Mediterranean PR Consultancies of the Year, EMEA 2015 | Holmes Report

2015 Mediterranean Consultancies of the Year

Our 2015 EMEA PR Consultancies of the Year are the result of an exhaustive research process involving more than 150 submissions and 100 face-to-face meetings with the best PR firms across the region.

Winners received their trophies at the EMEA SABRE Awards in London on 19 May. Analysis of all Winners and Finalists across 20 categories can be accessed via the navigation menu to the right or below.

Mediterranean Consultancy of the Year — INC (Independent)

Despite being one of Italy's oldest PR firms, celebrating its 40th anniversary this year, INC's energy and enthusiasm marks it out as one of the more progressive PR agencies in Italy's conservative communications market. The consultancy has a credible claim to investing in areas such as digital and content ahead of the market, and that kind of thinking has helped it to grow despite anemic market conditions.

In 2014, INC topped 2m euros in revenue, improving its topline by 7%, an excellent performance when measured against a largely stagnant PR industry, and helped by a strong new business haul that included major wins such as MasterCard, BAT and Sony PlayStation.

Those accounts reflect the firm's consumer strengths, which are bolstered by its expertise in food and drink, an area where INC continues to punch above its weight. Last year, for example, INC was hired to do nothing less than sell pasta to Italians, on behalf of a national trade association's efforts to counteract an increasing preference for low-carb diets. INC also oversaw local PR duties for the European Love Beer campaign, involving both above-the-line and PR activity. And, INC's social practice remains a standout feature, winning new business from the UNHCR, Doctors without Borders, AMREF, WeWorld, and Intervita, in addition to a long list of NGO clients.

Now employing 30 consultants at its Rome HQ and Milan office, chairmand and CEO Pasquale de Palma, has ensured that the firm's creative credentials also remain in fine fettle. There was impressive work for Assobirra, MasterCard, BAT and ActionAid, helping INC dominate local award shows. — AS


My PR (Independent)

In an Italian market that has always been difficult for public relations firms—and has been more so since the economic crisis kicked in—My PR possesses a valuable skill: the ability to deliver impressive results for relatively modest investments. With a team of around 20 and fees of around €1.78m, My PR is certainly not the largest firm in the market, but it makes up for that with a track record of defying convention, eschewing the “press office” model of many local firms. It does some work in the corporate and financial space, but is probably best known for its work in brand marketing and, and as a pioneer in digital and social—with social listening capabilities, an influencer identification process, and an emphasis on authentic, creative storytelling.

That approach helped MyPR create award-worthy work, from the #4eversticky social media campaign on behalf of 3M’s Post-It notes to its efforts on behalf of financial services company, based around the number of young Italians returning hom to live with their parents. Other key clients include Turner Broadcasting, FitBit, Motorola, Logic Now, and the Expo 2015 Japan Pavilion—all of which gained local market recognition last year.— PH


One of Italy's largest PR firms now has increasingly international ambitions. SEC, founded in 1989 by Fiorenzo Tagliabue, has acquired consultancies in Belgium (Cambre) and Spain in recent years, as part of a strategy to diversify and grow beyond Italy's difficult economic conditions. That kind of thinking marks out Tagliabue as something of a unique character in Italy's communications market, but he is supported by a deep leadership team that includes partner/VP Paola Ambrosino and digital specialist Veronica Sculati.

SEC now employs 150 people in Italy across seven offices, generating fees of more than 12m euros. There is particular strength in corporate and financial, but SEC's scale ensures it has a broader set of capabilities than most of its peers, with a client list that features Walt Disney, Nintendo, Accor Group, Bombardier, Arriva, Hines, Veolia, Gas Natural, Terna and Autogrill. Key additions in over past 12 months, meanwhile, included Expo Milan 2015, Cafiero Group, Coca Cola Company, Suez Environment, Italian Foreign Ministry, Politecnico of Milan, Suisse Gas, Medtronic, Bla Bla Car, Grohe and Gewiss.

The best of SEC's work, furthermore, demonstrates a sophisticated understanding of modern reputation management, none more so than its lengthy assignment for Hines Italia's Porto Nuova redevelopment, which saw the firm handle a range of sensitive issues to ultimately win broad stakeholder support. —AS