Thursday 11 October 2012


IPREX EMEA meeting in Paris 4-6 October 2012
Having enjoyed hosting IPREX’s Annual meeting in London earlier this year, Bozzy and I nipped on the Eurostar looking forward to seeing how our Parisienne partner, Newcap, would entertain us for the EMEA meeting. 
Gathering the European partners (with a smattering of US and Asia / Pacific partners) this very much focused on how having over 100 offices and 1,500 staff available wordwide, gives each agency the opportunity to offer our clients and potential clients global reach with detailed and expert knowledge across markets and sectors.
Abchat-IPREX-ConferenceThe collegiate and collaborative atmosphere, especially amongst the EMEA partners meant frank and open discussions about steps each agency was taking to weather the current economic storm.  The approaches varied but two key points came up:
It is important to continue to review and refresh the client offering
As one US partner said “If you wait for your sector to come back, you will be finished”.  Whether that means refreshing your brand, doing a complete rebrand, or simply diversifying the product offering; adapting and seeking out new opportunities is key.
Digital and Social media is essential
We heard some very intersting case studies from Manifesto (Finland) and Imageware (Italy) on how they have turned Social and Digital Media into an additional and growing revenue stream, a product that is now a key part in winning business.
With the use of very sophisticated meeting software provided by Succeed Together, we were able to collate answers to a number of questions relating to the strengths and weaknesses of the IPREX network compared to multi-national PR agencies, and how we should position IPREX and ourselves so that we can tap into global and multi discipline opportunities. Our partner agencies across the world have between them such a wide range of skill sets and experience across Investor Relations, FPR, Corporate and Consumer PR, brand management that there is very little we cannot do. 
The partners enjoy through the IPREX brand:
  • Flexibilty in our approach to client needs
  • Partner agencies who trust each other and are assured of the overall quality of agencies
  • Global reach with many offices
  • Detailed knowledge of our markets
With these strengths in place, recruiting new agencies is no longer just about geography, it is about making sure new members add depth as well.
In terms of promoting the network and our agencies, we can
  • Publicise partner additions and successes
  • Share success stories when it comes to launching new product offerings or reaching out to new markets
  • Incorporate IPREX into our own websites
Bozzy’s presentation on how Abchurch markets itself was very well received, particularly our systematic approach to networking and new business which has enabled us to use our Market Lunch programme and events as a platform from which we can foster new business for all attendees.  We also highlighted the importance of involving every Team member and utilising their diverse skill sets.
Newcap were excellent hosts, organising a packed schedule with interesting sessions and excellent opportunities to network.
We were also treated to some excellent food in historic locations, dinner at the Auberge Nicolas Flame, Paris’ oldest house, opened as a soup kitchen in 1407. Harry Potter fans will know that Nicolas Flamel discovered the secret recipe of the Philosopher’s Stone!  On Friday night we followed in Nicolas Sarkozy’s footsteps and celebrated dinner at Le Fouquets, and then onto Pershing Hall, a ‘modest’ nightclub, almost rubbing shoulders with the Qatari royal family and surviving members of the Gadaffi clan!
Thank you Newcap and IPREX for such a great conference!
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