Brussels is one of the most important international media centres in the world. According to the European Commission there are over 1,300 accredited journalists and technical press people reporting from Brussels. In total they represent almost 500 different print, broadcast and online media organisations from over 60 different countries. They cover European affairs, NATO and events in Belgium, the Netherlands and other European countries. Many more journalists from all over the world visit Brussels for brief periods for EU related events or to report on the activities of the international institutions based here.
Although traditional and new media can greatly influence EU policy-makers, not every public affairs consultancy offers media relations as part of their core offering. Law firms tend to partner with outside media experts as it outside their key competences, apart from Alber & Geiger.
Media is central to the work of many agencies from acumen and Brunswick to FIPRA and Political Intelligence. Consultancies with a PR pedigree such as Edelman, FleishmanHillard., FTI and Grayling offer strong media capabilities in Brussels. Indeed a number of public affairs consultancies including Bernstein Group, Cambre, EU Opportunity, IDA Group and Instinctif are led by former senior journalists.
There are also a number of specialist media relations consultancies in Brussels. For instance, niche firms such as RedThread and Clear Europe provide media training. Red Flag has a reputation for framing stories in the right way and placing them in the right media, delivering results. The authors at Dober Partners published the report ‘EU Media Relations’ and focus on litigation communication.
It is important for communicators to understand what types and formats of information are most useful for journalists. According to our research and experience the more exclusive and personal the briefing, the more it will be valued by the journalist. Hence, exclusives and interviews are typically highly valued, while conference calls or even press conferences where the same story is shared with competing journalists are much less compelling.