Asia. Ruder Finn announced today it has acquired the China business of Kyodo Public Relations, including its operations in Beijing and Shanghai. A long-term partner of Ruder Finn, Kyodo PR is one of Japan’s oldest and largest independent consultancies and the first PR agency to be listed on JASDAQ, the Japanese securities exchange.
Over the last 10 months, Ruder Finn has been aggressively expanding its Greater China operations, first with the acquisition in October 2014 of the Asia-Pacific portfolio of SharpeLankester, an international consultancy specializing in reputation management, crisis communications and investor relations, followed by the establishment of sister company, RF Thunder Hong Kong in January and RF Thunder Beijing in April. Ruder Finn’s China operations have shown financial, client, new business and operational growth with year-on-year revenues increasing double digit and profits by 42 percent.
The new company, RF Kyodo, will be based in Shanghai and will also have an office in Beijing. RF Kyodo will leverage the strengths and expertise of two of the biggest independent PR companies in Asia to create a flow of mutual business referrals in the two largest Asian markets.
RF Kyodo will service Japanese companies in China as well as Kyodo China’s existing clients, which include some of the biggest corporations in Japan. Jefferson Hou, a PR veteran from Ruder Finn Shanghai, has been appointed General Manager of RF Kyodo, overseeing its operations in China and integrating the team from Kyodo China into Ruder Finn.
Kyodo PR first established Kyodo China in Shanghai in 2006 and opened another office in Beijing the same year. Ruder Finn and Kyodo PR have worked together on global and regional projects for over a decade until 2011 when the two agencies signed an agreement to use each other’s specialized expertise and long-term experience to establish a global network and trans-regional cooperation.
Jean-Michel Dumont, Ruder Finn Asia Chairman said, “There are currently geo-political and economic challenges in the Sino-Japanese relationship, resulting in a drop in mutual investment. This has created specific challenges for corporations carrying out business in the two countries. We believe that a stronger Ruder Finn Kyodo partnership and the establishment of a strategic consultancy will best support our clients.”
Takashi Kamimura, Kyodo PR’s President and CEO, said, "RF Kyodo is the result of the collaboration between top independent agencies that originate from the world's first and third largest economies, USA and Japan. We've combined high quality services with market expertise and deep insights in order to take our clients to the next level in the world's number two economy. We believe this new agency will help improve PR industry standards in China.”
Kathy Bloomgarden, Global CEO, Ruder Finn, said, “As a company co-headquartered in China with over 25 years of experience in the country, we’ve developed numerous strengths and gained diverse experiences that have allowed us to thrive in the region. This integration of Kyodo’s China assets gives us a unique ability to support Japanese clients gain greater insights into the Chinese market, as well as strengthen our reputation in the Asia-Pacific region. After a phenomenal year of global double-digit growth in 2014, we’re on track for continued growth this year as we strategically expand our business offerings and client portfolio around the world.”
About Kyodo Public Relations Co., Ltd.
Established in 1964, Kyodo Public Relations Co., Ltd. is one of Japan’s oldest and largest independent public relations agencies. It employs over 200 communications professionals and support staff to provide full communications services, including overall counseling, media relations and promotional marketing support activities to Japanese and multinational clients across all industries. Moreover and in close collaboration with leading public relations agencies in the US, Europe, and Asia, Kyodo PR also serves its clients in international markets using its established network of partner agencies which includes Ruder Finn.