This quote from John F. Kennedy is one of my favorites and definitely relevant to the Agency’s trajectory.
Last year was the first time in our history that all geographies — Asia, the U.S. and Europe — generated double-digit growth. From this position of strength, we’ve made several recent changes, including the hiring of Mark Pinsent, whose pedigree blends PR and content marketing, as our European managing director.
Today, we’re announcing that Caroline Hsu has taken the reins of our Asia Pacific operation as AP managing director.
You have to rewind the tape to the early 2000s to when the Agency first crossed paths with Caroline. Back then, she was starting her career at a Taiwanese PR company called ERA, pioneering the tech PR industry in the local market. We had forged a partnership with ERA in 1994. Over time Heather and I became friends with ERA’s founder, Olive Ting, and her husband, Stone. The shot below shows Heather and Olive during a vacation to Taipei.
After her stint at ERA, Caroline turned her attention to the in-house side where she served as our client contact at Google and, more recently, as the CMO at startup client, Appier.
Which brings us to today and the hiring of Caroline.
.There’s no such thing as a communications consultancy maintaining the status quo. Either a consultancy is advancing or losing ground. Caroline is definitely the type of leader who is going to take the hill, secure it and move on to the next hill.
Toward this end, her client-side experience will help us in shaping campaigns that address business pain points, not just generate media clips. She knows these pain points because she lived them.
I also think Caroline’s immersion in the startup culture will serve us well. An increasing number of Asian entrepreneurs are starting their companies in Asia, not the U.S. President Trump’s “deft touch” on immigration has only accelerated the trend. This plays into one of Caroline’s strengths and puts us in a better position to capture opportunities where we can make a meaningful — and satisfying — difference in the client’s business.
It should be fun, rain or shine.
The official news release follows:
The Hoffman Agency Announces New Managing Director for Asia Pacific
HONG KONG, May 23, 2017 — The Hoffman Agency, a communications consultancy, today announced that Caroline Hsu has taken on the role of Asia Pacific managing director.
Hsu returns to the consultancy world after 20 years of experience in marketing, communications and branding. She recently served as chief marketing officer of Appier, a technology company that makes it easy for businesses to use artificial intelligence to grow and succeed in a cross screen world. Before joining Appier, Hsu was head of communications for Google Taiwan and Hong Kong. Previously she led marketing communications at TomTom Asia and Dopod (now HTC), as well as brand communications at BenQ. She started her career as a journalist in the United States before joining EraOgilvy, a global PR agency now under the WPP Group.
“From an industry perspective, we are at a tipping point of change in the branding consultancy industry. More and more clients are looking to work with brand consultants that better understand their business pain points,” said Caroline Hsu, managing director, Asia Pacific. “With my experience from the client side, I have the insights to lead the team in taking an integrated marketing communications approach to solving our clients’ business problems and further build brand momentum.”
“As my passion is to help Asian brands go global, I see The Hoffman Agency stands at a unique position to develop solutions not just from a communications perspective, but also what goes into pushing the boulder up the mountain for startups,” adds Hsu. “I am very excited to be joining the Hoffman family, and I look forward to taking a global agency’s Asian operations to the next level of growth.”
The Hoffman Agency generated record global revenue in 2016 at US$11.3M with over 50 percent of the revenue coming from its Asia Pacific operation that includes offices in China, Hong Kong, Japan, Korea and Singapore.
“Helping our clients succeed in today’s environment requires more than news releases and media stories,” said Lou Hoffman, CEO of The Hoffman Agency. “We need to understand our clients’ business pain points and shape campaigns that build the brand as well as deliver air cover for sales.
“Caroline’s perspective from the client side and deep experience in digital marketing speaks to this very point.”
Hsu will be based in Hong Kong, succeeding Cassandra Cheong who moves back to Singapore and her consulting practice. Hoffman noted that Cheong’s many achievements leading the Asia Pacific team included double-digit growth last year and retooling the firm’s China team.
One of the few independent PR consultancies with global reach, The Hoffman Agency brings the best of both worlds to its clients — the high touch of a boutique, with the sophistication in services associated with the mega shops. The Agency, which celebrates its 30-year anniversary later this year, operates nine offices across Europe, the U.S. and Asia.