Julian Ward and Heather Ann Snodgrass to launch We Are Social in Sydney

After the high profile We Are Social Australia MumbrellaWe Are Social Julian Ward Heather Ann Snodgrass Mumbrellafailure of Australia’s first social media agency late last year, today sees the launch of a new attempt, with London-founded We Are Social launching in Sydney as a partnership with media agency PHD, Mumbrella can reveal.

We Are Social Australia will have a foundation team of two – managing director Julian Ward and strategy director Heather Ann Snodgrass.  

Ward was communications director at Frontier Australia for four years. Before that he was in the same role at Starcom Sydney. He also worked at agencies in the UK including OMD Interactive and Tribal DDB.

Snodgrass, a founding member of Social Media Club Sydney and a current committee member of Digital Citizens, previously worked in social media roles at Host and Amnesia Razorfish.

The duo will be based at PHD’s offices in Sydney, where their first assignment is a joint project for Hewlett-Packard TSG. However, the partnership is non-exclusive and the two agencies will operate independently of one another.

Ward said: “We are looking forward to working with companies that recognise the necessity of playing a role in shaping the conversations about themselves within the social web. It’s about more than just social networks; the entire web is now social, and the conversations surrounding a brand form part of its identity.”

Snodgrass added: “This space is no longer about those who can afford to take expensive risks with no tangible return on their investment. Smart brands know there’s a need to participate, and demand more for their money than just grandiose ideas. The vision for We Are Social is to offer innovative, creative and effective social media strategy and execution that delivers results for our clients.”

The launch of We Are Social‘s Australian agency follows a lengthy visit to Sydney earlier this year by managing partner Nathan McDonald, who held a series of conversations with potential staff for the launch. He said “We’re incredibly pleased to have Julian and Heather on board.”

Up to now the most high profile attempt to make social media work as an agency model was Photon’s The Population, which had a staff of eight. The Population closed its doors last December.

We Are Social follows a different business model with lower start-up costs than The Population. It launched with a small team in the UK, all of whom worked client-billable hours, although it grew rapidly. It appears to be following a similar strategy here.

We Are Social has since opened offices in Milan and Paris. Among We Are Social’s most high profile work in the UK was its involvement in crisis communications for Eurostar when its trains suffered a series of breakdowns in the Channel Tunnel.

Chris Stephenson, PHD’s strategy director, said: “The partnership ensures that our existing and potential clients get not only access to the best expertise in the field of social media, but that earned media is an integrated element of communication planning at PHD.”


  1. Scott Rhodie
    23 Apr 10
    10:34 am

  2. Fantastic news. Good to you both!

  3. Nathan Rodger
    23 Apr 10
    10:41 am

  4. Awesome! Congrats to you guys!

  5. Malkuth Damkar
    23 Apr 10
    10:42 am

  6. congrats

  7. Tom Voirol
    23 Apr 10
    10:51 am

  8. Congratulations, Heather and Julian!

  9. GLC
    23 Apr 10
    10:59 am

  10. This stuff probably works better as a few desks inside an existing agency – rather than a standalone thing in its own right – as it needs to be part of a more intergrated offer.
    Good luck to them.

  11. Markus Hafner
    23 Apr 10
    10:59 am

  12. Congrats, Heather & Julian!
    All the best with the new business.

  13. Ang Graham
    23 Apr 10
    11:01 am

  14. Yay. Congrats!!

  15. Damian Damjanovski
    23 Apr 10
    11:02 am

  16. Much Congratulations in order! Well done guys!

  17. Aden Hepburn
    23 Apr 10
    11:19 am

  18. Congrats guys, big news, wish you all the best :)

  19. Cathie
    23 Apr 10
    11:28 am

  20. Many congratulations to Heather, Julian and all the We Are Social crew!

  21. heather ann snodgrass
    23 Apr 10
    11:36 am

  22. Thank you all, so much! We’re really pumped to get going :)

  23. Matthew Gain
    23 Apr 10
    11:43 am

  24. Congrats, look forward to seeing you on pitch lists. :-)

  25. aaron a
    23 Apr 10
    11:50 am

  26. Nice work J and Heather.

  27. Andrea Horton
    23 Apr 10
    12:25 pm

  28. Doubleplus yay Heather :) I feel a sockpuppet celebration coming on

  29. Claudine
    23 Apr 10
    1:02 pm

  30. Woo hoo! Big ups to you Jules! Can’t wait to work together.

  31. John Johnston
    23 Apr 10
    1:19 pm

  32. Hey congrats on the new partnership. Will be cool to see how it develops!

  33. Dazza
    23 Apr 10
    1:35 pm

  34. I’m certain these guys will be smart enough not to engage in public slanging matches about how important they are.. how big their d*ck might be.. and how dare anybody question thair authorita as social media gurus.. good on you Jules/Heather. Best of luck

  35. karalee
    23 Apr 10
    1:56 pm

  36. Congrats, Heather!

  37. Princess_Zo
    23 Apr 10
    3:23 pm

  38. Awesome news guys! Hope it goes fantastically well! :-)

  39. anon
    24 Apr 10
    8:59 am

  40. gees these social media guys love to jobhop … hope they can see out a year

  41. Theo
    24 Apr 10
    6:14 pm

  42. I hope it goes SUPER well for you, go-get-em!!!!!!!!!!!!

  43. Chris Parker
    27 Apr 10
    9:43 am

  44. Congrats Heather & Julian!!!


  1. Hello from Down Under / we are social