LinOpinion GolinHarris launches 'The Bridge'

Mumbai becomes the 14th Bridge centre globally. It will give real time insights for public relations on a global scale

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LinOpinion GolinHarris launches 'The Bridge'

LinOpinion GolinHarris launches 'The Bridge'

Mumbai becomes the 14th Bridge centre globally. It will give real time insights for public relations on a global scale

Sohini Sen | Mumbai | May 8, 2014


GolinHarris' JV with LinOpinion last year was sure to bring big changes in the work method for both agencies. The first thing that LinOpinion has embraced is The Bridge, which they launched in their Mumbai office yesterday.

The Bridge is a pioneering concept of GolinHarris and revolves around the G4 working model. The popular Bridge system of working, which has been imitated by other agencies globally, has changed the way real time insights in today's increasingly digital landscape can interplay to creating impactful public relations campaigns.

Ameer Ismail Ameer Ismail

“The market is looking for a differentiation in the way PR is delivered. We have all grown successfully and become sizeable businesses. But the critical turning point is happening due to the change in the media landscape which clients cannot ignore. They want their PR agency partners to deliver on that change,' said Ameer Ismail, Executive Director, LinOpinion GH and Lowe Lintas & Partners.

The Bridge is based on the G4 model. All the people working in the GlobalHaris network worldwide is split into four special areas. It is about providing the right content at the right time, when the audience is at the right frame of mind.

Simon Ruparelia Simon Ruparelia

“A part of the specialty is the use of the special tools and techniques to use your special people to their best capabilities. It is no use having everyone divided and working in special departments, if you don't have the tools to use that to better use. The Bridge is a great tangible thing which works for this. It is a process, a way of working. So while you have the physical space here, with all the hub and activity, it is a way of working and thinking,” explained Simon Ruparelia, Head of Digital for Asia at GolinHarris.

GolinHarris was the first agency globally to launch The Bridge, which is present in 13 locations globally including Chicago, London and Shanghai. Mumbai is the latest bridge in Asia and latest addition to Golin Harris' global network of Bridges.

What makes The Bridge a successful tool for PR is the fact that one can work independently for a country specific exercise or in tandem with other global hubs on campaigns, large events or even crises that require real time impact. In India this setup will focus on helping brands engage their customers in real time as well as managing their online reputation. It will be run by dedicated staff from the LinOpinion GH g4 model – specialists who focus on media relations, analytics or consumer platforms both online and offline.

In the 13 places that GolinHarris has been implemented it in the last three years, they have seen a larger retention of clients and employees and a larger number of clients – all because of the quality. The Bridge lets the team monitor social media, television, radio, etc., to find out the trending topics of any day. This is followed by a Bridge meeting headed by a Bridge Chief. The information which has been then collected will be worked and brainstormed on.

“This is a better way to reach clients because we can deliver a marketing message that is more receptive,” felt Ruparelia.

According to Ismail, “With the Bridge, we have one finger on the pulse at all time. Be it social media, or mass media, we will know all that is trending. And we have trained our people, a small team at the moment, to sift through the information to understand the trending topics.”

However, some challenges have to be kept in mind and they seem to be aware of that. Even with the experience of the existing Bridge offices, there is no one size that fits all. Ruparelia feels that “language and localisation challenges will be there, as will the knowledge of nuances of Indian cultures. At the same time, though every brand will not fit everywhere, it is also true that every brand will fit in somewhere when we use the technology of The Bridge.”