A shiny new PR shop launches

Toronto-based Shine hopes to attract lifestyle brands, and will work with partner agency Tag's existing clients on PR needs.
Shine PR

There’s a new PR shop on the block hoping to shine.

Toronto-based firm, Shine, opens its doors this week, and will work closely with Toronto-based creative agency Tag, acting as both a partner and autonomous extension of the advertising firm.

The new PR agency will be run by partners Jess Hunichen and Emily Ward, who met while doing contract work for Tag. Ward was a freelancer since 2011 after a four-year stint with DDB’s PR branch, while Hunichen has nearly seven years of experience with PR agencies in her native Australia. Hunichen says Shine is currently working with a pair of part-time staff to start, but will grow with new hires as needed.

Hunichen says they saw an opportunity to grow an ingrained business within an agency after Tag partnered with social media agency 2Social in the fall.

Shine is currently working with Tag clients Kraft Canada Foodservice and Mary Brown’s Famous Chicken and will work with all of the agency’s other clients going forward as needed. Shine will also have its own proprietary clients, which currently include Sol Cuisine and MadeGood Foods. Hunichen adds that the agency will approach potential clients directly, looking specifically at acquiring business from lifestyle brands, which can then be brought to Tag if they require advertising or media services.

Matt Orlando, CEO of Tag, calls Shine a member agency to the creative shop.

“As opposed to using an outsource model that other agencies use, we try to immerse our partners in the environment so they become a part of the culture and team,” he says, adding the addition of Shine gives Tag a more well-rounded offering to clients. “PR has changed over the years and has become ingrained in what we as agencies do with social and the overall exposure and awareness we provide, so it becomes a critical element that we’ve now housed within the agency.”

Orlando says that while Tag has not made any monetary investment into Shine, the agency will give support on overhead costs by providing things like office space, internal administration and IT support. Hunichen says the plan is to work out of the Tag offices a couple days every week.