. Amid the crisis, stakeholders need information and inspiration, and this puts unprecedented pressure on organizations to be more flexible, agile, innovative and empathetic, all while sustaining a rapid tempo of clear communications:

Flexibility – Working from home, flex work schedules, delivery of products or services – programmatic approaches to change should be a thing of the past with priorities focused on pain points inhibiting transformation and future growth opportunities.

Agility – “Agile” is about more than software development. Enterprise agility and working in sprints, frees an organization to focus resources on critical pain points and opportunities, even in the face of constant change.

Innovation – Whether in process or product, managing through the crisis demands thoughtful but constant experimentation with new approaches, digital transformation, analytics and AI, and alliances and partnerships that might have been unthinkable before.

Empathy – Stakeholders are going through emotional gyrations they have never experienced. Leaders need to institute changes to address them. Diversity is no longer just an HR issue. Purpose needs to suffuse the organization, not exist as a marketing ploy. Reskilling and upskilling strategies will deliver to the bottom line. Setting a foundation in empathy is necessary as you manage through this crisis.

Communications – Leaders must be highly visible during this crisis. Transparency, accessibility and an obsession about constant communications are essential. Remember, stakeholders will remember how you acted (communicated) during this disruption. Putting your chief of communications in the C-suite will help ensure you get it right.

When this crisis does end, that end will offer opportunity for those most ready to capture it. After all, the renaissance was born from a pandemic. The key for all of us: success after the crisis will go to those who led most strongly through it. Lead boldly now, and your organization, and more importantly, society, will reap the benefits.

Allison+Partners is closely monitoring developments worldwide. In our weekly newsletter, we share expert perspectives on the pandemic's impact on marketing and communications, best practices in how to respond and useful tools and information to help guide you. Sign up to receive our weekly updates or visit our COVID-19 support page to learn how we can help you during this time.



An award-winning PR executive with more than 25 years of experience, Matthew leads the firm’s Corporate practice and oversees the growth and development of our European offices. He has extensive global experience helping businesses and organizations across industries grow and evolve.

Matthew's expertise includes reputation management, corporate brand positioning, thought leadership and executive visibility, change management, B2B marketing, social impact, C-suite counsel, crisis and issues management, integrated communications, influencer engagement, business and financial media and transaction communications.

He is a regular speaker at the Public Relations Society of America's annual conference, in IR Magazine workshops, and has served as a guest lecturer at New York University, Manhattanville College, Salem State University and in Columbia University's Strategic Communications graduate program. Matthew graduated with honors from Manhattanville College, where he was an All-American Scholar Athlete, and attended St. Catherine’s University, Oxford. He lives in Boston and spends as much time as he can in Vermont with his wife and daughters.

AGENCY NEWS // AUGUST 7, 2020 //     

How Brands Are Navigating the Uncertainty of Back-to-School This Year

The StreetAmid the pandemic, with the uncertainty of what school will look like in the fall, the once-reliable shopping season has been upended.

For decades, the back-to-school shopping season has been a dependable boon for brands -- second only to the holiday season -- as kids and parents seek out new outfits and supplies for the classroom. In 2019, back-to-school saw approximately $80 billion in sales.

But amid the pandemic, with the uncertainty of what school will look like in the fall, the once-reliable shopping season has been upended, leaving brands and retailers -- not to mention families -- in the lurch.

AGENCY NEWS // JULY 21, 2020 //     

B2B Brand Storytelling in the Age of COVID-19: Firms Lacking ‘Human Touch’


The majority of B2B companies have not conducted primary research focused on their customers’ needs and challenges in the last 12 months, as the sector struggles to humanise their communications in an era of brand storytelling, according to new research.

A new report by global marketing and communications agency, Allison+Partners reveals that whilst B2B marketers wish to evolve their brand strategy in favour of more human connection and conversations to engage with their audiences, they struggle to put this into practice.

As empathy, trust and care become increasingly vital brand currencies, particularly during these uncertain times, more B2B brands will look to follow suit and talk more
“human”. Businesses that are able to adapt quickly and execute against timely events are the ones that survive and thrive. The survey, which included input from 400 marketing directors in the UK and Germany, found that:

AGENCY NEWS // JULY 13, 2020 //     

BurgerFi Brings on Allison+Partners as PR AOR


WEST PALM BEACH, FL: Fast-casual restaurant chain BurgerFi International has hired Allison+Partners as its PR AOR.

The agency started working on the mid-six-figure account on June 24, following a formal RFP. Five firms pitched for the business, said Lisa Rosenberg, partner and president of consumer brands at Allison. 

The agency is planning to drive BurgerFi’s consumer marketing initiatives and support franchise sales efforts and thought leadership. The agency will build brand awareness through integrated communications programs and generate publicity for key initiatives, promotions and product offerings. Allison’s work includes the launch of BurgerFi’s first national brand campaign and customized local outreach supporting store openings. The firm will also work to increase awareness and interest in franchisee buying rights.

AGENCY NEWS // JULY 10, 2020 //     

The Age of Accountability: 'Business as Usual is Dead. Hooray for That'

PRWeekFacebook and the Washington Redskins are learning that partners will no longer accept excuses for not meeting their standards.

Emboldened by a new culture of challenging the status quo, brands are putting institutions on notice, from an 88-year-old professional sports franchise to the world’s largest social media company. 

FedEx, Nike, Coca-Cola and Starbucks are among the brands exerting their influence with companies they do business with, demanding big, history-making changes. And those progressive brands are being cheered on and counseled by agencies that are encouraging them to be ambitious.

AGENCY NEWS // JULY 7, 2020 //     

43. Scott Allison, Allison+Partners

With 18 straight years of top-line growth, Allison's eponymous firm shows no signs of slowing down.

If in the end, it’s all about growth and putting zeros behind other numbers, then Scott Allison has to be pleased at what he’s accomplished at his eponymous firm. 

According to the shop’s profile in the PRWeek Agency Business Report 2020, revenue at Allison+Partners rose 19% in the U.S. and almost 23% globally, which meant 2019 gave the agency its 18th consecutive year of top-line growth. 


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