Peak Communicators
September 25, 2013

Two New Partners Join IPREX Global Network of PR Firms

IPREXAs a proud partner of IPREX, a global network of 60 independent PR firms that operate in 72 cities with more than 1000 professionals, we are happy to announce the addition of Brazilian agency, Casa Da Noticia, and Jakarta-based strategic communication agency, Inke Maris & Associates.

New IPREX partnerships such as these are exciting as they further boost our capacity to engage on a global scale and offer quality PR and communications services to international clients.

Outlined below is an overview of the two new IPREX partners.


Casa Da Noticia

Founded in 1987, Casa da Notícia has additional offices in São Vicente and Mogi das Cruzes and has gained long experience of working with international companies in a range of industry sectors, particularly construction, automotive, entertainment, industry and services – in health, finance and consultancy.

The company’s clients include Saint-Gobain, Banco Fidis (Chrysler-Fiat division), Unimed, Volkswagen Foundation, Dayco and B. Braun. Many clients have been with the agency for several years, and one for over 20 years.In addition to media relations, the agency works in relationship management, events, media training, crisis communication and content and social media management.

IPREX Americas President Renzi Stone (Saxum, Oklahoma City) welcomed the company: “This is a strong, well-established agency that has built up an enviable reputation over 25 years. The team has plenty of experience of working across borders, and their deep sector knowledge will be valuable to IPREX partners and their clients.

“We’re delighted to welcome them to the expanding IPREX Americas group which now has 71 offices from Canada to Brazil, with over a thousand professional staff.”

Vanessa Xavier, Director of Client Service at Casa da Notícia, said “Our international experience has led us naturally to a global network of communication services with the reputation of IPREX. We are looking forward to using the communication skills we have developed over the years to help our new partners’ clients tap the vast potential of the Brazilian market.”


Inke Maris & Associates

Founded in 1986, Inke Maris & Associates provide strategic communication consulting services to multinationals, national companies and public institutions in Indonesia. They work in five main areas: corporate & public affairs; issues and crisis management; financial communication; marketing communication and social marketing communication.


IPREX is a $200 million network of communication agencies, with 1,500 staff and 100 offices worldwide working across the spectrum of industry sectors and practice disciplines.

David Watson
+44 1273 845462

Casa da Notícia Comunicação         
Vanessa Xavier
+55 11 2503 7611

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September 24, 2013

Are You a Strategic Thinker?

StrategyStrategy. Possibly one of the most overused yet incorrectly used terms in business today.

Drop the word strategy into discussions around the boardroom table and people start to listen. Not only does it sound good but it is often associated with seniority, experience and high-level thinking. All very impressive. But over the years, I’ve sat in countless business and communications meetings where the word is thrown around, prodded at, sometimes discussed but frequently avoided when you drill down into the substance of what is actually being said, or not said. Forget the elephant, strategy has become the beast in the room – the one that everyone is aware of but no-one quite knows what to do with.


So what exactly is strategy and where do we go wrong with applying this concept?

I’ve spent some time trawling the internet for the best strategy definitions, examples, videos, common pitfalls and I was surprised to see a mess of content that struggles to define what it really is. I’m not saying I have the best definition either but I do remember attending a training session in London a few years back and our strategic master told us that, every time we struggled to articulate what the strategy of a plan was, think about war. After all, the word strategy comes from the Greek, stratēgia which loosely translates as the ‘art of leadership’, particularly in relation to the military.


To put this into context, the next time you have to define the strategy of a business or communications plan, think about what your plan of action is – how are you going to achieve the goals you’ve set out to achieve? How are you going to bring about the desired future (remember the: Where are we now? Where are we going? How will we get there?)? How would you summarize that high-level thinking?

Strategic Planning 

This is where having a clear idea of your company’s/client’s purpose (mission), goal (vision) and values is imperative. Defining your competitive advantage is also key (undertaking a SWOT analysis – Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats – really helps too). This is ultimately what will distinguish your business from the rest. If you don’t understand this, your strategy cannot succeed. But once you have defined these points and are confident that you have a high-level plan of action in place that will achieve your end goal, you should quite easily be able to work the other elements of a strategic communications plan out:

  • Long- and short-term strategic objectives
  • Audience
  • Key messages
  • Tactics/actions
  • Roles and responsibilities (accountability is key in executing any plan)
  • Timeline
  • Measurement
  • Next steps

Common pitfalls


Some of the most common mistakes people make when talking strategy is that they start talking about objectives or tactics instead. It’s also very easy to create a strategic communications plan and then forget about it, or not make anyone accountable. A strategic plan will only be as good as the people who execute it. So you need to ensure that someone is the overall owner of the plan and that everyone else is clear on their deliverables. Communication is vital in the strategic planning process – ideally, multiple stakeholders should have input into the plan and the final plan should be presented to all stakeholders so that everyone is aware of it and understands its importance to the growth of the company.

Equally, progress reports should be shared regularly. And strategic plans do not need to be long. I’ve seen some bibles in my time which, quite frankly, make it difficult to digest page one knowing the long journey ahead. Keep them short, sweet and accessible – they’ll be far more useful this way.

Business Ppl

Finally, it’s important to note that strategic plans should be living documents. They should be revisited regularly and updated according to the needs of the company and the demands of external factors.

Happy planning!

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September 3, 2013

BC Living: People’s Choice 2013

Edownload (19)very year, BC Living, a publication that focuses on West Coast life, polls its readers to find out what is considered ‘best in class’ in our region.

BC Living separates respondents into four regions: Vancouver & Lower Mainland, Vancouver Island, Interior BC & Northern BC.

The poll quizzes people on many aspects of West Coast living: favourite coffee shop (in my opinion 49thParallel wins hands down and I’m delighted to see the broader Vancouver population agrees), the best patio (The Boathouse Restaurant), best desserts (Thomas Haas Chocolates & Patisserie) etc. The list goes on.

The most interesting is the ‘Best Local Media Personality’ category. The results from Vancouver & Lower Mainland region – all of which are TV personalities – are listed below:

  • Winner: Tamara Taggart, CTV
  • 1st Runner Up: Sophie Lui, Global BC
  • 2nd Runner Up: Squire Barnes, Global BC

It’s great to see two female TV personalities make this list, highlighting the gender shift over the years in the news room.

I also took a peek at the results from the other three regions polled. Outside of the lower mainland, radio personalities were a much bigger hit. The ‘Best Local Media Personality’ according to the readers from Vancouver Island are listed below:

  • Winner: Hudson Mack, CTV Vancouver Island
  • 1st Runner Up: Ed Bain, The Q!
  • 2nd Runner Up: Bruce Williams, CTV Vancouver Island

The ‘Best Local Media Personality’ according to the readers from the Interior:

  • Winner: Brian Martin, Sun FM
  • 1st Runner Up: Mark Jeffries, EZ Rock
  • 2nd Runner Up: Toby Tannas, CHBC News

The ‘Best Local Media Personality’ according to readers from Northern BC:

  • Winner: Betsy Trumpener, CBC
  • 1st Runner Up: Mike Benny, 101.3 The River
  • 2nd Runner Up: Dale Taylor, 97.5 The Rush

This kind of poll is extremely valuable. As a PR, it’s important to know what personalities resonate in different regions. We often organize events and invite local personalities to host; knowing who resonates with which audience ensures we identify the best person for the job. Thank you BC Living for conducting and collating this insightful data!

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