DB Awards 2016: a report on the winners

PR Company of the Year

DeussenWinner: Deussen Global Communications

Based in New York, Deussen Global Communications took on the challenging task of bringing China’s national spirit, baijiu, to western consumers this year. Its campaign to launch HKB Baijiu was commended by judges for being comprehensive and well executed, yielding impressive results within a “difficult category”.

Despite it being the largest spirit category in the word by value and by volume,

baijiu is largely unknown to western consumers, making the company’s achievements all the more impressive. As part of the campaign, the team targeted mixologists and key players within the industry to raise awareness of the spirit and overcome the “haters” to position baijiu as a spirit for “for sophisticated palates”.

While the success of PR campaigns can be difficult to measure, Deussen were praised for generating measurable success that resulted in widespread coverage in high profile titles including the Wall Street Journal and New York Times, as well as 90 further media placements, in the space of just 10 months. The campaign also generated 44 new accounts for HKB baijiu at New York bars. The campaign’s momentum has continued into 2016, with the number of feature stories featuring HKB expected to triple.

Judges described it as a “textbook campaign” that was not only successful in bringing HKB to a new market, but in demonstrating Deussen Global’s professionalism and effectiveness as a savvy PR company.

PhippsRunner-up: Phipps

Phipps’ high-profile roster of clients includes Wines of Germany, Matthew Clarke and Tio Pepe, who are managed by a highly experienced and capable team. While continuing to manage these clients, this year the team added to its portfolio Argentine wine producer Blends, and strengthened its presence within spirits with the addition of Portobello Road Gin. The team also launched a specialist digital division to offer clients greater integration across platforms.

While praising the team’s efforts to find new ways to evolve campaigns and attract new clients, judges were particularly impressed by their ability to retain existing clients – a good sign that they were continuing to provide a good level of service and dedication.

The shortlist:

• Clarion Communications
• Deussen Global Communications
• Phipps

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