int/ext Communications
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int/ext Communications

Holmes Report

Issues management and public affairs for healthcare and science clients


If you want to hear a thoughtful, well-informed debate about the scientific and moral implications of stem cell research and its potential pharmaceutical benefits, int/ext Communications is the public relations firm for you. Its team of eight includes individuals whose backgrounds range from life sciences to theology, and most of the firm’s clients are drawn from the chemicals and life sciences sectors—industries where managers are frequently faced with the kind of complex, multidimensional issues that int/ext specializes in addressing.

            Managing partner Marcel Trachsel, who founded the firm in 1993, was previously scientific communications officer for Sandoz and head of marketing and communications at Sandoz Technology. Partner Peter Felber studied theology and was a minister in Schaffhausen as well as head of media relations for the Reformed Church of Basel before joining int/ext Communications in 1996. Partner Martin Huschke was project manager and head of marketing and sales in a scientific publishing house. They lead a senior-heavy team that includes three senior consultants, the newest of whom is Jasmin Fürstenberger, whose background includes politics as well as corporate communications positions at Ciba Specialty Chemicals before joining int/ext earlier this year.

            The firm’s senior staff has experience in most of the industries with which int/ext consults, and bring expertise in technical and scientific communications, issues and crisis management, with an emphasis on managing complex communication projects. Most clients are in the scientific sectors, but int/ext also works with professional services firms and non-profit organizations, often offering broad marketing and communications expertise, and offers specialist capabilities in annual reports, intercultural negotiation skills and consensus building around particularly complex issues.

            Revenues were up by about 12.5 percent last year to around €1.2 million, with growth coming from some of the firm’s existing clients (Novartis for financial communications, the State Pension Fund of Basel, Ciba Specialty Chemicals) and new accounts including Huntsman, Actelion and the Swiss handicapped association Procap. Interesting assignments over the past 12 months included the annual meeting of Swiss pharmaceutical giant Novartis; an education program around endocrine disruptors for the Swiss National Science Foundation; a national campaign against child pornography on the Internet for the Swiss Commission for Crime Prevention; and earning political acceptance for a Novartis scientific campus in Basel, a public affairs project for Novartis and the State of Basel.

            int/ext Communications is a member of Public Relations Organisation International, a network of independent public relations firms.

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