Full-service PR firm
In markets around Europe, the evolution of a sophisticated public relations business has historically been inspired by massive public sector communications initiatives—the German government’s AIDS education initiative of the late 80s and early 90s or the Swedish referendum on European Union membership—and Eastern Europe is no exception: many of the new firms in the region are led by veterans of the public sector. BDR founder Catalina Stam, for example, was responsible for U.S.A.I.D.’s Good Morning Romania campaign, a public awareness campaign focused on privatisation and the development of a market economy, before launching her own public relations consultancy in 1995.
The firm was among the pioneers of the PR business in Romania, offering a broad range of services including public awareness and public affairs, corporate and crisis communications, media training, and event management to more than 100 clients, including UNICEF and UNDP in the public sector and private sector clients such as ABN AMRO, British Airways, Citibank, Cisco, Deloitte & Touche, Hewlett Packard, Procter & Gamble, and Volvo. In 2002, the firm started to offer its services in the Republic of Moldova, where it has worked for the Ministry of Health and the World Bank, and last year it registered in Iraq and bid on PR activities for the coalition government there.
Growth over the past 12 months was a little under 20 percent, with the addition of several complex media relations assignments for clients such as Ramboll Management Denmark, PA Government Services, the European Commission Joint Research Centre, and Intel, and events for clients such as Cisco, HP, Monsanto, and Sanofi-Aventis. Other interesting assignments include corporate social responsibility work for ABN AMRO; an education-related campaign, “Learn to Change the World” for P&G; media training for Marsh; PR support for the visit of Jimmy Bedford, Allied Domecq’s master distiller, to Romania; and a major campaign for the United Nations Development Program to promote the Romanian Government Special Scholarship Program, a major initiative to train public managers.
BDR “played a key role in designing, implementing and raising the public and key stakeholders’ awareness” of P&G’s education initiative, says Matthew Price, general manager for the consumer goods company in Romania, while Cisco marketing and communications manager Liliana Drãghici praises the firm’s “hard work and commitment to customer needs.”
Since 2003, BDR Associates Communication Group has been the Romanian affiliate of international public elations giant Hill & Knowlton, serving several H&K clients in the market.