Meet Pead PR’s new digital leaders

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NZ brand-building public relations & digital agency Pead PR has made two key appointments to further bolster its credentials as a digital content specialist.

They have promoted Gemma Parry to head of content, while Steffen Rusten joins the company as head of digital & social. “Together, the two reflect the bold new direction in which Pead PR is leading the industry,” says Pead MD Sarah Munnik.

“A seasoned international content professional, Parry brings enthusiasm to the role along with an enviable track record delivering strategic content campaigns for clients both locally, in the United Kingdom and Europe, while Rusten’s substantial credentials include a being part of Uber’s New Zealand launch team,” Munnik said.

“Parry joined Pead PR in January 2018 as lifestyle account director and has quickly established a reputation for stand-out work. As head of content, she offers a breadth of experience which is invaluable in guiding Pead PR’s content output.

“Rusten returns to Aotearoa from South-East Asia, to add significant digital and social skills to the team, with a focus on strategy, innovation and business operations.”

He most recently founded, operated, and then sold growth consultancy STB Collaborations.

“Steffen’s diverse work experience at a senior level brings sought-after capabilities in digital, social and consulting to the agency,” says Munnik. “He adds an exciting dimension to our resources in the digital space.”

“It was a no-brainer to go with the best PR agency in NZ, which also has strong female leadership.”

Before joining Pead, Parry did “the big OE” in London for several years, delivering content results for high-profile brands including P&O Cruises, Twitter and Sainsbury’s as well as a stint at Hangar Seven, a specialist content creation agency, delivering creative end-to-end solutions for some of the UK’s top retailers.

“I wanted to work for an agency with an integrated communication offering, as integration is the key to success these days,” she said. “And Pead’s reputation stands out; it was a no-brainer to go with the best PR agency in NZ, which also has strong female leadership.

Content still queen
Content is still queen, she notes. “Online content is growing exponentially. It’s estimated that in 2018, people will spend an average of 9.73 hours on personal media every day. Whether that’s watching Netflix, listening to podcasts or scrolling through Instagram, it’s all content we are consuming.

“But contrary to popular belief, attention spans aren’t getting shorter, if anything they’re getting longer. People binge watch entire seasons of House of Cards and Love Island online, but the key here is that it’s relevant.

“In this content-saturated world, people get to be picky about what they consume, so you have to give your audience something they actually want to engage with.”

Rusten views the evolution of Pead PR as an exciting challenge. “We have a team made up of Aotearoa’s best storytellers and relationship builders. It’s not often you have the chance to join a team like this and add another dimension by taking ownership of its digital and social strategy.”

Before taking on the startup scene in Asia and founding his own agency, Steffen Rusten was deeply involved in the local launch of Uber, serving as demand manager for the ubiquitous international ride sharing company.

He launched GE NZ’s social strategy and delivered record digital campaigns and product innovations for the TAB. He also spent time as strategy manager for Playbasis in Thailand, where he delivered gamification-driven engagement strategies for multinational banking and telecommunications providers.

“Ultimately Digital and Social in 2018 is less about technical detail, and more about finding the best ways to engage consumers in the ways they want to be engaged,” he says. Pead PR are uniquely equipped to do this.”

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