Best consultants

Stéphanie Pochon, Managing Partner

Business Bridge Europe

Stephanie.pochon@b-bridge.eu

My Job

As managing partner, my objective is to take the agency to the next level in terms of size, brand and revenues. I also lead business development and am in charge of structuring the offer and team.

My Experience

Since February 2019 – Managing Partner, BUSINESS BRIDGE EUROPE

  • Business Bridge Europe is a boutique agency specializing in advocacy for Europe’s strategic economic sectors with unrivalled access to senior EU decision makers

2010-2018 – Partner, GPLUS EUROPE

  • GPLUS (Omnicom) is a leading EU public affairs and communication agency in Brussels with offices in London, Berlin and Paris
  • Responsible for business development, company management and client relationship. Leading growth contributor
  • Represented blue chip companies with high client retention rate
  • Advised companies & trade bodies on their positioning and digital communication strategy
  • Defined advocacy campaigns in Brussels and key European capitals
  • Managed over 20 staff members including senior policy

After a stint in French Embassy to the United States, Washington DC and then European Commission’s DG Trade (Market Access, US and Canada Unit), I started at GPLUS as junior consultant in 2004, was made senior consultant in 2006 and was Account Director from 2007 to 2009.

My Proudest Achievements

The copyright battle

Issue: Internet giants generate massive advertising revenues from content produced by others, including press publishers’ and news agencies. The situation has been draining the lifeblood of the independent press. The copyright directive was meant to rebalance the situation and ensure big tech would remunerate content properly. But the reform was fiercely opposed by big platforms who campaigned on a supposed threat to people’s free access to the internet. Yet this has never been in the slightest doubt. After the rejection of the copyright directive by the European Parliament (in plenary) in July 2018, the situation looked bad, if not desperate.

Action: Having been active on copyright issues for many years, I was convinced that only the involvement of highly regarded journalists and war reporters could change the game. Sammy Ketz, former AFP bureau-chief in Iraq and who was seriously injured in Baghdad in 2013, authored an op-ed called “Article 11 [publishers’ rights] a question of life or death”. I took him to Strasbourg in September 2018 ahead of the second plenary vote on copyright. His op-ed had been co-signed by more than a hundred war reporters across Europe and translated into all European languages (including Maltese!).

Outcome: The second vote was positive opening the way to trilogue negotiations which concluded successfully despite the tight schedule in spring 2019. Press publications and press agencies should be getting remuneration from big tech in the near future and be able to sustain quality journalism and free press.

My Education

  • College of Europe (Master in EU Politics) – Bruges, Belgium
  • Georgetown University (School of Foreign Service)– Washington DC, USA
  • Science-po Strasbourg (BA in EU Politics & Law) – Strasbourg, France

My Languages

English and French

My Interests outside work

  • Playing the piano (I started two years ago!)
  • Discovering talented and inventive chefs with my husband
  • Reading books to/with my three children
  • Not listed in order of importance

My Favourite Brussels anecdote

Very few people know that the Residence Palace hosts an Art Deco swimming pool. I could not take my eyes off it when a journalist showed it to me more than a decade ago. It’s beautiful, but needs renovating. Let’s launch a campaign so it may be reopened one day!

Best in Brussels 2019 Report

Best in Brussels is the first and only independent resource for organisations wanting to identify, compare and choose the best partners in Brussels for their advocacy needs.

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