Called 'Socialyse powered by Cake', it combines the earned and paid social teams from HMG UK companies Cake and Socialyse.
The 35-strong team will be led by Jessica Rowntree, head of earned media at HMG UK, with support from John Cole, head of Socialyse in the UK. The team will consist of social strategists, planners, creatives, content producers, copywriters, distribution specialists, traders and analysts, and will be based in HMG’s St Martin’s Lane office in London.
The business unit will include a "social newsroom", a "24-hour reactive and proactive service that offers real-time stories and content for brands".
"The newsroom approach will enable brands to react instantly to a trend, issue or piece of news via social content, a live experience, or a story," said HMG. "The team also works on planned and anticipated content – putting brands at the heart of stories as they develop – and uses data and analysis to optimise and amplify."
Rowntree said: "Socialyse powered by Cake is just one more way we are simplifying our structure in order to deliver better, more integrated services to our clients, using the skills and expertise we have in the business.
"Cake has been running highly successful social newsrooms for clients for a while now, but aligning it with the paid distribution power of Socialyse will get more reach for, and more engagement with, our clients’ content."
HMG pointed out that the unit launches after several client wins, including pop band One Direction, plus Honda, Weetabix, AXA, Nest and most recently HMG UK client O2.
The move comes as HMG UK – which includes specialist arms such as Havas Sports & Entertainment, ais London, Cake, Arnold KLP, SCB Partners, Havas Media Labs and DBi – prepares to integrate further. By the end of 2017 HMG UK plans to operate as a single operational unit in the new Havas Village based in King's Cross.
Speaking after parent company Havas announced its 2014 financial results, Havas CEO and chairman Yannick Bolloré was upbeat about the possibility for the firm’s PR business, which he said was "doing very good".
"We think PR is becoming part of content and is at the heart of Havas’ capabilities, and we will keep on investing in this area," Bolloré said.