It’s Best Of The Best Consumer PRs, Presented By Finecast, Part Of GroupM Nexus

It’s Best Of The Best Consumer PRs, Presented By Finecast, Part Of GroupM Nexus

You’d be forgiven for thinking ad land existed as a self-sufficient bubble, apart from the rest of the world – but this is not the case. Outside of the industry lives another group of people (the ones that buy) – it is the great Australian public.

Consumer PRs are the brave folk of the industry who leave the bean bags and branded cocktails of adland to go and speak to the public.

These highly valuable individuals manage a company’s communication with the wider world – getting important messages out and carefully restoring a business’s image when things don’t quite go to plan.

So, without further ado, here are B&T’s top 10 consumer PRs!

Pssst like Best of the Best? You can check out the industry’s best developers here.

10. Ben Handberg, Head of PR – Howatson+Company

Prior to joining Howatson+Company in March last year, Handberg was head of consumer at DDB Group’s Mango Communications for five years. He worked across clients including Unilever, McDonald’s, Volkswagen, J&J, Amazon, Proximo Spirits and Ferrero, also leading PR for the award- winning Grave of Thrones for Foxtel and The Burnt Christmas Tree for the Australian Red Cross.

Very much a PR-hybrid, he has strong experience in making already brilliant creative work even harder in earned with his work being recognised at major award shows including Cannes, Effies, Spikes, and AWARD.

9. E-J (Emma-Jane) Granleese, Founder & CEO – History Will Be Kind

EJ Granleese set up History Will Be Kind (HWBK) in 2014. One of the faster-growing agencies in the country, HWBK has won a huge number of awards including Campaign Asia’s 2021 ANZ Boutique Agency of the Year, PRIA Golden Target: Midsize Agency of the Year, and, most importantly B&T PR Agency of the Year 2018.

A pioneer within the industry, Granleese has been shortlisted in, and won, multiple B&T Women in Media awards.

HWBK works with clients across FMCG, health, retail, travel & tourism, infrastructure, technology, non-profit, and entertainment.

8. Rob Lowe – Director and Co-founder of Poem

After holding a number of managerial positions at the industry’s hottest PR agencies – such as Eleven PR, One Green Been and Freud, Lowe decided to set up his own shop. Poem was born.

Since being launched in 2015 the boutique agency has won a slew of industry awards and is recognised as a leader in the field of PR.

A creative leader it has consistently expanded since its conception and recently announced a number of new hires.

7. Alexandra Bryant, Managing Director – Special PR Australia

It is little wonder Special nabbed Alexandra Bryant to lead their new PR business. 

Prior to taking the top job at Special PR Australia,  Bryant was managing partner consumer and brand at Red Havas AU. Here, she had national responsibility for Red Havas’ consumer and brand clients across PR, social, and creative including BIG W,, and William Grant & Sons. 

Bryant’s background includes roles as managing partner and creative principle at Finchco Agency, and three years as agency director at Map and Page partnering with clients such as Westpac, Menulog and Fujifilm Instax.

6. Elly Hewitt, CEO and Co-Founder – alt/shift/

Elly Hewitt is a formidable force of nature who has worked with some of the most powerful brands in the world. 

After a number of top leadership positions at DDB’s Mango Communications, Hewitt set up Alt/Shift with former Haystac founders, Anton Staindl and Richard Hayward. 

Since launching in 2016, Alt/Shift has gone from strength to strength and is now recognised as one of the leading independent PR agencies in Australia. 

She was also a 2022 scholar at the marketing academy.

5.  Vuki Vujasinovic, Founder & CEO – Sling & Stone

Vuki Vujasinovic set up Sling & Stone in 2010 with the hopes of building a new kind of PR agency from the ground up. The rest, as they say, is history. 

Sling & Stone has gone on to redefine the culture of PR agencies, winning a string of awards including the 2022 PRWeek’s Best Culture of the Year APAC, the 2020 Australasian Agency of the Year, and the Culture of the Year & ANZ Agency of the Year 2018.

Vujasinovic is a well-respected and passionate leader, driving the PR industry forward.

4. Tim Powell, Chief Public Relations Officer ANZ –  Dentsu Creative

If you have a communications problem, Tim Powell is your man. He has 30 years of experience in media, politics, public relations, and corporate affairs and currently heads Dentsu’s public relations arm in ANZ. 

He has an extensive track record in creating and building public relations agencies (Haystac, Cox Inall Communications, Cox Inall Ridgeway, and Cox Inall Change). He is also a  C-level advisor on corporate and consumer issues, public relations strategy, and crisis management and has Masters level qualifications in public affairs. He is also a fellow of the Public Relations Institute of Australia.

3. Krystyna Frassetto, Managing Director – M&C Saatchi Sport & Entertainment 

Krystyna Frassetto is the managing director of M&C Saatchi Sport & Entertainment – the PR agency within the world-famous M&C Saatchi Group. She has experience in PR, influencer marketing, social and digital, sponsorship and has worked at leading agencies including Weber Shandwick and We Are Social.

Any brand you can think of – Frassetto has likely worked with them. Her impressive roster includes brands such as Woolworths, Origin Energy, Commonwealth Bank, Optus, Samsung, Fiat Chrysler, Nespresso, Walt Disney and TAL.

2. Joanne Painter, Group Managing Director – Icon Agency

Joanne Painter is a PR powerhouse with more than 30 years of experience in communications. 

Like many of the best PRs (and B&T journalists may be biased here), Painter has traversed the well-trodden path from journalism to PR. Before founding Icon Agency with partner Chris Dodds, Joanne was an award-winning journalist and media commentator working on publications such as The Age

Since setting up Icon she has won a myriad of awards, she even won  PR Asia ‘Agency Leader of the Year’ in June 2022.

Painter is the former Victorian Chairperson of the PRIA Registered Consultancies Group, a member of the Public Relations Institute of Australia, and a member of the Australian Marketing Institute.

1. James Curtis, Head of Consumer PR & Influence – Sydney at Ogilvy Australia

James Curtis is a highly creative, strategic, and skilled PR leader with experience covering the full PR umbrella.

His experience covers digital strategy, social content, CSR, Crisis Communications, Media Relations, and Corporate Communications.

It is no wonder Ogilvy is so keen to hold onto him!

Since joining as an account director in February 2016, Curtis has received a string of promotions and was most recently named head of consumer PR and influence.










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Best of the best consumer PR

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