NEW YORK: Sparkpr has hired Jim Dowd as head of consumer and Candice Yusim as its leader of multi-platform media, music, and entertainment. Both are newly created roles at the firm.
Dowd, who joined the agency as MD of the consumer division on February 25, is reporting to Sparkpr CEO Alan Soucy. He is based in the firm's New York office, which opened last April.
Sparkpr, which has its roots in the technology sector, decided to expand its services because it is seeing a shift in the tech space, said Soucy. He added that the firm has also seen an increase in demand from current and potential clients for consumer and entertainment work.
“We've learned, especially in the last couple of years, that almost every company has a tech story,” said Soucy. “A lot of these companies and clients have a real opportunity to tell that story in the tech community, but also in the lifestyle and consumer community.”
Dowd will work with clients across all of Sparkpr's offices in the US, as well as London and South Africa, to move some of their stories from the tech space to consumer lifestyle media.
Dowd said he plans to “grow a whole new book of business for the consumer division, but take Spark's exciting clientele and find homes for them in lifestyle magazines and national broadcasts, places where they are relevant where they weren't years ago.”
Prior to joining Sparkpr, Dowd worked at UK-based Frank PR, when the firm launched its first US office. He served as Frank's MD in New York from July 2012 to January of this year. Previously, Dowd worked as EVP of national media relations at GolinHarris.
Sparkpr also brought on Yusim as MD of its Los Angeles office and head of the multi-platform media, music, and entertainment division. Yusim, who is also reporting to Soucy, previously served as VP of publicity and program marketing at Tribal Brands.
Since joining Sparkpr in mid-January, Yusim said she has focused her work on the “intersection of digital and entertainment.”
One of her goals is to work with clients to leverage entertainment to teach consumers new behaviors, she added.