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Public affairs specialist Belgium

Holmes Report

Brussels-based Gellis provides a blend of public relations and public affairs counsel designed to help clients navigate and influence the EU policy environment. Its public relations work is informed by an understanding of the policy realm and an in-depth knowledge of decision-makers, opinion-leaders and other influencers. Its public affairs work is supplemented by an expertise in public relations that leverages media coverage to maximize the impact of its clients’ efforts.

The firm uses a process it calls the “Gellis communications cycle,” which provides assistance in four key areas: strategy and planning (market research, stakeholder analysis, strategy and messaging); advocacy and campaigning (lobbying, content development, event management, media relations); training (media and spokesperson preparation, presentation training); and evaluation—one of the firm’s distinguishing characteristics is a focus on achieving its clients’ political, commercial and communications results.

Gellis was founded in 1998 by George Ellis Ruano, formerly a director at international public affairs consultancy Hill and Knowlton. Over the past 12 months, he has been joined by two additional consultants, Michael Scanlon and Minakshi Pai, as revenues have increased by about 15 percent, with new assignments from the eSkills Industry Leadership Board, the European Microfinance Platform, and WAPES (World Association of Public Employment Services). They join a client list that includes several European Commission directorates general (Economic & Financial Affairs; Employment, Social Affairs & Equal Opportunities), the EACI (EU Executive Agency for Competitiveness and Innovation), OECD (Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development) and the SBRA (Slovenian Business and Research Association).

Highlights of the past 12 months included the firm’s largest ever single contract with the European Commission’s Directorate General for Financial and Economic Affairs, to draft a strategy on how to communicate on the single currency to young Europeans in the 16 EU members of the eurozone, and earning a Gold Quill Award for Excellence from the International Association of Business Communicators for the research and strategy planning that went into the subsequent communications campaign.

Says Srdjan Majstorovic, deputy director, Serbian European Integration Office: “The SEIO feels that Gellis Communications, thanks to the strategic communications programme it launched, has significantly improved the understanding in Brussels of the political, economic and social situation in Serbia amongst decision makers, opinion formers and key multipliers. This communication programme has been instrumental to Serbia’s process of European integration as Serbia prepares for future EU accession.”
Gellis works exclusively on projects related to EU affairs, which means that the majority of its work is pan-European in scope. It has no formal network of offices in other markets, but makes good use of a well-established net of partners and sub-contractors.


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