Porter Novelli Traffic Jam In Pictures!

Dear Guest,

Thank you for attending the Porter Novelli Traffic Jam social event on Sunday, 12 May. We hope you enjoyed the short film, the atmosphere, the entertainment and, of course, the company. We look forward to welcoming you at one of Porter Novelli’s future events!

The PN team


* Please don’t hesitate to contact Yasmina Plas, PR & Marketing Manager at Porter Novelli on yasmina.plas@porternovelli.be should you want high resolution pictures or if Porter Novelli can be of any service. 
* Photos taken by http://www.brunocornil.be/ 

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In someone’s shoes

By Luc Missinne (@Margil)

Original post on http://www.lucmissinne.be/?p=384

When I was a little boy, it was common practice for kids to wear the clothes of their elder brothers or sisters. Except for the shoes. And exactly that piece of clothing is what we like to share the most: how often do we not hear ‘put yourself in my/his/her shoes’? With that suggestion we try to convince others of our/his/her point of view. Looking at things from another angle, from another perspective makes sense, because there is more than one truth to any matter. The question is: of all the possible view points, which is the most valid?

For a mother to want the drunk driver that killed her child to be put in prison for life immediately is a legitimate desire. For the judge to follow the mother’s craving would be stupid. It is okay to try on different pairs of shoes, but it would be wrong to keep wearing them. Too much personal emotion would get stuck in the soles/souls of people to be able to make a sustainable decision. To get the best view, it takes a certain distance. And the broader the impact, the more distance it takes to get the complete picture.

We all wear shoes in which we feel comfortable and we hate to take them off. But every now and then we should. My feeling is that we do too little of that. With summer at hand this may be the right season: let’s not forget what it feels like to walk barefoot.



By Luc Missinne (@Margil)


As the old saying goes, when it rains, it pours (and that’s not just a reference to the weather). In the space of a week we have received an influx of energy suppliers contacting us, including two phone calls from and a representative of a third one turning up at our front door. It makes you wonder…why now? Do they suspect people to be more open for change on that matter now that spring is finally in the air?

Only recently and years after the liberation of the energy market in Belgium in July 2003, consumers have started questioning what they pay for gas and electricity. And it looks like energy suppliers have finally managed to get the message through to their target group: change of supplier does not imply new cabling, there is no risk of being temporarily cut off, no discouraging pile of paperwork and no poorer quality of the product delivered. It took them almost 10 years to communicate this message to the masses, and it seems that the next step is to individually contact every possible customer to win him over?

No doubt about it, energy is a ‘must have’, there is no need to convince people of the product itself. The pros are self-evident. It is not a product which requires an in-depth investigation as to which supplier to choose to get the right product: whether you buy via supplier A or B, you get the same thing. And for the price: a handy tool to compare prices is available on the internet. Apparently that leaves face-to-face marketing, a one-on-one commercial talk with a friendly face as the favoured avenue to win the client. Network providers do it too, which seems to make sense: phone and the internet have also reached the status of ‘indispensable product’. The chimney sweep and the cutlery salesmen are more traditional door-to-door salesmen. But what about this one … I can’t be the only living soul at whose front door a Jehovah or Mormon preacher turns up every now and then to convince me to ‘buy’ his religion? Does that make his ‘product’ an indispensable one too? I wonder…


Contagious: Why Do Things Catch On?

By Marta Majewska (@princess_misia)

How can we make our campaign, product, idea more infectious? Why does one video go viral while the other gets less than 500 views? It is a never ending question, one that every marketer, agency and brand has asked themselves more than once. As there is no clear answer, we like to think that it’s luck. But according to Jonah Berger, a professor of marketing at Wharton Business School and author of the book Contagious: Why Things Catch On, it’s not luck. It’s science.

At his SXSW session, Berger might not have entirely solved the mystery but he has definitely shared some really good insights based on the 10-year research he conducted on why a product, a video, or an idea becomes more infectious.


It is common thinking that to generate word-of-mouth you need a handful individuals which are exceptionally ‘connected’.  Even though influencers might help you with creating awareness around your product or campaign, they are usually not very effective in making things go viral. Contagious content spreads regardless of who is doing the talking, therefore think of not focusing too much on the messenger but rather on the message.


Ever wondered why Rebecca Black went (and still is) so annoyingly viral? Because every Friday, people still search YouTube for her video. Friday, in this case, is what Berger calls a mental trigger, stimuli that reminds people of products and ideas, prompt people to think about related things. Designing products and campaigns that are frequently triggered by the environment is key.


Have you ever saw something you really liked but decided not to share it after all? Do you remember why you didn’t do it? Most probably because you thought it would reflect badly on you or make you seem dull, dumb, boring? Word-of-mouth has become a tool for us, to make a good impression, just like the car we drive and the clothes we choose to wear. Sharing has become a social currency so next time you are developing a campaign, think about how you can give people a way to make themselves look entertaining, clever and hip while promoting your products along the way.

If still in doubt, get a mean Panda to help you create word-of-mouth for your brand. It sure is contagious.




Reflections on Mobile World Congress: The age of Cyborgs

By Jeroen Gaudissabois (@JGaudiss)


Ah, Barcelona! The beautiful city of ramblas, Gaudi, beaches, tapas and sun! Heaven on earth! Unless you go there during winter of course. During winter, Barcelona, like any other European city, is just another grey mass of warmly-dressed  people hurrying to get back inside. Then again, who would be crazy enough to go to Barcelona during winter? Well, I am, and approximately 70.000 journalists from all over the world are too.

The reason we all visited this beautiful city in its least inviting period of the year is that from the 25th to the 28th of February 2013, Barcelona was the host of the Mobile World Congress, the world’s largest tradeshow for mobile technology. Because Barcelona has had this honor for several years, the city has earned itself the title of “Mobile Capital of the World”.

Strolling around in this Walhalla of technology, I couldn’t help but think back to my first mobile love: the infamous Nokia 3310. This rock-solid piece of hardware served its purposes, texting and calling, admirably. It’s not surprising that 13 years after its launch, this mobile wayfarer is woefully outdated. Let’s imagine the following, please bear with me:

“A 3310 walks into a bar and sees its contemporary counterparts. It’s immediately obvious that they’re shinier than him, but hey, why couldn’t he socialize with them, right? He grabs a stool near the bar and starts eavesdropping. What are these phones on about? An what about those keyboardless computers, what are they doing here? But look at how easy all these shiny devices are connecting and hooking up!? What could he possibly have to say to all the other phones here? They’re all so smart! It’s almost as if they’re connected to some higher omniscient being! After sulking on his stool for a while, our brave 3310 finally hides himself in the darkest corner of the bar to delete a text message and make room for the next one.”

Ok, let’s snap back to reality. This example might be an exaggeration, but we too often forget the dazzling pace at which technology is evolving.  That by itself is interesting enough, but let’s takes a look at ourselves, shall we? How are these new technologies affecting us? It’s hard to imagine that something didn’t exist once you’ve become accustomed to it.

Tablets, smartphones and mobile internet, they’ve all become extensions of ourselves. With wearable technologies, smartwatches and smart glasses at the threshold of our daily lives, it’s a solid assumption to say that humans are increasingly becoming cyborgs. For better or for worse, we’re all increasingly depending on external technologies to get us through our daily tasks. Need a recipe for cooking? Google it. No idea where you’re going? Turn on the GPS.  Feeling sick? Pick a sensor medical device.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m loving this evolution! It’s just very easy to take it all for granted if you’ve grown up with it. But when you come to think of how our way of living has changed in the last decade, you’d almost need a storage device connected to your brain to store all your thoughts. Come to think of it, that would be a good idea! If this technological development keeps up the current pace, we might even see Smart Humans in the near future!


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.”


Facebook Graph Search – PN Connect Rapid Briefing

As a feature enhancement, as a search engine and as a new ad platform, Facebook’s beta Graph Search announced on January 15  has the potential to impact the brand social media landscape in a number of ways. Our global team has prepared a 15-page briefing outlining our initial perspective and recommendations regarding Facebook’s Graph Search.

For the full post, please visit Porter Novelli’s global blog: Facebook Graph Search – PN Connect Rapid Briefing.


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!



Job opening for a Communications Co-Ordinator

Are you an outgoing, practical and organised person people can rely on? A real team player with a hands-on mentality who loves to get things done? Then this may be a job for you!

Porter Novelli Brussels is hiring a Communications Co-ordinator. Comms Co’s take care of the day-to-day administration and co-ordination of the office: they can multitask and can handle the pressure of a busy agency.

Duties and Responsibilities

  • Day-to-day administration: answering the phone, mail distribution, booking meeting rooms
  • Full co-ordination of mailings
  • Handling of press releases
  • Plan and execute activities in a timely, efficient and high quality manner
  • General office management
  • Assist the account teams where and when necessary

Knowledge and Skills

  • Very good knowledge of English, Dutch and French
  • Good knowledge of MS Office (Word, Excel, Powerpoint, Access)
  • Proven ability to effectively organise and manage multiple responsibilities
  • Ability to work well with others
  • Positive, professional and especially flexible attitude

Interested? Send your CV to Febe Boone (febe.boone@porternovelli.be)


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  –http://pnpulse.porternovelli.com/ – 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.