WPP AUNZ digital agency DT has joined forces with its sister public relations agency Cannings to create an issues and crisis management division, called Scout.
Scout will draw expertise from the two agencies to provide clients with an integrated strategic and digital approach to crisis communications.
Scout will combine digital media, search, social and marketing technologies with corporate communications and traditional media strategy. Its services will include crisis communication planning, simulation training, and real-time digital response and reputation recovery plans.
The division will be led by founders Renee Bertuch, managing director of Cannings and Saul Flores, chief strategic officer of DT. It launches with a core team of four, however, it will have access to a combined staff of 250 people across the Asia-Pacific region.
The move is a response to the increasing need for strategic digital responses to crisis communications, particularly in the social media dominated environment where an issue can spread faster and further than traditional channels.
Renée Bertuch, managing director of Cannings Corporate Communications, said, “Reputation is an increasingly high value asset; the pendulum of public sentiment is quick to swing in an increasingly 24-7 digital world and the responsibilities of management and Boards are open to scrutiny by a broader range of stakeholders than ever before.”