Full-service communications consultancy
Euro RSCG Bikker, the Dutch public relations subsidiary of French communications conglomerate Havas, describes what it does in three words: Identity, Reputation, Communications. That expresses the firm’s philosophy clearly and succinctly: Bikker works with clients to build a robust and durable identity, to enhance their reputation among all their key stakeholders, and to communicate their positioning creatively and credibly. What that means is that identity and reputation are at the centre of almost all the firm’s work, with public affairs and policy communications, employee and change communications, public relations and crisis communications, and design resources all available to help achieve the identity and reputation goals—an approach the firm calls “resultancy” rather than “consultancy,” in an attempt to emphasize the tangible deliverables.
It also means an emphasis on process, and the firm has a wealth of intellectual property. The ideal Bikker client comes to the firm at a time of change—a merger, perhaps—and is reconsidering not only its image but its core values. The firm will then use tools like ID Xcellerator (a proprietary approach to developing corporate identity that helps a company communicate its identity visually and through internal and external communications) and the Bikker Five Days programme (an intensive “speed branding” process that involves all key stakeholders) to help it think through its values, its positioning, and its brand. Another service, Corporate Storytelling, produces an eight-page “story” that details the history, heritage, and core purpose of a corporation.
Euro RSCG Bikker has about 36 people in its Rotterdam headquarters and a small office in Utrecht, which puts it in the top five in the Dutch market. Like many European firms, Bikker serves an almost equal mix of corporate clients and government agencies. Most of the former are multinational corporations, either Dutch (Unilever, Heineken) or international (Bausch & Lomb, Ikea); most of the latter are either ministries or municipalities. Revenues were up about 8 percent in 2004, with all practice areas showing improvement, and new clients included Bayer Healthcare, the City of Amsterdam, Deloitte, and Kentucky Fried Chicken. Interesting assignments included a corporate identity programme for Deloitte, corporate storytelling for Red Cross Netherlands, employer branding for Unilever, work promoting the naturalization exam for immigrants for the Dutch Ministry of Justice, and merger and takeover projects for Mittal Steel.
The leadership team that includes four partners: Frank Neervoort, a former journalist and specialist in corporate identity and reputation management; Huib Koeleman, who joined as managing partner from management consultancy Twijnstra Gudde and leads the employee communications; Tonny Wormer, a specialist in governmental communications, who joined Bikker from the Rotterdam Municipal Port Management; and Rick van de Weg, who leads the public relations and crisis communications disciplines. Recent additions to the Bikker counselling team include Roeland Umans (brand strategy), Miriam Leeflang (government communications), and Huug Barendrecht (employee communications).
The firm also enjoys a reputation as one of the most progressive workplaces in the market, earning kudos for its vigorous professional development programme, which includes an education budget of 8 percent of salary for all employees.
Bikker serves clients internationally, usually working with colleagues from other Euro RSCG corporate communications and PR firms around Europe (including Biss Lancaster in the U.K) and the U.S. (Magnet Communications). Within the Dutch market, Bikker can also draw on the resources of sister firms Euro RSCG Amsterdam (advertising) and Euro RSCG 4D (marketing services) for clients seeking a more integrated approach to communications.