Full-service communications consulting firm
fischerAppelt solves client problems with a three-step process: first comes the consulting phase, a process designed to discover what the firm calls “the code of communication,” whatever it is that will make a company’s story compelling to the target audience; then comes the creativity, with experts in design, advertising, multimedia and traditional PR joining forces to come up with big ideas about how to tell the story; and finally comes the campaign itself, an integrated, multi-channel communication effort.
Founded in 1986 by brothers Andreas and Bernhard Fischer-Appelt, the firm that bears their name has grown to become the largest independent public relations firm in the German market, with a staff of 140 in five offices: Hamburg, Berlin, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, Munich. Public relations revenues in 2003 were €13.26 million, up just a fraction over 2003, with growth in corporate communications and integrated branding work and financial communications. New business came from clients such as Partner für Innovation (a public/private partnership between major associations, corporaytions and the German Government), VDV (the association of German public transport companies), Bacardi, Sony and Axel Springer Verlag. They join a client list that includes Fidelity Investments, Gillette Group, Roche Diagnostics, Novartis, Lego and Wal-Mart.
The firm’s initial focus was on environmental issues, but it quickly expanded to offer a broad range of corporate and marketing communications services, including public affairs, crisis and issues management, and financial communications, as well as advertising and design capabilities and special expertise in youth marketing. In addition, fisherAppelt has experience across numerous industry sectors including finance, healthcare, real estate, sports, technology, and tourism. In every sector, its hallmark is a high level of creativity—not something for which the German PR business has always been known—that spans a wide range of marketing communications tools.
Meanwhile, the brothers Fischer-Appelt have built up a strong leadership team, including Claudia Fischer-Appelt, founder of the Ligalux design subsidiary; Susanne Kamm, whose Munich firm was acquired in 1996; Lars-Christian Cords, who headed the Düsseldorf office before returning recently to the Hamburg headquarters; Katja Böhne, head of the Frankfurt office and the healthcare unit; and Olaf Hoffjan, who leads the Berlin office along with Andreas Fischer-Appelt. New additions in 2004 included Marc Fröhling, who joined the Ligalux design subsidiary as a managing director. Lars-Christian Cords, former head of the Düsseldorf office, returned to the Hamburg based headquarters. Martin Dohmen now heads the Düsseldorf office.