Agency Profile: Upcycle Communications (Singapore)

Agency Profile: Upcycle Communications (Singapore)

Telum is looking to highlight the diverse and vibrant agencies in the Southeast Asian PR agency landscape in upcoming editions of our PR Alert. We want to encourage networking, business opportunities, and to celebrate the great initiatives being worked on around the region. If you'd like your agency to feature, get in touch.

What services does Upcycle Communications offer?
We help clients communicate their purpose clearly and effectively to make a difference for their business and their communities. We cover everything from traditional PR and media relations, as well as social strategy and content creation, influencer relations, key messaging and copywriting, media training, partnership marketing and more.

What size is the agency?
We are a small but mighty multicultural team of seven. Our clients range from large multinational groups to independent local brands. Our practice is largely in the lifestyle consumer space, with a skew towards sustainability and a passion for CSR. 

Where does Upcycle Communications have an office?
When we are not working from home, you can find us at Found8 on Amoy Street, but will be moving to The Great Room’s newest location in the Greenmark Platinum and LEED Platinum ecological certified Afro Asia building. We are very excited that our new home comes with such a strong sustainability focus.

Do you have a particular area of focus?
Our sweet spot is the intersection between lifestyle and business. We maximise awareness and engagement for clients that have a strong lifestyle consumer relevance but want to build their corporate profile. We work with inspiring design-led brands, conservation experts, property and co-working companies, cult beauty and homeware, food delivery services, alternative proteins and luxury products and more. Our agile, tailored approach means there is no ‘one size fits all’ solution, we devise strategies and solutions based on business needs.

Who is the founder and why did they start the agency? Tell us about the leadership team. 
Previously known as The Mango Agency, we were focused on the travel and tourism industry and when the realities of COVID hit Singapore in March 2020, we knew we had to diversify our client base and quickly. By the end of 2020, we had undertaken a management buyout led by Asia Director Jennifer Dembitz, and a rebrand - the name is a nod to our need to constantly innovate and ‘upcycle’ ourselves.

It also reflects a shift in our values and mission - we started working more with purpose-driven and sustainability-related brands, launching the MINI Electric vehicle in the middle of lockdown, commencing work with social enterprise and plant-based powerhouse Green Monday, and working with Eat Just to promote Good Meat, the world’s first regulatory-approved cultured chicken.

Co-founders Jennifer Dembitz and Andrea Seifert have both worked in Singapore for a decade and first met as colleagues at a boutique publishing house in 2013. Jennifer’s 20 years of experience spans New York and Singapore on both the agency side and in-house, with a speciality in F&B and hospitality. Andrea’s multi-cultural background and experience in London, Hong Kong and Singapore encompasses travel, F&B, and luxury lifestyle brands.

What is next for Upcycle Communications? What is the five-year goal?
We are focused on becoming Singapore’s most thoughtful, tailored, and transformational communications agency delivering meaningful storytelling and cause-driven marketing.

Growing our portfolio of clients, continuing to build our network of strategic agency partnerships to build our geographical and skills-based scope is an ongoing priority. Ultimately, we want to work with like-minded clients and forge long-term relationships where we challenge each other and create great work that drives positive change.

Creating learning, upskilling, and training opportunities for our growing team, and deepening our knowledge of the sustainability sector are priorities for us. Most importantly, we want to be inspired to work hard each day and have fun! It has been a challenging year, but one with many silver linings and exciting opportunities.

In a sentence, describe your ideal relationship with a journalist. 
Collaborative, dynamic and mutually respectful.

Tell us about a campaign you are currently working on or are particularly proud of.
We are very proud to have been part of global food history with Eat Just, raising awareness about how our eating habits can impact climate change, and educating media and consumers on cultured meat, a novel concept for many. The alternative protein space is fascinating and gaining so much traction and attention globally, we also really enjoy our ongoing work with Green Monday, who advocate for plant-based living. On World Oceans Day in July we launched their new line of sustainable seafood alternatives, OmniSeafood.
 
Any key PR trends your agency is keeping an eye on?
  • Omnichannel campaigns that incorporate AR and VR elements - this will continue to accelerate in our socially distant times. Consumers love digitally amplified experiential content that gives them a taster of the brand. Anything gamified on social.
  • Content is king - even smaller companies are setting aside investment in optimising and refining content based on analytics and targeted distribution.
  • Authenticity, connection, and long-term brand building. Consumers today are seeking meaning and purpose from the brands they interact with and can sniff out greenwashing and hard sales tactics a mile away.

What skill sets do you look for in new hires?
A proven track record of strategic smarts and multi-disciplinary experience is ideal - basically someone who can develop creative ideas and get results that impact the client’s bottom line. We look for candidates with strong people skills and a good heart as client relationships are key to success. Polished writing and solid time / project management are both key across all levels. Respect and integrity are core to our company culture, as is a curious nature and innovative mindset. Upcyclers must be open, flexible and comfortable with ongoing change!

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