Agata Kenna was a respected vice president of corporate communications in the Sydney office of Weber Shanwick before launching DEC Communications in August of 2008. Her partner, Liberty Lee, another Weber Shandwick veteran, had just been named Media magazine’s PR Professional of the Year. They sought to position DEC as “a creative boutique with business smarts,” working across both consumer and corporate accounts, delivering the quality of strategic thinking associated with larger, global agencies, but without the bureaucracy and with an added focus on customer service (including a senior level team that partners with the client throughout the relationship) and bold creative solutions.
The firm has quickly grown to about 14 people, with key additions including Michael Henderson, a veteran of Australian agencies Spectrum Communications, Blackie McDonald and Gotley; Nix Evans, who joined as chief executive and head of the firm’s new digital offer, and senior consultancy Lauren Taylor, who joined from Hill & Knowlton.
While the firm has three major divisions—consumer, corporate and now digital—it offers a broad range of services, including issues management and crisis preparedness, events, spokesperson engagement and training, sponsorship maximization, and internal communications. Clients include EA Games and Pedigree Mars in the consumer realm, a variety of real estate and construction companies (including Charterhall and MacQuarie Group) in its corporate practice. Interesting assignments ranged from launching the inaugural service for Delta Airlines, to supporting EA Games in Australia and New Zealand, to helping to promote the government’s Aboriginal Employment Strategy by persuading businesses to focus on indigenous candidates.
The firm’s principals have considerable international experience, and several assignments have included helping clients develop communications strategies for the Asia-Pacific region. The firm could consider expansion into other Australian markets and beyond in the coming months.—PH