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Holding company CEOs: Momentum, integration drive PR forward

The CEOs of the world’s largest­ holding companies credit integration for 2015’s success stories.

Maurice Lévy, CEO, Publicis Groupe

How did PR perform for Publicis in 2015? Where does its performance stand in relation to other disciplines within the group?

In 2015, our PR business showed a return to growth with single-digit organic growth of between 4% and 6%. It was a year of two halves with strong improvement and momentum for the PR business in the second half of the year. This strong momentum has carried over into 2016.

MSLGroup has had a turbulent few years in terms of senior leadership changes, especially in the US. How will the integration of MSL within Publicis Communications improve matters?

We have high expectations for the opportunities created through the integration of MSLGroup within Publicis Communications. We aim to deliver new value to our clients thanks to a more complete, holistic, and integrated service offering. This is what clients across our network have told us they want and expect from us.

PR leaders around the world are developing stronger relationships with leaders of other group brands and networks. These relationships are themselves powerful business builders. The integration of MSLGroup into Publicis Communications will help not only elevate our PR business, but also make PR services and thinking more accessible to clients throughout the group. The strong momentum we are experiencing will generate more stability for MSLGroup locally and globally.

What are the prospects for PR in 2016? How important is it to retain MSLGroup as a standalone brand rather than merging it under the Publicis banner?

The prospects for PR growth in 2016 are very positive. In several cases, PR is now leading the charge when it comes to integrated communications with campaigns being developed on platforms that are PR platforms at their heart.

Our new business model was developed to support our brands, not to dilute their value. In that light, MSLGroup remains the only global PR network in the Publicis Groupe and one of the strongest and largest networks of its kind in the world. We continue to invest in the MSLGroup brand around the world: we have expanded it globally to Sri Lanka, Vietnam, and Nigeria since the start of this year. And, we have continued to attract new world-class talent.

I join MSLGroup’s global CEO Guillaume Herbette in his optimism about the future. Our recent reorganization has been great for our PR business and I am looking forward to seeing MSLGroup have a very strong 2016.

This article originally appeared in PRWeek on April 27, 2016. Read the full article on PRWeek.

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