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GlobalCom Meeting in Milano, February 2009Far too much time has passed since our last Global Meeting, and it was the highest time to meet again. For some participants it was actually the first personal contact with their GlobalCom colleagues. The agenda of the meeting was packed, and there were quite a number of new partners present: Federico Unnia from Echo Comunicazione d’Impresa (Italy, Healthcare), Michael Patzer from Patzer PR (Germany, Healthcare), Irene Tato from Salud y Comunicación (Spain, Healthcare), Hanna Kleber from KPRN network (Germany, Tourism) and Ingo Harding from Public Link (Germany, Consumer & Lifestyle) took their chance to introduce themselves and their agencies to the network.

In the second half of day 1, the competence teams or task forces were “on stage”. It was simply amazing to see how many clients GlobalCom agencies of the first specialised teams –such as ICT – have already shared. But even several members of the more recently established competence teams (Tourism, Healthcare & Energy) have already shared clients – sometimes even without even knowing (yet).

But of course it was not all about prospects, to-do-lists and the like – the meeting also provided insights into various aspects of communication business as well. Cheryl Gale, Principal at March PR (Boston, USA), presented a case study on how Twitter can be used in PR and Communication. After listening to her “learn more about Twitter” was probably on the to-do-list of most participants.

One novelty for our global meetings was the idea to invite potential cooperation partners and network clients to the meeting. Dr. Johannes Niggl, Head of Division “Invest in Bavaria” at the Ministry of Economics in Bavaria, discussed the communicative challenges to present Bavaria as an investment location in an increasingly competitive world. Stuart Hurst, International Market Access Director at Nycomed, introduced his company and the expectations he would have regarding an international PR Network. For him PR partners worldwide are not simply “the voice of Nycomed” in foreign markets. He also expects them to act as “transmitters”, as they have an insight into the different healthcare systems and national healthcare policies.

Well, and after all, it’s not only about learning and listening… sitting together, enjoying a nice Milanese dinner and having great conversations was a very important part of the meeting. Thanks to the great support of our Italian PR partner Prima Pagina, everything was well organized. Thinking about the location for the next meeting, maybe we should integrate a partner agency from the Seychelles or some place like that into the network…

Claudia Wittwer

Kick-off meeting of GlobalCom healthcare task force reveals global business perspectives in the healthcare sector

Medicom Group - founding member of GlobalCom HealthThe decision to set up task forces to organise work within GlobalCom more efficiently was taken some time ago. Following on from tourism and ICT, the Healthcare task force had its first official meeting on the 10/11 of July in London. Michael Patzer (Patzer PR, Germany), Erinn White (HealthStar PR, USA), Urara Shiratake (Kyodo PR Medix, Japan), Ralf Hartmann (Chairman of GlobalCom), Claudia Wittwer (GlobalCom) and Federico Unnia (Echo Comunicazione d’Impresa, Italy) participated in the kick-off meeting in London, which was hosted by Martin Ellis, Chairman of Medicom Group. The London-based agency is the founding member of GlobalCom Health.

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New affiliate Patzer PR strengthens GlobalCom’s healthcare competence

foto-michael-patzer-2.jpgMeeting new neighbours can be a daunting experience but on the other hand, having someone around the corner you can trust and who can help you out with all those things you cannot manage by yourself can be of real benefit.

Patzer PR,  a communication agency specializing in foto-michael-patzer-2.jpghealthcare and pharmaceutical communications are, however, a very close neighbour to GlobalCom Germany with its office location in Ismaning near Munich. Patzer PR became a member of the network last month.

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U.S. healthcare PR agency Centron joins GlobalCom

health starWe are happy to welcome the New York based company HealthStar Public Relations (now Centron) to our growing healthcare group. HSPR is a full service, independent agency dedicated solely to healthcare industry communications. Founded in 2003, HSPR employs more than 50 full-time client-service executives in Consumer Health, Rx and Device and Diagnostics. “A cooperation with an international PR network was definitely on our agenda when we were approached by GlobalCom”, says HSPR President and Chief Executive Officer Helene Ellison. “We will be happy to share our experience and contacts with our new international partners and thus contribute to the network’s success.”   Read more

Hanna KleberGlobalCom PR-Network wins strong partner for tourism market in Germany and welcomes KPRN network as a new member to the GlobalCom family. Founded by Hanna Kleber in 1994, KPRN network is one of the leading PR agencies for the travel industry in Germany. Attractive travel destinations, renowned hotel groups and international airlines are counted among the Frankfurt-based agency’s clients.

The full service agency offers to its clients tailor-made communication solutions resulting in the successful implementation of their marketing goals. “Our service offers range from dynamic marketing strategies to individual solutions for special products”, explains Hanna Kleber. In doing so, the main focus lies in planning and organizing press campaigns, media co-operations and promotions.

“We are happy to have KPRN network on board”, says Ralf Hartmann, Chairman of GlobalCom PR-Network. “They will give significant drive to the development of our network’s business development in the tourism segment.” KPRN network brings in long-time experience and a reliable contact network in the tourism industry. Additionally, the agency is founder of Gourmet Network, an internationally operating agency for communications specialising in Food & Wine, Consumer & Lifestyle. Gourmet Network offers a broad range of communication services for national and international clients from the Food & Beverage industry.

„GlobalCom PR-Network is a very dynamic network, and we are happy to join it“, says Hanna Kleber. „We are very much looking forward to sharing our ideas and competences with all the network partners at GlobalCom.“

Claudia Wittwer

ITB Berlin

Not a premiere, but still exciting: GlobalCom PR-Network was represented with its own booth at ITB Berlin, the biggest tourism trade fair worldwide! Four participating agencies went to see the world: Claudia Wittwer from GlobalCom PR-Network Germany, Luc Malcorps from Outsource Marketing and Communications (Belgium), Daniel Chardon from Chardon Communications (Switzerland) and Velibor Zolak from AMC Communications (Montenegro), all members of the tourism task force within the network, presented GlobalCom to airlines, hotel chains and destinations.

Little obstacles put in our way – the public transport was on strike and there was heavy snowfall right on the first day of ITB – did not keep us away from making about 50 meetings with companies and organizations like Kempinski Hotels, Regione Piemonte, National Tourism Organisation of Montenegro, Abu Dhabi National Corporation for Tourism and Hotels and many more. The follow-up of these meetings is still in progress, but some of the meetings were quite promising. Read more

From Xavier Prabhu, Founder of PR HUB India.

How would you characterize the PR business in your country/region? Have there been any significant changes in the past few years?

I would characterize the PR business in India as being in between the second or third stage of evolution if we were to take the US as at the fourth stage.

The key trends that we see are:

– outbound work out of India is likely to leap as Indian companies go global with a vengeance

acquiring and establishing presence in markets overseas; infact this will change the contours

since it then positions India not as a market for local PR services but a market where global PR itself originates

– more and more maturing of the local industry with the processes and systems getting more aligned to the global ones

– increased footprint of the large global players in India and most large and medium firms getting aligned to some global network or the other over a period of time

– the large global players unless they grow inorganically cannot dominate the marketplace in India for some time to come due to variety of reasons

– there will be some attempts at vertical focus though it has not been a successful model in India

– the fee levels will raise in India to global levels or atleast closer to it.


Are there specific challenges that are exclusive to your country/region in terms of PR and communications work?


The first and the biggest will be the scale of the people issue that the industry faces. The industry at some level is going to see 300-400% growth which is placing enormous pressure on the HR side of the firms.

– There is acute shortage at the entry level despite new institutions springing up and despite salary levels increasing significantly which is going to worsen over the near future; this is going to drive many firms to sheer desperation and see quality of hiring being the worst impacted

– In the middle level too there is going to be pressure as people arrive there through quick and often hasty promotions probably ill-equipped to do the best at that level; this has two implications -they are not going to be able to provide the right kind of leadership and training to the new joinees who inturn will be disappointed and leave in droves complicating already a big challenge


– The immense growth in business is going to result in mushrooming of new PR firms which will further commoditize the lower end/media relations part of work done by PR firms. They will also bring significant price pressure onto the bigger firms.

– The growth in business will not allow the firms to make investment in business or processes as much as they would love to leading to some kind of drop in delivery and quality of services; the clients will start doing a roulette on the PR firms


What sectors provide the most opportunity for business and growth in your country/region?

– Retail


– Telecom

– HR

– Professional Services

– Banking & financial services

– Healthcare

– Pharmaceuticals

– Engineering

– Manufacturing

– Aviation

– IT


– Automotive

If the list looks large and almost like every sector possible, well, at the rate Indian economy is growing it would be a surprise if no sector is part of this growth story.


How much of the business out of your office is truly global in scope?



How would you describe the local media scene? How has it changed? What media outlets are especially important to you, from both a local and global perspective?

Chaotic, unpredictable and in some patches increasingly commercial.

There is explosion of media vehicles and options and while that is good news for a company or a PR firm it is not so as there is lack of direction or differential editorial focus between many of them leading to clutter.

In some groups, there is also increasing attempts to link business news and related information to some sort of commercial consideration which is a new challenge which may or may not be unique to this region.

The media most important varies from client to client, market to market but for most corporate clients the media of priority in the order are:

– Business and mainline English dailies

– Business and mainline magazines

– Electronic media

– TV channels

Leading trade magazines

– Vernacular dailies

– Vernacular magazines

via The Global Account by PR Week

March Communications provides a unique blend of PR and marketing services that combine local knowledge and industry expertise with European flair.
The agency delivers highly creative and innovative programs that will influence target audiences and have a real impact on bottom lines.
Based in Cambridge, MA, March PR provides a global understanding, industry expertise and strong media contacts, using these to good effect for European, Canadian and U.S.-based clients.

An experienced public relations and interactive marketing practitioner, Martin is responsible for the agency’s overall business developmentand creative communication programs. Prior to March Communications, he founded iJack Communications, a successful London-based interactive marketing and communications agency. He has worked with an impressive array of U.S. and European business, consumer and corporate clients across a broad range of industries and sectors.

A highly skilled PR and marketing specialist, Cheryl takes overall responsibility for the strategic direction of client programs. Prior to March Communications, she was instrumental in the launch and success of Band & Brown Communications’technology practice, where she was responsible for securing and managing international campaigns for many leading technology companies, including Cisco Systems, BT, McAfee and LogicaCMG. She began her career at The Weber Group (now Weber Shandwick) in Cambridge.

Spreckley Partners Ltd. is an independent PR consultancy, 20 people strong, with expert knowledge of consumer, B2B and IT markets. Clients range from major international companies and brands to smaller specialist businesses.

Whatever their size, Spreckley Partners Ltd. delivers consistent, effective campaigns that make a real difference to their sales and future development.

Spreckley Partners Ltd. provides PR and much more as required, ranging from corporate identity to integrated marketing communications in some cases. Services include media, design, print, internet, sales collateral and events – exploiting the benefits of matched messaging across everything.

All their senior people have big consultancy and brand backgrounds, so clients gain the benefit of career PR professionals with enormous strategic and creative experience working within a smaller, friendlier environment.

Internationally, Spreckley Partners Ltd. works in a number of European markets and beyond, using like-minded local agencies who they know personally and whose standards meet their own.

Mike Spreckley, chairman, was on the board of two top-five UK PR consultancies before setting up the company in 1983. His experience covers the whole marcoms spectrum for consumer and business clients.

Richard Merrin, managing director, joined Spreckley Partners in 1995 after six years in consultancies in Manchester and London. His expertise spans business and technology clients in the UK and internationally.

Shelley Facius, director, joined Spreckley Partners in 2007, bringing 12 years PR consultancy and in-house experience including a director role in Hill & Knowlton’s Technologies practice and stints at Firefly Communications and Oracle.

Penny Clifton, associate director, leads Spreckley Partners’ consumer team with her extensive experience in working with food, drink, household and leisure brands.

Prima Pagina is an independent Italian consultancy firm operating in the PR and Communication sector with a strong background in the technology area. Founded in 1995 by Tania Acerbi, Vilma Bosticco and Massimo Reverberi, Prima Pagina has been offering consultancy and business communications services for companies creating competitive advantage through technological innovation.

Prima Pagina specializes in Public Relation, Marketing and Advertising services. In order to deliver best PR results, the agency partners with customers to deliver the right messages, and sets up tailored communication plan to target the right target groups. The collaboration between the agency and its clients reaches concrete and measurable results.

Prima Pagina  provides comprehensive support to help manage projects, create content and form, compensate chronic shortage of time. For every type of communication: brochures, case histories, product fact sheets, direct marketing, newsletters (just a few examples). Flexibly, but in line with the customer’s style. Innovation, using new environments (like Second Life, where Prima Pagina has its own office.

Prima Pagina Comunicazione

38 years old, she acquired a deep knowledge during her eighteen-year experience in the Information & Communication Technology market. Ex-Member of the National Order of Journalists, she worked for seven years at the publisher Soiel International Srl, as member of the editorial staff of Office Automation (monthly review dedicated to Information & Technology market) and Office Layout (bimonthly review dedicated to office organization and Intelligent Building market). Moreover, she took part in the organization of conventions, meetings, seminars, trade fairs, both for the preparation and handling of the mailing list and documentation, and the management of relationships with spokespersons and sponsors.

After this experience, she has been Account Executive in one of the main communication agency specialized in the IT market. She has been responsible for the definition of communications plans and management of press activities for Microsoft (End User Division), Fulcrum, Iomega, Cray Communications, Kodak Office Imaging, Sthrold Sistemi Edp, Archimede, Attachmate and Wyse.

Prima Pagina Comunicazione – 43 years old, Vilma has spent the first ten years of her professional life in the IT market working for italian subsidiaries of US Companies like Concurrent Computer Corporation, Oracle Corporation, Ashton-Tate, Borland. In particular she has been Product Manager for Ashton-Tate products and, further to the acquisition of the company from Borland International, she was  appointed Marketing Communication Manager for Borland Italy.
In 1993 she became part of the staff of a Public Relation Agency operating in the IT market, where she was Account Supervisor. In this role she had the responibility of defining and supervising all communication activities of accounts like Microsoft (Organization Division), Rank Xerox, Creative, Gupta and handled press relations activities of Informix, Compuware and Digital.