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New tech and sustainability consultancy Emergent Public Affairs opens shop in SG

New tech and sustainability consultancy Emergent Public Affairs opens shop in SG

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Natasha Gray (pictured), who was previously policy programs manager APAC at Meta and former head of international communications at DJI, has started her own public affairs consultancy firm, Emergent Public Affairs.

Based in Singapore, Emergent Public Affairs is a consultancy specialising in emerging technologies and sustainability solutions. The firm will be operating in Southeast Asia and will be embracing opportunities to go to other regions, said Gray when MARKETING-INTERACTIVE reached out.

The decision to launch Emergent comes as the role of PR practitioners begin to change due to technological disruptions such as AI.

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“The best thing about our industry is our ability to navigate and adapt quickly to whatever the challenge or opportunity is presented in front of us. I remember when I first started my career, social media had just started to disrupt the way we work. Dedicated teams were formed to deliver 'digital communications' as a siloed offering. Today every communicator is adept at digital communications – it’s just another tool in our toolkit,” said Gray.

“Now we’re going through another disruption with AI, and at the same time we are dealing with inextricable issues of unprecedented complexity. It’s not just dialled-up geopolitical competition or polarised issue sets, or societal disruptions brought on by rapid tech advancements, a warming climate and conflict – it’s all of these elements interwoven and affecting one another.”

With this new launch, Emergent aims to “go beyond traditional stakeholders and engage communities more meaningfully,” said Gray.

“To be an effective advisor to your organisation or client, you need to be able to develop strategies that take all of these factors into account and address issues holistically. It’s no longer enough to be a specialist in one function or area and deliver siloed campaigns,” added Gray.

Gray will be bringing her years of experience in bringing solutions such as drones and robotics, immersive technologies and circular materials to Emergent, adding that the firm will adopt a programmatic, integrated approach too.

“The Emergent model incorporates communications, public policy and risk strategies,” said Gray.

“To achieve a public affairs outcome that is positive and lasting, the engagement between the emergent solution and the public needs to be nuanced, measured and mutually-reinforcing. We achieve this by going beyond siloed campaigns and adopting a programmatic, integrated approach.”

Gray started her career in public affairs consulting with a focus on aviation and consumer electronics in 2011. In 2017, she built DJI’s enterprise communications capabilities and led its international communications team overseeing consumer and enterprise product launches, drone security and safety policy advocacy.

She also led issues management during the height of the US-China trade war, according to Gray’s LinkedIn. In 2022, she joined Meta’s public policy team to deliver programs and research that scaled the use of immersive technologies in health and education across the region.

Other roles Gray held in the past include that of a consultant for APCO Worldwide and an account executive for WE Communications. She also consulted for technology companies on a freelance basis from July to December 2023.

Emergent joins other newly launched agencies locally including marketing agency BOING!, a fully remote firm with the goal of disrupting traditional agency models, with founder Ailsa Tan at its helm.

BOING! offers a suite of services including advertising, branding, digital marketing, events, public relations, and strategy planning.

BOING! is also poised to disrupt traditional agency models with a new approach to work culture and client service. Embracing a paradigm shift towards remote collaboration and work–life integration, BOING! hopes to redefine the boundaries of what it means to be a marketing agency in the modern era, it said in a statement.

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