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PROI Exchange Recap

Sarah Hale

This year, Walker Sands participated in an exchange program through our network of independent PR firms, PROI. We were fortunate to have Jessica Raguž, a PR consultant, with fischerAppelt in Hamburg join us for a two-week exchange. Our very own Emily Johnson is currently visiting our PROI partner in Atlanta, Jackson Spaulding. We’ll be sharing her insights soon – here are Jessica’s takeaways from her visit and time in Chicago.

I had the great opportunity to visit Walker Sands for two weeks and get to know the team, their work and their clients.


I am a PR consultant with fischerAppelt, Walker Sands’ German partner within the PROI network. fischerAppelt is a full service communications agency and the largest independent agency group in Germany. Comparing fischerAppelt and Walker Sands, of course there are differences: seven offices as opposed to one, almost 400 employees instead of 45, and a rather generalist approach covering all kinds of industries instead of a clear focus to a specific area of expertise. These differences affect our client projects as well as internal processes and structures.

However, at the end of the day our work is indeed very similar. Both of us have to face a changing media landscape with new channels evolving constantly, and we are all on the ongoing hunt for the next great story for our clients – because eventually, stories are what moves people and what helps brands build a long-lasting relationship with their target groups.

Which channel we use to tell our story is secondary – be it digital or analog. Content is king, since there is no way to communicate successfully without it. The aim is to create a communications approach that integrates all channels and to ensure our story is told coherently. The greatest media placement is useless if a potential costumer can’t find the product he read about on the company website. A brand telling one story in their ads and acting diametrically in their social channels is not perceived as authentic. Therefore, we need to define a messaging that is consistent throughout channels and put it into practice. And that is something that my colleagues on both sides of the Atlantic strive to do every day.

A big thank you to the Walker Sands team for hosting me and providing a lot of interesting insights into the industry – and for showing me some amazing sides of life in Chicago, too!