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25 September 2006

EMG marks 15 years of effective business communications

Bergen op Zoom, September 25, 2006 – This year, EMG, the leading international b2b marketing communications & media relations consultancy, marks its 15th anniversary. The company, which was established by Greg Farrett and Willem van de Velde in 1991, takes a multi-cultural, multi-lingual approach to develop integrated marketing communications programmes for international organisations.

EMG was originally launched to meet the demand for effective pan European communications. At a time when the European Union was still in its early years, many companies were looking for ways to centralise their messages, whilst at the same time recognising the importance of individual market segments. Says Greg Farrett: "We set up this business at a time when many companies began to see the opportunities offered by the single common market. However, marketing and communications managers soon realised that single market did not mean "single message". At EMG we understood the value of retaining the central corporate messaging, whilst allowing country sales forces to deviate from the central message - up to a point."

Today EMG not only develops and implements marketing communications programmes in Europe, but all over the world. The company has opened offices and established local teams in Shanghai and Singapore to help its clients enter emerging markets in the Asia-Pacific region. Additionally EMG founded the international network of independent PR agencies, Eurocom Worldwide, to be able to offer the same quality of EMG service through trusted partners in other emerging markets such as Eastern Europe and Latin America. New communications technologies are used to create virtual EMG teams to service clients globally.

Early customers included, GE Plastics and PetroFina as well as more specialised companies such as Royal Pakhoed, St. Jude Medical and Tsubakimoto. Today some of these companies are still on EMG's client list, and they have been joined by industry leaders such as 3M, DSM, Eastman Chemical, Honeywell, and Owens Corning. One of EMG's newest clients is NatureWorks - a company specialised in the production of bioplastics made from maize.

Over the past 15 years, EMG clients’ key messages have changed dramatically. Says Willem van de Velde: "In the early and mid-nineties, we spoke a lot about quality and recycling. Today, we need to address a company's approach to sustainability, eco-awareness and the Kyoto protocol. We have moved from talking about ISO 9001 to ISO 14001 - a significant shift in approach."

The methods too have changed. Says Greg Farrett: "We’ve seen a revolutionary development in communications technology during EMG’s 15 years that enable global teams to be a reality. Our first key business expense was a fax machine, which at the time cost around 10.000 guilders. We had to buy one, because we knew that without it, we simply could not communicate effectively. Although, we still have a fax machine in our office today, we predominantly use email to communicate with customers and suppliers. And so do our customers."

A key decision in 2001 was to set up EMG’s Interactive Solutions division to help develop web-centric communication programmes. Today online elements are integrated in all client activity. From HTML mailings to webinars, EMG is constantly developing new channels for its clients to communicate with their stakeholders. EMG is currently developing podcast and vlog programmes - as well as interactive customer surveys.