HONG KONG--Fleishman-Hillard is launching its digital agency brand BlueCurrent in Hong Kong, with operations to be led by James Hacking and Max Sim.

Hacking and Sim shift over from roles as vice-presidents at F-H’s Hong Kong office. They take charge of an agency that has grown rapidly since launching in Japan in 2006, focusing on digital and word-of-mouth marketing.

In Hong Kong, BlueCurrent will offer a mix of search engine and social media strategies, including crisis management, reputation monitoring, SEO, media relations, content creation, influencer marketing and community management.

“Lots of clients talk about the need to embrace digital and social media, but few of them understand how to properly execute integrated strategies and, importantly, how it can help them get business results,” said Hacking. “We tend not to look at online and offline separately, but instead provide clients with innovative and integrated communications solutions that deliver concrete results. We’ve seen clients spend millions on marketing and offline PR only to neglect monitoring what’s happening in social media where many of their influencers reside.”

“Search engine marketing has long been considered a standalone discipline outside the realm of public relations, but in reality it is fundamental to the communications mix,” added Sim, who joined F-H in 2010 from News Corp. “More often than not, your audience reacts to a news announcement by going straight to a search engine using a laptop, iPad or mobile phone. Integrating search into their communications strategies from the outset gives clients more control over their brand’s reputation.”

Outside of Asia-Pacific, BlueCurrent is positioned as a creative boutique, headquartered in Dallas, Texas.