Holmes Report 25 Feb 2011 // 12:00AM GMT
The pace of technological innovation means that the multinational networks of the big global PR agencies can sometimes seem a little anachronistic. Agencies do not always need to own operations in every market, and economic fluctuations often require them to scale their presences up or down rapidly. BondPR was launched in 2005 to take advantage of these trends, by offering clients multi-country campaigns without any of the legacy issues or political infighting that sometimes dog their bigger rivals. The agency believes that it can provide clients with one point of management and billing contact point, at a considerably lower cost than its competitors.
The firm was founded by UK-based group CEO Tom Burgess, a 30-year tech PR veteran who previously founded Eurocom Worldwide. Burgess is supported by Paris-based European VP Sophie Decaudin, a former alumnus of Harvard, Fleishman-Hillard and Trimedia. Importantly, this year also saw the arrival of US tech specialist Debra Raine, when BondPR merged its US operations with Rainemakers. Raine became group client strategist, and has a strong track record of working with some of biggest names in the tech business, such as HP, IBM and Microsoft, during stints at Waggener Edstrom, Weber Shandwick, Porter Novelli and Ogilvy. The firm’s other key staff member is campaign director Paul Schlackman.
BondPR’s focus is multi-country campaigns, which the agency services by first determining a regional core hub, with execution managed by in-country delivery teams. 75 percent of its clients are involved in multi-country work.
Over the past 12 months, the firm has refined its offering by launching three new services: the first, BondPR GMC, is a 24/7 press office which responds to all media enquiries from around the world within four hours; the second, BondPR DEN creates digital communities specifically for B2B clients; and the third, Bond PR Story+, attempts to help clients pitch key stories to the top three influencers in any geography.
It has not been an easy year for the global tech PR market, but BondPR achieved double-digit revenue growth, although profitability decreased because of the investments in Rainemakers and the new services. The biggest new business win was NComputing’s global PR business, while the agency also won Avocent, Bluarc and DemandTec. They join an existing client portfolio that includes Autodesk, Aastra, Memup, Nuance and Regus.
Key campaigns included creating global visibility for NComputing’s business and product strategy, and executing Regus’ 50-country PR assignment, including its quarterly economic indicator studies.
“As our company grew, so too did the number of agencies on our roster.” says Regus group comms director Andrew Brown. “Yet what started as a successful strategy became a management nightmare. The challenge was to find a partner that could still give us the best support in local markets but through a single point of contact. We selected BondPR, as they offered a unified cost-effective and results orientated approach, as well as good chemistry and significant global reach.”
BondPR leads campaigns out of 10 global hubs, which are executed by partners in 80 countries.—AS