Opinion Valley
Charting the future of public relations
Holmes Report
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Opinion Valley

Holmes Report

Full-service public relations

 

Giant French public relations firm i&e Consultants has achieved such a dominant position in the marketplace that it frequently finds itself unable to take on new clients because of conflicts. In the past it has referred many such clients to local boutique firms, but now it’s referring most of them to a single boutique: Opinion Valley, a subsidiary established in 2004 as part of the i&e Group and led by i&e veteran Donovan Hawker as managing director and consultants Charlotte Benoit and Caroline Chalindar.

            Opinion Valley’s structure resembles that of its larger sibling, with a focus on three areas: public relations consulting, corporate media and publishing, and opinion monitoring and analysis. Within its public relations operation—a group of about 10 generating fees of around €1.5 million—the firm offers a full range of services, from communications strategy to consumer and business-to-business marketing support, from corporate and financial communications to internal communications, from public affairs to issues and crisis management. Clients are drawn from a broad range of sectors, but the firm has had considerable success in beauty and healthcare (3M, Novartis, Vichy, Yves Rocher); food and consumer products (BricoMarche, Electrolux, Nestle); and technology (AOL, EDF, Google and IBM).

            Highlights of the past 12 months included the firm’s work for France Antilles, an opinion monitoring assignment that tracked sensitive topics and developed communication opportunities for senior management. For Google, meanwhile, the firm established a press office to centralize press relations, media trained new spokespeople, and secured three press reviews a week for the company and its products. And for 3M, the firm sought to secure visibility for the firm’s Nexcare beyond the “band-aid season,” generating more than 50 clients in the consumer and specialist press.

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