We’re having a collective digital “cheers” to the 2019 Bespoke Communications Awards winners over the next few weeks.
First up, we’re chatting with Hawkins International, our Agency of the Year.
With deep expertise in hotel and resort public relations, wellness, beauty, luxury, and lifestyle public relations, our judges were impressed with agency growth, culture and of course, client wins.
How does it feel to win agency of the year? How are you going to celebrate with your team?
Being recognized by peers is always a tremendous honor. Our awesome team puts so much energy and hard work into servicing our clients and they put a lot of work into making our agency a vibrant place to work at. Our clients have been so great — they have lavished us with love when they heard – and it feels really special. We plan to celebrate with a festive summer picnic in Central Park, logging off our devices and goofing off with each other.
In your eyes, what sets Hawkins International apart from other agencies?
We have a genuine appreciation and passion for the travel industry and we have a solid team that is so supportive of one another. We have low attrition because we build in opportunities for growth for people’s careers but also for what they can learn and do within a small business. We are dedicated to building equally robust relationships with our clients and the media alike. We have different experts across the agency from wellness to thought leadership, from digital to finance and I could not be prouder. Everyone brings something special to the dynamic of the agency. We have a lot of trainings and outings, which adds to the sense that we want leverage people’s craving to learn and tap into their curiosity and creativity.
How does your team plan to tackle the rest of 2019? What are a few things you’d like to focus on?
For the rest of the year, we plan to focus on growing the business and growing our staff’s skills through training and development. We seem to be pitching new business almost every day – it’s an exciting time for us. We plan to see an uptick in new clients from the APAC region specifically Australia, China, Thailand and the Pacific Rim.
What is your team most excited about right now in terms of industry trends, campaigns you are working on, etc.?
We are fortunate because we have a global client base so we do have a unique perspective on trends happening worldwide in the luxury, hospitality, and wellness industry. From hotels, resorts, spas, cruise lines, adventure travel, destinations and major hotel brands, we see a lot of innovation coming out of the travel industry. One of our clients, La Compagnie, a business class French airline, is celebrating its fifth year anniversary this year and will be doing some amazing promotions we can’t even talk about yet. They are known for $1,000 roundtrip flights between New York and Paris. Loews Hotels has revamped its kid’s program with the launch of Loews Loves Families and a new summer Family Road Trip travel deal. We’re excited to see how more and more travelers are asking for wellness offerings while clients are offering more and more wellness programs. Carillon Miami is offering new non-invasive Jeuveau injectables as a new treatment at the spa (the largest spa in the East Coast at 70,000 sq. ft.!), allowing Carillon Miami guests to be some of the first ever to experience the cutting-edge non-invasive injectable brand. We’re excited to see the wellness industry is rapidly growing. According to the Global Wellness Institute, the “wellness tourism” market grew from $539 billion in 2015 to $639 billion in 2017 – more than twice the rate of general tourism – and it’s forecast to reach $919 billion through 2022.
There are fewer true editorial media outlets – and fewer journalists – and more and more opportunities to be discovered that straddle media and marketing. We will see more niche publications and targeted partnerships, much like the Hawaii and Barry’s Bootcamp partnership we just saw recently – everyone is trying to build on each other in a positive way.
Do you have any new or exciting changes happening at Hawkins?
We launched our West Coast Office last year, as well as our first ever Well Intell, so of course, this year we had to try something else new. We had our first ever company wide Client Showcase that we call ‘ All in the Details’ this March and are planning for this interactive event in 2020 as well. We will also have a big new announcement by Q3 of 2019 to announce. So please tune in for the exciting details!
What can we expect from PR agencies in the future.
PR agencies are only getting more necessary for our clients (top brands) to employ so they can cut through the clutter to target the just-right media. There are less and less real media outlets – and fewer journalists – and more and more opportunities to be discovered that straddle media and marketing. We will see more niche publications and targeted partnerships, much like the Hawaii and Barry’s Bootcamp partnership we just saw recently – everyone is trying to build on each other in a positive way. We love watching these partnerships grow and we expect even more of these will continue to pop up. Of course, social digital will continue to evolve and we’ll all just have to be prepared to pivot and explore those platforms and figure out how best to advise our clients.
Anything else you’d like us to know?
I am very grateful to my incredibly hard working, fun-loving, brass-ring grabbing team! It motivates me everyday to come to the office, do my best for them and watch and learn from some of the most kick-ass PR people out there. Our clients are second-to none and we wouldn’t be where we are without the top-drawer, savvy brands we work with. We are so appreciative and grateful to have received this recognition by PR Couture. It’s an honor every day to work alongside such smart and intelligent people who are also caring and kind. Its the balance we all strive for!