EMG: a potted history
From humble beginnings…
“EMG Towers” in Bergen op Zoom was equipped with two Apple Mac Classic computers, complete with black & white screens and floppy disk drives, and a coffee-table sized fax machine, as email hadn’t been invented yet. From this humble HQ, in 1991, founders Greg Farrett and Willem van de Velde masterminded international media communication programmes for their first plastics and chemicals industry clients.
It was at a time when many companies were beginning to see the opportunities presented by the common European market. However, a one size fits all single message approach to marcoms didn’t work for this complex market. Cue EMG, which was founded on the premise of syndicating content for multiple territories whilst maintaining the same core messaging.
1992: the start of the K-Show tradition
A cold winter and cramped conditions forced the team to look for alternative accommodation and the following year, EMG moved into a former school building in Hoogerheide. The same year saw the team’s K-Show debut – since then we have been present at every K-Show and represented 45 clients at the event. We’ve even launched our own Pre K press event, which has been running prior to the last six K-shows and provides an efficient forum for our clients to present their innovations and stories to a handpicked audience of editors and influencers.
EMG’s expansion and development over the last 30 years has paralleled the digitalisation of marcoms. 1994 marked EMG’s foray into digital, when we acquired our first email address and our first high tech client, Euro-Log. Since then, EMG has been at the forefront of the adoption of digital techniques for B2B marketing. We’ve built up solid expertise in implementing multi-platform campaigns that leverage social media, videos, podcasts, e-books and other digital methods in tandem with traditional techniques. We’ve also developed our own innovative digital tools to support our clients, including PressReleaseFinder, EMG’s Media Information Centre and the EMG Portal.
The late 1990s were a period of rapid growth for EMG. By the turn of the millennium, we were ranked the 12th largest independent agency in The Netherlands and our office was bursting at the seams. A move to purpose-built premises in Bergen op Zoom gave us the space we needed to support our continued growth.
2002: Eurocom is born
Facilitated by the rise of e-communication, it was also around this time that B2B companies were starting to consider a globalised rather than a regionalised approach to marcoms. In 2002, EMG launched Eurocom Worldwide, a global network of PR and marketing communications agencies who specialise in B2B and technology markets. Today, 26 partner agencies belong to the network, applying a shared philosophy to communications across 70 countries spanning five continents.
The Chinese market was growing in significance on the global stage too. But although many B2B companies recognised its potential, they were fazed by the barriers to entry.
2004: EMG comes to China
The SARS-coronavirus outbreak in 2002 created the perfect platform for EMG’s entry into China. Research had shown that Polygiene, a new amino compound developed by one of EMG’s clients, could protect against the spread of the virus. Armed with a bag full of brochures and press kits, Greg Farrett set off for a press conference in Beijing to meet with DSM, GE and Trespa to discuss their interest in a local Chinese office. In September 2004, EMG opened an office in Shanghai, followed by Beijing in 2007, and has since built a reputation as the leading industrial PR agency in China.
2012: EMG goes pan-Asian
Whilst China represented the biggest and most strategically significant Asian market for many of EMG’s clients, EMG’s ultimate goal was to develop a genuine pan-Asian competency. The opening of EMG’s Singapore operation in 2005 and the relationships it subsequently forged with local partner agencies in Asia paved the way for the creation of the EMG Asiacom network in 2012. This unique network provides local PR and communications expertise for key markets in the Asia Pacific region including China, Singapore, India, Japan, Korea and Australia.
The launch of Asiacom consolidated EMG’s global capabilities, providing the flexibility for programmes to be managed from Europe, Singapore or Shanghai, and giving clients a comprehensive, flexible and scalable solution that delivers to EMG’s high standards.
2020: new leadership
As we enter our 30th year, we start an exciting new chapter with creative visionary Rikke Wivel at the helm. Under her leadership, we are looking forward to continuing our content-driven outreach journey whilst nurturing the close client relationships that are the very fabric of our business in an increasingly digitalised world.