European Enterprise Award 2020

26 EU BUSINESS NEWS / 2020 European Enterprise Awards , Best PR Marketing Agency - Switzerland Over the past year, the Public Relations industry has had to significantly adapt in response to the Pandemic. For a communications company like Simon&Co, this hasmeant not just rising to challenges, but finding newer and bolderways to adapt andmeet themhead on. Nov20858 Simon&Co is a global PR marketing agency based in Lausanne, Switzerland, with branches all over the world. It works with clients to build strong brands that empower them to rise in their industries, helping to develop, promote and establish them through clear and intuitive communication. PR strategist and brand builder Virginie Simon told us that its main projects currently involve reputation management plans, launches, communications of influence, public affairs, media relations and business development. ‘As you can see, we are never bored,’ she went on to add, and we can’t help but agree! Alongside its exciting flagship projects, Simon&Co prides itself on its very particular method and ethos. When working with its clients, Simon&Co views the dynamic as a partnership, working together to make the best brand possible. This creates a long-term rapport between Simon&Co and its customers, not only ensuring that the marketing strategy it advises is custom built to fit, but that it can adapt this strategy with the organisation in question. Every decision regarding how best to communicate a message to an audience is tailored to their specific circumstances. Moreover, Simon&Co go above and beyond to ensure that its clients are ready to deliver the message that they have in mind. Where a client presents a plan that their team think is ill-timed or could use extra work, they won’t just put the strategy into action, but will work with the client until the communication is at its best before release. Given how crucial timing is for an effective campaign, they work hard to ensure each communication goes out when the time is right for that specific content. Additionally, they encourage their partners to know the assets and selling points of their campaign beforehand, to know the expectations of their target market as well as how best to reach them. PR strategy, especially during a pandemic, needs to adapt and evolve with the world it wants to make a mark in. Simon&Co has in the previous year been focusing on its crisis management for both itself and its clients. With Covid-19 making media relations tricky as the industry struggles to evolve and demand more exclusive content, Simon&Co had to prepare for the reality of companies having a reduced budget for communications in the face of budget cuts across the board. This, Virginie Simon informed us, isn’t new – over the course of the past years, the PR industry has joined many sectors in seeing a decline in investment with companies tightening their belts. Simon&Co see this trend as one that may only increase as the world is very much not out of the woods yet, and so in response have been focusing on providing more tools and coaching to clients. The key to their success during this time has been flexibility, making them an invaluable consultant as businesses find themselves having to completely rethink PR and communications strategies that were devised prior to Covid-19. This is where Simon&Co’s partnership really shines. They help to take a business’s outdated strategy and adapt its tone and message for one that fits a changing climate, ensuring a focus on empathy and solidarity. Poised in one of the most advantageous regions to test-launch any idea, Simon&Co make full use of Switzerland’s three diverse main languages and cultures to judge how something may be received elsewhere in the EU. The German, French and Italian-speaking populations within the mid-European nation make it the perfect microcosm for seeing how something will be received in those countries. Another strong element in Simon&Co’s corner has been Virginie’s strong expertise in crisis management and the permanence she sat-up during the pandemic, offering fast-tracking support to all type of businesses. Internally, Simon&Co extend their culture of partnership to their employees as much as they do to their clients. New hires are often chosen not for lofty educations, but for showing deep interest in the political, social and economic environment that can make or break a strategic communication campaign. Virginie Simon describes this culture as ‘flat’ – without hierarchy, all colleagues are treated as equally pivotal to the firm’s success. The future of Simon&Co lies in continuing to provide aid to their clients in the ever-changing crucible of the pandemic over the course of 2021. Alongside this, they plan to develop more content aimed at start-up businesses to help them get off the ground in a time of tumult, providing excellent support ‘minus the agency price-tag’. Company: Simon&Co Contact: Virginie Simon Website: