Communications/Social Media Interns wanted!!!

Are you smart, driven and passionate about social media? You’re a digital native, but always eager to learn and sharpen your skills? Then you will fit perfectly into the Porter Novelli Digital Team! We are looking for a student who is looking to dive in and get his or her hands dirty, and is willing to do various social media-related tasks, from research to blogging and more!

What will you be doing?

  • Conducting social media research across any given topic (collecting, organizing and analyzing data)
  • Social media monitoring
  • Help with content development
  • Media Relations
  • Help with developing creative ideas for social media campaigns
  • A variety of other tasks, depending on the need of the moment (might include some traditional communications work)

What do you need?

  • A familiarity with social media
  • Excellent computer skills
  • Excellent writing skills
  • Fluent in English (and preferably another European language)

When can you start?

Job type:
Full-time (preferred)

Based in:
Brussels, Belgium

Interested? Contact Marta Majewska at



Once upon a Time: Is Storytelling Just Another Buzzword?

By Nicholas Courant


Every now and then, the communication community succumbs to some buzzword frenzy. Given the recent flow of blogposts and business books about storytelling, corporate storytelling and transmedia storytelling, you might think that there is indeed another buzzword on the block. But looking beyond the hype, storytelling just might have a more long-lasting impact on how organizations and brands communicate with those that matter most to them.

Another One Bites the Dust, or Not?

Sure enough, the act of storytelling is not exactly a radically new concept, as it literally dates back to our stone-age ancestors.  But is it another marketing fad that will go out of fashion just as quickly as the hype emerged?

I think that there are reasons to believe that the concept behind corporate storytelling will outlive the buzzword. Why? Well, because in some ways, it is a game-changer that appeals to a real need in disciplines like corporate communication and PR.

One of the biggest challenges for professionals working in these disciplines is to create true impact with messages and content that really is of more importance to them than to their audiences. Why after all, should your consumer really care about that new product launch or your business prospect care about your latest corporate announcement? The answer lies in a component too often overlooked in PR and corporate communication: emotion.

Creating Deep Impact

Even if your news is relevant for the stakeholders that matter most to you, the challenge remains; how do you win not just their minds, but also their hearts? Well…this is exactly what storytelling can do: stories make people care about what you are telling them.

People can usually understand your message, but if it leaves them cold, they will be unaffected, and chances are you will be unsuccessful in your communication efforts. Although getting your facts and figures right is of paramount importance, they’ll fall short of creating true impact; making people remember and even cherish your message with emotion.

In a recent blogpost, Jonathan Gottschall, author of The Storytelling Animal, lists scientific evidence backing up the claim that storytelling is an innate human capacity and the most powerful means of communicating a message. A recent American Scientific article even illustrates how our love for telling a story can be traced back to our evolutionary history. It is indeed clear that storytelling meets the need for more emotion in fact-based communication.

Just Add Emotion

Only a few years ago, social media was the subject of a similar “buzzword or not” discussion. Today, it would be hard to dispute that social media kicked off a revolution and has transformed the way we communicate. One-way, top-down communication has been replaced by conversations between equals and audience-participation has become the norm.

I believe that storytelling will add another dimension to the equation. To create impact, and win people’s hearts, communication should add emotion to facts. Using the techniques of corporate storytelling, product launches and dull corporate announcements can become part of a net that captures people’s attention and bypasses the infamous “what’s in it for me?” question.

Just think of all those presentations where you sat there thinking: “Why the hell should I care about this stuff? Why on earth am I looking at these graphs and bullet-point infested slides?” Abstract concepts and ideas might help our minds understand the complexities of the world in which we live, but most of us don’t get motivated by factual information alone. We do identify with characters in a story, with their challenges and with their journey. Once a story has grabbed our attention, we can’t stop ourselves from caring about how it ends. That’s why, contrary to a PowerPoint sheet with bullets and graphs, stories will be instantly remembered because of their emotional angles.

Stories As Change Agents

And finally: stories are the ultimate vehicle to change not only people’s convictions but also their behavior. The influential branding expert Martin Lindstrom has argued that we don’t buy simply with our conscious brain. Our decisions and actions are hugely influenced by how we feel and what we sense. Research by behavioral neurobiologists like António Damásio has confirmed that our brain not only relies on conscious reasoning, but also on emotion to make decision.

Storytelling adds that emotional component that will make people want to change, more than what any fact-based communication can do on its own. And that is exactly why I believe that the practice of storytelling will outlive the buzzword: it just works.


How to wrap up the year effectively

By Reinout Janssen & Jurgen Mortier

Summer is usually the time when most corporate communications and investor relations teams have finished their corporate reports and start thinking about next year’s editions. The Porter Novelli Annual Report team in Brussels is no different. This year we managed to develop six annual and sustainability reports from A to Z, most of them in several languages, and delivered on time.


Work started end of last year with the Nutreco Annual and Sustainability Report and Sustainability Vision 2020, followed by the Royal Friesland Campina Annual and CSR Report and the VION Food Group Annual Report.


As always our studio and production team, together with the different companies, came up with refreshing designs and applied maximum quality standards. The ever tighter deadlines, countless correction rounds and different language versions make these reports masterpieces of military planning, stunning speed and German efficiency, every year again. 


All reports are designed for printing, although they are also available as downloadable PDFs.



If you would like to learn more about our expertise in this area, please contact Jurgen Mortier ( or +32 476 45 15 11).



Foursquare: why the f* should I care?

By Kathy Van Looy

 Saturday evening. Barbecue. My friends know I’m kind of a social media addict, so they pop a question: “That ‘check-in’ thing, what’s it called? Foursquare or something? Seriously, that is so damn stupid. What’s it good for? It’s made for people who like to brag about where they are, and who they are with.” Hmmm. Must. Keep. Calm. Will keep calm because they are my friends. Great friends by the way. But seriously? You should try something first, before breaking it down. So for them and all those others out there who think Foursquare is a nuisance and for braggers only: here’s what it’s all about.

This is Wikipedia’s definition on Foursquare: Foursquare, stylized as foursquare, is a location-based social networking website for mobile devices, such as smartphones. Users “check in” at venues using a mobile website, text messaging or a device-specific application by selecting from a list of venues the application locates nearby.[3] Location is based on GPS hardware in the mobile device or network location provided by the application. Each check-in awards the user points and sometimes “badges”.

So yes, it’s also for braggers. But the braggers are the stupid ones. Because the best feature on Foursquare is the fact that you can read and share “tips” to venues which serve as suggestions for great things to do, see or eat at the location. So really, it helps you to avoid the basic touristic traps. Eg: you are in Ibiza, and you want to go to a restaurant. Where should you go? Where are the closest restaurants? And are they any good?  The best thing to do is to check in on Foursquare: it’ll immediately tell you where the closest restaurants are (from where you are standing), AND you can immediately see recommendations from other people on the menu, the location, etc. Honest crowd feedback as we like to call it. The key to success by the way. And of course, when you’ve eaten, you can share your experience as well. And if you ever go back to Ibiza and you can’t remember where the restaurant was, you can just go back to Foursquare and find all the info back. No need to write anything down: it’s all there. Registered in your device. Easy. And for those with their own business, Foursquare is of course a great PR tool, especially when people check in and link it to their Facebook or Twitter page: extra visibility, free PR. Use it.


The big success of these location based, social powered and accessible on mobile devices (SoLoMo), lies in the fact that people prefer to follow opinions and experiences from their peers (or network): peer review and peer influence are critical factors in the buying cycle. In normal words: before you buy a new TV, who do you turn to first? Exactly: your family. Friends. People you trust. You follow their opinions, you listen to what they have to say.   

And where is this going to? I don’t want to scare anyone, but soon they will be able to sniff your intentions, and give you info on that. Eg: I check into my Delhaize supermarket. Based on my fidelity card, my profile and location, they will soon know everything about my shopping behaviour. And as soon as I check in, the supermarket will send me alerts on which of my favourite products are in promotion that day. Or a nice recipe I could try based on the stuff I’ve bought. Yes, it’s scary. But that’s where we are heading. Get ready for it.




Poste : Account Executive au sein de l’agence conseil en communication PORTER NOVELLI


Porter Novelli est une agence internationale de relations publiques avec un large portefeuille de clients belges et internationaux. L’agence est actuellement à la recherche d’un nouveau collaborateur francophone qui intégrera des équipes déjà formées travaillant sur différents comptes et pour différents clients. Les tâches à effectuer par tous les membres des équipes sont multiples et variées : travail de recherche, développement d’une stratégie de relations publiques, contacts directs avec la presse, organisation d’événements/conférences de presse, rédaction/traduction/révision de documents destinés à la publication, etc.

 Profil recherché :

 –          Le français est votre langue maternelle et vous avez de très bonnes compétences rédactionnelles.

–          Vous avez d’excellentes connaissances de la langue néerlandaise, à l’oral et à l’écrit.

–          Vous parlez l’anglais.

–          Vous maîtrisez les outils informatiques de base (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Access), vous vous intéressez aux médias sociaux.

–          Vous vous intéressez au monde de la communication des entreprises et des médias (expérience un atout mais pas indispensable).

–          Vous recherchez un emploi dans un environnement international et aimez travailler au sein d’une équipe.

–          Vous êtes une personne sociable et autonome, vous savez prendre des initiatives et vous développez facilement de bons contacts.


Envoyez votre CV et votre lettre de motivation à Mme Carolien Van Driessche (




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.”
Share — One more… keep the faith!

By Danny Devriendt

I felt a bit empty, without a purpose, even bored. As a seasoned social media warrior (I promised @thebrandbuilder not to use words like guru, ninja, persona, celebrity, Special Operations Commander and rainmaker in vain), I was secretly hoping for yet another social network to pop up, and make my day.

See, everyone is on Facebook now. Even the Belgian Prime minister is on Twitter. My boss is on Foursquare. Nine real smart people and a horsehead are on Google+. My primary schoolteacher’s little niece is on LinkedIn. I have an avatar on 2ndLife. I am connected to people I will probably never meet on Path, most of my female friends go bananas pinning stuff on Pinterest. Their boyfriends are on Gentlemint.

My Sony laptop faithfully remembers my account details of 14 (fourteen) social sites.

Make that 15 (fifteen). Since yesterday I’m a registered user of a new social online thing called . Microsoft started it as a top secret social research experiment fueled by social groups. They first tested it on virtual machines, then on small rodents, scared orangutans and finally on students.

As a social study on students rarely generates any tangible data,  got a nihil obstat from Nato and WHO, and has quietly been released to the  general public. Microsoft claims it is not looking to wrestle with Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare  or Google+ for world supremacy in the social space. It describes as “an experimental research project focused on exploring the possibilities of social search for the purpose of learning.”  Users of  can find information on any topic, and share interesting findings directly with their network. also enables sharing ‘rich content’ that consists of little  scrapbook-like potpourris of multimedia content.

So, it’s a mixture of Bing, Facebook, and Pinterest.  It’s search on steroids. It’s Microsoft’s crazy Frankenstein-mix of Google and Facebook. It’s vaguely interesting. I think I’ll give it a go. I just have to. It’s my job. Confucius said sternly “Faced with what is right; to leave it undone shows a lack of courage.”

Students can do it. Orangutans can do it.  *deep sigh* I’ll keep you posted.


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.


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 room
  • 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

  • Minimum 2 years of work experience
  • 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 Carolien Van Driessche:


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.