ST. LOUIS, November 14—Earlier this year, Fleishman-Hillard became the first top tier public relations firm to formalize a competitive intelligence practice, offering clients a new service focused on monitoring media coverage and other information relating to their competitors. Now the firm has expanded that offering, announcing a strategic partnership with competitive intelligence specialist Fuld & Company.
Under the new agreement, Fleishman-Hillard will offer its clients access to Fuld & Company’s competitive intelligence services, while Fuld, an international leader and pioneer in the field of competitive intelligence, will provide its clients access to F-H communications services.
“In this increasingly complex competitive world, management needs timely intelligence,” says Leonard Fuld, founder and president of Fuld & Company. “Companies must anticipate—not react to—their customers’ strategic issues. This joint effort will give clients the foreknowledge to stay ahead of competitive issues and ahead of their markets.”
According to F-H regional president Dave Senay, the partnership will extend Fleishman’s expertise in CI beyond the realm of communications.
“Our in-house unit has already gone well beyond press clippings,” he says. “It conducts analysis, it helps clients understand the meaning of what is being said out there, and it prescribes actions based on its findings. But for the most part, the actions we recommend drive communications, but Fuld has broader resources—it conducts a lot of interviews, does a lot of one-on-one research—and its findings help to drive business strategy as well as communications strategy.
“Since we want to move up the strategic food chain and into the executive suite, this is an important extension of our services.”
At its website, Fuld describes competitive intelligence as “information that has been analyzed to the point where you can make a decision.” One of the things competitive intelligence is not, according to the firm: spying.
Other PR firms with competitive intelligence operations include Edelman’s PR21 subsidiary and Denver’s BRW LeGrand.