HOT METAL COMMUNICATIONS is a boutique, full-service communications agency based in Wellington but with reach throughout New Zealand and the greater China region.
Founder Mark Russell is a highly experienced media and stakeholder engagement strategist with an excellent track record of working with companies wanting to grow their presence, and influence, in New Zealand.
Mark also specialises in working with Chinese entities seeking to flourish in New Zealand, and with New Zealand companies wanting to increase their Greater China reach. He is supported by Ann Liu, an experienced Chinese communications practitioner who has made Wellington her home.
Want to know more? Get in touch and let’s meet over a coffee.
Hot metal was a letterpress printing method that saw molten lead cast into letters and lines of type. Entire pages would then be created by craftsmen to produce your daily newspaper. The world of hot metal was chaotic, noisy and fast-paced.
Our Chinese translation is 热铁传播 , which comes from a Chinese saying “ 趁热打 ”, meaning “strike while the metal/iron is hot”. This also reveals the key philosophy of our marketing and communications practices – reach the right audience, at the right time, with the right message.
We provide a full-service suite of solutions but without the costs charged by large agencies. That’s possible because we keep our overheads low, and work collegiately with specialist communicators, bringing them in as required project by project.
Hot Metal provides expert guidance on best-practice communications strategies. This includes new market entry support and advice, media and stakeholder engagement, community and government relations, and digital marketing strategies. We work with businesses operating in New Zealand, Australia and the Greater China region. We have expertise in the education, agriculture, food and beverage, tourism, entertainment, transport and banking sectors in both New Zealand and China. A particular strength is our experience working with membership associations, helping them to tell their stories and raise their profiles.
We have a dedicated team of experienced media promoters and writers (English, Chinese and Cantonese) who research, develop, edit and pitch a wide range of client material targeted at different audiences, including media in New Zealand, Australia and China. Our strong media relationships, combined with our innate news sense, make us expert media pitchers.
Our team understands how to write for different audiences, including online, technical and financial. We have extensive contacts and an excellent reputation with media in New Zealand and China, including TV, radio, print and online.
Meet the team
I founded Hot Metal Communications in early 2016 to provide clients with innovative and personalised communications solutions.
Clients who are responding to change seek my help with more effective media engagement. When clients are leading change, I help them use communications channels effectively to connect with stakeholders and relay ideas. When clients are responding to rapid change – typically, dealing with a crisis – I help them achieve strategically acceptable outcomes.
As a former journalist with experience working on newspapers in New Zealand, on London’s Fleet Street and in Hong Kong, I understand the media – what works for them and what doesn’t. I maintain close working and personal relationships with a very wide range of print, broadcast and digital journalists. They know and respect me and my work. In Hong Kong, I worked as a journalist for the South China Morning Post and for the Hong Kong Tourism Board, and have experience working with large Chinese companies setting up shop in New Zealand.
I was a former founding partner of leading New Zealand communications agency Ideas Shop, which had offices in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch. After 12 years of successful growth and international accolades, Ideas Shop’s principals decided to seek fresh professional and personal challenges in early 2016.
I’m also Director of Strategic Communications and Media for the Asia New Zealand Foundation. That makes for a very busy working week – but thanks to the chamber model under which Hot Metal Communications operates, I’m able to manage the demands of both roles.
In March 2017 I was elected President of the Hong Kong New Zealand Business Association.
I’m an award-winning communications professional with over 10 years’ experience in journalism and public relations. I specialise in blending traditional and online PR to help clients increase their visibility, helping them reach potential partners, investors, suppliers and customers. I have excellent relationships with influential news outlets and online key opinion leaders onshore and offshore. This means I can help New Zealand businesses navigate the complex political and media landscape in Asian markets.
I have extensive public relations and media experience in New Zealand and China. I’m also a New Zealand-based current affairs commentator contributing regularly to Chinese media. I graduated from the University of Auckland with a Master’s degree of Film, TV and Media Studies.