Former HSBC comms head launches consultancy in Hong Kong

The agency will focus on original content such as speeches, opinion pieces, and white papers.

Adam Harper (pictured above), former comms head for HSBC Greater China, today launched a consultancy in Hong Kong specialising in content-led strategies based on original content such as speeches, opinion pieces, white papers, social media assets, videos, preparation for media interviews, and material for employee engagement.

Harper, who will serve as managing director, was previously responsible for the HSBC’s comms in mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan. He also played a leading role in the bank’s comms about its China strategy and business with international audiences.

Prior to that, he was head of comms for its home market of Hong Kong (2015-2018), regional head of comms for global banking and markets, Asia-Pacific (2012-2018), and a VP in Credit Suisse's Asia-Pacific corporate comms team. His specialities include original content, campaigns, crisis management, and employee engagement.

During his career, he has developed speeches, opinion pieces and talking points for CEO-level stakeholders across a range of topics in Greater China. These include the Belt and Road Initiative, Greater Bay Area, tech, consumers, the liberalisation of China's capital markets, the shift to a lower carbon economy, and the internationalisation of the Renminbi (RMB).

Beyond Greater China, he has developed content for senior executives on regional topics such as the rise of ASEAN, Japan's international investment and the development of Asian capital markets.

"I am launching Ashbury today because I believe words and images matter more than ever to the future of businesses. Content is becoming an integral part of corporate strategy as firms embrace its power to change perceptions and, ultimately, commercial realities," said Harper.

"Outstanding original content allows you to tell your story with impact and nuance. Getting this right can create real value, helping to drive commercial success and protect against reputational risk."

He told PRWeek Asia that during his time in-house, he's had the opportunity to learn about what the executives who pay for comms value most.

"In my view, they’re looking for original ideas based on a close knowledge of their business and its operating environment, the talent to produce great content that brings that thinking to life and the ability to weave all this into a coherent, impactful communications strategy."

The agency will specialise in financial services, an important sector in Hong Kong-based. However, Harper clafiried that he will be seeking a "broad portfolio of clients".

"We’re looking to serve outward-looking companies, whether those are Western multinationals or investors for whom Asia is a strategic priority, or Asian firms expanding outside their home market," he said.

He is currently looking to bring talent into Ashbury in the first half of 2020, and will draw on his network of associates to meet clients’ needs for content and other expertise.


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