France PR Consultancies of the Year 2017 | Holmes Report
Charting the future of public relations

2017 French PR Consultancies of the Year

Our 2017 EMEA PR Consultancies of the Year are the result of an exhaustive research process involving more than 200 submissions and face-to-face meetings with the best PR firms across Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

Winners were unveiled at the EMEA SABRE Awards in London on 23 May. Analysis of all Finalists across 20 categories can be accessed via the navigation menu to the right or here.

Winner: Wellcom (Independent) 

Wellcom's consistent presence as one of France's top 3 PR firms owes much to founder Thierry Wellhoff's restless penchant for innovation. In 2015, for example, the firm joined forces with La Maison Link, expanding its expertise into the  lifestyle and consumer arena. Last year, meanwhile, it upped investment in measurement and analytics, via the creation of a new KPI tool. Fee income continued to grow impressively, up 10% to €10m, driven by continuing strength across consumer, corporate, creative, digital, healthcare and technology.

That approach helps to sustain a client portfolio that is stronger than most featuring new clients like Adidas,, Essilor, Biocodex, SOS Medecin and Pierre et Vacances, who join a client roster that includes Logitech, Raja, Total, Hertz, B&B Hotels, Easy Voyage and EA Entertainment. A new partner arrived in Corine Renié Pérétié from La Maison Link, while there was also notable SABRE-nominated work for Adidas (#HeretoCreate) and a major campaign to help industry iXblue build domestic awareness. — AS


Finalists

Edelman-Elan (Edelman/DJE)

The September 2014 merger between Edelman and Agence Elan created a French powerhouse, one of the largest western-style public relations firms in a market dominated by locally-based agencies built on a distinctly French model. Marion Darrieutort, who left Edelman in 2008 to launch Elan, had built a very modern firm that challenged the conventions of the market, blending expertise in corporate and marketing communications, supplemented by research and planning and expertise in influencer outreach and social media.

In the two years since, Darrieutort has worked hard to revamp the combined entity, harnessing growth to digital and creative services and implementing a new 'Cabinet' senior advisory offering. That helped spur 17% growth in 2016, a remarkable number amid difficult economic conditions. There was good organic growth from existing clients like Gilead, BMS and Danone, along with new business from Merdiam, Dior, Nissan Women Empowerment and HP. Standout work, meanwhile, included the Evian Fruits and Plants Launch. — AS

Hopscotch Groupe (Independent)

Launched in 2000, Hopscotch has expanded to become France's largest communications group, with the 2010 merger with Le Public Système helping to create a leader in the industry, now worth €55m with operations across EMEA. The group has further expanded its offering by acquiring 33% of food and beverage specialist Sopexa, part of a plan to create a viable French alternative to the Anglo-Saxon independent PR networks. 

Now rebranded as Hopscotch Global PR Group, the firm showcases a fully rounded offering across multiple sectors and practice areas, with particular strength in digital, events, technology and content production. The client roster is a blue-chip affairs that includes Microsoft, Renault/Nissan, Lancôme, Samsung, Hennessy, Sony, Accor, ExpoFrance 2025, Getty Images and Talentsoft.  — AS

Kingcom (Independent)

Over its three decades, Kingcom’s core approach to communications has been to decode its clients DNA. With this insight, the firm looks to craft content that respects each brand’s culture and particular sensitives, not matter the sector — gastronomy, leisure, consumer food, lifestyle, automotive, wine and spirits, retail, fashion, beauty or health.

Not only that, the agency is also looking to shed PR from the stubborn perception that it’s more of a low-cost commodity than a value-add creative partner. It’s doing this in several ways—  its work with Cannes Lions, the Young Lions and now with Syntec PR, in addition to its new market offering “PR Strategy: Drive to Business” that involves working directly with business CEOs. Its unique thinking is also seen through initiatives like its “Food is Social” conference, a partnership with startup accelerator Shakeup Factory; its foodtech hackathon; and its creative lab, among others.

Fees are up slightly to €2.7m with 43 employees working on clients like Alliance 7, Collective des Biscuits et Gâteaux, Collective Céréales, Collective Petits déjeuners, Duracell (new), Beaumes de Venise (new),  The City of Orléans (new), Virtuality Congress (new), Coin coin by Doudou&Compagnie (new), Fauchon (new), Ovive (new), Red Loop (new), among others.

Notable work includes creating holiday buzz for Duracell which included a launch of an ephemeral pop-up store in the centre of Paris from November the 26th to December the 3rd around the nostalgia of vintage toys. President/founder Isabelle Wolf remains at the helm, while also spearheading initiatives like co-founding the Food is Social conference and joining the jury of Young Lions PR, among other endeavors. CEO Pascale Azria is also president of the digital commission of Syntec PR. Rounding out the management team are art director Melody Depond, CIO  Guillaume Du Gardier and planner Sophia Ould’ali. — AaS

Rumeur Publique (Independent)

Rumeur started in 1988 around a sector that was commonly referred to as high tech in those days — and likely bears little resemblance to today’s technology. Then in 2000, the shop diversified its portfolio to include transportation, finance, HR — also areas that have undergone some transformation in the last decade or so.

Today with a workforce of nearly 50, the agency now covers all communication practice areas: brand strategy, media relations, digital strategy, public affairs, corporate communications, creation/production. But the driving force behind all of this is some simple thinking — brands without a clear position lack influence. With that in mind, Rumeur teams closely analyze each client’s environment to create a distinguishing communications plan.

In 2016, fees were up 24% to €6.8m driven by clients like Salesforce, VMware, Deloitte, BNP, Paribas SAS, Blackiline , ADP, Taxis Bleus, Dropbox (new), Stripe Zuora (new), IN Extenso (new), Rockwool (new), Micropole (new), CA Technologies (new), SNCF (new), Café Royal (new).

While the management team has remained fairly consistent, in 2016 the firm hired Olivier Provost, former associate director of Havas Paris and chief editor of La Tribune, to strengthen the leadership team and develop a corporate communication practice. Other hires include crisis and media training expert  Josephine Besnard. — AaS