SCS, a brand transformation agency, merges with Atlanta-based independent digital performance marketing agency Swarm. The combined company will operate under the SCS brand name and include 100 people across offices in Atlanta, Southern California and Ottawa, Canada. Swarm CEO Tom Ellis will now serve as chief revenue officer of SCS and Swarm SVP, marketing and implementation; Alexa Ellis becomes SCS chief operating officer. The Ellises founded Swarm in 2009. SCS founder and CEO James Schiefer will remain in his position, as will president and chief strategy officer Jeff Roach. “We were attracted to Swarm because of its founders’ commitment to employees and clients as well as its strength in digital, media and DTC focus, designing compelling campaigns and communications across a variety of brands and to a variety of consumers,” said Schiefer.


ICR launches “Welcome to the Arena,” a podcast featuring interviews with CEOs, CFOs, financial analysts, members of the media, investment bankers, private equity executives and those who influence and create value for public and private equity backed companies. Hosted by ICR co-founder and CEO Tom Ryan, the podcast debuts Aug. 18, with new content released every two weeks. Among the podcast’s first guests are Piper Sandler managing director, senior research analyst Nicole Miller Regan; Baron Capital vice president, portfolio manager Laird Bieger; and ICR president Don Duffy. “We are thrilled to launch our new podcast and allow companies to proactively drive the conversation with stakeholders while listening to other thought leaders that can influence their businesses and build equity value,” said Ryan. The podcast will be accessible on Apple Podcast, Spotify, Google Podcasts, or anywhere else podcasts are available.


The Global Steering Group for Impact Investment is one of the groups behind a new awards program intended to recognize outstanding examples of impact investing communications. The Impact Narrative Awards are open to any organization involved in impact investing and the wider ecosystem (social entrepreneurs, accelerators/incubators, market builders). San Francisco-based Thinkshift Communications will develop a communications strategy for the awards program and Thinkshift principal Sandra Stewart will serve as one of the competition’s judges. Entries are due August 23. There is no fee to enter either of the two categories, one for narratives addressing governments and the other for those aimed at the financial sector. “Too often communications about impact investing are complex and confusing, and these awards will champion those who are succeeding at storytelling,” said Stewart.