Public affairs consultancy
The first wave of expansion in the Swedish public relations business came in the early 90s, when veterans of the massive campaign to persuade voters to support Sweden’s entry into the European Union decided to try their hands in the private sector. So it’s no surprise that another new generation of Swedish PR firms has emerged since the less successful 2003 campaign in support of the Euro. Diplomat PR, which has grown quickly and after just two years in business has a staff of 11 and revenues of 5 million Swedish kroner (around €500,000), has been the most successful.
That’s because while the firm itself is a newcomer, its principals are all veterans of Sweden’s largest and best-respected PR firms: Gunnar Fröroth worked at Kreab; Anders Oremark at JKL; and Björn Nyblom at Audumbla/GoGroup. Together, they have more than 35 years of experience in the public affairs field, and at Diplomat they have surrounded themselves with a team of seasoned consultants with expertise in corporate communications and media relations. They also share a belief that after many of the region’s largest PR firms were acquired by international network, there’s an opportunity for new independent firms, more ambitious and flexible than their foreign-owned competitors.
Diplomat is particularly expert when it comes to helping clients understand the values, attitudes and politics of Sweden’s opinion leaders. Many multinational companies struggle to deal with a country where labor leaders are also community leaders, where the media is predominantly leftist, where politicians often regard business with suspicion. Indeed, many Swedish companies suffer from a disconnect, and have been reluctant to engage opinion leaders because of their perceived hostility. So Diplomat has drawn clients from both the domestic (construction company Skanska, banking giant SEB, energy company Fortum) and international (pharmaceutical behemoth Pfizer) realms.
The firm is also venturing into the financial communications arena, and expects to handle its first IPO (a new listing on the Stockholm Stock Exchange) later this year.