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Bastion has launched a new division, Bastion Advocate, to sit within the independent agency’s integrated communications arm, Bastion Amplify, to harness the power of influencers and drive audience interaction.

The move bolsters Bastion Amplify’s existing influencer practice and comes as the agency joins forces with multicultural marketing agency CulturalPulse to develop content and effectively engage diverse communities.

The partnership builds on Bastion’s integrated communications offering, giving clients the chance to explore greater opportunities with multicultural communities and build relationships with voices that hold influence over targeted audiences.

It means Bastion will provide an end-to-end advocacy offering, from strategy to sourcing, negotiation, briefing and campaign management – adding to the agency’s expertise in PR, social, creative, digital, and experiential marketing.

The Advocate division will be led by senior client director Morgan Sutherland, who brings experience from both in-house and agency roles after almost a decade in talent and influencer management.

“The right talent choice can make or break a campaign, so I'm looking forward to helping our clients utilise great voices at all levels to drive advocacy,” Sutherland said.

“Having watched how the industry has changed, I’ve learned how to craft a unique campaign. I'm excited to bring the Bastion Advocate approach to life and connect audiences with fantastic creators through genuine and authentic engagement.”

The launch of Advocate comes as Bastion partners with CulturalPulse to provide a unique offering for clients who are looking to build more authentic connections with culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) communities. ABS data shows more than 51% of the population today come from either first- or second-generation migrant backgrounds.

The partnership will enable Bastion to access CulturalPulse’s proprietary assets including more than 5,000 CALD community Ambassadors, media amplification network and its revolutionary CALD campaign measurement solution.

CulturalPulse CEO Reg Raghavan said the partnership would transform the way businesses can engage with communities.

“In many cases, the approach to engaging CALD communities is diametrically opposite to mainstream approaches. By working together, we are in a strong position to activate today’s Australia,” Raghavan said.

“COVID was a wakeup call for all organisations to think about who they are actually reaching in their current approach. Having an end-to-end PR and multicultural marketing solution means we’re able to help brands tell their story in ways that suit their needs and will help them stand out and be heard.”

Bastion Amplify managing director Richard Chapman said the launch of Advocate and the partnership with CulturalPulse will give clients truly authentic connections with the communities that make up the diverse fabric of Australia.

“We’re really excited to broaden our influencer offering and add to the brilliant work our PR and social teams have already been doing,” Chapman said.

“CulturalPulse is the best-in-the-business at effectively connecting with people from diverse backgrounds. We’ve seen the amazing work they have done over the past 12 years and we’re extremely excited to be partnering with them,” Chapman said.

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