EBA Communications, which started life as Euan Barty Associates and re-branded in June of last year, was one of the first technology-focused public relations firms in Asia and is still—20 years later—probably the largest locally-based technology PR firm, even as it has expanded its client base in recent years to include companies from the automotive, aviation, manufacturing, travel and tourism, retail and lifestyle sectors.
Barty, who is still the majority shareholder in the firm, was previously managing director of Computerworld in Asia, a vantage point from which the absence of a specialist technology PR firm in the region was apparent, and he assembled a team with considerable experience in IT journalism, an approach that earned EBA the trust of technology and business reporters who respect the firm’s knowledge and integrity. While its services now include a wide range of capabilities—from brand strategy to collateral production to market access counsel in China—it continues to be best known for its media expertise, to the extent that reporters often call seeking client comments.
Another key to the firm’s success is its ability to retain staff in a market where high levels of turnover are the norm. Group general manager Claudia Choi, who took over as chief executive in 2006, has been with the firm for 15 years as has account director Brian Paterson; group director of business development Andy Wong has 10 years of experience with the firm; China country manager Hellen Tan rejoined in 2006 but has spent seven years with EBA in two stints; and Hong Kong country manager Howard Jones is the relative newcomer of the group, with just five years at EBA under his belt.
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