Elsevier plans on hiring firms to lift global PR efforts

AMSTERDAM: Publishing giant Elsevier is looking to crank up its global communications, with pitches for agency support expected within months.

AMSTERDAM: Publishing giant Elsevier is looking to crank up its global communications, with pitches for agency support expected within months.

Eric Merkel-Sobotta, the newly appointed global corporate relations director (see PRWeek, February 10), said he plans to hire an agency in the US to handle "classic corporate communications and corporate social responsibility work," alongside possible hires in the Netherlands and the UK.

Merkel-Sobotta said he was "basically starting from scratch" in terms of Elsevier's external PR efforts, although he said some ad hoc agency support had been used in the past.

Merkel-Sobotta, who reports to New York-based US CEO John Regazzi, who holds the dual role as MD of marketing development, said he was to recruit two senior communicators to focus on external PR in the US and Amsterdam.

He confirmed that the existing nine-strong in-house PR team will continue to focus on internal communications.

He said the group placed an added emphasis on its global corporate communications after parent agency Reed Elsevier acquired US publisher Harcourt General 18 months ago.

Merkel-Sobotta said of his international PR plans, "In the US, the aim is just to get our name out there, whereas in the UK, it's an issue of differentiating us in the market."

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