Hamburg PR agency Industrie-Contact has been on the international stage for 15 years
In 2017, the Public Relations Global Network (PRGN) celebrates its 25th anniversary. What began with a handful of former American Edelman escapists is now a vibrant global network of 50 partner agencies on all continents, meeting twice a year for a multi-day conference. At the same time, Industrie-Contact from Hamburg is celebrating its 15 years of membership in the network this year.
It began in 1992 in Phoenix, Arizona: A number of former Edelman partner agencies wanted to act more independently and founded a new PR network, called The Phoenix Network, initially focused solely on the US market. In 2001, a first agency outside the USA was added with the then French partner. In 2002, a British agency and Industrie-Contact became the first German agency to join the company. These three European agencies ensured that within a few years a European network was created. The network was also renamed Public Relations Global Network in 2002.
The most important further development steps: Australia joined in 2004, Mexico in 2005, South Africa and Brazil in 2007, followed by the first Asian partner in 2008. This covered all continents. The network now has 50 members and offers classic and digital PR, communication and marketing services for a growing range of industries.
International PR with a lot of Hamburg energy
Industrie-Contact (IC) has always been a strong PRGN driver from the beginning of its membership. Uwe Schmidt, CEO of IC, has been committed to the expansion, initially in Europe and then globally. He has worked for many years in the Marketing and Executive Committee as well as on the Advisory Board. From 2014 to 2015 he was PRGN President. IC was also responsible for the website and the SEO work for many years.
Was it worth the effort? For us as a medium-sized agency, it was a big step in 2002 to become a member. However, we have benefited from this all the time: on the one hand through the intensive exchange of experience and on the other hand because new business has constantly come in through the network. At the same time, we were able to place orders with our partners,”says Uwe Schmidt. It was also important to make the network more business-oriented over the years. In the 2000s, we focused more and more on business development in the 2000s.”
Global network without headquarters
A key success factor for PRGN is the two annual meetings that take place at a certain pace in North America, Europe and other parts of the world. As a result, the members know each other personally very well. We are a real, not just virtual network. And between meetings, we continue to work continuously in the committees (Executive, Marketing & PR, Business, Knowledge, Membership, Training & Development, Site) as well as in the Advisory Board and Leadership Roundtable,”says Schmidt. Because of the regular meetings and the rotating responsibilities, we have always done well without headquarters. Salaries are not paid for the presidency or for committee work. This makes us very competitive compared to large HQ-driven agency networks.”
PRGN adheres to the strict code of ethics developed by the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA). As new members are accepted only by invitation and after a rigorous assessment, this ensures that customers have a broad confidence in the quality and consistency of the network.
PRGN at Wikipedia: Public Relations Global Network