Racheal Lee
Aug 20, 2013

Grayling to grow businesses in Asia, USA: global CEO

SINGAPORE - PR agency Grayling hopes to expand its business in Asia and the United States through new leadership, training and partnerships to cope with the growth in trade and commerce in the two regions.

Pedersen: Staff to be more digitally-focused
Pedersen: Staff to be more digitally-focused

Pete Pedersen, global CEO at Grayling, said it sees more growth in these two regions in the next six months, which would significantly increase the revenue contribution to the group’s overall revenue.

Currently, some 65 per cent of its total revenue comes from Europe, and he noted the growth potentials in Asia and the United States.

“We plan to grow in those markets by having new leaders that will be announced soon, as well as new partnerships such as the one with technology company BlueFocus,” he told Campaign Asia-Pacific. “We want to connect the dots between the companies within the network and different offices to work as a team with shared culture, clients and value.”

Pedersen was appointed as global CEO in Grayling in February, after nearly 20 years at Edelman where he was a leading member of the executive team on key accounts such as Microsoft and Xbox, before becoming global chair of the Edelman Technology Practice.

BlueFocus has made a US$56-million investment in PR and healthcare communications specialist Huntsworth, the parent company of Grayling, in April. The group’s other global brands in the region also include Huntsworth Health and Citigate.

Bob Pickard, formerly Asia-Pacific CEO of Burson-Marsteller, was recently appointed to the newly created position of chief executive officer for Asia-Pacific. To be effective January 2014, the appointment will see him playing a central role in the strategic alliance with BlueFocus.

Pedersen said training, especially in the areas of social and digital, will be given to Grayling staff globally for them to be more digitally focused. The agency is also looking to invest in different skill sets, such as creative, video, production and media, to equip the staff.

“Clients look at the idea and they don’t care where it comes from,” he added. “It is about efficiency, how to develop content and make it work across all channels.”

In Asia, Grayling has offices in markets such as China, Singapore, Hong Kong and Bangkok.

While developments and trends in Asia vary in different markets, Pedersen observed that the way multinationals design their products have changed, and the region is shaping the communication landscape.

“Innovative and creative [work] will come from Asia, while communication creative device from Asia will have profound impact globally,” he added. “There is also a shift in language and culture. Now you can see western families teaching Mandarin to their kids and cultural export will start shifting.”

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