South Korea is the fourth largest economy in the Asia-Pacific area, yet was left to its own PR devices for many years. This has made a strong group of domestic contenders, though larger entities also have local offices – including Edelman, Hill+Knowlton, and Weber Shandwick. Here are some of the best PR agencies found in South Korea.
KPR Public Relations
KPR was one of the first PR firms in South Korea – having been there for over 25 years now. They’ve been growing, adding 10 new clients recently such as ncsoft (a mobile game developer), Royal Copenhagen, Samsung, and The Presidents Cup 2015 (USPGA). These and others added to their existing client base ncluding Airbus, Citibank, 3M Korea, and Singapore Airlines.
Kay H. Imm is the founder and chair of KPR with B. Sung-In Shin as president. They specialize in consumer marketing communications, trend research, sports marketing, social media communications, and recently added a new division – collabo K. The new division works with collaboration projects betweendiverse organizations using specialized expertise targeting common interest markets.
Medicom was founded in 1997 and is native to Seoul. They have approximately 160 employees and during 2014 had a net revenue of about $20 million. They specialize in video news releases and digital/social efforts – partnering often with a social media specialist, SMC, or using their own digital content division – Alldependent. Some of the clients of their firm include Sony, Philip Morris, MasterCard, Cathay Pacific, Handok Pharmaceuticals, Riot Games, and Korea Automobile Manufacturers Association.
Recently the firm helped with a number of new product launches, including Galaxy Note 4, Galaxy S6, and Galaxy S6 Edge. They also supported Twitter’s Sochi Olympic 2014. Mediacom moved beyond the domestic markets when it signed an affiliate agreement with Blue Focus (Chinese) in 2008 and partnered with Cosmo of Japan more recently.
CK was the first PR agency established in South Korea – back in 1987 and have represented over 300 clients during their years of operation including KFC, Kyowon Group, Caffe Bene, Vips, and ETS. Over the years, they’ve developed deep and exceptional ties with the media, NGOs, along with government entities and regulators in their culture. They were previously a Hill+Knowlton affiliate but have since become an independent PR firm.
Widely considered to be the top public affairs firm in South Korea and with their successful work on the Korea Fighter Program (KFP) for the F-16 General Dynamics and F-18 McDonnell Douglas aircrafts, they’ve made their mark. Their CEO, Mr. Kim Kyong-Hae was featured as the guest speaker in Switzerland in March 2015 at the World Communications Forum – speaking about “Effective Crisis Communications: The Korean Experience.” Mr. Kim’s previous efforts prior to CK include being the Reuters News (UK) correspondent in Seoul, and economic editor of the Korea Herald.
SPRG is one of the largest PR groups in the Asia-Pacific area, with offices and affiliates all around the world, their South Korean office/affiliate is INR offering insight and reputation excellence. They provide expertise in media relations and publicity, healthcare, public affairs, international marketing and PR, financial, real estate, tech and communications, consumer products, and more.
Some of their clients include Canada Wood, LG, Callaway, Bravis, Songwon, Thermos, J&B Tattoo, and The Body Shop. Being part of the SPRG family allows this smaller agency to draw on global resources and represent multinational clients.
Prain PR has a partnership deal with Ketchum and is the largest integrated PR firm in South Korea. According to Ketchum/Prain, “Prain is an indigenous South Korean firm, well-respected for its media relations, market research and public affairs primacy for leading Korean and international consumer goods, technology, healthcare, and automotive companies and brands.”
Prain was founded in 2000 by Jun-Young (Jason) Yeo along with two staff members. By the end of their first decade, they had 120 employees and had gained wide recognition in their country for outstanding PR work. They offer expertise in research and evaluation, online and offline marketing, advertising, and event promotion for world-class companies and governmental agencies. Their clients fall into a wide range of sectors including IT, real estate, electronics, finance and insurance, healthcare, apparel, culture and entertainment (films, dramas, and musicals), automotive, and food and beverage. Clients include Apple, Del Monte, HP, WalkerHill, and Olympus.
South Korea has made a big mark in the Asia-Pacific marketplace over the last 10-15 years – and are expanding westward. Though the country has a smaller population than many of their neighbors, they make big statements with the help of PR experts.