Cerebra acquires Emerging Media Communications

We are incredibly excited to announce that Emerging Media and Cerebra are joining forces to bring the awesome! I'll write a more detailed personal post in the next few days, but here is the official press release:

Cerebra acquires Emerging Media Communications

Specialist social media agency, Cerebra today announced that it has acquired independent public relations (PR) agency, Emerging Media Communications for an undisclosed amount. An increasing demand for combined PR and social media services, due to the natural progression of the online space has driven Cerebra's decision to broaden their service offering. Cerebra will retain all Emerging Media clients and staff, who will now operate as Cerebra PR.

The move comes in the wake of a rapidly changing social media and PR landscape, where the roles of the two communication practises are becoming increasingly intertwined. “We feel that the local PR industry has generally misunderstood the role it should be playing for the brands it represents,” says Mike Stopforth, founder and chief executive officer at Cerebra. “Many local PR companies have deviated from the core PR function of building and sustaining strong media, company stakeholder and target market relationships, to simply operating as publicity churn machines. However, Emerging Media has worked hard at differentiating themselves by staying true to this relationship-centric PR approach, building a successful business based on the powerful media relationships it holds in the vertical markets within which it operates. This is what made them such an attractive acquisition target for us.

“As such, we felt their core business principles and PR practises would translate extremely well into the social media world, as the number of online influencers rapidly expands to include journalists, bloggers, everyday citizens and other influential members of society,” continues Stopforth. “To successfully engage with all of these people, who are now constantly interacting online, sharing and shaping brand perceptions, ultimately influencing purchasing decisions, we require the strong relationship management skills that successful PR was built on.”

According to Emerging Media Communications founder and managing director Craig Rodney, clients who have witnessed the powerful effects that strategic PR can have on their business are keen to apply the same principles to their social media initiatives. “Many of our clients have requested that we include social media services in our scope of work, outside of dealing with 'traditional' media,” explains Rodney. “To deliver this the equation was simple. We could either blaze our own way into the complex world of social media, learning as we go, competing with the more established players, or we could join forces with the experts in the industry to form a partnership that can meet this rapidly growing need in the marketplace.”

Stopforth echoes these sentiments, saying that many of Cerebra's clients have also begun to request PR as part of their service agreements with the agency. “Instead of organically growing a division to service these needs we looked to acquire a well respected and established agency who could bring their experience, expertise, intellectual property and, most importantly, their strong media relationships and best practises to the table,” explains Stopforth.

Rodney will now assume a shareholding in Cerebra and joins the company's board of directors as managing director. The Cerebra social media and PR teams will begin to integrate their services across their existing client portfolios where elements of both services are required, while continuing to service their standalone PR and social media clients.

“We are also very excited at the prospect of pitching for bigger business and building a profitable and successful business in this industry, which we we are both so passionate about ,” continues Stopforth. “We already have an amazing combined portfolio of clients and an expanded team of passionate experts, who are ready to pioneer a new approach to social media and PR that will be unparalleled in this country,” he concludes.

The Cerebra social media and PR teams will join forces under one roof as of 1 November 2010, at their new premises, located at the Design Quarter in Bryanston. For more information visit www.cerebra.co.za