After a period of senior-level management instability, The Hoffman Agency appears to have found its groove once again under the leadership of Beijing-based veteran Chris Tang. Revenues have grown by 32 per cent over the past 12 months, with China in particular forecast to surge by 61 per cent in 2010.
In this, Tang has been assisted by an offering that is a little different from many other firms. Born in California, The Hoffman Agency’s tech-sector leanings are no secret, and it continues to count high-level relationships with Google, YouTube, Docomo, Symantec and SAP. More importantly, perhaps, founder Lou Hoffman has leveraged the firm’s continuing independence to drive an entrepreneurial culture that aims to place a premium on storytelling capabilities. A single regional P&L also remains a relatively unique point of difference.
The agency’s regional leadership team has remained largely unruffled over the past two years, with the only significant hire being Yonnie Woo to head up Korea. New business included Fujitsu, Black & Veatch, Symantec and Jabra, along with two confidential, lucrative public sector assignments in Japan and Hong Kong, respectively. A focus on social media has helped spur growth and should not raise eyebrows; after all Hoffman remains one of a handful of global PR agencies trusted enough to handle business for Google.
“Hoffman was here to help us when Google started its operations in Asia, and it continues to work with us in various countries across the region,” explains Google Japan and Asia-Pacific director of corporate communications and public affairs, Jessica Powell. “Thanks, in part, to their efforts, Google enjoys greater brand awareness and media interest, pushing greater user and media engagement with our brand and products.”
In 2009, one of the firm’s key assignments involved the launch of Google’s controversial StreetView service in Singapore, Hong Kong and Japan.—AS