Multi-specialists with strong crisis communications expertise
Bijl, partners in public relations & voorlichting, is “probably the most Anglo-Saxon PR firm in Holland,” says founder and chief executive Ruud Bijl, referring to the firm’s extensive experience working with British and American companies. Bijl, the Dutch partner of the Pinnacle Worldwide network, derives about 40 percent of its income from clients headquartered outside the Netherlands and currently works with a dozen U.K. companies. “We’ve learned how they’re organized; how they think,” says Bijl. Many of them, he says, particularly appreciate the firm’s dedication to partnership with its clients, which means senior people at the Bijl are prepared to challenge clients when necessary.
Founded by Ruud Bijl in 1991, the firm has grown to become one of the top five independent firms in the Dutch market, with 31 people and fee income in 2004 of about €2.8 million, after several years of 25 percent per annum growth. The senior team includes three partners—Theo van der Meer, crisis expert Cor Radings, and creative leader Harry Bijl, all with the firm since the early 90s—and senior consultant Lars Walder, a former journalist and PR chief of international salvage company Smit International. New to the team in 2004 are Mieke Plaschek, a senior consultant formerly employed by KPN, the leading Dutch telecom provider; and Ferry Kok, also a senior consultant, who was a strategy director in the advertising realm and managing director of an Internet consultancy.
Serving a mix of Dutch companies and multinationals, Bijl works across multiple practices including consumer (Celestial Seasonings, Hallmark Cards, P&O Ferries, Specsavers, and De Hypotheker), healthcare (Asthma Fund, and the Dutch government’s anti-smoking campaign); business-to-business (Arenthals Grant Thornton, Delft Instruments, P&O Nedlloyd); and technology. A particular focus is crisis management. Bijl is a member of MTI, a network of firms focused on maritime incidents. It provides crisis training and simulation services to a host of shipping company clients, and a rapid response system when accidents occur.
Working with Pinnacle partners, the firm also offers overseas clients a “European package tour,” typically a five-day, six-country media tour that introduces executives to reporters to leading media in western or Eastern Europe.