"As you probably know, since it was established 4-5 years ago Pleon has had a strategic focus on the EMEA market. Their focus on Asia Pacific was always very tactical – an as-needed outreach in support of EMEA-based clients and prospects. So our regional network has enjoyed some inbound business opportunities from EMEA via Pleon over the years. And while contributing ideas and information, there was no significant investment nor did they participate in managing and growing the Asia Pacific network. This has always been Brodeur’s responsibility. Moving forwards, what we see is a rejuvenated Brodeur Partners operation. In place of Pleon in Europe is the GBC Group which is now formally part of our Brodeur Partner global network. GBC is a great complement to our operation due to the cultural and entrepreneurial fit, the close sector mapping they have compared to us, and particularly their major focus on social media. I’ve known the GBC principals – Sue Grant and Jill Coomber – for over a decade, and have worked with them on many occasions over the years. I expect this will greatly enhance our geographic liaison and partnering as we explore inter-regional opportunities. So this realignment is, in some respects, back to the future for us: it’s a return to our entrepreneurial roots, with a strong footing in the application of technology to business, utilising the latest emerging tools and techniques to ensure that our clients are heard and differentiated in the noise of the marketplace. With this there is an energy and momentum that we enjoyed in the buzzy period of the late 1990s, so we’re all excited."You can understand Rick putting a positive spin on developments. Brodeur is still largely based on affiliate relationships in Asia-Pacific - so any attempts to forge significant growth are likely to require investment in agencies. Whether that will happen as quickly now that the Ketchum/Pleon 'colossus' has been created, remains to be seen.
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