A marriage made in the media.
It was a hot topic in the Netherlands.
The regional government shareholders
of a leading Dutch energy corporation,
Nuon, had put the company up for sale
to foreign buyers.
Based in Sweden, Vattenfall decided to participate in the bidding process, and asked Hill & Knowlton to help. Vattenfall was a completely unknown entity for the Dutch - and wanted to be well thought of. To make things more complicated, though, it was not legally allowed to approach politicians and shareholders directly.
The strategy, then, was to stay away from the political debate and focus instead on the value Vatenfall could bring to the economy. Fully-integrated corporate communications, background briefings, and media interviews all succeeded in raising awareness of the brand. Hill & Knowlton paid particular attention to the environmental messaging, emphasising Vattenfall's sustainability profile, and its innovative history.
In the end, Vattenfall was chosen as the preferred buyer for Nuon out of more than ten competing bidders.