Porter Novelli Brussels Launches RADAR – Real-Time Monitoring and Reputation Management Service

Today’s 24/7 media environment demands constant engagement, not just between organizations and their audiences, but between organizations and the news – traditional, online and social media. Today, Porter Novelli announced the launch of “Porter Novelli RADAR” in the Brussels office, a service which provides clients with round-the-clock monitoring of the issues most important to them.

“Porter Novelli RADAR” has been operating in the USA for the past two years, facilitating issues tracking and providing strategic counsel and reputation management for Porter Novelli clients across North America.  With the launch of “Porter Novelli RADAR” in Brussels, the agency will expand the services to serve the clients in Belgium as well as across the EMEA region.

“Operating the “Porter Novelli RADAR” for the EMEA region out of the Porter Novelli Brussels office is a strategic move,” said Luc Missinne, Managing Director of Porter Novelli’s Brussels office. “Porter Novelli Brussels is a multi-lingual hub with corporate and public affairs experts who can provide clients with immediate and strategically grounded responses to any adverse event.”

The “Porter Novelli RADAR” is operated by a team of experts and offers three discrete monitoring services:

  • Issues Monitoring – Ongoing monitoring of digital and traditional media for simmering and ongoing issues, from litigation to product attacks to regulatory challenges, to name a few.
  • Real-time Tracking and Mitigation – Provides as-it-happens monitoring and reporting once a crisis situation, such as an environmental incident, employee misconduct or a digital security breach, is detected. Real-time reports are issued with recommendations for immediate strategic response. 
  • Trend Analysis – Tracking the top influencers and news affecting an industry, organization or ongoing issue and offering interpretation gleaned from social, online, print and broadcast media coverage.

“Porter Novelli RADAR helps our clients understand what is happening as it happens,” said Marta Majewska, Head of Digital Europe at Porter Novelli. “We have all seen a Tweet and/or Facebook comment or traditional news story explode onto the world stage in a matter of minutes. With these extra capabilities, we can ensure that our clients are rapidly prepared and ready to blunt any challenges to their reputations.”


Karen van Bergen new CEO of Porter Novelli

Porter Novelli is very proud to announce that Karen van Bergen has been appointed our new CEO.

Karen was previously MD of our New York office and steps into her new role beginning January 1, 2013, bringing a global perspective and wealth of expertise gained working with leading brands.

You can see more details about Karen’s appointment on the Porter Novelli website – and congratulations from all of us!


Porter Novelli checks the pulse of the electorate

How quickly can a presidential debate comment, observation or gaffe turn into a meme? According to PN Pulse, with seemingly lightening speed.

During yesterday’s final presidential debate of the 2012 election season, Porter Novelli’s digital analytics team once again provided real-time analysis and insight into the social media conversations surrounding the debate.  For the last month, the team has been analyzing the social media discussion leading up to, and during, the political debates, and posting insights on a Tumblr page  – – created just for the effort.

Our tracking has identified key themes – and memes – that arose during the debates (“Laughing Joe Biden” and “binders full of women”) and provided real-time insight into top debate topics as well as the overall social media volume and tenor.

In this video, Joe Shantz, SVP, digital analytics at Porter Novelli  explains more about PN Pulse. We invite you to have a look at PN Pulse uring the debate to learn how the voting public is reacting to the conversation.





Global communications leader Porter Novelli announced that the agency won a total of five 2012 SABRE Awards for the Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region, with Apex Porter Novelli of Kenya winning the coveted Platinum Award for Best PR Program of the Year. Porter Novelli also was named the Best Multinational PR Consultancy to Work for in EMEA for the second consecutive year, and the third time in six years.


The SABRE Awards, which recognize Superior Achievement in Branding and Reputation, are presented by The Holmes Group, a leading global public relations publishing operation, and were recently announced at a ceremony in Brussels.


“I am delighted that Apex Porter Novelli took the top prize of the night for its work with Unilever Kenya,” said Gary Stockman, CEO, Porter Novelli. “The ‘School of 5 Hand Washing Campaign’ delivered extraordinary results in increasing the frequency of hand washing and educating the community on the direct connection between hand washing and improved health and hygiene.


“On top of our network’s campaign wins, we are honored to be named the top multinational agency network across EMEA for the second consecutive year,” Stockman continued. “This award confirms that we can make the most transformative impact for our clients when our colleagues are encouraged to thrive and are given the tools and the opportunity to think big, act big and provoke the change the client needs. I applaud our leadership across EMEA for putting those principles into action and giving our staff the opportunity to truly be their best.”

 Platinum SABRE

  •  Apex Porter Novelli of Kenya took home the Platinum SABRE Award for the EMEA region’s best public relations program of 2011, on behalf of its cause-related and public education effort, the “Lifebuoy School of 5 Hand Washing Campaign” for Unilever Kenya.



  • Apex Porter Novelli (Kenya) for the “Lifebuoy School of 5 Hand Washing Campaign” on behalf of Unilever Kenya, in the Africa geographic category.
  • Porter Novelli (Netherlands) won for “JIJ & Provincie Overijssel,” in the Belgium/Netherlands/Luxembourg (BENELUX) geographic category.
  • Prat Porter Novelli (Sweden) won in the Marketing to Youth category for its “Durex Condom Tester Campaign” on behalf of Durex (Reckitt Benckiser).

Silver SABRE

  • F&H Porter Novelli (Germany) for best press kit for Mattel, “Comeback of the Year: Ken.”

Porter Novelli named Best Multinational Consultancy to Work For

Brussels, 9 May 2012 – The Holmes Report has named the winners of its annual Best Consultancy to Work For awards, which are based on a survey of more than 5,000 employees from PR agencies across the EMEA region. This year, a record 84 firms participated in the survey. The Holmes Group is dedicated to proving and improving the value of public relations, by providing insight, knowledge and recognition to public relations professionals.

Best Multinational Consultancy to Work For: Porter Novelli

For the second consecutive year, Porter Novelli will take home the award for the Best Multinational Consultancy to Work For in the EMEA region, with employees from around the network of offices in the region praising a “warm and collaborative” culture, “honest and transparent” management, and “strong ethics.”

A team-building exercise for 170 senior staff in Miami last year, regular regional and sub-regional meetings, Christmas parties and summer activities all contribute to strong interoffice cooperation, and a professional development program that includes internal and external trainings, the Porter Novelli University for top performers, as well as a robust exchange program. The firm also offers a variety of flexible options for work-life balance.

Several employees cite the firm’s “Give Something Back” CSR initiative, which allows employees to give a half day of work to volunteer for charities, and encourages local projects through the co-operation with United Fund for Belgium and the Special Olympics.


Porter Novelli named finalist for 15 Sabre Awards

By Kathy Van Looy & Molly Verbeeck

Porter Novelli has been named a finalist for 15 SABRE Awards in EMEA, The Holmes Report announced last week. The SABRE Awards, which recognize Superior Achievement in Branding and Reputation, are managed by The Holmes Group, a leading global public relations publishing operation. The Brussels office has been nominated for a Gold SABRE Award in the category Blogger Outreach for the campaign “Are you having an Affair with your Hair” for Wella Pro Series. The winners will be announced at a ceremony in Brussels on May 31.

 A short description of the Wella Pro Series campaign:



In April 2011, Procter & Gamble launched its first professionally inspired retail hair care brand, Wella Pro Series, in Belgium, and asked Porter Novelli to make the products the talk of the Belgian beauty world.


The team carried out research among beauty bloggers to see what topics they blogged about. This showed that most beauty bloggers were focused on make-up and nail products, and rarely blogged about hair and hair care products.


Wella wanted to get people talking about hair online. The team’s strategy was to introduce the products directly to bloggers at a workshop, and run a competition to find ambassadors for Wella Pro Series among the community of beauty bloggers.


PN organised two workshops to introduce the new products to key journalists during the day and then selected bloggers the same evening. During the workshops, the team presented the new product range, and then the journalists’/bloggers’ hair was washed. They were split into groups, and each group was encouraged to create a certain look, using Wella products. On the night, the team announced the Wella Pro Series Ambassador competition for beauty bloggers. Ten bloggers would be chosen as Wella Pro Series ambassadors.


Each of the ambassadors received a toolbox of products and haircare tools, and had six weeks to put together a portfolio of blog posts, reviews, and how-to videos. The public could vote for their favourite ambassador via Wella’s Facebook page.



Porter Novelli’s blogger and media relations campaign to launch Wella Pro Series created a huge amount of offline and online buzz in Belgium. The total reach of the campaign was approximately 15m online and 12 million offline.



Aston Martin Appoints Porter Novelli as China AOR

Aston Martin has confirmed the appointment of Porter Novelli as its agency of record in China.

The appointment follows a competitive pitch to select a PR agency partner to build brand engagement with Aston Martin’s target audience of ultra high net worth individuals in China. The Porter Novelli team’s work includes building social media, lifestyle and auto media and influencer relationships.

Marcel Fabris, Aston Martin’s Asia Pacific marketing and communications manager, said: “We have been looking for a PR partner who can really help us connect with our target audiences, building effective relationships between our brand, our dealers and our current and potential consumers. Porter Novelli ticked all the boxes, combining pragmatic strategy, market insights, traditional and social media savvy and on-the-ground resources.”

John Orme, senior partner, Porter Novelli, said: “We are delighted to be working in partnership with a brand with such a powerful global heritage and style. Our initial focus is the launch of Aston Martin’s Weibo (Chinese Twitter) brand account, and supporting the brand at the Beijing Auto Show in April.”


Online business driving economic growth

By Celine Mercier

“The single market – getting Europe’s SMEs online”, an event organised by Google last Tuesday, gathered a wide range of people to talk about the role of European SMEs in economic growth. Representatives from the European Commission, MEPs, EU trade associations, NGOs, the media, entrepreneurs, consultancies and more traditional companies were present to discuss opportunities and obstacles of an online Single Market.


SMEs are the engine of the economy and the Internet is a powerful tool for them to leverage for expansion. 15 “success stories” of online companies from 15 different European countries showcased how the Internet helped them to start or to grow dramatically. With 2.5 billion Internet users globally and 5 billion mobile phone users, there are huge opportunities for business. The disruption of the Internet is clearly a myth as numbers show that for every job lost there are 2.6 new positions created in the digital economy. As the Commission Vice President Antonio Tajani stated yesterday, online SMEs grow twice as fast as other companies, thus driving economic growth. The European Union fully supports them and put the digital economy at the heart of its strategy. “Our goal is to double the amount of commerce online by 2015,” Tajani said.


However, online business is scattered and very sensitive to competition. And the amazing resource that the Internet is can still be seen as too technical or too expensive by entrepreneurs. That is why Google launched the initiative “Getting business online” to spread all the benefits of going online. Some entrepreneurs present at the conference confirmed how Google AdWords campaigns have helped them to find their target audience and increase sales.


We are still far from an online Single Market though. Entrepreneurs and the traditional business services companies that accompany them – postal and telecommunications companies – agreed that there are still strong barriers to more e-commerce in other, sometimes neighbouring, European countries. Those obstacles include: taxation and payment systems, consumer rights legislation, freight and delivery costs.


According to the entrepreneurs at the event, the recipe for an online business success story is to find first THE niche market where there is no offer yet, thus no competition, and where consumers tend to go online to search for what they cannot find ‘IRL’ (in real life). And the second most important key to growth is targeted marketing: getting to the right audience online to be able to sell. However good an idea is, if it is not made public, it will not sell. Hence the importance of a good integrated communications strategy, which can be difficult for entrepreneurs who often have to do so many things at the same time to launch their business. Finally, online businesses cannot avoid Social Media as part of their communications strategy, as it is now a key channel for reaching online prospects.



The new K.I.S.S: keep it social, stupid!

Originally published in DMix Magazine (November 2011)

 By Danny Devriendt

Anything people do online leaves traces, can be tracked, captured, analyzed, stored, compared, morphed, pivoted endlessly in bulky spreadsheets and rendered in attractively colored pie charts. The live data of online visits, behavior and conversation gives brands and companies a coherent feedback that can impact their sales, product development, customer service and business intelligence big time, if used wisely.

When Gartner put out figures that more than 75% of Western customers are heavily influenced by their social networks in their purchase decision cycle, most marketers spontaneously started drooling all over their keyboards. There is data. Tons of it. But where is it? Who owns it? How can you use it and what exactly is it that you need?

Facebook is a continent

The first data you encounter are fairly staggering numbers: 750 million Facebook users, 200 million Twitter users, 7 million Foursquare users…So what are you waiting for? You should be updating all kind of statuses out there. But every marketer knows: it’s not because there are millions of people out there, using a shiny thing, that your customer is using it. It’s not because an online media platform is heavily popular, that it is used by your buyers and that it is even remotely interesting for you. There is no such thing as one size fits all.

So now that the cold sweat of data everywhere and multimillion user platforms evaporated, we can get to work. Start with the obvious:

Where is everyone?

Who are our customers? When are they online? Where are they online? What are they talking about? What tools do they use? Who are they connected to? Who do they interact with? Who influences that community?

Good marcom agencies, analysts (Forrester, Altimeter, etc) or data crunchers can help you determine that. This narrows down your playfield to something concrete and useful.

Data is in the cloud

As marketers and communicators we’re so used to have our data in fat, heavy, protected SQL databases on a turbo powered, bulletproofed and shiny server in an air conditioned IT room. We want to be able to caress our precious, and feel better at night knowing it is live backed up on a secret data center in Timbuktu. Get over it. Most of the new data is in the cloud. There is tons of data online. Keep it there. Get over the fact that while you will own less data, you will be able to use way more relevant data going forward…cloud based live data.

What Facebook cooks, you eat

Let’s take a look at Facebook. Facebook knows, bluntly, everything about your target group. Who they are, where they live, who they are connected to, what info they click on, when are they online, are they single, do they have kids, etc. Your agency is the ideal interlocutor to work together with Facebook. Go real detailed: you want your ad to pop up on every single account, owned by a music loving 17-year old from Ghent, online after 10pm? Facebook can help you do just that.

What Twitter shakes, you drink

Twitters data feed is equally impressive: giving the possibility to target on gender, location, age, profile, type of user, influence level, reach…you name it. You can use free software to help you through the weeds (just type what you’re looking for in Google’s toolbar, and some freeware will pop up). Sharing content through Twitter using smart short links ( etc) gives you direct info on click through rates and reach. Trending topics pop up in a heartbeat.

Who has Klout in the Cloud?

To determine who is influential online, you need to set some parameters: influential on what, calculated on what axis? Reach? Popularity? Credibility? Here again, a good agency can help you identify your key influencers based on rock hard data. If you want a quick glance, can give you a quick indication (and no more than that).

The cocktail effect

A plethora of tools, ranging from Netvibes keyword dashboards, Radian 6 mentions, Crimson Hexagon sentiment analysis and tutti quanti can give you all kinds of data on what people are saying when they talk about your brands. Mind you: you will need a trained analyst to sift through the data. Here at Porter Novelli, we have several on file. Hope your agency does as well.

Keep it social

Do not go and file that data. Don’t lock it away: use it. On the spot. If your conversation tracker detects someone needs info, act upon it. Become part of the conversation. Become a data driven net influencer, as a brand.

Data just became active. It became a datastream, rather than a database. You’re either in…or out.



Move the World

By Christian Remon & Julie Lievens

“Move the World”, an expedition travelling around the world in 100 days to raise awareness about AIDS, arrived in Belgium two weeks ago. Porter Novelli Brussels was asked to organize a press conference and a round table. A very interesting project which of course we grabbed with both hands.

“Move the World” is an organisation that wants to move the world to continue the fight against HIV and AIDS. For the last ten years, they have been taking yearly initiatives that link adventure to education and awareness. This year, the team is undertaking an international expedition that will lead them through 50 countries and across 5 continents in just 100 days! Impressive! In each country they organize a press conference to talk about the HIV/AIDS issues they encountered in other countries, as well as their own adventurous experiences during the expedition. But the most important part of their visit is a round table that gathers HIV experts – scientists, doctors, politicians, economists, awareness organizations and personally affected people – that bring a holistic view on national issues. The national results will be bundled in a worlwide manifest that will be handed over to the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Ban Ki-Moon. Pretty amazing if you ask us.

In Brussels, we gathered at the Automuseum, a magnificent location in the centre of Brussels. Joachim Franz, expedition leader, talked about their adventures of the last couple of weeks. They started in Vancouver (Canada), travelled through the US and Latin America, all the way to Argentina, stopping in every possible country, where they were confronted with a lot a HIV issues. They had some tough times, and not everything went according to plan, but they hung in there and did a magnificent job.

We had also invited Dr. Callens from the Aids Reference Centre in Ghent, to explain the national issues more in detail. He did an excellent job discussing the various aspects. What exactly is the medical problem? How can we best tackle this? How is the Belgian political situation affecting the institutional support to fight it? And how is it possible that the number of people diagnosed with HIV in Belgium is still growing? Perhaps a quote by dr. Callens explains it best: ‘The lifesaving treatment with HIV inhibitors is only one aspect. People who live with HIV are still physically, emotionally and socially challenged every single day. A united approach by doctors, nurses and social assistants is becoming more and more important to safeguard the physical and spiritual health on the long term.” The national press was impressed by both the expedition stories as well as Dr. Callens’ insights and shocking eye-openers.

After the press conference we invited 7 people to join the round table, lead by an HIV expert from the “Move the World” team. Next to Dr. Callens, we gathered influential people from various disciplines: Jan Roegiers & Sophie Maes from the political world, Piet Wigerinck from the healthcare industry, and Maureen Louhenapessy, Thierry Martin and Patrick Reyntiens from aids awareness organizations. The round table was an absolute success, leading to new insights for all the people involved. It brought up the thought patterns of people they often don’t interact with.

We at Porter Novelli Brussels are proud of the work that we’ve done for the Expedition, and wish them all the best. They are currently travelling through Africa and will then be heading to Asia and Australia! Follow their expedition here.

Check out a few pictures about the Brussels pit stop on our Facebook page!