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PR Industry in Europe – Coming of Age | #WorldPRReport

By Pascal Beucler, SVP & Chief Strategy Officer, MSLGROUP

The dramatic disruptions created by the convergence of technologies and the empowerment of people equally affect the whole European continent.

But while the comms industry feels upside down these days, the PR world has more reason to embrace change than to fear it. On the corporate side of our business as well as on the consumer side, we are comfortable providing our clients with the following:

  • First-class research and data
  • In-depth analysis turned into strategic advice
  • Branding and content creation
  • Public affairs, issues management and crisis comms
  • Storytelling and experiential/events comms off-and online
  • Media relations, influencer engagement and so on.

Another trend in Europe is the need for more integration, particularly for big, global clients. Wasting time and money from having too many people from different networks around the table is something they hate.

world-pr-report-2016They say they want one team, as diverse as possible but belonging to the same profit and loss and led by one single, global manager. Such alignment makes for better decisions. More broadly, Eastern and Western Europe are converging, and from a PR standpoint, the following trends can be seen:

  • There is reasonable optimism in terms of growth (already visible in las tyear’s study).
  • PR consulting is finally developing in the Eastern part of the region. After years of basic brand PR and stunts, local agencies are becoming more sophisticated services.
  • There is still a limited amount of networks operating across the borders of Central and Eastern Europe.
  • Strategic comms, public affairs and lobbying are growing in importance, becoming new areas of consulting for many agencies as the institutional landscape becomes more complex.
  • More sophisticated services are required, due to a more and more demanding business context: the role and status of PR is getting bigger in all industries.
  • There is no doubt that creativity is an asset today, as standards improve and clients are watching their agency’s performance in terms of international awards.
  • Digital is all over the place. There is still a lot to do around integration. Also, smart data analysis and measurement are still key challenges for PR agencies in Europe.

All in all, the years to come should be years of profitable growth for the PR industry in Europe at large.

This article is an excerpt taken from PRWeek and ICCO‘s World PR Report 2016.

PascalPascal holds BAs in History and Language Sciences, a master’s degree in Linguistics and a post graduate degree in Semio-Linguistics. In 1987 he joined Intelligences, a subsidiary of Publicis, and in 1992 he became the Managing Director. In 1994 he was promoted to Partner at Publicis Consultants, and then to General Manager of Carré Noir in 2001. Pascal is an Associate Professor at CELSA (Paris IV Sorbonne) and a visiting professor at HEC – one of France’s top business colleges. He has conducted research and published articles on various topics and in particular on the relationship between text and image. In 2005 Pascal was named Vice-President of Publicis Consultants | Worldwide, in charge of Brand Strategy and development of its international network. Connect with him on Twitter @pbeucler

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