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The Practice rebrands as first step of a more complex transformation

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MSL ThePractice 2Agency joins today MSLGROUP and will change its name to MSLGROUP The Practice. ‘MSLGROUP has created a hub for CEE region and is strengthening the offer to service clients across the borders. MSLGROUP The Practice will be part of this regional operation and will also benefit from global know-how of the PR network’, declared Sebastian Hejnowski, CEO MSLGROUP Poland, in a joint interview together with Oana Bulexa and Monica Jitariuc – Co-managing directors MSLGROUP The Practice.

To change things before the changes are needed is not a common sense for the PR industry itself. What is the main driver of the integration of The Practice in MSLGROUP unveiled today?

Sebastian Hejnowski: THE PRACTICE joins Europe’s largest PR network. MSLGROUP is a PR arm of the Publicis Groupe, that acquired THE PRACTICE last year. This move is a part of a larger undertaking. MSLGROUP has created a hub for CEE region and is strengthening the offer to service clients across the borders. MSLGROUP The Practice will be part of this regional operation and will also benefit from global know-how of the PR network.

Oana Bulexa: The transformation we make today is in fact not for today, but for tomorrow. From local perspective, the integration of THE PRACTICE in MSLGROUP is a crucial decision in order to continue to offer our current and future clients the best consultancy possible. We consider that we have reached the highest potential a local agency, with local capabilities, can get. MSLGROUP is here to contribute to our development to a new level, that will not only respond to the current challenges of our clients, but will also anticipate their future needs.   

Is this a proof that the Central and East European PR business needs more consolidation?

Sebastian Hejnowski: CEE is still very fragmented in PR business. It is not the case in advertising anymore. Many of our clients expect single point of contact for large PR campaigns. Even though majority of our business is and will stay local, we expect that about 20% of it will be coming from international assignments. MSLGROUP Warsaw and London offices work hard to secure business for the region and we increasingly have more interest in regional RFPs. Romania is also a seat for South East Europe hubs and our presence here will help coordinating actions.

What is next after the rebranding of THE PRACTICE in MSLGROUP The Practice?

Monica Jitariuc: We are and will remain the agency known for its vision in PR. We plan to constantly reconfirm this. We are able to get things at the next level, always a step ahead in meeting our client’s needs and in efficiently answering the challenges of today’s complex communication landscape. We have a strong team, amazing clients and lots of ideas. Interesting good news are to come from MSLGROUP The Practice.

There is still a difference between the services required in Central and Eastern Europe versus the consolidated PR markets. How do you plan to balance the needs of the local market with the more sophisticated services in the MSLGROUP portfolio?

Sebastian Hejnowski: We have gone through a similar process in Poland, where MSLGROUP acquired country’s no1 agency 3 years ago. I can confess the know-how transfer has resulted in broad development of new services and high level consulting. All global MSLGROUP tools and methodologies will be immediately available for local clients. In CEE there is still a lot of work to be done for PR agencies to become CEO’s trusted advisors. MSLGROUP The Practice will offer wider range of services, but it will always be up to the Romanian clients whether they decide to use it. Our experience in Poland shows that clients were hungry for innovation and have gladly asked for those products.

Rebranding comes usually at a cost, not only in terms of money, but also in terms of culture and identity. Logos are more than an art project; names more than ink on a business card. What kind of resources do you see as critical in order to properly position the new joined expertise and capabilities to the local clients?

Oana Bulexa: The rebranding is only the first step of a complex transformation we have prepared attentively. For our team and for our clients it isn’t a surprise. And it doesn’t come with a global pre-defined one-size-fits-all work frame either, now that we join the MSLGROUP network. It’s the result of a collaborative work, ideas and insights from all those who we work with and for. This is why we don’t see a challenge in positioning the new MSLGROUP The Practice to the local clients. We already have them on board.

Would you like to transmit a message to those who perhaps will continue to think nostalgically of the brand The Practice?

Monica Jitariuc: In order to be nostalgic for something, that something must have disappeared. THE PRACTICE is not disappearing, it only grows smarter and better. With additional valuable resources and instruments provided by MSLGROUP we can go to a new level of expertise and competences.
Moreover, MSLGROUP is known for believing in diversity and for giving its agencies the autonomy to preserve their local culture.
We will have the same vision and embrace the same philosophy: we are here to deliver the best PR product on the market and get results through creativity for our clients. So, say hello to “the new & improved formula” of THE PRACTICE: MSLGROUP The Practice.

Oana Bulexa – Co-managing director MSLGROUP The Practice
Monica Jitariuc – Co-managing director MSLGROUP The Practice
Sebastian Hejnowski – CEO MSLGROUP Poland

Interview by Dana Oancea. Copyright PR Romania.

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