PR Edge, a division of CHE Proximity, has snagged Nichola Patterson for the newly created position of National Managing Director.
Patterson joins PR Edge after running her own PR agency, Propeller, for the past nine years, which has now been acquired by the Clemenger Group, a longstanding client of Propeller.
During that time, her business has won international awards (including Cannes and Clio) for its work on clients including Snickers, the Transport Accident Commission, Australia Post, Earth Hour and Yellow Pages. Propeller has also worked with Sensis, Qantas, White Pages, BP, RSPCA, CUB and iSelect.
Patterson’s first order of business has been to reposition the agency as a data-led PR business.
“I’ve been given a mandate to create the PR agency of the future. I’ve watched CHEP do exactly that in the advertising industry and I’m excited to be able to bring that intelligence to PR Edge,” Patterson said.
“We’re going to be putting science and methodology behind everything we do. We will use data to better understand, target and assess the impact of influence on our audience. Our campaigns will work harder and be more measureable.”
CHE Proximity CEO Chris Howatson advocated the role of data planning to create more commercially sensitive and customer-relevant activity.
“There’s no excuse for agencies of any discipline to ignore the power of data in enabling a richer understanding of the customer,” he said.
“PR is not immune to media fragmentation and the increasing importance of paid in amplifying earned activity. By embedding data at the heart of PR Edge we’re ensuring the discipline can justify the value of its contribution, when compared to other marketing efforts.”
Patterson is a Board member of the Snowdome Foundation, winner of the 2016 Telstra Business Awards inaugural Charity of the Year award. Until recently, she sat on the Victorian PRIA council. Before moving into PR, she was a journalist and producer at the ABC.
Fee Townshend, formerly the managing director of PR Edge Melbourne, has since moved on to a new gig at Eleven PR as MD, Melbourne.