Fenton unveils global public interest agency network

NEW YORK: Fenton has launched a global network of public interest communication firms.

NEW YORK: Fenton has launched a global network of public interest communication firms.

The alliance includes 19 firms in India, Indonesia, Kenya, Brazil, Nigeria, Egypt, and Spain. Alison Lucas, director of Fenton's London office, will run the network from the UK.

Fenton established the network to extend the agency's global reach and partner with regional firms that have a better understanding of local cultures, said Susan McPherson, director of global marketing at the agency. Fenton will collaborate with its network partners on campaigns within their countries and share ideas and best practices.

“So much of our work now is global, but it became apparent that we needed to set something up that was more formal in nature,” McPherson said. “Instead of opening offices and adding feet on the street, we thought it was more appropriate to find the best firms around the world that we could partner with.”

The agency chose the 19 shops after a six-month selection process. Fenton had worked with some of the firms before, and the rest were recommended by the Ford Foundation and other NGOs with whom the agency has a relationship. All of the firms share Fenton's mission of driving social change, McPherson said.

The agency plans to expand the network in the future. Its global work focuses on social issues such as the environment, health, energy, and economic development. Fenton opened its first international office in London last December.

Fenton's social cause campaigns have included launching the website HalftheSkyMovement.org to increase visibility of NGOs mentioned in the book Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide by Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn. Fenton built an informal network of nonprofits to share fundraising, publicity, and best practice ideas.

In June, Fenton hired Kalee Kreider, former communications director and environmental adviser to former Vice President Al Gore, as MD of its Washington office.

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