Bastion Amplify strengthens social team with new hires
Bastion Amplify is expanding its social media offering with the hire of three senior industry specialists, Nicola Swankie, Katy Andrews and Nel Wolf, who will lead continued growth of the independent agency.
With a strong agency pedigree across Australia and the United Kingdom, including time leading social at Leo Burnett, SOCiETY for Mediabrands and Haystac, Nicola has been appointed Group Business Director – Social.
Nicola will manage a fast-growing team of social experts while providing ongoing strategic direction for the business and covering General Manager of Social, Shirley Tat’s role while on maternity leave.
Nicola is passionate about insight-led strategy driving client performance, using digital to drive brands forward as well as taking global trends and applying them to a local context.
Coming from client-side, Katy joins the team as Business Director – Social and will spearhead Amplify’s activity across Microsoft and Xbox. Integrating closely with our specialist business units she will strengthen an already solid track record top tier projects well as providing insightful, strategic guidance and stewardship to solidify Microsoft’s leadership in technology and gaming.
Meanwhile Nel Wolf joins the team as Senior Account Director – Social overseeing Amplify’s work for Xbox, which has included incredible integrated social and experiential campaigns including dropping a car from a plan to promote Forza Horizon 5.
These hires come as the social offering at Bastion Amplify goes from strength to strength. As well as being Microsoft and Xbox’s retained social agency, the business has secured an impressive slate of clients including Harris Scarfe and Toll Ambulance and Rescue.
In addition to the existing client portfolio, Bastion Amplify has won the social business for Sydney Metro Airports, Swedish camping brand Dometic and the world’s fastest growing food technology company NotCo in recent months.
Bastion Amplify CEO Richard Chapman said these senior hires demonstrate Amplify’s leadership as a competitive social agency.
“As our social offering has grown over the past three and a half years, we’ve been delighted to see our team consistently grow. It is a testament to the work we are winning that we are bringing these three extremely talented specialists in to continue to chart this path,” said Chapman.
“Katy, Nicola and Nel are aligned in our goal of making Amplify the market-leading integrated PR and social offering in Australia and we’re focused on seizing on our rapid growth to create a multi-faceted, future-facing Bastion Amplify.”
Nicola joins Amplify from Haystac where she led Social for the agency and the broader Dentsu group. Prior, she held numerous directorial and Head-of roles across Social Strategy, Creative & Content at agencies such as The Remarkables, Mediabrands, Leo Burnett, TCO, McCannn and Y&R.
“I am so excited to be joining the team at Bastion Amplify and the broader Bastion group of agencies at a time where Social is evolving at a rapid rate. It truly has become the connective tissue across integrated marketing and a growing part of our clients’ investments rich with creative opportunity,” she said.
Katy joins Amplify from five years at Activision Blizzard leading marketing and driving commercial results for their Call of Duty product across APAC and later ANZ. Prior to this Katy worked to launch Xbox One at Microsoft as well as working across a range of agency roles at Soap Creative (now Dentsu) and Liquid Interactive working on Pixar and Disney.
Nel previously led social at Essence where she drove results for clients including Salesforce, JLL and Nutrien AG, previously also working at Circul8 and 1000Heads.
Bastion Amplify bolsters team with new senior appointments
Following a number of high-profile national client wins, we are proud to announce a series of key senior appointments to our PR team in 2022.
Heading up our growing Sydney PR arm is the recently-appointed Nancy McDonald, who joins as Group Business Director to oversee client growth in NSW.
We also welcome ex Channel 7 News journalist Georgia Comensoli as our first Media Director, expected to further bolster our team’s media success for clients and drive innovation through an owned news platform for clients.
Finally Susana Liu joins as Business Director in Melbourne leading our B2B portfolio comprising a range of leading property brands including Jinding, Australia 108 and Melbourne Square.
The new hires follow a number of exciting new client wins, with the signing of European luxe camping brand Dometic, fintech disruptor Tiiik Money, Unilever and international developer SPG Land.
Bastion Amplify CEO Richard Chapman said the key hires came off a strong 2021 during which Amplify rebranded from Bastion Effect as part of the Bastion network’s new Think Wide positioning, and we oversaw one of the most important campaigns of the agency’s 20-plus years’ the Million Dollar Vax.
“Bastion Amplify continues to innovate and grow in the market with a number of terrific new clients and strong strategic partnerships in place with our long-term client family. We’re delighted to have Nancy, Georgia and Susana join, all of whom bring a wealth of experience, new ways of working and process into the team and specialist expertise,” said Chapman.
“It has been heartening to see throughout the pandemic how our teams have risen to the challenge, delivering truly integrated campaigns, and working with our clients to demonstrate the value of PR, whether it be in media, or with influencers on social. We will continue to see in our industry this year the growth of Corpsumer PR, more brands harnessing the impact of paid social and integrated social and digital, as well as the rise of owned news, something we have high hopes for.”
Nancy McDonald joins from Australasia’s leading pet specialist retailer, Petbarn and Greencross Vets where she was Head of PR & Content. Prior to this, she spent 13 years working in PR, marketing and journalism in Australia, working across clients including Hungry Jack’s, Kraft Heinz, Honda, Hyundai, Dr. Lewinn’s, Access Corporate Group and as a journalist and presenter for NewsCorp.
Georgia Comensoli previously worked as a journalist and Chief of Staff in the Channel 7 Newsroom based in Melbourne, filing for multiple national bulletins including Sunrise, Morning News, 4pm News, 6pm News and The Latest. Comensoli also has experience in the 3AW Newsroom and regional television including WIN News. Alongside her eight years as a journalist, she has experience in content and brand creation freelancing for global firm Goldeneye Media as well as six years Crisis Management experience with Melbourne firm Crisis Shield.
Susana Liu has worked with a range of leading companies across the property, financial services and tech sectors to deliver strategic communications and integrated campaigns. Previous clients include Charter Hall, Frasers Property, UEM Sunrise, Architectus, ME Bank and MessageMedia. Most recently she was an Account Director at Keep Left.
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Bastion is a truly integrated, full-service marketing and communications agency founded in 2009. We are Australia’s largest independent agency, with an ambition to achieve the same feat in the USA.
We offer a wide breadth of specialist capabilities across the communications spectrum including market research, brand and creative, advertising, corporate and change communications, PR and social media, digital and customer experience (CX), sponsorship and experiential, film and content production, merchandise, Asia marketing and communications, data analytics and panel management.