PROI Worldwide is the world’s leading partnership of integrated independent communication agencies. Since it was founded in 1970, the network has grown to 75 independent agencies from more than 110 cities and 50 countries. These are all agencies that are market leaders and at the forefront of innovation in their respective countries. fischerAppelt has been a partner in PROI Worldwide since 2004 and for the past two years, I have had the pleasure and honor of being the global Chairman of PROI Worldwide.
A lot has changed during the last few years: Long gone are the days of PR merely equaling media relations and agencies only working in the confinements of their regions. Digitalization, new channels and innovative technologies have blurred both communication lines and country borders. Particularly small agencies and new member countries have proven time and time again how creative and unique they are. That is why I am especially happy that new members from Africa and Asia have joined PROI Worldwide over the course of the last few years. When I joined PROI, Asia and Africa were not yet represented. This has since changed and we very much look forward to more growth in these regions.
This is what I enjoy about PROI so much – the exciting and ever-changing dynamics. You have agencies with in-depth local knowledge and expertise combined with a global mindset and skills. Hence they are perfectly equipped to face the challenges of international communication successfully. PR on a global scale is all about truly understanding your target markets and the needs of local audiences. Combining this expertise with independent integrated agencies that still embody the original ideas of their founders is the perfect recipe to tackle international projects. This is what PROI Worldwide stands for and is able to provide.
In order to always stay on top of the most recent developments and plan our priorities going forward, PROI has been organizing a summit each year. This event is hosted by a partner agency in a different city each year and offers the perfect opportunity to exchange trends and expertise. This time the summit took place in Atlanta and we were welcomed by the southern hospitality of Jackson Spalding. It was a great meeting spanning over four days that included state-of-the art case studies as well as in-depth roundtables and panel discussions. Among the many topics and trends discussed, video content is key priority on everyone’s agenda. Furthermore, the importance of using digital tools and discussions about how to best grow agencies were among the key topics.
But beyond a professional level PROI has also come to mean something more to me: a great group of talented friends from all over the world. This is a genuine partnership in the truest sense of this word. It was a great honor to have been the chair of this group of amazing and creative people for two years. I am proud to say that Richard Tsang, founder and chairman of SPRG, PROI Worldwide Greater China’s partner, was appointed as the new global chair in Atlanta and will be the first partner from Asia to serve in this position. Here’s to a bright future for PROI!