Honner ranked among the best agencies to work for in APAC

We are thrilled to be named #2 in the The Holmes Report 2018 Best Agency To Work For (National) in Asia Pacific, and the top ranked agency in Australia! This is the best award an agency can win, as it is recognition of the culture we have fostered, our commitment to ongoing learning and development, and the quality of work we deliver for our clients every day. A big congratulations and thank you to our fantastic team!

See the full list here: www.holmesreport.com/events-awards/agencies-of-the-year/2018-agencies-of-the-year/2018-best-agencies-to-work-for/asia-pacific-2018

It’s a Wrap – Honner’s quarterly media roundup (Q417)

What’s news?

Murdoch transforms his media empire; refocuses on news legacy with 21st Century Fox sale

Rupert Murdoch’s deal to sell most of 21st century fox to rival disney for a massive US$52.4 billion is set to dramatically reshape the media and entertainment landscape.

The divestment of the studio and TV assets, including a stake in pay TV service Sky and the 20th Century Fox movie studio, is part of the consolidation sweeping traditional media companies as they try to fight off the threat from Amazon, Apple, Netflix and Facebook.

The deal allows the 86-year-old media magnate with newspaper ink in his blood to focus on his news legacy. He’s keeping Fox News, the Fox broadcast network and FS1 sports cable channel, which will be spun off into a newly listed company, and News Corp (including the Australian News Ltd business he inherited from his father) meaning he’ll still continue to have the ear of political elites in the US, UK and Australia.

It’s a marked shift in the strategy of Murdoch who’s been headed in one direction for most of his life – buying, not selling. But there may yet be more afoot on the acquisition front. The Federal Communications Commission in the US recently moved to relax media ownership laws in local markets – which could allow Murdoch to buy up assets using cash from the Disney deal.

Watch this space.

Facebook overhauls news feed; Publishers braces for impact

Facebook has made sweeping changes to the kinds of posts and videos it users see. Its plans to prioritize shares by friends and families over news content from publishers and brands.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg says the changes are meant to maximize the amount of content with “meaningful social interactions”.

It means users will see less viral videos and less news article shared by media companies, sending publishers and marketers back to the strategy table to find other ways of reaching audiences.

ABC announces major restructure; Lateline gets the axe

ABC building South bank by Kgbo

The ABC revealed plans to axe flagship evening news program lateline after 27 years on the air as part of an overhaul of the national broadcaster’s current affairs schedule. Stan Grant’s Friday evening show The Link will also get the chop. Lateline host Emma Alberici will become the broadcaster’s chief economics correspondent, while Grant will be become chief Asia correspondent. The ABC plans to host two new shows in 2018: a current affairs discussion show at 9pm presented by Stan Grant, and a half-hour news bulletin at 10.30pm.

No sooner had the dust settled on the current affairs shakeup, then ABC Managing Director Michelle Guthrie unveiled one of the biggest restructures in the broadcaster’s 85-year history. From early 2018, the ABC will ditch its traditional TV and radio divisions in favour of content-based units. The main teams will be news, analysis and investigations; entertainment and specialist content including children’s programming; and regional and local content. There will also be a “content ideas lab” created to nurture new programs and ways of telling stories.

Meanwhile, the union responsible for ABC staff claimed employees are suffering from “dangerous” levels of stress associating with several rounds of restructuring at the broadcaster that have seen more than 80 staff made redundant, and former prime minister Kevin Rudd called for special laws to protect the ABC’s budget.

Seven West Media flags cuts, makes travel industry play

Seven West Media announced it’s looking to find $105 million in savings over the next two years, $25 million of which will come from what was labelled “headcount reductions”, as it plans to merge the newsrooms of the Sunday Times and The West Australian. Seven West Media purchased the Sunday Times in 2016, bringing Western Australia’s only two major newspapers under the same ownership.

Meanwhile, the media group made a play for travel industry revenues, launching an ecommerce platform 7travel. The platform combines travel content with an online booking platform that will be promoted across Seven West Media’s TV, publishing and online assets. The move comes as the media company seeks to evolve its offering beyond traditional TV and publishing.

Fairfax media spins off Domain; Pares community newspapers as “cost discipline” continues

Fairfax Media building entrance by Maksym Kozlenko

Fairfax shareholders approved the spin off and partial listing of its digital real estate business Domain. The motion to split the company was passed with a vote of 99.89% with no questions from assembled shareholders, and the decoupling was completed in november.

Meanwhile, Fairfax announced plans to shut six Sydney community newspapers and Fairfax Chief Executive Greg Hywood said “cost discipline” would continue both in the company’s metro and New Zealand operations as it continues to deal with declining markets outside Domain.

Questions over the future of Huffington Post Australia

The future of The Huffington Post Australia is in doubt after fairfax ended its joint venture with the owner of the digital news service, AOL.  A spokesman for HuffPost Australia said it would operate a standalone Australian edition from December with a smaller local team, adding: “If redeployment isn’t possible, regrettably redundancies will occur.”

Murdoch says his newspapers are struggling

Speaking at the News Corp AGM, Rupert Murdoch hailed the Times, the Australian and the Wall Street Journal as successes but said the company has its hands full making print viable. In response to a question about the company potentially purchasing more newspapers, the 86-year-old News Corp executive chairman said: “Not really. No. Our hands are pretty full making our existing papers viable. I think the big three successes we have are the three big national papers: the Wall Street Journal, the Times in London and the Australian. The other papers, a lot of them are still very viable, but they are struggling.”

As if to illustrate the point, the Australian said its digital sales now account for more than half of total sales for the masthead after a pick-up in digital growth over the past year, while print sales fell “slightly”, and News Corp said it will scale back the frequency of the manly daily to two editions a week.

Ten exits the ASX, ending two decades as a listed company

Ten’s time as a publicly listed company came to an end, after its acquisition by CBS past the final regulatory hurdle. After nearly two decades as a listed company and three months after CBS announced the takeover, ten was removed from the australian stock exchange in November. The network was bought by CBS after falling into administration.

ACCC to probe Google and Facebook over market power

The government directed the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission to undertake an inquiry into the role of technology giants including Google and Facebook in spreading fake news stories and diverting advertising away from traditional media. Public and private hearings will be held in 2018 and a preliminary report will be prepared by December, with the final report anticipated in June 2019.

The ACCC also issued merger guidelines in the wake of recent changes to media ownership laws. The regulator said it will veto media mergers that reduce the amount of news or hurt advertisers, a position that seems unlikely to stand in the way of newspapers and TV networks merging. The guidelines show the regulator is aware of the big changes technology is making to the industry and that mediums that used to be completely separate now compete for an audience online.

Insights & Opinion:


© AdobeStock / Ingo Bartussek

Business Day contributing editor Michael Pascoe asks “what if murdoch is still foxing with disney?

Emily Bell, director of the Tow Center for Digital Journalism at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism, says Facebook’s news feed changes are bad news for democracy.

Guardian editor Katherine Viner says the digital journalism model is currently collapsing as Facebook and Google swallow advertising revenue.

Fairfax Media journalist Karl Quinn says the ABC restructure does little to fix the problems at the public broadcaster.

The Australian says the woes of the Huffington Post expose a broader digital revenue shortfall.

Quotable quotes:

“It’s important to me that when Max and August grow up that they feel like what their father built was good for the world.”– Facebook CEO mark zuckerberg, on changes to the company’s news feed algorithms.

“Our hands are pretty full making our existing papers viable.” – News Corp Chairman rupert murdoch, addressing shareholders at the company’s AGM.

“It is a sad day for both journalists and audiences when such a respected, long-running program ends,” MEAA director katelin mcinerney on the axing of Lateline.

“We are not ready for the technological onslaught that is about to hit us.”  – ABC social media strategist flip prior speaking at a conference on publishing.

ASFA does it again

It’s feels like a growing trend that the annual ASFA conference is timed with a seismic event.

Twelve months ago I sat in the ASFA conference as the surprise and shock of the Trump election spread through the auditorium. This year, it was the announcement of a Royal Commission, not just into banks, but the broader financial services sector – including superannuation.

Good timing or bad timing, it’s still not clear, but the show (or in this case the world’s biggest pension fund conference) must go on.

With increased analysis and scrutiny set to be a clear focus in 2018, it was unsurprising a clear theme to emerge at ASFA 2017 was a focus on trust and brand.

And according to branding expert Martin Lindstrom, organisations need to better understand the heartbeat of their consumers. According to Lindstrom, this is difficult because 85% of what we do as an individual is irrational. However, if brands can better infuse emotions into dealing with individuals then they’ll be much more successful in creating a connection and fostering an advocate.

Spaceship and other new players were cited in a number of discussions as an example of one brand doing an especially good job of building trust—by aligning user experience with their expectation. But as journalist Sophie Elsworth pointed out on a confronting panel of media commentators, the general punter does not care about super. It is too far into the future and too confusing, so people switch off.

Compounding that confusion is the ongoing regulatory uncertainty that continues to plague the sector. In her address to ASFA, the Minister for Revenue and Financial Services, Kelly O’Dwyer said despite the announcement of the Royal Commission the Government planned to keep pushing previously announced policy reforms.

So above and beyond the Royal Commission, in 2018 we could potentially see legislation around the compulsory introduction of a minimum one-third independent directors on the boards of all super funds; new oversight to ensure greater transparency of how super funds spend members’ money;  and the introduction of choice to the default fund system. With the Productivity Commission’s Competitiveness and Efficiency of the Superannuation Industry due to report mid-year and the Insurance Within Super Working Group developing a best practice code of conduct, and Government pushing a range of superannuation legislation through Parliament, 2018 promises to be another busy year (nee confusing year for members) for the superannuation and financial services sector.

What we’ll be talking about at ASFA 2018 in Adelaide is anyone’s guess.

It’s a Wrap – Honner’s quarterly media roundup (Q317)

What’s news?

The big can now get bigger: media law changes pass the Senate

After months of negotiation and delay, the government’s media reforms passed the Senate. The government secured the support of the Nick Xenophon Team and One Nation to pass the bill that scraps restrictions including the “two out of three” rule, which stops companies owning newspaper, radio and TV stations in the same city. The changes also abolish the “reach rule” which prevents a single TV broadcaster from reaching more than 75% of the population.

Essentially, the changes allow for big media companies to get bigger and open the way for a rise in mergers and acquisitions in the industry. The bill will need to pass the House of Representatives to become law, however that’s expected to be a process of rubber stamping given the government’s majority in the lower house.

Changes too late for Murdoch, Gordon: CBS lobs rescue bid for Ten 

The changes come too late for Lachlan Murdoch and Bruce Gordon who had hoped the reform would allow them to take over troubled broadcaster Ten Network. Before the parliamentary debate concluded, US broadcasting giant CBS struck a rescue deal to buy Ten, putting paid to the plans of the Australian media moguls.

Gordon owns the WIN television network, while Murdoch, who is News Corp co-chairman, owns radio station Nova. Ten had been placed into voluntary administration in June after Murdoch—the network’s former executive chairman—and fellow creditor James Packer backed away from guaranteeing a new $250 million line of credit.

Gordon went down fighting, but his last-minute legal action to stop CBS was rejected by the Supreme Court of NSW and Ten creditors voted overwhelmingly in favour of the CBS deal days later. Still, it’s not over until it’s over. The CBS deal could face a legal appeal from Gordon and requires approval from the Foreign Investment Board.

Write-downs, losses and cost cuts: just another earnings season

It’s no easy environment that CBS is walking into, as recent financial results from rival local networks attest. During the August earnings season, Seven West Media and Nine Network both reported large losses courtesy of asset write-downs and a continued contraction in the free-to-air advertising market, as viewers continue to abandon broadcast  TV for broadband options such as streaming services or social media.

Over in newspaper land, it’s no better. Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp announced it plunged to a US$643 million annual loss due to major write-downs of its U.K. and Australian newspapers. Its stable of Australian mastheads, which includes The Australian, Herald Sun and Daily Telegraph – had their book value slashed by nearly 40% to US$310 million.

The company flagged another round of cuts for the business this financial year, at least equivalent to the US$40 million carved out of the business last year. While the last lot of cuts included layoffs of 70 staff photographers and major cuts to production and sub-editing staff, News Corp’s new chief financial officer Susan Panuccio said the next tranche would predominantly focus on central, non-content related costs.

Fairfax takes drastic measures: reveals details of Domain split

Fairfax Media warned its revenues are down 4-5% on last year’s levels before revealing details of its plan to split off the only growth part of the business, its real estate advertising arm Domain. The separation will see Fairfax emerge with a 60% stake in Domain and reduced debt. The other 40% of Domain will be held by existing Fairfax shareholders.

The plan is driven by Fairfax’s belief that its share price doesn’t fully reflect Domain’s true value and that the stock is being unduly weighed down by concerns over its traditional publishing assets. Fairfax ramped up efforts to spin off Domain after US private equity firms TPG Capital Management and Hellman & Friedman abandoned moves to acquire the company.

Death by Google and Facebook: Senate committee hears the woes of public interest journalism

The Senate committee inquiry into the future of public interest journalism in Australia continued. In a series of heated exchanges, Senator Xenophon accused Google and Facebook of killing Australian journalism, saying they are making millions in advertising revenue at the expense of Australia’s democracy – claims both firms denied.

Launched after Fairfax Media announced its latest round of job cuts in May, the Senate inquiry has discussed the possibility of taxing news aggregators such as Google and Facebook and providing financial incentives in the form of tax breaks to encourage greater investment in journalism.

Appearing before the committee in August, Google unsurprisingly rejected the idea of a levy on aggregators to prop up Australian journalism, arguing it hasn’t worked elsewhere in the world. Google Australia Managing Director Jason Pellegrino told the Committee consumers are to blame for the woes of journalism because they are changing the way they consume news.

The spread of fake news and what Google and Facebook are doing about it was another source of contention. Facebook Australia’s head of policy, Mia Garlick, said Facebook is tackling fake news by removing accounts that exhibit suspicious behaviour rather than because of the nature of their content. Senator Xenophon accused Facebook of not acting fast enough to stamp out fake news.

It was dog eat dog among the media with Fairfax Chief Executive Greg Hywood blaming the ABC for using taxpayer dollars to steal the newspaper’s audience, while conservative think-tank Institute for Public Affairs called for the public broadcaster to be privatised.

The Committee is due to present its recommendation in a final report by Dec. 7.


Australians are worried about fake news, but not willing to pay

Deloitte’s sixth annual Media Consumer Survey found Australians remain overwhelmingly reluctant to pay for online news, with only 10% of respondents willing to do so. The reluctance comes despite concerns over the accuracy of news. The survey found 65% of respondents who access news through online sources are concerned about being exposed to “fake news” and 77% believe they have been exposed.

Newspapers still the most trusted for advertising; social media the least

Despite the omnipresent shift in advertising from print to online, a survey by AdTrust found that newspapers are still the most trusted platform for advertising. The study, commissioned by publishing industry body NewsMediaWorks, found that an audience’s trust in ads is greatest in newspapers, followed by cinema, radio, magazines and digital news media. Ads in social media are the least trusted, followed by search engines and any other websites.

Quotable quotes:

“Is the requirement for ‘fair’ and ‘balanced’ coverage designed to give voice to white supremacists, holocaust deniers, climate change sceptics and anti-vaxxers?” – Labor communications spokeswoman Michelle Rowland after One Nation leader Pauline Hanson called for the ABC to insert the words “fair and balanced” in its charter.

“We’ve built extremely strong and very appropriate laws to govern media. All of them, unfortunately, are completely irrelevant for the era we are about to enter.” – Melbourne Business School adjunct professor Mark Ritson addressing the Senate committee inquiry into the future of public interest journalism.

“The digital disruption that has transformed the media has shaken everything we knew about our industry. There is no certainty.” – the Media Entertainment and Arts Alliance in its submission to the Senate committee inquiry into the future of public interest journalism.

“We are in an era where integrity is priceless. Yet digital distributors have long been a platform for the fake, the faux and the fallacious (and) have eroded the integrity of content by undermining its provenance.” – News Corporation Chief Executive Robert Thomson addressing investors after the company announced a US$643 million loss.

Honner finalist in The Holmes Report 2017 Asia-Pacific Corporate PR Consultancies of the Year

2017 Asia-Pacific Corporate PR Consultancies of the Year

The 2017 Asia-Pacific PR Consultancies of the Year are the result of an exhaustive research process involving more than 100 submissions and meetings with the best PR firms across the region. Consultancy of the Year winners are announced and honoured at the 2017 Asia-Pacific SABRE Awards, taking place on 14 September in Hong Kong.

Honner (Australia/Independent)

A veteran of respected UK communications agency Fishburn, of Australian institutional investment journal Super Review, and of the banking sector in both the UK and Australia, Philippa Honner launched her own communications firm in 1997 and has built it into the leader in the financial services sector in Australia, with a team of close to 20 in Sydney (there are plans for an additional office in New York) serving a client portfolio that includes big-four bank NAB, $55 billion superannuation fund UniSuper, and the world’s largest listed hedge fund manager Man Group. A wealth of new business from clients such as Franklin Templeton, MoneyTree, Plato, Antipodes, Quantifeed, Bell Direct, PM Capital, bfinance, and Antipodes helped fuel healthy growth last year.

Honner was recognized at the Financial Standard MAX Awards as PR Agency of the Year in 2016, having earlier been voted Australia’s best agency by financial journalists, and it has built a reputation for thought leadership in the sector—and the media environment in particular—and partnering with international specialists to bring a global perspective to clients. In terms of expanding capabilities, Honner forged a strategic partnership with digital agency Spark Green to build websites and digital platforms to assist in content-led campaigns.

Last year, the firm provided Australian communications activity for the global announcement of the proposed merger between Henderson Global Investors and Janus Capital; was engaged by fund manager Antipodes Partners to manage the launch communications for its first listed investment company; and worked with Australian Ethical, the oldest and most successful ethical investment manager in Australia, to support its next phase of growth.

Other finalists include Allison+Partners (MDC Partners), APCO Worldwide (Independent), Citadel-Magnus (Australia/Independent) and SPRG (Independent).

20 years young – celebrating two decades as pioneers in financial communications

This week, Honner celebrated its 20th birthday with almost 200 clients, journalists, staff and friends. It’s been a long but fulfilling journey, and Honner is deeply appreciative of those who joined us to celebrate – and helped us get to where we are today!

As Founder Philippa Honner noted in her speech – it’s been a tremendously rewarding experience growing the business from a dynamic one-man band in 1997 to the largest communications agency specialising in financial services today.

A night to remember at The Mint in Sydney, Honner marked the occasion with a number of exciting announcements.

The team is thrilled to reveal our plans to establish a New York marketing office to drive business development efforts in offshore markets – sourcing global clients to be supported in Australia by the Sydney-based team.

Closer to home, Honner also announced a strategic partnership with website and digital agency Spark Green, an agency that also specialises in the financial services sector. Honner is working with Spark Green to help clients build user-friendly websites and digital platforms to support content-driven campaigns and help financial brands better engage with their audiences.

To support our fast-paced growth, Honner also announced four senior appointments at the milestone event.

Senior Consultants Suzanne Dwyer and Michael Yiannakis both bring over 25 years’ communications experience to the team.

Suzanne started her career in agency at Edelman and has held senior roles with ANZ, EY and Swiss Re. She has also run her own business, providing strategic communication advice to executives in the finance, education, pharma and power sectors.

Michael was a long-time business journalist at The Wall Street Journal in Hong Kong and The Australian Financial Review in Sydney and prior to joining Honner also worked as Head of External Affairs and Media Relations, Asia Pacific, for American International Group.

Honner is also building out its content capability, with the recent appointments of Rebecca Thurlow, previously from the Wall Street Journal, as Senior Writer. Amanda Taylor, who brings 17 years financial writing experience, including seven years in marketing communications and digital roles at AMP Capital, has also joined Honner’s content team

It certainly is an exciting time for PR in a changing industry, and as the demand for specialist advice in the fast-moving Australian financial sector grows, Honner looks forward to partnering with our clients to deliver a leading offering.

Here’s to the next 20!

The Honner team

Our clients, journalists, staff and friends.

Philippa Honner’s speech

Amanda Taylor (Honner), Jessica Lee (Cromwell) and Jessica Effeney (Honner)

Brendan Wright (FAST) and Paul Cheal (Honner)

Adam Zuchetti (My Business) and Eric Robledo (Honner)

Cameron Poolman (OnDeck), Charlene Baston (OnDeck), Rashmi Punjabi (Honner) and Oliver Wade (OnDeck)

Chirs Lumby (BT), Bryan Gray (JP Morgan) and Chris Field (JP Morgan)

Damian Crowley (Pengana), Lachlan Douglas (Engines)

Darin Tyson-Chan (Benchmark Media) and Kristen Allen (Perpetual)

Jacqui Marshall (Investec Australia), Michael Clarke (Challenger), Philippa Honner (Honner) and Milton Samios (Investec Australia)

Jamie Williamson (Financial Standard), Adrian Flores (Momentum Media) and Darren Snyder (Financial Standard)

Kate Machin (Investors Mutual), Matthew Walker (WLM Financial), Cameron Poolman (OnDeck) and Susie Bell (Honner)

Lauren Hogbin (Australian Ethical) and Allyson Lowbridge (Australian Ethical)

Mark Smith (FSC), Aleks Vickovich (Momentum Media) and Ian Irvine (ASX)

Matt Dell (Pinnacle), Kylie Smith (Perpetual) and Natasha Gilbert (Pinnacle)

Michael Rockliff (XTB) and Julie Martin (XTB)

Michael Yiannakis (Honner) and Jason Clout (AFR)

Paul Cheal (Honner), Andrew Kleinig (Nuveen) and Bronwyn Jones (TH Real Estate)

Paul Cheal (Honner), Philippa Honner (Honner) and Susie Bell (Honner)

Rachel Maher (Honner), Rebecca Piercy (Honner), Greg Bright (Investor Strategy News) and Matthew Dell (Pinnacle)

Trevor Dixon (Link Group) and John-Paul Cowling (Relational Data Systems)

Vishal Teckchandani (NAB Trade) and Alex Vynokur (BetaShares)

AltFi Australasia: online lenders a growth driver for the fintech sector

Australia is in the midst of an alternative lending growth spurt. Awareness among consumers is currently lower than other countries, but we are catching up, the market opportunity is huge and the number of players is growing rapidly.

This was the take-out from the AltFi Australasia conference that Honner attended on Monday 27 February, supporting our client OnDeck, the major sponsor.

In between managing interviews with OnDeck’s Australian CEO, Cameron Poolman and SVP International, Rob Young, the Honner team sat in on several interesting presentations.

The overarching theme was of an industry that is growing fast because it’s meeting the needs of both customers and investors. Customers love the ease and speed of dealing with fintech lenders, and are increasingly looking beyond the ‘slow no’ of a bank to access cost-effective funding.

Investors in the Peer-to-Peer lending space are responding positively to an emerging asset class that goes beyond traditional fixed income or debt products, delivering diversification and returns.

As part of the Global Fintech PR Network, Honner is closely connected to online lending and we are watching keenly as it grows. We are excited to help drive awareness of an innovative sector that is harnessing technology to create a better customer experience.

Honner announces key senior appointments

Specialist financial communications firm Honner today announced a number of senior team updates, reinforcing its position as the leading provider of communications advice to Australia’s dynamic financial services sector.

General Manager and equity partner Paul Cheal has been promoted to Managing Director, reflecting his increasing role in managing the day to day operations as well as the strategic direction of the business. Paul has been with the firm for five years.

Account Director and equity partner Susie Bell has been promoted to General Manager, adding a range of team and business management duties to her role. Susie will continue to lead account teams servicing some of Honner’s largest clients. She has been with the firm for eight years.

Paul and Susie will continue to work closely with founder Philippa Honner to drive the growth and direction of the firm. Philippa will become Executive Chair of Honner and remains the majority owner of the business. The team changes were effective 1 January 2017.

Global networks and expanding client base

Honner continues to grow its Australian-based team as well as expand its global communications network. Honner recently announced it was a founding member of the Global Fintech PR Network – the first network of PR agencies specialising in financial technology. The network complements Honner’s longstanding membership of the prestigious global corporate communications agency network GFCNet, which recently celebrated its 20-year anniversary. Honner is the Australian representative for both networks.

During 2016 the Honner team enjoyed two staff exchange postings with Asia-based GFCNet agency partner, Ryan Communication, as well as hosting network team members from France and Hong Kong.

Honner has also appointed Rashmi Punjabi to the role of Senior Account Executive, based in Sydney. Rashmi brings five years’ experience in public relations, investor relations and equity research and joins Honner from GFCNet partner agency AdFactors PR – India’s largest PR firm. She holds a Masters in Economics from The University of Warwick, with specialisation in global finance and derivative securities and markets.

New clients that have joined the agency over the past year include MetLife, Henderson Global Investors, Cromwell Property Group and Liquidnet.

Honner also continues to expand the firm’s listed credentials, working with a growing number of ASX-listed clients as well as supporting the successful 2016 IPOs of listed investment companies Antipodes Global Investment Company [ASX:APL] and Watermark Global Leaders Fund [ASX:WGF]. The listed portfolio is led by Account Director Rebecca Piercy.

Honner also continues to do a range of pro-bono work in the financial sector including ongoing work for industry super fund mental health initiative SuperFriend.

Founder Philippa Honner said she looked forward to another year of growth in 2017, which will mark the firm’s 20th year.
“We hold a unique position in the financial communications landscape. Our deep insights, industry network and strategic approach enables us to deliver integrated communications programs to blue chip brands across the spectrum of financial services.

“We go into 2017 following another strong year of development and new partnerships, and will continue to expand our range of communications services to meet the changing needs of our clients and their stakeholders.

“I congratulate Paul and Susie on their promotions and thank them, and the whole team, for their commitment to building strong and enduring partnerships across the financial sector, and to delivering quality outcomes to our clients.”

Honner’s exchange program connects specialist PR minds across the globe

This year, Honner’s Senior Account Manager Kate Miller spent a week with one of our global agency partners in Hong Kong, Ryan Communication, as part of our GFC/NET exchange program.

The program is an initiative between members of the Global Financial Communication Network (GFC/Net) to provide an opportunity for staff to spend a week abroad and see how like-minded agencies operate in different geographies.

During her time with Ryan Communication, Kate took part in many of the team’s day-to-day activities, getting a feel for PR in the dynamic Asian market. She also spent time with various team members sharing insights and looking for opportunities for Honner to enhance processes as well as identify areas for further agency collaboration.

“I really enjoyed my week with Ryan Communication and I was grateful for their incredible hospitality. PR and communications continue to evolve rapidly, with digital innovation driving seriously fast change and a constant need to reconsider the rules of engagement,” Kate said.

“Getting to look at communications from a different perspective provided a great chance to reflect upon the way we do things and how we can continue to adapt and grow.”

GFC/NET is a specialist financial and corporate communications network, bringing together leading independent PR consultancies in the world’s major financial markets.

With agencies across the globe, GFC/Net enables boutique, specialists like Honner to share and learn best practice approaches to communications. It also means we can leverage global insights and contacts across the spectrum of financial PR and public policy campaigns.

The network also hosts an annual GFC/Net Annual General Meeting, where senior representatives from the agencies share insights to support business growth and improved outcomes for our clients.

We work closely with our GFC/NET partners across several international clients. For example, Honner collaborates with international partners on clients including TH Real Estate, Legg Mason and Liquidnet. Such collaboration enables us to build communications programs that deliver a consistent presence for brands across international markets and leverage opportunities in a range of geographic locations.

Honner has also recently announced our membership of a new global collaboration, the Fintech Global PR Network.

If you want to hear more about our GFC/Net affiliation, then please email Honner.

Global Fintech PR Network Launched

The Global Fintech PR Network is the world’s first network of PR agencies specialising in financial technology – or ‘Fintech’.

The new network so far consists of eight independent PR agencies, based on five continents, all sharing the same dedicated focus in delivering high-quality PR, communications and strategic advisory services to clients in the fintech industry around the world.

The network enables member agencies to offer their local clients a global perspective on the fast-moving fintech industry. It is also an efficient platform for collaborative servicing of clients operating across geographies and to help organisations within the fintech space:

  • Gain a truly global perspective across diverse audiences
  • Work with leading agency specialists in each locality

The idea for the network originated in Copenhagen earlier this year with the partners behind Norfico – the first dedicated fintech advisory and PR agency in the Nordics (Kristian T. Sørensen and Michael Juul Rugaard). Their effort to establish the network quickly became a global project once they had identified and reached out to like-minded agencies from other geographies, all of which welcomed the initiative.

From the outset, industry knowledge was key to agency selection, with Michael Juul Rugaard saying “We firmly believe that the key to creating real value for our customers is to specialise and maintain deep industry knowledge. It becomes especially evident in highly sophisticated and complex industries like fintech.”

The founding PR agencies are based in Austin, Copenhagen, London, New York, São Paulo, Singapore, Sydney, and Tel Aviv, and the network is expected to expand further, both in terms of member agencies and geographical coverage.

List of founding members of The Global Fintech PR Network:

Austin, Texas: Manzer Communications (www.manzercommunications.com)
Copenhagen: Norfico (www.norfico.net)
London: MD Consulting (www.mdconsulting.com)
New York: Vested (www.fullyvested.com)
Sao Paulo: Nobiletec (www.nobiletec.com)
Singapore: Bowlah PR (www.bowlah.com)
Sydney: Honner (www.honner.com.au)
Tel Aviv: Spicetree Communications (www.spicetreecom.com)

Dan Simon, CEO of New York-based fintech PR agency Vested, says:

“For agencies in this network, some of the main advantages will be lead sharing and joint servicing of international customers. I see a rapidly growing demand for our services, and I hope that together we can locate more agencies to join the network.”

Paul Cheal, General Manager at the Australian PR agency Honner adds:

“Fintech is becoming progressively mainstream. As a group, we can support our clients’ international aspirations backed by a network of highly specialised agencies in leading markets across the globe.”

Caroline Bowler, the founder of Singapore-based Bowlah PR, says:

“Establishing a global network of agencies within fintech could turn out to be a huge advantage for a large number of our clients. Fintech is born global; our clients need and depend on agencies with an in-depth knowledge of their industry and with a world-spanning network.”  

Please also visit the network’s website at www.globalfintechprnetwork.com