Marketing is traditionally a closed industry. What I mean by that is it’s unlikely one agency would talk to another about how it operates, the way it approaches its business, and how it tackles the challenges we all face each and every day. But that’s not how it works when you’re a member of the PROI, the world’s largest network of independent agencies.

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We were invited to join the PROI in 2015. Since then have attended conferences around the world, and partnered on projects for clients, as well as sharing knowledge and expertise with our international PROI colleagues.

Most recently I was lucky enough to take part in an exchange programme, spending a week in fischerAppelt’s Berlin office. Hosted by the Corporate & Brands team, I have been operating like a ‘KISS sponge’, sharing with the fischerAppelt team how we work, and contrasting this to how they work – an opportunity we’d be unlikely to have without the PROI.

There is a lot of crossover, and so many of the challenges we face as a UK agency are similar to those encountered by fischerAppelt. But while the similar challenges are reassuring, it is the differences that have been most interesting.

For example, in the UK our media are largely based in London, making it easy for us to visit journalists and build our relationships with the media. However, for our fischerAppelt colleagues it is much more challenging. Due to the Federal State setup in Germany, there is no specific media base, and the national journalists are dispersed across the country. This does however mean that their regional titles are much more important and have significantly larger circulations than our own in many cases.

This is just one of a huge list of insights I have gained in my time at fischerAppelt, as well as getting to know the team better, some of whom I met at the recent PROI EMEA regional meeting in Warsaw, and have been working with on various client projects.

Having access to these insights demonstrates the value of the PROI network in our understanding of global communications, something our clients have been approaching us for more and more. For example we recently gained insight from the PROI agency in Taipei on which social media platforms are used, and how, in China.

My time in Germany has been thoroughly worthwhile and I’m looking forward to sharing all these insights with the KISS team. I’m sure there will be more questions, and more opportunities to share knowledge and work on client projects together, but in the meantime, danke schoen fischerAppelt.

This article was written by Victoria Ellis, one of our Senior Account Managers. Victoria works predominantly on our B2B PR accounts including Bayer’s Crop Science division and Durbin, a global pharmaceutical logistics company. Prior to joining KISS, Victoria gained a BSc (Hons) in Zoology from the University of Manchester