The next evolution for Strut Creative? Public Relations
October 22, 2013 | Rebecca Harris | Comments
Calgary-based Strut Creative has added public relations to its in-house services.
The company, which bills itself as a technology and communications agency, hired PR consultant Bonnie Elgie in the newly created role of communications and PR strategist. Elgie had collaborated with Strut on various projects over the last 10 years.
PR is the latest strategic shift for the 25-person shop, which embarked on a transformation five years ago. Since then, it’s added a web-technology team of programmers, front-end developers, content management and system specialists.
“We realized that bringing more key players on [digital] projects in-house allowed us to think more holistically about the campaigns and platforms we were building,” said Aaron Salus, founder and managing director of Strut. “I think the next evolution of that is PR. Our clients have very sophisticated communications needs. And more and more, we’re being called upon to plan and execute complex, multi-channel campaigns and engagement initiatives.”
Chris McPhail, accounts director and partner at Strut, said the agency believes public relations needs to be at the table with clients right from the initial planning stage. “PR is a critical aspect of strategy development,” he said.
In addition to hiring Elgie, Strut Creative has also added three new staff members on the creative side. Amanda Ho, Tina Leuthe and Danae Thompson joined the agency as senior designers. Ho comes from Alberta Ballet, Leuthe was previously at DDB Interone (Germany) and Thompson was at the Calgary Herald’s Swerve magazine.
Two account managers have also joined the team: Kara-Joy Pearson, formerly of Publicis in London, U.K.; and Steve McKenna, who has experience in marketing and real estate.
The hires are a result of new business and just good timing. “We have people coming to us fairly regularly [looking for opportunities] and it just happened that on the one hand, we needed to ramp up and on the other hand, we found some really spectacular people,” said Salus. “So the two things kind of came together.”
On the new business front, Strut was hired earlier this year to complete a corporate identity refresh for FirstEnergy Capital, an investment dealer in the energy sector. Strut is also working with Bowen, a workforce solutions company, to refresh its brand, collateral and website, as well as develop a mobile app. Oil and gas company PetroBakken Energy hired Strut for a rename and rebrand, as the company is no longer majority owned by PetroBank Energy and Resources. The company is now known as Lightstream Resources.