BRUSSELS—More than 100 of the leading corporate communications professionals in Europe—representing public companies, trade associations and government entities—have come together to launch the European Association of Communications Directors, a new group that will foster cross-border dialog between communications and public relations directors and work to enhance the quality and transparency of their work.
Herbert Heitmann, head of global communications for German software company SAP, will be president of the new group, with Florence Ranson, public relations and communications officer for the European Banking Association, serving as managing vice president. Other vice presidents are Arja Sumoninen, vice president of corporate communications for Nokia, and Laurynas Bucalis, head of the press officer for the government of Lithuania. Stephen Hogan, head of communications for the Airports Council International, was named treasurer.
Says Heitmann, “The senior communications executives from all over Europe, major corporations, EU political institutions and leading associations who all came to Brussels to found this group were probably the best proof that an association like EACD was overdue. I am encouraged by the constructive and lively debate and the strong team that got elected that night. EACD will soon become a strong network and voice for our profession in Europe.
“The strategic role of communications is more and more recognized among the leading corporations around the globe. EACD will help us to further strengthen and broaden this development across Europe.”
The group will hold symposia and other educational activities, produce a magazine and a directory of communications executives, and engage in “an intensive dialog with decision-makers in enterprises and politics.” It will be open to communications executives working in multinational companies based in one of the EU’s member states or for a European institution. It will not accept full members from the consultancy business, although it may accept supporting members.