Founded in 1997 by international agency veteran Stefanos Spathas, Connective Communications was the first specialist technology public relations firm in Greece, and over the course of the past eight years it has represented many of the world’s leading technology and telecommunications companies—Sony, Panasonic, Nokia, Computer Associates, and Alcatel—in the Greek market, while also handling public relations duties for Greek clients such Encode (a leader in the e-security market), mobile provider Telestet, and the Federation of the Hellenic Information Technology Enterprises.
The focus on the IT sector, coupled with an expertise in financial communications, helped the firm grow quickly during its early years, but turned into a liability when the technology sector retrenched—although a strong year in 2004 appears to have reversed that trend. In fact, Connective doubled its turnover last year, thanks in part to opportunities presented by the Athens Olympics. The firm represented Panasonic, one of the sponsors of the games, and also worked to promote Artiade, the “Olympics of the visual arts.”
Connective also added a couple of new business-to-business clients from outside the tech sector: Air Liquide, the French industrial gases company; and Anco, which produces electronic equipment for the military market. They join a roster that includes Nokia, Encode, Computer Associates and D-Link. And management has also seen a resurgence of interest in financial communications. In all, Connective added four new people last year, bringing the total headcount to 11.
Connective has also begun to look at international markets for expansion. As the Greek member of the Pinnacle network of independent PR firms, it has partners around the world, but at the end of 2004, the firm opened four satellite offices in smaller, developing markets in the region: Albania, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Bulgaria, and Cyprus.