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Grayling Brussels' Espresso - October 2017

11th October 2017

Dear Reader,  

The "Autumn onslaught" is always the busiest period of the year - this is the time when projects need to be started (and often completed), when budgets need to be spent, and targets hit.

This year is no exception - we have been extremely busy preparing our current clients and coaching them through some regulatory issues in the EU Institutions, whilst simultaneously responding to some exciting briefs from new clients. We have some major events scheduled before the year closes, and with Brexit whirring away in the background, it is true that there is "never a dull moment in consulting."

We wish you a healthy and successful end to the year and look forward to catching up with you before the end of 2017.

Russell Patten, Chief Executive Officer, Grayling Belgium
Nathalie Verbeeck, Managing Director, PR Team
Victoria Breck, Managing Director, PA Team

Grayling manages media relations during the 2017 conference of the European Pain Federation

In the months of June, July, and early September, Grayling provided traditional and social media support for the 10th biennial conference of the European Pain Federation, EFIC, held in Copenhagen from 6-9 September.

With some 3,000 participants, this was the largest pain treatment conference in the world in 2017, and Grayling’s actions led to wide coverage of the event across Europe on social and traditional media.
During the summer, Grayling provided on line and traditional content and a strong flow of tweets. To attract more media attention, it sent out six press releases focusing on various aspects of the conference such as its “European Diploma Pain Management”, the announcement of a new President, and the focus on opioid and cannabinoid use for pain management at the conference. 

Grayling also worked closely with the European Science Journalists Association to select ten journalists who would receive a grant to attend the conference. At the conference itself, Grayling arranged a press conference with the EFIC leadership, organised four roundtables for journalists with leading EFIC figures, and assisted journalists by providing audio recordings of the roundtables, answering journalists’ questions, and liaising with the official photographer to provide images
As a result of Grayling’s actions, EFIC’s twitter followers more than doubled to around 1,900 and its posts were frequently liked and retweeted. The press conference in Copenhagen drew more than a dozen journalists, and between six and ten journalists attended each of the four roundtables with EFIC leadeship. As of now, more than 50 articles have been published on the conference both in the mainstream and trade press, including the print editions of the Belgian popular dailies Le Soir and Het Laatste Nieuws.

Grayling provides strategic and communications support for Fuel Cell micro-cogeneration in Europe

Grayling Brussels is currently working on the PACE project (Pathway to a Competitive European Fuel Cell micro-Cogeneration market), funded by the European Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking, to boost the profile of Fuel Cell micro-Combined Heat and Power products, a breakthrough home energy system. The project will deploy at least 2 500 units across Europe by 2021.

Fuel Cell micro-Cogeneration, or Fuel Cell micro-CHP, is an innovative home energy unit that generates heat and electricity efficiently and simultaneously for domestic dwellings and small enterprises. This technology can play an important role in the decarbonisation of the energy system and the transition to more sustainable energy sources, and empowers consumers by allowing them to actively contribute to the European energy transition. Among its main objectives, PACE aims at raising awareness about Fuel Cell micro-CHP among policy-makers, architects, and installers, reducing costs through increases in volumes and improving competitiveness.

For this project, Grayling developed, in cooperation with the coordinator of the project COGEN Europe (the European Association for the Promotion of Cogeneration), an overall strategy to promote PACE and specific approaches for each of the five target markets (the European Union, Belgium, Italy, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom) and target audiences (policy-makers, supply chain, as well as the trade and mainstream press). Besides strategic advice, Grayling is helping COGEN Europe develop communications tools and support with the organisation of events.

The PACE project was officially launched at Autoworld in Brussels on 11 October. 

Grayling Brexit Breakfast Clubs prove huge success

Brexit is an issue that affects every business sector - but instead of sectors discussing it between themselves, we wanted to bring business together to identify commonalities and share information on where Brexit was heading.

This is why we set up the Brexit Breakfast Club (BBC) as an informal and confidential network for those following Brexit. We wanted to offer a space where policy and public affairs experts could come together to share experiences, information, and stories on the latest developments around Brexit and how the negotiations affect them.
No one company or industry can hope to master this topic alone. It is clear that we all need to pool resources and prepare for a long, complicated, and critical process. We hope this Club will help shed some much needed light on the process, and even influence some of the thinking in Brussels and Whitehall. We are very happy to be member-driven in terms of the topics discussed; feedback and suggestions are very welcome.
We usually arrange for a guest speaker to address the group, which is often made up of around 15 Public Affairs professionals from across the business world. Past speakers include Alex Barker, Brussels Bureau Chief of the Financial Times, a representative of the Council Working Group on Brexit, and If you would like to attend a future BBC or want to find out more, please contact 

Keep up with all our events and publications


The Grayling Brexit Unit produces a weekly "Brexit Bulletin", free of charge, which summarises and analyses all the recent developments with regard to Brexit. We cover the UK, the EU, as well as the reactions in North America and Asia, ensuring that you are always up-to-speed with the latest developments and understand how they impact your business.

If you would like to subscribe to the Bulletin, have any questions about Brexit, or would like to find out more about the Grayling Brexit Unit, please get in touch with 

Citigate provides communications support during the opening of the largest slaughterhouse in Belgium

On 2 September, Grayling (working under its sister company’s name Citigate) successfully managed the public relations for the opening of the the largest and most modern slaughterhouse in Belgium ‘Sus Campiniae’ in Oevel in the presence of some 3,000 invited guests. VIPs at the event included EU Agricultural Commissioner Phil Hogan, the Federal Agriculture Minister Denis Ducarme, and the Federal State Secretary for Foreign Trade Pieter De Crem.
For this event, Citigate assisted with the drafting of speeches, arranged a video message with the Flemish Minister President Geert Bourgeois, prepared a media statement, briefed the Sus Campiniae staff to respond to possible media questions, and was present on site to deal with any potential communications crises.
The event was a great success, the speeches were very well received and  thanks to our efforts there was positive press coverage in the Belgian press.

Grayling PR Belgium and UK join forces for press event at Hilton Grand Place Brussels with Belgian Formula 1 driver Stoffel Vandoorne

On 23 August, Grayling PR Belgium played a significant role in organising a press event in the Hilton Grand Place Brussels to promote the McLaren Honda themed room that the hotel had introduced around the Formula 1 Belgian Grand Prix that would be held the upcoming weekend.

Our work involved consulting Hilton on the format, coordinating with the sports marketing company Right Formula, distributing the press release about the themed room, inviting selected Flemish and francophone media to the press event, and coordinating this tightly scheduled 45 minute event.

The press event was a success with the attendance of public broadcasters VRT and RTBF who interviewed Stoffel Vandoorne individually. Vandoorne then took questions from half a dozen representatives of the print press. As a result, several broadcast, online and print outlets published articles about the themed room and about the Vandoorne meeting, clearly featuring Hilton. During the event Stoffel Vandoorne also tested the simulator himself and journalists were given the opportunity to try to beat his record!


An invitation we couldn't refuse: Nikon celebrates its sweet 100

This year Nikon celebrates its 100th birthday. The Grayling team sends our warmest birthday wishes and very much enjoyed celebrating with Nikon at its big Belgian birthday bash in Groot-Bijgaarden Castle earlier this month.

The delicious invitation, the brand new Nikon D850 made entirely out of Belgian Chocolate, has already given us a taste of its sweet 100...Now that’s what we call an invitation we can’t refuse!

Foto: © Firmin De Maïtre
Hyperlink photo:

Grayling Team

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