Engel & Zimmerman styles itself as a consulting firm that specialises in C-suite communication issues. It is not the first firm to aim for this particular sweet spot, but Engel & Zimmerman’s track record over the past 23 years stands out: it counsels such clients as home improvement chain Hornbach, food holding company PHW, clothing retailer Kik, Woolworth Germany and Kabel Deutschland.
That client portfolio does a good job of illustrating Engel & Zimmerman’s sector strengths: it has a substantial track record in the food and retail industries. The agency only works on a retainer basis, eschewing short-term projects in favour of long-term programmes which emphasize press relations, event management, corporate publishing, social media support and media training.
The agency is owned by five managing partners. Former journalist Peter Engel is founder and chairman of the supervisory board, after previously working for the Pieroth Group. Another ex-journalist, Herman Zimmerman also worked for the Pieroth Group before becoming the agency’s other founding partner. The duo are joined on the board by Dr Udo Nimsdorft, Frank Schroedter and Sybille Wacker. This quintet are supported by three more partners: Britta Few, Christian Horwedel and Andreas Voelmle.
2010 was a good year for the firm, with revenues increasing from 3.7 million to 4 million euros. The increase was driven by organic growth from existing clients along with a few key new business wins. Engel tends to work for market leaders, many of whom could not afford to cut back on PR and marketing spend too severely. Of the new business wins, perhaps the most important was Gerolsteiner, Germany’s largest producer of bottled table water. The year’s other high-profile accomplishment was the firm’s work on the successful IPO of European cable network operator Kabel Deutschland, the first major listing in Germany for almost three years. Despite difficult economic conditions, Engel & Zimmerman succeeded in crafting a compelling, and effective narrative for its client.
Apart from that campaign, Engel & Zimmerman’s work for the restructuring of Woolworth Germany also stood out. Many of its other important assignments related to various crises in the food and retail industries.
“What I like best about them is their ability to deliver results in a swift and diligent manner.” says Kabel Deutschland corporate communications and investor relations SVP Insa Calsow. “This was most helpful during our IPO. Plus, they are easy to work with and come up with just the right solutions. These qualities matter when you’re a listed company in the media spotlight.”
Engel & Zimmerman handles most of its work in Germany, Austria and Switzerland but also, according to client needs, works in Western Europe and the US.—AS