Paritee’s initial investment, Scandinavian agency Geelmuyden Kiese, delivered a strong performance in its first year, with a solid YoY growth. We had a chance to sit down with its Managing Partner for a chat about the 2022 performance but also her outlook on 2023 and onwards.
Interview with Karne Lykkebo, Managing Partner, Geelmuyden Kiese Group Q: So tell us Karne, year before last, 2021, was in itself a record year for Geelmuyden Kiese. And now it turns out you have managed to deliver another record-breaking year in 2022. What are the key drivers behind your success?
A: Indeed, 2022 was yet another successful year for the Geelmuyden Kiese Group. We saw a comfortable double-digit growth across the group while also managing to substantially improve our overall margins. Mind you, this is Geelmuyden Kiese’s first year with Paritee as our new owner, and no doubt they represent a very experienced leadership, instilling a strong performance culture and growth mindset which sits well with our DNA.
Additionally, our capabilities to take on international assignments across the entire Nordics, due to us practically being the only full-service communications agency who has a true Scandinavian offering and set-up, has also been a key driver in fueling our growth.
Q: Are there any types of services or sectors where you have witnessed an increased appetite or interest among clients?
A: Geelmuyden Kiese has for several years now deliberately specialized in sectors and areas that are of high value for our societies, such as energy, life sciences, financial services, public affairs, and ESG. These sectors and areas in turn are rapidly transforming, and therefore our agency’s in-depth sector knowledge and expertise are in high demand. Additionally, there is a growing demand to combine creative storytelling with classic political and societal stakeholder engagement, which is a field where Geelmuyden Kiese excels.
Q: There obviously must have been challenges too, what are the ones you have found most difficult?
A: In this industry, talent is everything. It is a constant battle to attract and retain the right people. As a growth company, Geelmuyden Kiese must stand out and offer a work environment that caters to a new generation, including new parents, seniors, and everyone else. At Geelmuyden Kiese we work hard to create a stimulating work environment that fosters growth for its staff.
Q: We are nearly half way into the year, what’s your take on 2023 so far?
A: It is hard work. Our clients face complex challenges, and Geelmuyden Kiese must push the boundaries of what communication can be and do. Additionally, the company must fight for budgets on a daily basis. But rest assured - we are winning that fight.
Q: Looking ahead, in what industries and sectors do you see the greatest opportunities for Geelmuyden Kiese?
A: Geelmuyden Kiese excels in highly regulated sectors and will likely continue to grow in the technology industry as it becomes even more regulated. I also see change communication as a cornerstone of our business going forward, as the world is changing, Geelmuyden Kiese is there to help it change.
Q: Finally, there has been endless talk and debate about the emerging influence and impact of AI. How do you and the other partners at Geelmuyden Kiese see AI affecting the communications industry, does it present a threat or a possibility for agencies?
A: AI presents both a threat and a possibility for agencies. High-level advisors will have more time to focus on value-adding tasks such as being trusted advisors and innovators. However, AI will likely take over middle-of-the-road communication tasks, such as newsletters and standard press releases, in a few years. As long as AI needs prompts to deliver, someone needs to direct and formulate those prompts. AI needs direction. The smarter the direction the better the outcome and results.