Nearly three years ago, Swyft led the formation of an international network of communications agencies designed to help B2B companies accelerate global growth without having to spend a small fortune on large, cumbersome, and often bureaucratic multinational agencies.
Spanning multiple time zones, continents, and languages, the First PR Alliance partner network met in Paris this week to discuss ways to improve collaboration between member agencies. The ultimate goal was to ensure that all clients brought to the alliance network receive a highly customized level of service, best-in-class communications techniques, and truly outstanding results.
“We already work seamlessly together on client accounts,” notes Dave Manzer, President of Swyft. “But that success is built upon a commitment toward continuous improvement and that’s what underpins our ability to deliver best-in-class support to technology clients seeking growth around the world.”
Other topics addressed at the partner meeting included future global team-building opportunities and marketing strategy and tactics First PR Alliance could pursue in order to drive more brand awareness for the network and its members.
First PR Alliance includes 10 members in 12 countries across five continents. All totaled, the members speak over a dozen languages and counting. Unfortunately, a nasty case of the flu spreading around Europe like wildfire prevented several of the members from attending in person, although some were able to call in remotely to participate. Those in attendance or on the conference call included:
- Alexis Noal: ComCorp (our host for the meeting!) — Paris, France
- Beatriz De Andrés Mora: Art Marketing — Madrid, Spain
- Dave Manzer: Swyft — Austin, Texas USA
- Jo Detavernier: Swyft — Austin, Texas USA
- Piotr Czarnowski: FIRST Public Relations — Warsaw, Poland
- Sabine Steen-Lakerveld: DOK30 Communicatie — Amsterdam, Netherlands
- Sam Howard: The Comms Crowd — London, UK
“Meeting our international partners really strengthens the network and benefits our clients,” said Sabine Steen-Lakerveld of DOK30 Communicatie in Amsterdam. “This meeting was a great moment to not only work with our First PR Alliance clients remotely, as we do on a day-to-day basis, but also look each other in the eye and work together on figuring out ways to grow the network’s reach, influence, and successes. Our network is about creating value, within and across borders, for the good of clients and members.”
When Swyft set about forming the First PR Alliance network it sought agencies staffed by senior professionals with years of experience working with B2B technology companies in their respective countries. Most of the founding agencies were present at this year’s meeting, either in person or by phone.
“International networks are often just a box that people feel they have to check in order to appear global,” said Alexis Noal, Vice-President of ComCorp. “But without a real bond between its members, a network is just a mishmash of agencies. Welcoming our colleagues of the First PR Alliance here in Paris, on Valentine’s Day no less, is part of what makes this network of agencies click. It’s people working and interacting with people. Insights being discussed, knowledge being shared, relationships being tied. Knowing each other versus just working together.”
The meeting lasted one day but among the topics discussed included extending next year’s annual meeting to take a more structured, if not ambitious, approach that would include various workshops addressing professional development, industry trends, and network growth strategies. Some suggested adding more team building events and downtime for visiting agencies to soak up the culture of the host country.
“The future of First PR Alliance looks bright,” notes Jo Detavernier, Partner and Vice-President of Swyft. “We have a very active group of members who are committed to helping each other grow and provide superior value to any customers they serve together. Meet-ups like these allow the members to deepen their relationships and brainstorm on ideas on making the network grow and thrive in 2019 and beyond.”