Looking back on the alumni drinks 2023: a cause for celebration

March 17, 2023


Rosalinde van de Wall | Managing Director & Senior Partner

March 17, 2023

A cause for celebration

It was good, old-fashioned busy at the Prof. W.H. Keesomlaan in Amstelveen. Around 42 years of Dutch agency history, and no less than 100 years of international agency history, gathered together at our renewed office on March 9th. Five years ago, three international communications agencies merged in the Netherlands, to form Omnicom PR Group (OPRG) – as in Spain, Italy, France and Singapore too. This anniversary was a great reason to reunite with colleagues and alumni!

In large numbers, former colleagues travelled to Amstelveen to meet again. Everyone was there with his or her own story, like a piece of history of the agency we are today.

As I looked around, I realized how many people present have made a leading contribution to the communications world in the Netherlands, or even laid the foundation of our professional field since 1981, when the first predecessor of our Dutch agency was founded. And we are still reaping the benefits of that today.

From 5 years back to the present

Just over five years ago, we merged Porter Novelli, Ketchum and FleishmanHillard in the Netherlands. The names did not disappear, because the international networks still exist and are going strong. Every day we work with them for our clients.

The anniversary not only gave us a reason to party, but also offered me an opportunity to reflect on the past five years, in which so much has happened and changed. With regards to complex, societal issues and challenges, far away elsewhere in the world and also very close by in our own country.

And in the midst of all that, OPRG stands as a top agency in the Netherlands today. With a wonderful client portfolio, nationally and internationally, and clear expertise in brand communication and reputation management. We work for clients in a wide variety of high-stakes sectors, with the healthcare sector carrying a very special focus and in which our name is established. The entire team helps clients navigate all sorts of complexities, and it is not without reason that we assist so many clients on ESG.

These are all substantive accomplishments to be incredibly proud of. And this has been accomplished for so many years and consistently in innovative ways, thanks to the agency’s culture.

“As I looked around, I realized how many people around me have made a leading contribution to the communications world in the Netherlands, or even laid the foundation of our professional field.”

Culture that stands the test of time

Our current team was also largely present. After COVID-19, we returned to a new, more hybrid work situation. And thanks to our unique culture, we have always felt connected as a team in the process. Meanwhile, we’ve renewed our workspace, transforming it into a nicer meeting place, rather than just an office space.

Looking at the familiar faces during the celebration, it is clear that people have come and left in the past five years as OPRG. People with whom close friendships and warm relationships were formed and remained. The mutual warmth and connection of all generations of consultants was incredibly palpable. Old friends who talked with each other again, as if they saw each other just last week. And more recent friends who were so happy to see each other and share hugs.

Public Relations according to Ferdinand

As all generations of consultants met, we took a moment to thank and celebrate the personification of all those years of agency history. PR phenomenon and alumnus Ferdinand Helmann retired just before COVID-19, after 34 years of history with us. Finally, we were able to celebrate with him and so many people he worked with, in the past and also more recently. We captured his wisdom and insights in a booklet titled “Public Relations according to Ferdinand,” which is available for everyone to read.

In short, we are reminded again how special our company really is. We will continue in this way. As an agency that continues to innovate, learn and also change. But with the ever so strong, friendly, connecting culture that seems to constantly stand the test of time and for which our clients also appreciate us. Ever since 1981.

To stay in the groove, we have we have collected all your favorite songs in the Spotify list ‘The Omnicom PR Groove – Alumni edition’. You can listen to it below.


5 Years of Omnicom PR Group

Five years ago Omnicom PR Group was born through the merger of the global networks FleishmanHillard, Ketchum and Porter Novelli.