This Website is established in accordance with the recommendations of the World Wide Web Consortium and is fully accessible.
IRF Communications AG
TGG Hafen Senn Stieger
Obere Berneggstrasse 66
SchwizerSchlatter | Design. Interaction.
Ceren Dede has a commercial education. After her education, she worked for several years as a marketing and events specialist. She gathered administrative knowledge in her positions as an Office Manager, Executive Assistant and most recently as an Assistant to the communications department of LafargeHolcim. In addition to her studies in “Psychology”, she has been supporting IRF since September 2017 as Executive Assistant in all administrative matters.
Languages : German, English, Turkish
Miriam Dippe studied applied political science in Freiburg im Breisgau and international communication in Aix-en-Provence (France). While studying for her dual master’s degree she gained a wide range of practical experience in journalism, the communications industry and the political sphere with assignments in Germany, France and Switzerland – among other things at ARTE, the French parliament, various media and a Swiss communications agency. Miriam Dippe joined IRF Communications in 2015.
Languages: German, French, English
Michael Düringer is a proven specialist for communications advice and support in the fields of Corporate communications including special and crisis situations, positioning of companies, institutions and individuals, as well as financial reporting and M&A transactions. Michael Düringer has more than 25 years of industry experience. From 1997 to 2004, he was responsible for Investor Relations and Corporate Communications at the internationally active Phonak Group (today Sonova), headquartered in Stäfa (Switzerland). He began his professional career in various financial communications companies including Gavin Anderson & Company, New York, and Wirz Investor Relations, Zurich.
Michael Düringer studied law at the University of Zurich, and wrote his doctoral thesis on radio and television advertising. He later completed a guest program at Fordham University in New York, where he broadened his knowledge of financial issues. He joined IRF Communications in 2004.
Languages: German, French, English
Corporate communications, including special and crisis situations
Positioning of companies, institutions and individuals
Investor relations and financial reporting
Conceptualization and production of company brochures
Social and environmental reporting
Radio and television advertising as a financing source for electronic media. Doctoral thesis, University of Zurich, 1994
Various contributions to special interest magazines and the financial press
Swiss Forum of Communications Law
Jacqueline Etter has been a senior consultant at IRF Communications since July 2014. She spent eleven years working in corporate communications at Swiss banks, most recently as Head of Internal Communications at Bank Vontobel. Prior to this, Jacqueline worked for an international management consultancy and a Swiss association. She studied German, history and journalism at the University of Zurich and completed a postgraduate course in corporate social responsibility at the University of Geneva. She spent two years as a lecturer and examiner at the Swiss Public Relations Institute (SPRI).
Languages: German, French, English, Spanish
Valentin Handschin joined IRF Communications as a senior consultant in July 2016. He studied history, business administration and media science at the Universities of Bern and Stockholm; then he has been a business editor for Swiss daily and weekly newspapers. Valentin Handschin has recently worked for several years in the corporate communications of the leading Swiss tour operator Hotelplan and the largest Swiss automotive supplier Autoneum.
Languages: German, French, English, Swedish
Patrizia Kundert-Eicke studied Business Communications at the University of Applied Sciences in Business Administration in Zurich, where she collected valuable experiences with different projects at the University. To expand her knowlegde she completed a semester abroad at the Bond University in Gold Coast Australia in 2012. She worked at the Balgrist University Hospital in Zurich and joined IRF Communications in 2013. She primarily serves Clients from the financial and pharmaceutical indstury as a Consultant.
Languages: German, English, Croatian, French
Harry Landau joined IRF Communications in April 2017 as Senior Advisor. He has a solid background as career diplomat and brings in-depth knowledge on international and national politics. He had a long-standing career serving in the Swedish Diplomatic Service, including positions as Crisis Coordinator at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, First Secretary at the Swedish Embassy in Latvia, Senior Advisor to the Secretary-General of the Nordic Council of Ministers, and Chief of Staff and Personal Advisor to the High Commissioner within the OSCE. In Switzerland, he has served as Counsellor and Deputy Chief of the Embassy of Sweden in Bern from 2004 to 2010.
Harry Landau holds a Master of Laws from the University of Stockholm and an Executive Master in Communications Management from the University of Lugano. Moreover, he has been a guest lecturer in Diplomacy and Diplomatic Institutions at the University of Zurich since 2016.
Languages: German, French, Italian, English, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish
Areas of special expertise
Crisis communication and special situations
Media relations and media training
The Nordic Government’s sanction on South Africa, United Nations Centre of Transnational Corporations, NY, 1988
Report on the Soviet Union Human Rights violations on the Helsinki Accord, The Liberal Party of Sweden, Stockholm, 1991
Report on Public International Law and development assistance to foreign political parties, Swedish Foreign Ministry, Stockholm 1993
Stefan Mathys was a partner at Barino Consulting between 2009 and 2012, where he managed projects in the field of corporate communications, media relations, publishing and event communication. As Head of Public Relations and Public Affairs at KPMG Switzerland between 2001 and 2008, Stefan Mathys was responsible for the company’s external communications. Working from KPMG’s international headquarters in Amsterdam in 2003, he supervised global marketing projects, including KPMG’s attendance at the World Economic Forum in Davos.
While studying Business Administration and Journalism between 1995 and 2000, Stefan Mathys worked as a business journalist for Handelszeitung and the trade magazine Schweizer Bank; he also began accepting PR consultancy projects on a freelance basis.
Stefan Mathys was a lecturer and examinations expert at the Institute of Communication and Marketing (IKM) at Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts (HSLU). Stefan Mathys is a member of the management board of the Swiss Public Affairs Society (SPAG) in Bern.
Languages: German, French, English
Media relations, media spokesman
Positioning of companies and individuals
Text, ghost-writing (professional articles, speaking, reports)
Conceptualisation and realisation of publications
Mathys, Stefan (2009): «Personalisierung als Element der Corporate Governance», in: Eisenegger, Mark/Wehmeier, Stefan (publ.): Personalisierung der Organisationskommunikation, Theoretische Zugänge, Empirie und Praxis, VS Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften, Wiesbaden.
Mathys, Stefan (2007): «Corporate Governance» in: KPMG AG (Publ.): Geschäftsberichte lesen und verstehen, Zurich. Radio and television advertising as a financing source for electronic media. Doctoral thesis, University of Zurich, 1994
Swiss Public Affairs Society (SPAG)
Efficiency Club Zurich
Recipient of the Media Relations Award 2007 at the Corporate Communications Awards of the Forum for Integrated Communication.
Martin Meier-Pfister is a highly experienced advisor in financial and crisis communications. He is co-founder of IRF Communications and played a lead role in the consultancy’s largest and most complex transactions and projects including crisis management and litigation support as well as over thirty IPOs and public M&A transactions—some of them friendly, some unsolicited, some hostile.
Before establishing IRF Communications in 2002, Martin was working for ten years as a consultant with leading Swiss PR firms. He co-authored a book on investor relations and financial communications called “Erfolgsfaktor Investor Relations? Finanzkommunikation in der Schweiz”, published by NZZ Buchverlag.
Martin has a degree in economics and sociology from the University of St. Gallen. He is Member of the Board of SECA, the Swiss Private Equity & Corporate Finance Association.
Languages: German, French, Italian, English
Crisis communication and special situations
Financial market transactions such as IPOs, M&As, capital increases and restructuring
Positioning of top executives
Co-editor and writer of: «Erfolgsfaktor Investor Relations?» – Finanzkommunikation in der Schweiz, NZZ publishing house 2002
Various contributions to special interest magazines and the financial press
Member of the Board of SECA (Swiss Private Equity & Corporate Finance Association), Lead of Chapter Communication & Media
Sophie Nägeli joined IRF Communications in January 2017. Previously she worked as Communication specialist for the organisation and implementation of the opening ceremony of the Gotthard base tunnel. She studied political sciences and sciences of communication at the University of Zurich and obtained 2015 her MSc degree in public policy and management at the university King’s College of London. During her studies she gained experience in political communications and event management working for different organisations, including the Swiss political party CVP, UPC and EntrepreneurCountry.
Languages: German, French, Italian, English, Spanish
Annica Ohlsson joined IRF Communications in September 2017. She reinforces the team in the fields of media relations, financial communications, knowledge management and internal communications. Previously she worked as a project manager in communications for the Genossenschaft Migros Ostschweiz. She was mainly concerned with communications planning, the editing of media articles and subsequent involvement throughout the publication process, which included website texts, online articles and social media campaigns. Prior to that she successfully completed her bachelor degree in media and communications and business studies at the University of Fribourg.
Languages: German, French, English, Spanish, Swedish
Oliver Seifried joined IRF Communications in August 2015. During the previous six years he worked for leading German communications agencies in Frankfurt am Main and Hamburg. There he supported global players from the financial, consulting and gambling sectors in strategic positioning. From 2007 to 2009 he wrote for the daily newspaper “Die Südostschweiz” as an editor. Oliver Seifried studied communication science, journalism and modern history at the University of Fribourg.
Languages: German, English
Jürg Stähelin has worked in the finance industry as a communications/marketing manager for more than 15 years. From 2006 to 2010 he was head of communications at the publicly listed Vontobel Group. In the ten years prior to that he held various senior positions in communication and marketing at the Julius Bär private banking group, most recently as head of corporate communications. He gained experience in all areas of strategic and operative communication and brand management.
Jürg graduated in business administration from University of Zurich specializing in banking and commerce. In 2006 he completed an advanced management program at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. As of 2011, he is devoting part of his time to the Swiss Structured Products Association (SVSP), as its executive director. He joined IRF Communications in 2011.
Languages: German, French, English
Integrated Corporate Communications (Combination Communication and Marketing)
M&A- and Integration communication
Positioning and branding of companies and institutions
Profiling and coaching of management members
Author: Vontobel-Gruppe: Leistung schafft Vertrauen (pages 162-166) in Wolfgang Immerschitt, Profil durch PR, Wiesbaden (Gabler) 2009
Various contributions to special interest magazines and the financial press
IRF Communications has a qualified and experienced team with an interdisciplinary background in the following sectors:
The consultancy team’s knowledge is based on a wealth of practical experience in accompanying businesses, institutions and individuals through a wide variety of situations. Thanks to their many years of experience at top management levels, IRF Communications experts have a profound sector-specific expertise. The IRF team is familiar with the practical challenges its business clients must contend with in their internal structures and procedures and is adept at providing clients with efficient, solutions-oriented support.
All IRF Communications employees are used to working in international project teams and have excellent language skills. Assignments entrusted to IRF Communications are led by one of the company’s partners. Personal engagement and rapid response times are what sets us apart from the competition.
IRF Communications offers custom-tailored communications solutions. We provide valuable know-how and contacts and support our clients in communications with the general public and the investment community. IRF evaluates current situations, formulates targets and works hand in hand with clients to roadmap the best way forward. Pragmatic, clever and subtle: These three words aptly describe our company and our services.
Pragmatic – we execute communications strategies effectively and efficiently.
Clever – we come up with sound solutions for successful positioning or effective damage control.
Subtle – we are skilled at positioning people or businesses in their targeted markets in a subtle and tactful way, but making sure that the right messages get through to the right people.
Please take a look at our corporate movie:
History – since 1995
IRF Communications is the Swiss partner of FTI Consulting, a Gold member of the Strategic Communications Affiliate Network. Thanks to its close cooperation with FTI Consulting spanning over ten years, IRF has extensive experience in managing international communications projects. Our clients benefit from direct access to a large network of international contacts with vast expertise: www.fticonsulting.com
FTI Consulting – our global network partner
Network of FTI sites in 28 countries
FTI has offices in 28 global key markets including 650 expert strategic communications consultants, complemented by the affiliates network across the globe. Find more information on ftiaffiliates.com
There are currently no open positions.
But IRF Communications is always looking for new employees with exceptional skills and experience. If that describes you, we invite you to send us your CV details:
IRF Communications AG
Rämistrasse 4, Postfach
What IRF Communications offers
15 Jahre IRF Communications
Am 2. November 2017 lud IRF Communications zum 15-Jahre-Jubiläum der Agentur in die Nietturmbar am Escher-Wyss-Platz in Zürich. Rund 40 aktuelle und ehemalige Mitarbeitende, Verwaltungsratsmitglieder und Geschäftspartner fanden sich zur Geburtstagsfeier ein.
Am 30. August 2017 lud IRF Communications zum alljährlichen IRF-Cocktail in die Collana Bar e Caffé auf dem Sechseläutenplatz in Zürich. Rund 100 Gäste – darunter etwa 30 Journalisten – folgten der Einladung und erlebten bei spätsommerlichen Temperaturen einen kurzweiligen Abend mit angeregten Gesprächen und kulinarischen Genüssen.
On 31 August 2016 IRF Communications invited to its traditional summer cocktail held in the Collana Bar e Caffé at the Sechseläutenplatz in Zurich. Up to 100 guests, among them approximately 30 journalists, enjoyed an amusing evening with excited talks and delightful treats in late summer temperatures.
On September 17 IRF Communications invited to its traditional summer cocktail held in the Collana Bar e Caffè at the Sechseläutenplatz in Zurich. We enjoyed with up to 100 guests, among them approximately 20 journalists, a joyful evening with interesting conversations, drinks and culinary Appetizers.
On 10 June 2015, IRF Communications welcomed around 25 invited guests to the IRF Top Executive Talk at the Widder Hotel in Zurich, which took place under the heading “Spitzenleistungen, wenn es darauf ankommt” (“Top performances when it matters”). In a discussion led by Thierry Lalive d’Epinay, Managing Partner of HPO AG, Monika Ribar, a member of several boards of directors, and FC Basel President Bernhard Heusler talked about what it takes these days to achieve top performances in business and sport. According to Monika Ribar, appointing the right executives to the board of directors and the management team is crucial for ensuring success in running a business and positioning it in the market. She also added that motivation to perform relies heavily on all staff being able to identify with the company. She highlighted SBB, of which she is a board member, as a positive example of this. Thanks to the employees’ strong affiliation with the company, she said, top performances can be delivered in increasingly complex activities day after day. In football, too, Bernhard Heusler referred to cultural aspects as the main factors that can make a difference. He believes that a culture characterised by humility is essential for achieving excellence on a sustainable basis. He also stressed that, to firmly embed this culture within the team and across the club as a whole, those at the top of the organisation – the president, the manager and the captain – must set a credible example by putting it into practice in their daily work. Another important success factor mentioned by Bernhard Heusler is loving one’s job – in this case football. After all, if you enjoy doing something, then you will do it with enthusiasm and, consequently, with success. The lively discussions on the key ingredients for producing top performances continued during a lavish drinks reception in the Widder Hotel’s “Zunftstube”.
On September 11 IRF Communications invited to its traditional summer cocktail held in the Bar & Lounge Luv in Zurich. We enjoyed with about 100 guests an all around sucessful evening with interesting conversations, drinks and culinary appetizers.
IRF panel discussion in Basel with Bill Burns, ex-CEO of the Pharmaceuticals Division of Roche
About 60 people gathered for a panel discussion at Teufelhof Basel on 14 May 2014 at the invitation of IRF Communications; the title: “How strategic communications is enabling business success – Perspectives of big corporates, start-ups and venture capitalists.” The panellists Bill Burns, ex-CEO of the Pharmaceuticals Division of Roche, Vladimir Cmiljanovic, CEO of Piqur Therapeutics, and Gianni Gromo, partner at Versant Ventures, discussed how to use strategic communications to build up a strong position and attract investors.
On September 12 IRF Communications invited to its traditional summer cocktail held in the Bar & Lounge Münz in Zurich. We enjoyed with about 100 guests an all around sucessful evening with interesting conversations, drinks and culinary appetizers.
10 Years IRF Communications
On 10 May 2012, IRF Communications celebrated its 10th anniversary at the Jade club in Zurich. Some 150 clients, business partners and friends awaited a pleasant atmosphere with refreshing cocktails, culinary appetizers and a surprise performance, which caused great enthusiasm.
On 23 June 2011 IRF Communications invited to its annual summer cocktail held in the Bar & Lounge Münz in Zurich. We enjoyed with about 80 clients, business partners and friends a relaxed ambiance, refreshing cocktails and culinary appetizers as the following pictures illustrate.
IRF Communications is a leading corporate communications service provider with a strong international network. Its main areas of expertise are positioning corporations, organizations and individuals, conducting media relations, and supporting companies in financial reporting, crisis communications and public affairs.
Services range from strategic consulting to the implementation of action plans. In the rating of the magazine “Schweizer Journalist” IRF Communications is listed as one of the best communications advisory firms in Switzerland for years.
Please take a look at our corporate movie:
Attention is a valuable asset in today’s age of information overload. Meanwhile product and service differentiation is becoming increasingly challenging across a wide range of industries. A company’s or individual’s reputation has emerged as an increasingly important factor in customers’ buying decisions. Positioning relative to the competition is therefore a key competitive factor. Good communication produces good results and consists of many different elements that are expertly pieced together to form a coherent whole.
IRF Communications is analytically well versed and adept at communications. The team has the skills to bring out the special qualities of individuals and institutions and present sensitive issues in the right way.
IRF Communications puts people, companies and products into the right perspective, internally and externally, in accordance with the selected strategy and the given market environment. We develop strategic concepts and action plans for national as well as international settings. IRF Communications also coaches company representatives at all levels and conducts qualitative perception analyses to identify potential communication gaps.
Areas of expertise:
A good reputation is critical to the survival of individuals, businesses and institutions, and the media play a key role with their continual reporting and independent analysis. In addition, they act as an interface between specialist circles and the general public: Journalists make business-specific subjects easier to understand and put them in topical contexts.
IRF Communications has excellent long-term contacts with the business and financial media. The company has a flair for identifying effective and critical media topics combined with experience in gradually establishing positioning its clients and of dealing with the media in difficult situations.
IRF Communications supports individuals and companies in all aspects of media relations: from the design and conception of all-inclusive programs through to active support on specific issues such as organizing media conferences, ghostwriting, Q&A and media training.
Areas of expertise:
A good reputation in the capital market lowers financing costs and where necessary can provide access to fresh capital. Moreover, a fair rating is the best form of defence against overly active shareholders or takeovers. Last but not least, an increasingly regulated environment has opened up more and more communication pitfalls.
We know the institutions and the players in the financial markets as well as their needs and priorities. The IRF Communications team thoroughly understands financial statements and is well versed in the regulations with which listed companies need to comply.
IRF Communications advises and supports listed companies in their ongoing communications with the capital market and on special projects such as M&As, IPOs and capital increases. IRF Communications is familiar with the needs of institutional and private investors, financial analysts and economic journalists. IRF Communications defines an effective equity story with individual companies and works on its implementation in individual tools such as presentations, business reports and websites.
Areas of expertise:
A crisis often decides whether a company survives or perishes, for it is in times of difficulty that the competence and leadership qualities of top management come to the fore. Out of nowhere, the media and the general public suddenly start to take an interest in particular persons or businesses which until this point have been unknown outside the industry.
Don’t panic under fire: the IRF Communications team always keeps a cool head in critical situations. The team is as adept at the art of simplification as it is savvy to the ways in which the media can give a hot story a new angle. Or the mechanisms of communication, which recommend against disputes with opposing parties and, above all, in strengthening the opinions of target groups who are well-disposed towards you.
IRF Communications supports businesses and individuals in awkward situations for all communications issues, namely Media relations. From coaching all the way through to implementation, or acting as your company’s mouthpiece during critical periods.
Areas of expertise:
Digital communications are on the rise. More than a billion people are on countless platforms around the globe every day, either blogging or obtaining information from a website. This trend offers companies, organisations and individuals the chance to interact digitally with customers and organizations. Digital media allow a direct dialogue to be conducted between companies and customers, thereby forging a new type of closeness. Successful communication on digital channels requires a coordinated procedure that is embedded in corporate communication.
IRF Communications assists individuals and companies with all matters involving digital communications, from developing a strategy and defining guidelines for internal use at companies to energetically supporting the monitoring and management of crises and conducting campaigns.
Internal communication primarily aims to convey strategy and corporate culture to staff and keep them updated on developments within the company. Only if staff understand corporate strategy can they commit themselves effectively to achieving business targets. Internal communication is a strategic success factor, especially when it comes to change processes. In order for change to be implemented successfully, information has to be provided and dialogue initiated concerning the background to the change process envisaged.
IRF Communications advises and supports its customers in developing strategy and organizing internal communication. We have longstanding expertise in planning and implementing internal communication in relation to change processes, such as conveying and establishing a new corporate strategy and communicating restructuring measures.
The actions taken by Swiss lawmakers and policymakers are usually preceded by lengthy debates in parliamentary committees and the two chambers of Parliament. Winning a majority backing often hinges on the intricate interplay of companies, organizations and special interest representatives and their information, influence, and tactical moves.
Public affairs in Switzerland have undergone major qualitative and quantitative developments during the past fifteen years. A clear concept is needed to ensure targeted lobbying campaigns are successful. The financial and economic crisis underscored the extent to which political decisions can affect the general business environment and the importance of a constructive dialogue between business and politics. Such a dialogue goes far beyond a passing conversation in the corridors of Parliament.
IRF Communications assists companies and organizations in presenting and advancing their legislative agendas. Public affairs services include the analysis and integrated tracking of political decision-making processes, supported by conventional corporate communications and media relations activities.
Areas of expertise:
The measures and platforms developed for each project are tailored precisely to the needs of the client. The company also maintains a wide network of contacts with specialists in research, practical and academic circles.
Its range of services extends from strategic consulting to design and conceptual input all the way through to the implementation of individual communications measures.
We gladly pass on our expertise and experience. Browse through a selection of published articles on communication topics as well as our company news. In it, we incorporate our practical knowledge and the latest data from our market research.
Every bank lives on trust. What is to be done if trust is in short supply?
A medium-sized bank is looking to reposition itself with a new CEO following various reputational problems.
IRF starts with workshops to redefine the basic values as well as the mission and vision. The basic parameters for the repositioning are in place within about two months. This makes it possible to prepare the employees and to ensure clear external communications.
For this purpose, IRF develops new communication and marketing activities, presents solutions to implement the values and is available as a sparring partner throughout the entire process. The realignment and the new business behaviour are communicated through media activities. The repositioning of the brand is successively appreciated by the public, and credibility gradually returns. The new corporate values increasingly characterise the behaviour of the employees.
Prepare the future – repositioning on investor day
A long-established Swiss industrial corporation changes its strategy, not least because its sales markets are proving increasingly difficult.
IRF helps the company, together with the international partner FTI Consulting, develop the equity story as well as the communications strategy that centres on an investor day. Discussions with investors, analysts and the media are used to reposition the company and its new strategy. The financial community and the media respond positively to the announced repositioning. This forms the basis for further announcements of a strategic nature during the following months.
A multifaceted blue chip
A SMI company is looking to broaden the media profile of its financial results, while presenting the breadth of its management team in an appropriate manner.
IRF advises on the profiling of topics and messages which are to be communicated to the market in a structured manner – as well as spontaneously if particularly topical – using suitable media instruments. The media profiles of the less well-known members of the management team are raised step-by-step using a clear concept. IRF focuses on Switzerland, while the partner FTI Consulting is available for international media work. The initiative extends over several years. It has the desired effect, even if it is repeatedly overshadowed by extraordinary events.
Sustainable development of media relations in Switzerland
A French asset manager established throughout Europe wants to enhance its profile in Switzerland and build professional media relations.
IRF develops a communications strategy and draws on the entire toolkit of media relations to implement it – including background discussions, interviews, bylined articles, roundtables and an annual visit to the head office. Experts from Switzerland and abroad were introduced gradually to the Swiss media in accordance with the strategy paper.
The coordinated programme boosted media coverage significantly and established a clear profile in the Swiss media. As a result, investor interest has increased.
Swiss pioneering performances garnished with service excellence
The cradle of the international luxury hotel sector is to be found in Switzerland. As long ago as the 18th century, the first grand hotels were established between Geneva and Zurich, and over the past 200 years these served as role models for the global development of the luxury hotel sector. Strength of innovation, pioneering spirit and Swiss perfection and quality continue to shine out into the whole world to this day.
IRF oversees the worldwide profile of the group of 41 most exclusive 5-star hotels in Switzerland in the field of media work and publications. With international roadshows, press conferences and media tours in Switzerland, the group’s positioning is supported in its core and growth markets, such as for example China, Brazil, the Gulf Region or the USA. Through the targeted positioning of individual examples, as well as active storytelling, thought leadership is achieved in the Swiss luxury hotel field and added value is created for the collective umbrella brand.
Editorial supervision of the in-house glossy magazine furthermore supports international media work, creates emotional content in the communications and promotes cross-marketing amongst the members.
A new approach – a young enterprise opens up
A young and fast-growing company in the aviation industry, headquartered at Basel Airport, wants to raise its public profile.
Together with the management, IRF develops building blocks to establish consistent global external communications. Journalists from around the world are invited to events, trade fairs, one-on-one discussions and visits to the business premises, in order to make the company and its activities tangible and experienced. With personal statements from the owners and management, as well as through exercised openness, the previously relatively inaccessible company, which faced rumours and suppositions, raises its public profile significantly.
Today the enterprise is an exemplary business and is seen as an attractive employer in the Basel region.
Going public – communicative accompaniment of a milestone
A globally leading Swiss industrial corporation is planning to float on the SIX Swiss Exchange.
Ahead of the stockmarket listing and as part of a broader communications concept, IRF invites selected media representatives to visit the company headquarters, in order to provide the media with insights into the business that has tended to operate out of the limelight. At the same time, potential investors and stakeholders, such as employees, customers and public authorities, are kept comprehensively informed about the company’s plans.
Thanks to the clear communications about the virtues of the business, which are carefully tailored to the needs of particular target groups, the stockmarket floatation is a huge success. The company shares are several times oversubscribed.
Reliable link to Swiss investors
Companies based abroad which are listed on the SIX Swiss Exchange often lack immediate and direct contact with local investors, analysts and media representatives. A locally established partner can be helpful for companies that would like to target Swiss investors, be covered by Swiss analysts and be focused on by Swiss journalists.
For many years, IRF has been helping a foreign SIX-listed biotechnology company to foster investor relationships in Switzerland. This includes handling enquiries from (private) shareholders, calling meetings with potential new (institutional) investors, organising information events about the annual financial statements, contact with SIX or running perception analyses to identify and interpret the sentiment toward this company on the market.
Annual report – the visiting card of a modern company
Listed companies are very much in the media spotlight and are subject to a large number of communication obligations. For this reason, financial communications need to be planned with care, in order to supply stakeholders with the information they require.
IRF helps several listed companies to plan and produce the annual report, partly for many years. In addition, IRF prepares the documents for the media conferences and conducts a rehearsal with the management.
IRF is also engaged by customers to develop new concepts for annual reports (sometimes in close cooperation with design agencies), accompanies strategically significant changes such as the transition of the annual report from a printed copy to a fully online version, and derives action recommendations for even more effective reporting from best practice analyses.
“Professional communication” as a success factor in acquisitions
A foreign company wants to strengthen its presence in Europe and significantly expand its offering by strategically acquiring a listed Swiss company.
IRF develops a communication concept together with the company to outline the strategic value of the transaction. The reasons for the transaction and the plans for the acquired company are explained in detail with media relations – this prevents rumours and speculation at an early stage. At the same time, an ongoing dialogue is maintained with employees, customers and authorities.
Constant communication ensures that the media and the public are made aware of the strategic considerations of the acquisition and creates confidence in the new owner. Communication contributes to the success of the public takeover bid.
Communication – value driver in many respects
A Swiss company in the healthcare market wants to separate its group; one of the two business units is to be listed separately on the SIX Swiss exchange.
IRF advises the company on development of the communication concept. IRF deploys important PR tools as a website, a shareholder brochure and an image brochure, and gets involved in media relations. IRF also plays an important role in developing various Q&As and defining key materials for internal communication.
The result? A clear profile of the company as a leading healthcare company in Switzerland and heightened awareness of the business. And a successful transaction on the capital market.
Protection against hostile takeovers
A listed Swiss industrial company gets into operational difficulties, and the share price drops accordingly. The Board of Directors and the Management Board are concerned about hostile takeover attempts as a consequence of the undervaluation.
IRF is tasked with developing lines of defence to prepare for this eventuality. A strengths and weaknesses analysis highlights the possible points of attack of potential bidders. Decision-making processes are created, drafts for media releases are prepared and additional communication and IR tools are determined based on this analysis. IRF reviews the company’s equity story and proposes measures to intensify the IR programme. The company also closely monitors any shareholder changes.
Hostile takeover bids are surprisingly common. As a result, time is a scarce commodity once an offer like this has been reached. It is therefore advisable to make preparations in good time.
In the focus of investigative journalist networks
A foreign bank in Switzerland unexpectedly falls under suspicion of having failed to observe guidelines to prevent money laundering. High-profile clients are named in the press. International journalist networks publish confidential data concerning international financial transactions.
IRF was commissioned, in close cooperation with the board of directors as well as involved law firms, to draw up possible scenarios and the corresponding communication strategies. Depending upon how the case develops and the result of external investigations, statements, language rules and media releases are drafted. In addition, clear rules are defined, detailing how incoming media enquiries are to be processed and answered professionally, promptly and within the context of the statutory provisions (bank client secrecy, ongoing investigations, etc.).
In the field of crisis communications, responsiveness, honesty and clear processes are the key factors for successful communications.
Establishing a social media community – a strategic issue
An investment specialist that focuses on sustainability investments is for the first time planning to promote its annually published study actively in social media.
IRF identifies important influencers in the sustainable investment field in the channels Twitter and LinkedIn, and draws up editorial schedules for the two channels. A week before the study is due to be published, the client initiates the teaser phase by posting news and tweets. The frequency is substantially increased on the day on which the study is published.
Multipliers (bloggers, online media) pick up the study and spread it further. Numerous new followers are recorded on Twitter and LinkedIn.
Tweets and posts: support for the newsroom
A SMI listed company wants to link its expertise more closely to current events on selected social-media channels and expand its existing communities.
IRF uses different reaches (local to global) to research topically important events in the industry and draws up a detailed editorial plan for twelve months at a time. Tweets and posts are prepared on selected themes, tailored to the company’s own newsroom, in regular consultation with the customer. There are also multiple posts on current events on a daily basis (newsjacking).
To intensify dialogue with the global community, company experts are set up as ambassadors and are actively supported at the start of their activities with an editorial plan.
Social media = uncharted territory? Making a success of professional entry to the social media
A Swiss association dedicated to promoting sustainable financial investments makes changes to its communications strategy because an increasing number of members and the media operate in social media. The client previously only had a presence in the form of its own website.
In workshops and courses, working together with the client, IRF lays down the social media ground rules, sets up the selected Twitter and LinkedIn channels, and develops an editorial plan for the starting phase. Monitoring and precautions for possible communication risks also need to be implemented.
Thanks to the infusion of knowledge in the workshop and training courses, the client is quickly able to navigate the new environment independently. Journalists and multipliers begin following the client on Twitter and LinkedIn. In overall terms, the number of followers rises steadily.
Promoting potential with modern employee communication
A leading global provider of security solutions wants to promote the sense of community within its numerous group companies.
The aim is to facilitate cooperation and create synergies by developing common company principles amongst the businesses and brands in Europe and overseas. The Management Board sees this as a source of substantial potential for growth and increase in profitability.
In close cooperation with IRF, in various workshops, the Group management identifies seven common company principles that have been represented as a symbol. Members of the Group management explain the new principles in a company video on the intranet. Employees are also presented with the values and the visualised symbol on posters and in brochures.
Employees of all Group companies are aware of and understand the common company values. They are more motivated and take the initiative to form teams across the Group and reach new goals together.
Internal communications – guideline for employees in particularly unsettled times
Internal communications become hugely important when a company is experiencing changes. They ensure that all stakeholders clearly understand their particular roles in this transformation, and are provided with the same level of information.
IRF provided an internationally operating pharmaceutical company with communications support while it relocated its European headquarters from Lausanne to Zurich. The starting point was the comprehensive communications concept for the internal and external communications. A core element here was training managers to provide employees with clear and simultaneously empathetic communications.
Executives successfully remained in dialogue with the employees during a phase that was characterised by uncertainties. In spite of the unwelcome news, employees engaged constructively in the consultancy process, and this in turn impacted positively on the parameters of the severance scheme. The company was able to finalize the consultancy process on schedule.
Site closure – communicating bad news clearly and with emotion
Closures or the relocation of production sites trigger uncertainties and fears amongst employees, business partners and public authorities. However difficult the messages may be, the process needs to be tightly controlled at the communications level, in order to ensure that additional frustration and vulnerabilities are not created.
With the help of its international partner FTI Consulting, IRF provided a globally operating chemicals manufacturer, domiciled in Switzerland, with communications support during the closure of a production site in Great Britain. The starting point was the classic communications concept for internal and external communications. A key aspect was preparing the management team for the need to provide employees with the best possible support during this delicate process.
Local authorities were individually informed about the background to the site closure, and despite the negative impact of the company’s decision on the regional economy, showed themselves to be cooperative. The consultation process with employees proceeded constructively and was wrapped up within the set timeframe.
Internal communication: driving force in times of change
A world-leading Swiss industrial company shows strong growth and almost doubles its workforce within around two years. This also leads to greater demands and requirements in terms of communication in the company. Ground needs to be made up, particularly in internal communication.
IRF developes immediate and regular measures to make internal communication systematic. The measures focus on open dialogue between the Management Board and employees to build trust, and guidance and identification of new employees with the company. IRF also advises on and assists with a global employee survey and creating internal publications in the event of ballots.
Shaping public opinion: nurturing contacts in the political arena
Modernisation of the electricity grid in Switzerland is seen as one of the basic preconditions for the successful implementation of the Federal Council’s energy concept 2050. This investment is expensive, however, and opinions are divided as to who should pay.
Together with a globally operating company that is active in the field of modernising public energy infrastructures, IRF develops communication activities to position the company as the industry and innovation leader in its specialist field. These measures enable the company to exercise direct influence on public opinion, by for example getting its own executives appointed to key steering committees as industry representatives. As a link between politicians and the research community, the company makes an important contribution towards supplying innovative technologies that significantly support the realisation of the energy objectives.
Creating understanding among political stakeholders
The head office of a globally active pharmaceutical company is based in Switzerland. The company would like to be perceived as a relevant market player on the Swiss business scene and in the Swiss health policy. One particular aim is to strengthen the perception of the economic, social and societal importance of the company in Switzerland among specific target groups and political opinion leaders.
IRF maps out an active public affairs strategy and identifies strategically significant stakeholders and opinion leaders from the Swiss health policy. Personal meetings are arranged with the national manager of the Swiss subsidiary and accompanied by IRF.
In addition, IRF supports the company in individual discussions and negotiations of the management with cantonal and local authorities at individual production sites in order to promote mutual understanding and to address business interests in relation to the location canton.
An increasingly innovative Switzerland
Universities and large companies in the Zurich region have decided to launch a cooperation with research and the private sector, with the aim of developing innovative and sustainable solutions for Switzerland. They need a suitable site to do this.
The situation is clear, the project is supported politically at both a national and cantonal level. However, locally there are individual critical voices. The project also needs private investors in order to develop the location.
IRF creates a communication concept to regularly inform local residents as well as local and regional journalists, and develops texts and information brochures. In addition, IRF proposes suitable measures for communication with investors, coordinates enquiries and takes on the production of brochures and presentations. IRF also organises an event which around 100 interested parties take part in.
IRF Communications’ clients are corporations, organizations and individuals representing all sections of the economy. They include large multinational companies, rapidly growing young firms, interest groups and individuals.
The projects described below give an insight into our company’s activities and the way we work. We will gladly provide you with references upon request.
Extensive knowledge and experience, particularly in the following industries:
Not only are we communications experts, we always have our fingers on the pulse of selected industries. Thanks to our many years of experience in top-level corporate communications positions and in communications consulting, we know the issues and challenges facing a host of different industries. Since we speak the same language as our clients, the services we provide are results-oriented, efficient and effective.
Please take a look at our corporate movie: