Westfield to push earned media with PR specialist Amanda Galmes taking control at Sibling

WPP AUNZ has named PR specialist Amanda Galmes as the new head of bespoke Scentre Group agency Sibling, in a move that suggests the shopping centre giant will take an even greater focus on earned media and customer experience.

Fleur Marks moves into new WPP AUNZ role as Amanda Galmes takes the reigns at Sibling

Fleur Marks moves into new WPP AUNZ role as Amanda Galmes takes the reigns at Sibling

The move coincides with Sibling MD Fleur Marks moving to a newly created network role as talent and wellbeing development director, with Galmes stepping into her role at Sibling immediately.

Galmes was co-founder and managing director of independent communications agency Fuel Communications and WPP AUNZ PR CEO Kieran Moore said that her mix of skills was perfectly suited to the needs of the retail specialist agency established 18 months ago to service Scentre.

“Sibling is a totally integrated agency, purpose-built specifically for Westfield/Scentre Group, and we have found in Amanda a strong mix of broad business acumen and proven communications skills which will put her in the perfect position to lead Sibling’s multi-disciplinary team.  We are thrilled that she’s joined the group,” said Moore.

Galmes helped to launch Fuel in 2008 and has worked across a broad spectrum of brands including Woolworths, The Iconic, Optus, Visa and Caltex.

Speaking with Mumbrella she said moving on from Fuel had been a tough decision after 14 years with the agency and its sister N2N.

“I have always been passionate about creating an environment that fosters outstanding collaboration, client relationships and results; a focus shared by Sibling and its talented team,” Galmes said.

“I think when you look at what Scentre group is doing, it’s doing earned media and they also have a lot of owned assets.”

She said she hoped her PR background in developing earned media campaigns and creating consumer experiences would be a key to developing the company’s approach to marketing over the coming months.


Scentre unveiled its latest redevelopment at Warringah Mall in Sydney on Thursday

2016 has marked a year of major transition for Westfield/Scentre with the departure of its long-time group marketing and digital director John Batistich who stepped down in May.

The role was filled by the former chief brand officer of Starwood Hotels and resorts, Phil McAveety, who was named executive director of customer experience in July.

McAveety’s appointment was further confirmation that shopper’s experience of the brand would become a central pillar to Scentre’s marketing direction, as well as making the most of its vast database of customer information and its growing owned media platform.

In a Youtube interview with Scentre COO Greg Miles, McAveety said the growing two way dialogue with consumers was one of the major attractions for him joining the business.

“Every touchpoint delivers positive or negative impact on the overall feeling for the brand,” McAveety said.

“Getting involved in the retail world is in some ways a natural next step and a great learning opportunity for me.”

He said he had been inspired to join the company after seeing how Westfield in London had turned an urban wasteland into a vibrant and world class shopping district around the Olympic Stadium.

On Thursday Scentre unveiled the latest in what has been a massive round of centre redevelopments with the official re-opening of Sydney’s Warringah Mall.

Two weeks ago it also kicked off its Christmas campaign with ads featuring a trio of much loved Aussie grandmothers and their tips for Christmas.

Meanwhile, Marks said she was looking forward to building the new role at WPP.

“Stress and burnout in our industry is high,” Marks said.

“Developing talent to be better performing professionals while balancing and nurturing individual wellbeing has always been an incredibly important part of my management style. I’m excited by the prospect of taking this approach and developing initiatives that can be utilised by staff across the group, from junior through to executive, and everything in between.”


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