The Holmes Report

In 2018, Ketchum was finalist Benelux PR consultancy of the year, after its 2017 award, praising our unique position of “more local than the global agencies, more global than the local firms”

2018: Finalist: Ketchum (Omnicom Group)

2017: Winner: Ketchum (Omnicom Group)

While most multinationals in Brussels have focused their energies on developing EU policy capabilities, Ketchum opted instead to become a leader in the local Belgian market—leveraging an approach it characterizes as “more local than the global agencies, more global than the local firms”—an approach that has paid dividends over the past five years. Ketchum’s Belgian revenues have increased by 148% since 2012, and in 2017 were up by better than 20% for the second straight year. The firm now has local revenue in excess of €4 million and is exporting €1.5 million to other Omnicom agencies, including BBDO Belgium and Ketchum’s own Daggerwing employee and change management consultancy.

Given the relatively small size of the consumer market in Belgium, and sluggish economic growth (less than  1% last year), Ketchum has prospered by focusing on moving upstream, solving some of its clients most complex business challenges. Building on strong brand, digital and social, and corporate reputation practices, managing director Peter Otten and client services director Hilde Ransschaert have added a change and transformation communication offering, bringing in Christel Van Litsenborgh, formerly of BBDO, to lead internal communications initiatives. There have been other non-traditional hires too: Ransschaert is another BBDO alum; Valérie Champault joined as social and digital strategist joined from VOO, the telecom provider; Tom Meynendonckx was formerly managing director of YouEngine; Nicolas Vergauwen is a trendwatcher and data miner and will spearhead research and analytics.

The firm maintains long-term relationships with clients such as Accor, Deloitte, and Novartis, and has grown its assignments with some more recent additions such as BNP Paribas Fortis, IKEA and BMS—the firm has a habit of taking one-dimensional briefs and pushing clients to think in broader terms about their business challenges. Highlights range from educating Belgians about “The Migraine Experience” for GSK to working with Goodyear to launch its Oxygene “living tire” at the Geneva Motor Show. — PH

About the Holmes report agencies of the year award:

The Holmes report 2018 EMEA PR Consultancies of the Year are the result of an exhaustive research process involving more than 200 submissions and face-to-face meetings with the best PR firms across Europe, the Middle East and Africa.