Our founders share the hard work, passion and trials of creating a global industrial communications agency
Greg Farrett, a UK national with years of experience in the industrial sector, is an expert in translating strategic corporate, business and policy objectives into effective communications campaigns, and counsels clients at senior executive level.
Willem van de Velde has many years of experience in the industrial PR sector. Willem is the content creator – skilled at turning complex communications issues into effective marketing content and activity.
Hailing from ‘EMG towers’, really a garden shed located in Bergen op Zoom, Greg and Willem founded EMG in 1991.
Innovation, valuable content and open-heart surgery
Founding a global industrial PR agency has been challenging but ultimately very rewarding. One of the most rewarding aspects has been working in the industrial sector itself. A sector that has exciting innovation and purposeful change at its heart.
It has been exciting helping interesting stories reach their target audiences and having impact – not just on sales but also on general perceptions and understanding. For example, how anti-microbials can be used in medicare and in other applications as well. A story that is valuable far beyond its impact on sales.
This really resonates with what we aim to do at EMG nowadays, which is to create content that isn’t just aimed at selling a product but is genuine and authentic as well.
A lot of what we do at EMG requires us to learn and understand new techniques and technologies so that we can effectively communicate the value to others. One of Greg and Willem’s most memorable experiences was when Greg performed ‘open-heart surgery’ in order to demonstrate the benefits of an artificial heart valve.
EMG has been with their clients every step of the way
While EMG’s core attitude of ‘yes, we will get this done’ hasn’t changed much, the scope and the way things are done have. With new technology and ways of thinking about PR, EMG has developed alongside these big changes to meet our clients’ needs.
One of the biggest changes has been taking on the needs of audience.
Immediacy has become very important – in the past, press releases would last a year, now they are tweeted live as the press conference is still going on.
EMG has also adapted to help our clients become more customer focused. We aim to create communities instead of just mailing lists. To help them focus communications on what audiences want to hear and learn instead of just what the client wants to say.
From shouting loudly to speaking clearly
A lot of the evolution at EMG has been inspired by what is probably the single biggest change in communications – the rise of the internet. Not only has it driven a need for communication to become more immediate, but it has also changed how and what audiences we are able to reach. It has made it easier to be more targeted and strategic in reaching people.
The amount of information available has made it no longer necessary to “shout the loudest”. It’s become far more important to “speak the clearest”. It’s not so much about getting your message out there anymore, as it is about providing a clear, valuable message to the right audience.
Right message, right audience, right time
We think that the future of communications will be shaped even more by digital activity. There are more platforms than ever before to deliver your message. The real challenge is to either be more present on all of them or learn how to be more focused and relevant than the other voices.
What hasn’t changed is that successful B2B communication has always been about telling credible stories to a relevant audience. What we believe will stay the same is a simple but effective idea: the right message delivered to the right audience at the right time.