Strategic reputation management consultancy
Komm.passion may be only five years old, but its founder, Joachim Klewes, is one of the legends of the European public relations business, with a reputation that transcends Germany (where he founded market leader Kohtes & Klewes, now Pleon) and encompasses the entire region, after serving as president of EMEA for Edelman. He is also founder of the research institute com.x at Bochum University and an expert in crisis and issues management. So it’s no great surprise that the firm has grown rapidly, ranking now among the top 15 in Germany in terms of revenues, with €5.8 million and 100 consultants, and offices in Berlin, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, Hamburg and Munich.
But komm.passion would rather be the best than the biggest, an ambition reflected in a series of awards over the past couple of years, culminating in Agency of the Year recognition by Haymarket’s PR Report last year. The firm works across multiple disciplines, including brand PR, change management and identity, public affairs, financial communication, technology and healthcare, but is probably best known for its work in the corporate reputation arena, including crisis and issues management, which is distinguished by a research-driven strategic approach and an understanding of multiple stakeholder groups.
komm.passion is led by a group of eight active partners. In addition to Klewes, the team includes Alexander Güttler, managing director of the Düsseldorf office and a former journalist who held senior positions at Kohtes & Klewes; Klaus Bönig, managing director of Hamburg and founder Bönig & Yamaoka, a consultancy specialising in brand communications; Sabine Kuhnert, managing director of the Berlin office and an expert in healthcare communications; and Munich managing directors Claudia Schumacher, Stefan Schwartz, and Regine Petzsch.
Major clients include the regional authority Westfalen-Lippe, Thalia bookstores, Tchibo coffee company, Casio, Unilever’s Bertolli brand, KfW (Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau) Germany’s largest state-owned bank, Dunlop, Barclays Private Equity and Bain & Company. New additions in 2005 included the real supermarket chain (part of the Metro group of companies), 20th Century Fox, VNG, and Belfor. Interesting assignments ranged from an information campaign around retirement benefits on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Health and Social Security, to EMEA-wide corporate communications for DuPont, to blockbuster movie releases for 20th Century Fox, to positioning McKinsey & Company as a leader in the e-business arena.
The firm is equally at home handling domestic German and international assignments: 20 percent of its employees have spent at least six months abroad, and about 40 percent of its work is international in scope.