Migrants from South Africa create international comms agency

EditorNews Make a Comment

The decisions of two close friends to migrate to different parts of the world has, in the fullness of time, resulted in the creation of a multinational full-service public relations agency. 

The Mail Room Communications got its start in South Africa in 2006 with founding director Azelle Evans. At the same time, her friend Leandri Smith started up PR Republic, eventually selling that business and emigrating to New Zealand.

Now, with Evans herself migrating to Australia, the associates have put their heads together to create The Mail Room Communications, with operations and offices in each of the three Southern Hemisphere countries.

Smith, who upon arrival in New Zealand in 2011 spent four years as an account director for Pead PR, subsequently started and ran a Kiwi version of her successful South African business, also named PR Republic.

“When Azelle decided to move with her family to Australia, we had the brainwave of creating an international agency,” she told M+AD.

“After all, many clients operate across South Africa, New Zealand and Australia. That means we have a point of difference, with media contacts and first-hand knowledge of each of these markets. They may have commonalities, but they also have unique features.”

“When Azelle moves with her family to Australia, we had the brainwave of creating an international agency – after all, many clients operate across South Africa, NZ and Australia.”

PR Republic NZ has now merged into The Mail Room Communications, with clients including LayerX – vGRID, NZGBC, McLeod Duminy, North Port Events – Facilities Integrate, Fairway Bay and SPCA Blue Tick.

Evans, based in Perth, says Mail Room Communications SA has several multinational clients including Canon, EA and Sun International. “We’re going to build on this client portfolio in all three countries to create a multinational PR and integrated communications agency which is capable of supporting the growth ambitions of our clients.”

She adds that working with an agency which has feet on the ground in key geographies presents its clients with potential opportunities to collaborate on creative campaigns.

“We can apply international knowledge and expertise along with local insight where required. And by merging with Leandri’s already successful Kiwi business, The Mail Room hits the ground running, with a proven track record as a group.”

Smith has already rebranded PR Republic NZ to The Mail Room Communications, but the official launch of the multinational group and its associated commercial arrangements is scheduled for December 2017. Smith will serve as New Zealand director, with Evans acting as Australia and South Africa director.

Smith said: “It was Azelle’s decision to move to Australia that sparked the idea of becoming one big agency. It makes sense to have a presence in South Africa, Australia and New Zealand. We’re going to build on the current success of both businesses and launch Australia with a strong drive to get all three branches running successfully.

“And who knows where it will go from there.”

Share this Post