In a very rare occurrence, West End based PR agency Aruga has been left speechless. On 22 November, Aruga received the national title of B&T’s PR Agency of the Year at the B&T Awards 2019. The award comes only two years after the firm was established in 2017. “Alongside our countrywide contemporaries, many of whom we’ve admired from afar for so long, we were utterly humbled to escort this beauty back to Queensland and our West End home,” said cofounders Donna Kramer and Adam Brunes. “We share this award with our remarkable team (undoubtedly the best in the business) and with our clients, who have taken a chance on us, championed us and given us every reason to continually strive for the stars.”

The judges commented that Aruga has achieved “great commercial results” and that they admired the agency’s work over the past year. “Clearly a great culture and feeling in the business. Inspiring leadership style shining through.” The company culture is something the Aruga team prides itself on. The vibrancy is evident in the firm name. “You know the sound a 1920s automobile makes when it wants to get someone’s attention? That’s Aruga. We turn heads.”

The pairing of a vibrant company culture and a team of experts is what the founders attribute to Aruga’s success. “[They are] best of breed talent who are highly creative, respected in their individual fields and just good, kind people.” However, Kramer and Brunes also believe the firm’s independence and genuine partnership with clients has also played a major role in setting it apart from other firms that are more ‘transactional’ in nature. It is unsurprising, then, that Aruga has achieved an impressive portfolio in two years, creating PR campaigns for QPAC, the Brisbane Powerhouse and Woodford Folk Festival amongst others.

It is almost difficult to believe that Aruga was simply a happy accident two and a half years ago. A chance meeting of Kramer and Brunes swiftly led to a partnership opportunity and within a few days, both had quit their jobs and hit the ground running. “It was completely impulsive, but we felt we had nothing to lose.” Now, Aruga is a team of 19, with more than 150 individual projects under its belt. These projects range from big name brands to homegrown heroes. “Our inspiration today is ensuring our team is looked after, constantly challenged and motivated by the opportunity to work with their dream clients daily. We’ve never worked harder, but we’ve never been better versions of ourselves — professionally or personally.”

While the B&T award has been an incredible acknowledgement of the team’s work and talents, Aruga’s main goal has not changed. The team simply aims to work with people they admire and brands they believe in. The coming year is shaping up to be huge for Aruga. The company recently launched its own media channel, IMHO, a platform for citizen reviews of arts and culture. Aruga also hinted at going global for 2020, with an international office opening before the end of financial year.

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