Special Group launches Special PR headed up by Kelly Grindle as head of PR and influence

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Special Group launches Special PR headed up by Kelly Grindle as head of PR and influence

Special Group has today announced the launch of Special PR – a natural extension considering Special’s long track record of creating work that has a PR focus and generates headlines around the world.


Special Group has appointed Kelly Grindle as head of PR and influence in its Auckland office, effective immediately. Grindle has had more than 15 years of creative PR experience, with an award-winning career spanning across agencies and in-house roles in London and Auckland.

Special is positioning the offering as a creative-led PR solution – combining consumer-orientated insights with innovative creative thinking to generate clearly measurable results.

Special’s offering integrates three distinct disciplines – strategic and targeted communications and PR; influence and endorsement across the digital and physical divide; and stand-out activations and consumer experience.

Special has a track-record of delivering campaigns that generate attention – across the course of its history they have turned the Auckland Harbour Bridge into a live interactive music and light show for 2Degrees; punked Kelly Tarlton’s ‘Shark Bus’ with a Filet-o-fish Burger Car for Uber Eats and McDonalds, transformed a concrete mixing truck into the world’s biggest cocktail mixer for Smirnoff’s festival activations; and won a Cannes Grand Prix for invited people to re-record Iggy Pop’s ‘The Passenger’ via the power of Orcon internet.

Says Tony Bradbourne, CEO, Special Group: “We have always strived for work that has talkability at its core, we believe it’s such an important part of any modern campaign’s success. So we have intentionally kept PR as an integrated service sitting alongside our strategic, creative, design and media teams. In a world where disciplines are merging we believe clients will benefit the most from marketing and communication teams working seamlessly together.”

Says Grindle: “Special is undoubtedly the most progressive and innovative creative agency in Australasia – and a PR team is a natural fit given their track record of delivering work that grabs attention and generates headlines.

“I’m excited to join a company that is on such a remarkable growth streak and can’t wait to show how PR ideas from New Zealand reverberate across the world.”

Grindle has worked as associate board director at the HAVAS-owned Cake, and associate director at M&C Saatchi in the UK, with clients including telecommunications giant EE, Sony Electronics, Coca-Cola and Virgin Atlantic.  He was PR lead for Virgin Atlantic’s leisure division Virgin Holidays – driving multiple award-winning campaigns before returning to New Zealand as director of integrated strategy at Pead PR.

If you want to know how Special can help with your PR or communication challenges, please contact Kelly.grindle@specialgroup.co.nz