Ogilvy PR Australia has strengthened its social and digital team, social@Ogilvy, with three senior appointments.
Mike Watkins joins as social strategy director, Nick Strine as content team lead and Chris Dowling as digital producer. The appointments complete the team tasked with growing and developing the agency’s social and digital offerings for its five specialist PR firms – Howorth, Pulse, Ogilvy PR Health, Ogilvy PR Melbourne and Ogilvy Corporate (Parker & Partners and Ogilvy Impact).
Ogilvy PR’s head of digital, Craig Page, said the proven expertise and skills in the new hires forms a strong springboard from which the team can launch a broader and more disruptive social and digital approach for the Ogilvy PR group, as well as its own clients within social@Ogilvy.
“Our vision is to provide a social and digital service that integrates seamlessly with our clients’ communications programs, to provide genuine value and demonstrably drive audience behavior change,” said Page.
“Having invested for many years in social media and content, these three new hires mean Ogilvy PR is well placed to provide more value to current and future clients with broader digital solutions that have earned media attention at the heart, but also leverage owned platforms and paid media to deliver meaningful results.”
The hires will further strengthen the social@Ogilvy offer and build on the success the agency has had in the past year with a number of new digital and social product innovations, including the 24 hour social newsroom product Content24, the integrated digital measurement suite Impact4 and the in-house Content Team.
An early pioneer of Facebook marketing, Watkins is one of the most accomplished and recognised social strategists in the country, previously working for his own consultancy Mudo Media, where he delivered award-winning strategy for SUPRÉ, Taronga Zoo, Commonwealth Bank, Virgin Mobile, Vodafone and Fox Sports. He has also lectured for the Australian Communications Councils’ Adschool unit for the past four years.
“I have been waiting for an opportunity to provide something genuinely next level when it comes to social marketing, and the vision at Ogilvy PR is exactly that,” said Watkins. “I’m excited to be working with a very diverse and agile team to both create great ideas and deliver them in ways that drive business results.”
Strine was most recently art director at TheFARM digital, and during his 16-year design career has worked across a highly diverse range of disciplines and client verticals. It is his unique balance of digital design ability and creative talent that fits the bill in this new role.
“It’s not often you get a chance to be part of such a talented team that genuinely integrates creative and strategic thinking end to end. We’re all big believers that silos in agency processes are inefficient artefacts of the past, so I’m looking forward to thinking creatively not only in terms of the ideas, but also the approaches we take to come up with them.”
Formerly from the web team at Virgin Mobile, Dowling brings the team a diverse mix of digital production skills and technical design expertise.
Commenting on the move Dowling said, “I’m very excited to be part of the vision for the team here at Ogilvy PR. It’s definitely something refreshingly different and our unique way of approaching problems will give us an edge in the competitive agency environment.”
Kieran Moore, CEO of Ogilvy Public Relations Australia, said: “These new hires significantly bolster our already strong digital and social capability. The appetite for our clients to see PR-led digital and social campaigns is driving significant growth across our business, and we’re excited by the opportunity to further transform our offer with these three new hires.”