The world’s biggest PR agency Burson-Marsteller, has abandoned the term
public relations and re-styled itself as a ‘perception management’
Ferry de Bakker, president and CEO of Burson Marsteller Europe said
public relations was too limited a term to describe what the agency now
does and that research among clients showedthat ‘PR is not well
He added that he hoped the rest of the PR industry would follow B-M’s
The new label - just part of a major culture change going on within B-M
- will feature in a two and a half year promotional campaign, targeting
both staff and clients, which kicks off in April.
The aim is to re-position B-M as a company which uses a range of
communications disciplines, including PR and advertising and to create
positive business results. rather than focusing purely on communications
The process Is already well advanced in the US. where the agency has re-
organised into ten global practices. Each is led by a ‘practice chair’
with responsibility for staff within that area regardless of where They
are located. A similar structure will be introduced in Europe and Asia-
Pacific over the next 18 months.
The move has important implications for country managers. such as UK
chief executive Alison Canning. Although they will continue to have some
operational responsibility for their offices after 1997. financial
responsibility will shift to the practice heads - of which Canning is
likely to be one.
It was. said de Bakker. a way of focusing the work of our most senior
resources on, key clients rather than operational matters.
* Burson-Malsteller Europe I announced record fee income of dollars 64.7
million for 1995. up from dollars 54 million the previous year.