J. Water Thompson and Group SJR, a division of Hill+Knowlton Strategies, has announced the launch of Australian content marketing agency, Colloquial.
The joint venture brings together the creative talent and strategic rigor from the local operations of J. Walter Thompson Australia, with the publishing and audience development experience of Group SJR, the Content Marketing Institute’s 2014 Global Content Marketer of the Year.
Colloquial launches as a unit of J. Walter Thompson, sharing locations and drawing on talent from the wider agency group. Colloquial already has staff and projects based in Sydney, Melbourne and Perth.
The agency will build publishing environments and editorial teams to produce high quality, engaging content that gets read and shared. Colloquial will also be launched in a number of other markets across the globe, to build publishing environments for brands, specialising in ‘middleweight content’ – defined as short articles, infographics and visual stories.
Colloquial Australia will be led by the general manager Zeina Khodr and content strategy director Ben Shipley. Khodr’s professional experience is diverse and spans publishing, digital media, marketing strategy and commercial management across a wide range of industries, most recently the group publisher at Cirrus Media, Australia’s largest B2B publisher.
Shipley has worked for the last five years with Hill+Knowlton Strategies as digital and creative director, leading the development of digital skills and storytelling for staff and clients. Next month he will represent Australia, judging the PR festival at the Cannes Festival of Creativity.
“The best examples we’re seeing in content marketing combine the skills and specialties of agency and publisher. We’re excited to have such great talent from both sides of the industry, I’m sure they’ll make a formidable team,” said John Gutteridge, J. Walter Thompson’s Australia and New Zealand CEO.
“The Colloquial partnership between SJR and J. Walter Thompson is going to allow us to raise the bar both in terms of the quality and effectiveness of content marketing in Australia,” said Shipley. “I’m really excited by the chance to deliver a model than can quickly conceive and publish great content that gets read and shared for brands and businesses here.”
Khodr added: “I’ve made a career out of rising to big challenges in the evolving world of publishing. Brand Publishing is the next big frontier. It’s increasingly becoming the most important source of traffic generation, audience engagement and customer loyalty. The data proves it and I look forward to convincing Australian marketers to put their audience first.”