Simon&Co – Your Reputation Matters!

Simon&Co - Your Reputation Matters! Virginie Simone

PR and Strategy form the very core of any business looking forward to having a mix of traditional and digital footprint and expanding its service coverage across the globe. There are many companies providing exemplary services, led by equally capable and talented leadership.

Virginie Simone is the Founder and Director of Simon&Co. Virginie is one of the most innovative, visionary, and charismatic business leaders of the year. She has revolutionized the industry with her company’s leading services, embedded with her expertise and invaluable experience.

Simon&Co has become one of the leading names in PR and strategy with unmatched services, providing solutions that offer clients flexibility, scalability, and growth. Their long list of loyal clients makes them highly sought-after and one of the most trusted PR agencies in the market.

Simon&Co, establishing your brand, revolutionizing PR and strategy!

Simon&Co is a global PR and communications agency, with its wingspan around the world, and its headquarters based in Lausanne, Switzerland. The company’s vision is – “To work with clients to build strong brands that empower them to rise in their industries, helping to develop, promote and establish them through clear and intuitive communication”. 

Simon&Co establishes itself as a leading PR strategist and brand builder, through its comprehensive methods and ethos. Their primary service offerings revolve around reputation management plans, launches, communications of influence, public affairs, media relations, and business development.

Simon&Co views the dynamic of working with its clients as a partnership, working together to make the best brand possible. This creates a long-term rapport between Simon&Co and its clients, not only ensuring that the marketing strategy it advises is custom built to fit, but that it can adapt this strategy with the organization in question.

Every decision regarding the best ways to communicate a message to an audience is tailored to the client’s specific circumstances. Moreover, Simon&Co goes above and beyond to ensure that its clients are ready to deliver the message that they have in mind. When a client presents a plan that their team thinks is ill-timed or could use extra work, they won’t just put the strategy into action, but will work with the client until the communication is at its best before release!

Given how crucial timing is for an effective campaign, the team of Simon&Co works hard to ensure each communication goes out when the time is right for that specific content. Additionally, they encourage their partners to know the assets and selling points of their campaign beforehand, to know the expectations of their target market as well as how best to reach them. PR strategy, especially during a pandemic, needs to adapt and evolve with the world it wants to make a mark in.

Journey of Simon&CO

Simon&Co’s founder, Virginie Simon feels lucky enough not to have faced initial challenges. When she left her previous agency (as a Senior Consultant and Head of the Geneva office), she was very tired and wanted to take a few months off to follow the training and find a job in a company. Becoming the client was her goal! 

But the word of mouth is very powerful and the first clients came before Virginie even started to set up her agency. The first one came from Brazil and the second one from Korea, which is crazy when you think about it. It’s only after a few years that she had to face some typical entrepreneur’s challenges like managing the cash flow and not paying all your invoices at the same time like a good Swiss citizen!

Reasons that make Simon&Co successful, strong holding their position in the market?

It is the patience and diverse experience of Virginie in crisis management as she used to work for the Federal Office of Public Health during the H1N1 pandemic, which was key to handling her company during the Covid-19 pandemic. She also managed by herself and from A to Z all strategies and communications for the most important redundancy that Geneva has ever experienced. 

This along with her expertise in PR and strategy led her and SImon&Co to climb the ladder of success, acquiring prestigious clients, pushing their growth, and making them successful.

One of the major reasons that establish their long-standing success, making them a leading name in the PR industry, is the respect and loyalty they have earned from their clients over the years. Simon&Co has always believed in being true to their work and working with a sense of ethics, which has created an unwavering trust with their brand name. 

They always try to make the most of their clients and provide them with nothing but a comprehensive solution, tailored for them. To them, it’s not about selling their services to their clients, but more about cooperating with them and offering them strategic insights, support, and training on a long-term basis. 

Lastly, Switzerland is also a multicultural country welcoming a variety of companies, from start-ups to multinationals, foundations, and NGOs. It is full of opportunities, allowing them to grow on a wider scale. 

Indomitable services of Simon&Co, and what sets them apart?

There are very few true PR companies, as most of them have become communication agencies, which is great. But from a PR point of view, communications are only one tool that can be leveraged to reach wider business-related goals. 

This is why Simon&Co offers a plethora of services, covering all aspects related to PR and strategy. Their services are: 

  • Public Relations
  • Strategic Counsel
  • Business Development
  • Crisis and Change Corporate
  • Reputation
  • Media Relations
  • Launch
  • Influencers 
  • Digital
  • National and international campaigns
  • Public Affairs
  • Coaching and training
  • Internal communication

The company has mainly been growing with Virginie, her expertise, and experience as it requires skills and knowledge you mostly don’t learn at school. The company and its team also develop services according to their skills and what they feel is going to be the next big change.

Their services comprehensively cover all aspects of PR and strategy, giving their clients a whole fleet of unrivaled services to choose from. This along with the brand name of Simon&Co along with their commendable support and service standards makes them highly sought-after and one of the most reliable PR and strategy agencies.

Orchestrator of Simon&Co

Virginie is a highly-motivated, multicultural, diligent, and passionate PR strategist and brand-builder with 13 years of proven track record in delivering strategic communications campaigns, reputation management plans, and high-level change and crisis counseling. She has gained experience in the public sector, Swiss and international agencies, startups, nonprofit and multinational corporations, which allows her to understand and analyze all types of organizations.

Passionate about business development, brand management, and strategic communications, Virginie always goes beyond traditional thinking to implement meaningful actions. Her knowledge of the Swiss market has also become a strong asset for her national and international clients willing to develop themselves or launch new products and services in such a small but specific country.

In her previous senior roles in PR and communication agencies, she led major international and national accounts and multifunctional teams, ensuring return on investment and reaching high key performance indicators. She in particular managed all communications for the largest redundancy Geneva has ever experienced and launched a campaign in more than 35 countries. Prior to that, she developed and launched Swiss national campaigns of prevention, developing and implementing promotion, media, PR, and crisis communications plans as well as partnerships and events.

Virginie obtained an Advanced Diploma in Strategic Brand Management from the London School of Business and Finance, a Diploma of Advanced Studies in Marketing Management from HEC Business School, and a Master’s degree in Political Sciences from Lausanne University. Trilingual in French, English, and Spanish, she is fluent in German and speaks Italian.

The team and work culture at Simon&Co

Virginie has decided to hire talented people who don’t come from the PR or the communication world. They all have a very different path, one was an entrepreneur for instance, and another used to work in a back office and is amazing at storytelling. But they all have skills that are a plus for the agency and a curiosity that is very important when working with a client.

“You have to be open-minded and know what’s going on in terms of politics, social environment, which are the local and more global economic tensions and challenges, etc. As they all come from different fields and all want to develop themselves in PR, I offer them the tools and the opportunity to develop what they really want”, Virginie adds. 

This keeps the team highly motivated, enabling them to learn from each other all the time. The leadership is very flat with meetings on a regular basis but their relationships are very friendly and quite cool. All these factors make them a close-knit family, working synchronously to strive for perfection, and innovate services that imprint Simon&Co’s brand, as one of the leading PR and strategy agencies! 

Virginie’s take on the responsibilities of an entrepreneur?

I don’t see my entrepreneur life as full of responsibilities. I see it as full of freedom as it allows me to take the risk and develop whatever I want whenever I want. Of course, it is also a lot of sacrifices, you work like crazy and cannot disconnect totally and get paid less than what a big company would offer. But I feel that I do fit this lifestyle the most and wouldn’t exchange this freedom for anything else. 

Virginie’s take on the competition in the market? How does she cope with it?

I believe that there are enough great projects for everyone and that sometimes we could also join forces between agencies. I am quite disruptive with this point of view but sometimes, if you are too busy or missing one specific skill or type of person in your company, you should just ask for some support from abroad. 

I have the chance to have built the most amazing network of professionals around me. I told most startups that the most difficult step to grow is to surround yourself with the right people. It’s the same in our case. We can count on other agencies or experts to support us from time to time and they also ask us the same.  

Is competition a motivating factor for Virginie? Does she feel it helps to bring out the best?

Yes and no as of course it motivates you to bring out the best when you compete during a pitch. But at the same time, if you work with ethics, know where your values are and how you can effectively support a client, there is space for everyone. New companies are settling down in the country or being created each year. New types of products and services are developed. 

There are still plenty of opportunities. We just have to be clever and make sure our services fit this market and evolve with it. 

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