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IRF Communications AG
Rämistrasse 4
CH-8001 Zürich
www.irfcom.ch

Layout

TGG Hafen Senn Stieger
Visuelle Kommunikation
Obere Berneggstrasse 66
CH-9012 St.Gallen
www.tgg.ch

Interaction design and code

SchwizerSchlatter | Design. Interaction.
Davidstrasse 45
CH-9000 St.Gallen
www.schwizerschlatter.com

Miriam Dippe
M.A., Consultant
" Straightforward communication is the answer to increasing complexity."

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

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Michael Düringer
Dr. iur., Partner
“Good communication will steer the claims and expectations of others in the right direction.”

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

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Areas of special expertise

Corporate communications, including special and crisis situations
Positioning of companies, institutions and individuals
Investor relations and financial reporting
Conceptualization and production of company brochures
Corporate governance
Social and environmental reporting
M&A transactions

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Publications

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

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Institutions

Swiss Forum of Communications Law

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Jacqueline Etter
lic.phil.I, Senior Consultant
"Successful communication is based on dialogue"

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

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Valentin Handschin
M.A., Senior Consultant
"Despite scarce temporal resources quality still remains more important than speed."

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

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Patrizia Kundert-Eicke
BSc., Consultant
“The most effective messages are usually the most simply worded ones.”

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

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Harry Landau
LL.M, M.Sc., Senior Advisor
«Everything that you are, do or say is public affairs.»

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

Public affairs

Government affairs

Crisis communication and special situations

Media relations and media training

Publications

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

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Stefan Mathys
lic.oec.publ., lic.phil. I, Partner
“Communication boils down to responsibility, trust and power.”

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

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Areas of special expertise

Corporate communications
Media relations, media spokesman
Positioning of companies and individuals
Text, ghost-writing (professional articles, speaking, reports)
Conceptualisation and realisation of publications
Event communications
Public affairs
Corporate governance

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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

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Institutions

Swiss Public Affairs Society (SPAG)
Efficiency Club Zurich

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Awards

Recipient of the Media Relations Award 2007 at the Corporate Communications Awards of the Forum for Integrated Communication.

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Martin Meier-Pfister
lic.oec. HSG, Partner
“Setting the right profile requires a firm command of style.”

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

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Areas of special expertise

Crisis communication and special situations
Financial market transactions such as IPOs, M&As, capital increases and restructuring
Positioning of top executives

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Publications

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

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Institutions

CFOs (CH)
Member of the Board of SECA (Swiss Private Equity & Corporate Finance Association), Lead of Chapter Communication & Media

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Sophie Nägeli
MSc., Consultant
"An effective message requires a well-developed cultural and linguistic understanding."

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

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Stefano Pedrazzi
lic. phil., Consultant
"Only those who listen carefully communicate successfully."

Stefano Pedrazzi joined IRF Communications as a consultant in May 2015. During the previous seven years, he worked for PRIME Research, an institute specialized in strategic communication research and consulting. He supported global players from the financial, chemical and pharmaceutical sectors in positioning and managing their reputation and issues. Stefano Pedrazzi studied media & communication science, economics and modern history at the University of Zurich, focussing on persuasion and media effects.

Languages: German, French, Italian, English

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Oliver Seifried
M.A., Consultant
“Effective communication is not pushy, it simply drives the message home.”

Oliver Seifried joined IRF Communications as a consultant 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

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Jürg Stähelin
lic.oec., Partner
“The subtle nuances are crucial in today’s loud and fast-moving world of communications.”

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), at its executive director. He joined IRF Communications in 2011.

Languages: German, French, English

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Areas of special expertise:

Integrated Corporate Communications (Combination Communication and Marketing)
Media relations/spokesperson
Financial-/Crisis Communication
M&A- and Integration communication
Positioning and branding of companies and institutions
Profiling and coaching of management members

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Publications

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

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Interdisciplinary Background

IRF Communications has a qualified and experienced team with an interdisciplinary background in the following sectors:

  • Business studies
  • Law
  • Journalism
  • Public affairs
  • Branding/Marketing
  • New media

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.

Miriam Dippe
M.A., Consultant
Michael Düringer
Dr. iur., Partner
Jacqueline Etter
lic.phil.I, Senior Consultant
Valentin Handschin
M.A., Senior Consultant
Patrizia Kundert-Eicke
BSc., Consultant
Harry Landau
LL.M, M.Sc., Senior Advisor
Stefan Mathys
lic.oec.publ., lic.phil. I, Partner
Martin Meier-Pfister
lic.oec. HSG, Partner
Sophie Nägeli
MSc., Consultant
Stefano Pedrazzi
lic. phil., Consultant
Oliver Seifried
M.A., Consultant
Jürg Stähelin
lic.oec., Partner

IRF Communications

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.

Facts at a glance

2016 Becoming a Gold Affiliate of FTI Consulting’s global network
2008 Extension of services to include communications consulting for economic and capital market issues, rebranding as IRF Communications AG
2004 Becomes Swiss partner of FTI Consulting
2003 Rebranded as The Investor Relations Firm AG – IR Firm; focus on financial communications
2002 Management-Buy-out
1995 Wirz Investor Relations AG established by Wirz Group

External Board Member
Dr. Maja Bauer-Balmelli, Partner, Pestalozzi Attorneys at Law

A business network that spans the globe

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

  • FTI Consulting is an independent global business advisory firm dedicated to helping organisations manage change, mitigate risk and resolve disputes
  • The Strategic Communications practice of FTI (formerly Financial Dynamics) combines global reach with local knowledge
  • As a leading communications consultancy with more than 30 years of experience advising management teams and boards of directors, FTI helps clients communicate effectively to protect and enhance their business interests with key stakeholders
  • The firm has a comprehensive view of strategic communications with an integrated suite of services in financial communications, corporate reputation and public affairs in all the major markets around the world
  • IRF and FTI have worked together as partners on more than 30 joint projects

Network of FTI offices in 81 cities, 29 countries

FTI with 3,600 consultants and professionals, including 750 expert strategic communications consultants located in key markets around the world, complemented by affiliates network in key markets across the globe. http://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
Jürg Stähelin
Rämistrasse 4, Postfach
8024 Zürich

Requirements

  • A university degree or equivalent qualification
  • An interest in finance and communications
  • Financial, communications or marketing experience and know-how
  • Fluency in German and English, French an advantage
  • Strong professional drive and an ability to work independently
  • Quality-first mind-set
  • Service-oriented, strong client focus
  • An ability to keep a clear head even when things get hectic
  • Team spirit and sense of humour

What IRF Communications offers

  • A unique interface between the worlds of business, finance and the media
  • A chance to work on international project teams
  • A challenging job
  • An open work atmosphere
  • A young and professional team
  • Experience and client portfolio of a Swiss market leader

Cocktail 2017

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.

Marc Badertscher, Handelszeitung, versucht Martin Eckert, MME, von seinem Standpunkt zu überzeugen.

Peter Burkhardt, SonntagsZeitung, Birgit Voigt, NZZ am Sonntag und Anita Greil, UBS.

Jürg Sturzenegger und Angela Eder von Fisch Asset Management sprechen mit Ralph Atkins, Financial Times, über Wandel und Obligationen.

Peter Keller, Leiter Standards & Operations von SVSP, und Georg von Wattenwyl, Präsident SVSP, im Gespräch mit Katja Keller.

Das neue Buch von Marius Fuchs, QIC, war der Gesprächsstoff mit Valentin Handschin, IRF Communications.

Chris Tanner, Cosmo Pharmaceuticals, im Gespräch mit Hans Baumgartner, Private Equity Holding.

Martin Meier-Pfister, IRF Communications, begrüsst die Gäste: In der Kürze liegt die Würze.

Joao Goncalo Aguiar und Marco Alazraki von Hedge Invest bringen Eugen Stamm, NZZ, zum Lachen.

Oliver Seifried, IRF Communications, disputiert mit Arno Schmocker, Finanz und Wirtschaft.

Maja Bauer-Balmelli, Tax Advisors & Associates Switzerland, im Austausch mit Adrian Dörig von Vischer.

Miriam Dippe, IRF Communications, ist ganz Ohr für Arno Grüter, Swiss Rock.

Lorenzo Olgiati, Schellenberg Wittmer, Beat Dolder, Dolder Corporate Finance und Michael Düringer, IRF Communications, haben gut lachen. Warum wohl?

Patrick Friedli, Zürcher Kantonalbank, Martina Müri, Thurgauer Kantonalbank und Hanspeter Frey, Finanz und Wirtschaft.

Stéphane Bonvin, Gründer und CEO von Investis Management, geniesst den Abend.

Spätsommerliche Stimmung auf dem Sechseläutenplatz.Daniel J. Ziegler, Hotelier, im Fachgespräch mit Stefan Mathys, IRF Communications.Andreas Neumann, Zürcher Kantonalbank, sucht die Argumentationskette von Jürg Stähelin, IRF Communications.John Manieri, Cosmo Pharmaceuticals, im Austausch mit Sophie Nägeli, IRF Communications.

Rupert Pretterklieber, Thomson Reuters, und Werner Enz, NZZ, schenken Karl Wüthrich, WengerPlattner, ihre volle Aufmerksamkeit.

Michael Griesdorf, Finanz und Wirtschaft, fachsimpelt mit Markus Germann, UBS.

Pia Guggenbühl, Arbeitgeberverband der Banken in der Schweiz, Carola Scotoni, Kraftwerk, und Mathis Berger, Nater Dallafior, in Apérolaune.

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Cocktail 2016

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.

Discussion on equal terms: Martin Meier-Pfister, IRF Communications, and Werner Enz, NZZ. Ermes Gallarotti, NZZ, listens politely.

Valentin Handschin, IRF Communications, and Jon Aarons, FTI Consulting, discuss communications in the globalized economy.

Dr Anne-Catherine Imhoff, President of Wipswiss, and the late-summer sun try to outshine each other.

Birgit Voigt, NZZ, has reason to smile.

Carla Scotoni, kraftwerk, and Philipp Dialer, EY, enjoy the served appetizers and cool drinks.

Eugen Stamm, NZZ, talks to Miriam Dippe, IRF Communications.

Michael Dueringer, Partner at IRF Communications, welcomes the cheerful guests.

Focused: Guests listen to the speech of Michael Dueringer, IRF Communications.

Simon Schmid, Handelszeitung, considers his response to the question posed by Michel Gerber, VAT Group.

Stefan Mathys, IRF Communications, is delighted.

Chocolate mousse improves every discussion: Jan A. Bielinski, Julius Baer, and Juerg Staehelin, IRF Communications.

Antonius Knep, Global Infrastructure Basel, and Tommaso Manzin, Aargauer Zeitung, enjoy the moment.

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Cocktail 2015

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.

2015 IRF Cocktail takes place at Collana for the first time.

During sun setting, the participants enjoy a glass of prosecco or wine...... and delicious appetizers.Juerg Staehelin, Partner at IRF Communications, welcomes the guests.Chris Tanner, Cosmo Pharmaceuticals, attentively listens to Matthias Courvoisier, Baker & McKenzie.Hans Sonder and Thomas Zehnder, both Landis + Gyr, observe the scene and amuse themselves.Thomas Pfyl, Globalance Bank, und Barbara Heller, SWIPRA, unterhalten sich über Nachhaltigkeit und Corporate Governance.Katharina Waelchli, Zuercher Kantonalbank, prior to answering first thinks.8pm – Fed decision interests: Rainer Lenzin, Pioneer Investments, Pascal Meisser, Finanz und Wirtschaft, Daniel Huegli, cash.Martin Meier-Pfister, IRF Communications, seriously talks to Axel May, HCM, who takes it easy.Arno Schmocker, Finanz und Wirtschaft, does not let hoax himself.Latest news from the markets circulate: Daniel Dysli, Kepler, Oyvind Bjordal, Lincoln International, Matthias Courvoisier, Baker & McKenzie.

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IRF Top Executive Talk with Monika Ribar and Bernhard Heusler:

„Top performances when it matters“

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”.

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Cocktail 2014

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.

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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.

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Cocktail 2013

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.

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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.

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Cocktail 2011

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.

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Quick and flexible

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.

Karte_Raemistr_IRF

IRF Communications AG
Rämistrasse 4
Postfach
CH-8024 Zürich
Telefon +41 43 244 81 44
Fax + 43 244 81 45
Email info@irfcom.ch

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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:

  • Communications concepts for positioning companies, organizations, projects and persons
  • Communications and media training for company executives and board members
  • Reputation and perception surveys: Surveys of target groups (investors, analysts, journalists) on communications and perception issues
  • Benchmark studies
  • Internal communications: Internal roll-out of company strategy, defining and anchoring company values, post-merger integration processes, etc.


Overview client projects

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:

  • Management of media relations from A to Z: Strategy, messages, Q&As, writing and distribution of press releases, development and placement of media stories, ghostwriting, company spokesperson function, etc.
  • Responsibility for media relations in specific projects (crises, M&A, etc.)
  • Global media: Contacts to media outlets worldwide through our partner FTI Consulting
  • Media training: For individuals and/or in connection with specific topics or events
  • Formulation and implementation of social media concepts as part of a company’s overall communications policy, guidelines for employee use of social media


Overview client projects

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:

  • National and international transactions (IPO, M&A, spin-offs, going private): Analysis, development and implementation of communications strategy
  • Communication of financial results: Messaging, media conferences, investor meetings, presentations, Q&As, etc.
  • Investor relations: Strategy and implementation, roadshows, management of investor relations, contact with analysts and shareholder representatives
  • Annual reports: Overall coordination, concept and content
  • Sustainability / environmental reports: Overall coordination, concept and content, communication of sustainability topics to target groups
  • Best practice analyses and recommendations: Annual reports, value reporting, director and executive compensation reports, sustainability reports etc.


Overview client projects

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:

  • Advice and support during crisis situations: Legal proceedings, financial issues, product issues, management issues, etc.
  • Prevention of crisis situations by means of communicative measures
  • Crisis communications concept: Organization, procedures, guidelines, best practice
  • Training for crisis communications: Planning, execution, analysis and conclusions


Overview client projects

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.

Priority activities:

  • What digital communications are –  learn about the fundamentals of this subject at a workshop
  • Draw up and implement plans for digital communications as part of company communication
  • Create guidelines for employees in the use of digital media
  • Plan and conduct specific campaigns on digital channels
  • Develop and manage corporate blogs
  • Communicate live – use digital communications in connection with special events
  • Identify / map influencers
  • Manage critical communication situations on digital platforms
  • Monitor digital platforms


Overview client projects

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.

Focus areas:

  • Strategy, processes and organization of internal communication
  • Analysis and reorientation of internal communication channels
  • Communication of change processes (such as a new business strategy, changes in company values, reorganization, post-merger integration)
  • Planning and hosting of internal events (conference for managers, staff events)
  • Internal campaigns (such as sustainability, safety at the workplace, social engagement)


Overview client projects

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:

  • Political communications
  • Representation of interests in policy-making processes
  • Sensitization of government officials and the broader public
  • Advice on strategy, organization and processes
  • Networking with political decision-makers
  • Monitoring of the political agenda


Overview client projects

The IRF Communications team has a great deal of experience in the intricacies of contacts between businesses and economic organizations, as well as between opinion leaders in the capital market and the general public.

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.

News
17. January 2013: IRF Communications broadens expertise
  • Daniel Piller joins the company as a new partner
  • Stefan Mathys, previously Senior Consultant, becomes a partner
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Specialist papers
27. April 2012: «Regulierung für Anleger und Emittenten»

«Regulierung für Anleger und Emittenten»
Jürg Stähelin, Stocks, April 27 2012 (in German only)

Download PDF
Newsletter December 2013

Sorry, this entry is only available in German.

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Newsletter September 2013
  • Social Media – Getting-started kit for small and medium-sized enterprises
  • Personalising corporate communication – The need to differentiate between external and internal communication
  • Communication as a strategic factor of success in the dialog with investors and industrial partners; Interview with Vladimir Cmiljanovic, co-founder and CEO of PIQUR Therapeutics
  • What happens when something happens?
    Interview with Dominik Schaerer, General Manager of International SOS Central Europe and Switzerland
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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.

Selling 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.

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Embedded in the Swiss market

A leading global asset manager wants to raise the profile of its innovative investment solutions and experts in the Swiss media.

IRF develops a communications strategy, and draws upon the full range of media tools for its implementation. In the event of particular topicality, themes and messages are also communicated to the media spontaneously using suitable instruments. In accordance with the strategy paper, the relatively unknown experts from Switzerland and abroad are gradually introduced to the Swiss media world.

The company profits from the stronger positioning at different levels. Its experts are frequently interviewed by the media. At the same time, 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.

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Going public – communicative accompaniment of a milestone

A globally leading Swiss industrial corporation wants to go public and is planning to float on the SIX Swiss Exchange.

Ahead of the stockmarket listing, 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, and the media praise the successful floatation and the client’s long-term business model.

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 a medium-sized enterprise to plan and produce the annual report. In addition, IRF prepares the documents for the media conference and conducts a rehearsal with the management.

The consultancy firm acts simultaneously as the media and investor relations agent, as the company does not have an in-house communications office.

Communications in conjunction with M&A transactions: added value for all involved

A company with rich traditions is aiming to expand its product range and market presence substantially with a significant strategic acquisition.

Together with the company, IRF develops a clear message to present the strategic value of the transaction. The reasons for the acquisition are communicated through media activities. At the same time, ongoing dialogue with employees is ensured, and proactive contacts with new customers are established.

The strategic motivation for the transaction are quickly understood by all stakeholders on account of the transparent and ongoing communications, enabling the integration of the new company to be performed smoothly.

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Meeting critical active shareholders with strategic communications

A medium-sized, listed company in the health sector is facing a challenging shareholders’ meeting. The principal shareholder has demanded a capital repayment – board of directors and management oppose this motion.

IRF helps the company develop the communications strategy ahead of the shareholders’ meeting. The position of the board of directors is communicated to the financial community with investor and media discussions. IRF also accompanies the discussions with shareholder representatives in Switzerland, while the partner FTI Consulting conducts these events in the USA.

The discussions have the desired effect. Media reports on the company strategy are neutral and balanced.

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.

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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: accompanying special events on digital channels

A SMI company is looking to link its in-house expertise more strongly to current events on selected social media channels.

IRF researches important relevant events over the coming twelve months, with different reaches (local to global) and draws up an editorial plan. In addition, measures relating to two of the company’s principal fields of activity are drawn up.

By positioning the company’s expertise as well as by citing individual examples, the number of followers on the selected channels rises significantly. Exchanges of views with the global community intensify. A live chat scheduled to coincide with the launch of a major publication is a great success.

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.

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Corporate culture – a neglected success factor

A medium-sized, fast-changing health company is looking to reinforce its collective sense of identity, while boosting the interest of its employees in corporate culture issues.

IRF drafts a communications concept for internal communications, and develops inter alia together with the client an attractively structured corporate mission statement and cachets that symbolise the values.

This approach enables employees to understand the corporate values. Issues of corporate culture are much more present at all hierarchy levels of the company. The key values are expressed in management decisions and behaviour, and they are also addressed in internal communication.

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.

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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.

Relocation – providing early and transparent information

Within the context of a reorganisation, a globally operating pharmaceutical company is planning to relocate the headquarters of its international business, which is located in French-speaking Switzerland, to German-speaking Switzerland instead.

IRF drafted an active public affairs strategy for internal and external communications. A key focus was the early involvement of cantonal authorities in the transformation process. The various phases of the transfer are communicated through media activities. Senior managers are prepared in good time for the need to support employees during this difficult change process.

Despite a heated political debate about regional business development factors, the public authorities show themselves to be cooperative. The consultation process with employees proceeded constructively and was wrapped up within the set timeframe. The media coverage was balanced.

Sustainable build-up of relations at the new domicile

A globally operating pharmaceutical company is planning to relocate its European headquarters from French-speaking Switzerland to Zurich.

The public affairs strategy drawn up by IRF focused on quickly building up a network of contacts with national and local stakeholders in the Zurich region. In addition, IRF supported the official opening ceremony for the new European headquarters with important representatives drawn from the fields of politics and business, as well as the Zurich life science cluster.

The public affairs programme was accompanied by local and national media activities.

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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.

  • Every bank lives on trust. What is to be done if trust is in short supply?
  • Selling the future – repositioning on investor day
  • A multifaceted blue chip
  • Embedded in the Swiss market
  • Swiss pioneering performances garnished with service excellence
  • A new approach – a young enterprise opens up
  • Going public – communicative accompaniment of a milestone
  • Annual report – the visiting card of a modern company
  • Communications in conjunction with M&A transactions: added value for all involved
  • Meeting critical active shareholders with strategic communications
  • In the focus of investigative journalist networks
  • Establishing a social media community – a strategic issue
  • Tweets and posts: accompanying special events on digital channels
  • Social media = uncharted territory? Making a success of professional entry to the social media
  • Corporate culture – a neglected success factor
  • Internal communications – guideline for employees in particularly unsettled times
  • Site closure – communicating bad news clearly and with emotion
  • Shaping public opinion: nurturing contacts in the political arena
  • Relocation – providing early and transparent information
  • Sustainable build-up of relations at the new domicile
Constantly following developments on the corporate front

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.

Extensive knowledge and experience, particularly in the following industries:

  • Financial services
  • Life sciences – medtech, biotech and pharmaceutical companies
  • Management services
  • Manufacturing and technology
  • Real estate
  • Retailing
  • Luxury goods, lifestyle and culture
Constantly following developments on the corporate front

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.

Extensive knowledge and experience, particularly in the following industries:

  • Financial services
  • Life sciences – medtech, biotech and pharmaceutical companies
  • Management services
  • Manufacturing and technology
  • Real estate
  • Retailing
  • Luxury goods, lifestyle and culture