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Agencies must be global but local to survive, says Fay Sharpe


Agencies need to be multinational, multicultural and multilingual if they are to prosper in the modern business world. That’s the view of Zibrant Joint MD Fay Sharpe who says it is the only way to respond to current client demands and explains the agency’s new strapline ‘Global meetings, local experts’.

She said it will underpin their new, more international approach to client needs: “The UK industry is mature and sophisticated and our standards are very high but we need to think about how we deal with Europe. As jobs with clients become more global, the competition will be stronger from overseas.  UK agencies are stronger in the areas of process, technology and compliance but agencies need to match the multicultural and multinational needs of clients, too, by coming up with solutions that fit local market requirements and providing multilingual staff.”

Sharpe says she now employs 25 permanent foreign nationals and that a facility with several languages is increasingly important in the recruitment process. She said: “I have just employed a French lady in our Paris office who speaks six languages and in our venue finding team we expect every member of staff to have a second language. We are currently sending people from the UK to Paris on secondment to hone their language skills. The new normal is multinational clients with multinational needs and we are responding to that.”

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