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Ruder Finn Asia Named #1 in China by Clients for Performance and Contribution to Business Growth; Elan Shou, Asia Regional Director, Named Agency Leader of the Year in Asia

2019-01-08

Ruder Finn Asia (www.ruderfinnasia.com) has been named the #1 consultancy in China for Performance and Contribution to Client Business Growth in the R3 Worldwide China 2019 PR Scope Research (www.rthree.com). Additionally Elan Shou, Ruder Finn Asia’s Regional Director has been named Agency Leader of the Year in PublicAffairsAsia’s 2018 Gold Standard Awards (www.publicaffairsasia.com).

The 2019 R3 PR Scope Research interviewed more than 150 marketers and communications leaders in China and reviewed more than 170 agency relationships. R3 is a widely recognized industry benchmark on insights into the China marketing industry and performance of communications consultancies.

In the 2019 survey, Ruder Finn Asia was named #1 in China for “Agency Performance”. The firm also ranked #1 by clients for performance in the categories of “Makes a Positive Contribution to My Business Growth”, “Good Thinking Beyond Traditional PR Communications” and “Stable Account Team”. Overall China market perception of Ruder Finn was equally strong, with the firm ranked #1 for “Good Client Service”. Ruder Finn’s perception within the communications industry also reached new levels of success with agency professionals ranking the firm #1 in terms of “Perception Ranking” and “Total Awareness”.

“The R3 2019 PR Scope Study shows Ruder Finn gaining high levels of awareness and strong market perception in China, especially in the key areas of performance and contribution to client business growth,” the Managing Director of R3 China, Sabrina Lee, said.

In addition to high performance in the R3 Research, Ruder Finn Asia’s Regional Director Elan Shou was named Agency Leader of the Year for Professional Excellence at the 2018 PublicAffairsAsia Gold Standard Awards. Judged by top-level client- and consultancy-side industry professionals, the Gold Standard Awards recognise outstanding achievement in the communications industry in Asia-Pacific and the Middle East.

“2018 saw a record number of submissions across all categories and Elan Shou secured the award in a very competitive field,” Executive Director, PublicAffairsAsia, Craig Hoy, said. “This is a significant victory for both Elan and Ruder Finn Asia and demonstrates the high levels of respect the firm and its leadership have in the region.”

Elan Shou was appointed Regional Director, Asia-Pacific in January 2018, and she and her team have driven Ruder Finn’s business performance in Asia to achieve double digit growth in the last year.

“As the Ruder Finn China leader from 2011 to 2017, Elan Shou changed our business from a successful, but traditional, public relations agency into an Integrated Marketing powerhouse,” Ruder Finn CEO, Kathy Bloomgarden, said. “Elan charted a vision, which involves large-scale change, new thinking and behaviour and then structured and motivated her leadership and the entire team to deliver. She was the natural choice to become Ruder Finn’s Asia-Pacific Regional Director in January 2018 and I know she will continue to ensure our firm leads, grows and evolves. She is a remarkable woman, a terrific leader and an empowering colleague.”

Ruder Finn has also been recognized globally as Agency of the Year by PRNews, and has pioneered areas such as analytics, with the launch last year of a new predictive analytics tool called BEACON that integrates real-time social listening with real-world data. Ruder Finn has also been at the forefront of using Voice as a platform, with the development of the agency Alexa Skill “Kathy’s Thoughts” and the development of several Alexa Skills for blue-chip companies. The agency has also aggressively moved forward in using data and analytics to improve the employee and customer experience and build greater connections between consumers and brands.

“While I am delighted with the R3 results and Gold Standard Award, the real credit goes to our 470 exceptional colleagues across Asia-Pacific for delivering outstanding, business-building client work,” Elan Shou said. “Thanks to our amazing team, Ruder Finn’s business was completely re-engineered to pre-empt emerging market trends in 2018. At the heart of this change was placing Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC) at the centre of all client engagements. Our IMC model sees Ruder Finn delivering the complete arc of strategy, web, digital, online, media, social media and advertising capabilities for clients. We have also invested heavily in tailor-made research capabilities, ensuring all client campaigns are data-driven first, accelerated by strong creative and carefully measured for results, return and value. As the R3 and Public Affairs Asia Award confirm, Ruder Finn Asia now competes and wins against the ‘A-list’ of established advertising, digital and PR firms in China.”