Applied Partners with European Network
Charting the future of public relations
Holmes Report

Applied Partners with European Network

Applied Communications has signed a new partnership with White Oaks International, a network of European public relations consultancies in five countries, focused on the information technology sector.

Paul Holmes

SAN FRANCISCO, November 16—In 1998, Applied Communications became one of the first independent technology public relations firms to expand its operations from Silicon Valley to Europe, opening an office in Amsterdam. For the past three years that office has offered strategic counsel to a handful of Applied clients, but the firm has lacked the resources on the ground in Europe to offer pan-continental execution.
Now Applied will have access to those resources, thanks to a new partnership with White Oaks International, a network of European public relations consultancies in five countries, focused on the information technology sector. Applied will become a shareholder in White Oaks International and will have a set on its board of directors.
“Applied’s objective remains to offer our American and European clients public relations services that are international in perspective, centralized in organization, and local in execution,” says Burghardt Tenderich, senior vice president and partner at Applied. “Through this partnership we’ve augmented our campaign and message development expertise with the local knowledge and on-the-ground execution capabilities of some of the best consultancies in the most important markets in Europe.”
White Oaks International partners include White Oaks U.K., which has about 40 employees and is based in Farnham, Surrey ; three year old White Oaks France; Maisberger & Partners of Munich, one of the top 30 firms in the German market; Marcs International of Milan; and Ulled Associados, a 35-year old Spanish PR firm. Together, the member firms now have 200 full-time professionals in nine offices, and share clients including Autodesk, Discreet, Exabyte, and Tektronix.
The reach of the network was important, but Tenderich says cultural compatibility was the deciding factor. Applied has a unique approach to public relations, grounded in research and focused on competitive advantage, and Tenderich says he felt that same commitment from White Oaks.
Christian Kvech, managing director of Maisberger & Partners, agrees. “We started looking for a U.S. partner last year and we spoke with about eight firms in Silicon Valley before we chose Applied,” he says. “We chose to partner with Applied because they are like-minded in their approach to research-driven PR something unusual in the traditionally passive European public relations market.”
Kvech says most of the network’s shared business has been won “the slow way,” which means a client has signed on with one of the partner firms and later decided to use other partners in other markets. Applied is expected, initially at least, to be a net exporter of clients to the network, since so many leading information technology firms are headquartered in the U.S., but business is expected to flow both ways, and the network will pitch new business as a unified entity.
“The market in Europe is more federalized than in the U.S.,” says Kvech. “It’s not centralized. Clients are looking for agencies that understand local market conditions. We have built a network of strong, independent, entrepreneurial firms, all owned by their original founders, with a presence in all the major European markets.”
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