The Bliss Group  launches NextTech Communications, a new firm that will be formed through its acquisition of technology-focused Savarese Communications. Savarese Communications founder and CEO Janine Savarese will lead NextTech Communications as CEO and The Bliss Group managing partner Cortney Stapleton will serve as chairwoman. The new firm, which is based at Bell Works, the Bell Labs Holmdel Complex in Holmdel, NJ, will work with tech clients, offering business and professional services, financial services, health care and technology-driven products and services. "The Bliss Group's unique data-driven approach, artful storytellers and comfort communicating within highly regulated industries gives NextTech Communications a unique platform to serve businesses looking for a new type of agency—one that not only uncovers the next market advantage but also propels change while driving business growth," said Savarese.


WPP and Snap Inc., the camera company behind Snapchat, launched The AR Lab, a global partnership to help brands build and deliver immersive experiences for consumers using Augmented Reality. As Snap's inaugural agency AR partner, WPP will collaborate with the company on new products and technology, such as the recently launched Snapchat Trends tool. In addition, WPP and Snap will implement a co-developed custom optimization scorecard for WPP clients, which will be used to generate more effective campaigns. "Snap has built an impressive AR platform and we are delighted to partner with them to ensure our people can access Snap's latest AR technology and in turn develop richer, more innovative commerce solutions for our clients and their customers," said WPP executive vice president, strategic development & partnerships Sanja Partalo.


Reportable, which builds and distributes press releases, is collaborating with NewsRx on Life Science Monitoring, a media monitoring service tailored to the life sciences industry. The customized concierge service delivers daily digests and/or real-time alerts to customers who provide key terms in their industry. It makes use of NewsRx's artificial intelligence, which monitors and reports on the latest scientific research, patents and clinical trials. In addition to digests and alerts, it offers custom monthly or quarterly reporting on media metrics and scientific developments. "Our new service acts as a virtual employee dedicated to this time-consuming process to deliver digestible yet informative snippets of what's essential," said Reportable co-founder Tom Baker.


CommunicationsMatch, which powers PRSA's Find a Firm agency and professional search tool, is partnering with ratings and reviews platform Clutch to provide agencies, professionals and service providers the option of adding Clutch reviews to Communications Match profiles. Agencies and service providers can now add Clutch reviews; directly request, review, and approve client recommendations; and create links to reviews on client-facing websites or third-party platforms. Clutch reviews are based on verified client interviews that detail their experience working with professional services firms. "As with any hiring decision, recommendations, testimonials, and reviews from trusted sources have an important role to play in client decisions to shortlist PR, communications and marketing agencies, reach out directly for more information," said CommunciationsMatch founder and CEO Simon Erskine.