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Walkie Talkie goes full speed ahead

Walkie Talkie continues to grow. With new clients such as Bio-Planet, Rituals, Alken Maes, Eastpak, Air Belgium and MeDirect, the agency is investing in extra brainpower to put these thriving companies and their stories on the map. 

To help put that on the right track, Isabelle Van Orshaegen, ex-journalist, coordinator and editor-in-chief at De Morgen, recently joined the agency. With her experience as a PR consultant, Walkie Talkie brings on board a seasoned communications talent. Louise Van Der Taelen also brings additional reinforcement as a passionate junior sidekick. 

Isabelle’s skillset is particularly rare, with her journalistic background at De Morgen and PR experience she understands the context and reality that companies find themselves in. Therefore, we believe she can make a substantial difference in taking the team and agency as a whole to the next level,” said Sara De Bruyne, team lead at Walkie Talkie. “Louise brings a hefty dose of energy and enthusiasm to the agency. The unpredictability of media, making and maintaining contacts, getting clients’ messages across, influencers and creative activations, it gets her thrilled.

The combination of their diverse client portfolio, broad expertise and all-round creativity made me instantly excited to join Walkie Talkie. They have already proven on several occasions that they are not your average PR Agency and I am convinced that I can and will learn a lot from them as well.“, says Isabelle. 

Walkie Talkie has evolved from a lifestyle PR agency to a full-service agency, with local but also international labels. Besides lifestyle expertise, it also houses a corporate communications cell to assist companies with reputation management. With an earned-first creativity approach, we focus on stories that stick, creative campaigns that deserve attention and content that is worth sharing. Because that’s exàctly the power of an earned first communications strategy, that’s how we believe brands should be built. Relevant, grounded and creative.“, adds Sara.

With tons of enthusiasm and sleeves rolled up, we are heading into a very exciting and defining year for the agency!

Cheers to Alken-Maes, Cristal and Desperados!

Alken-Maes raises its glass to Walkie Talkie as its new PR partner. We will handle the lifestyle and corporate communication strategy for the company Alken-Maes and its production sites, as well as their beer brands Cristal and Desperados.

What 2023 has in store for us? We’ll give you a sneak peak.

Alken-Maes: centenary brewery and CO2-neutral update

Alken-Maes is the result of the 1988 merger between the Maes Brewery and the Alken Brewery. The Alken brewery is the beating heart of Alken-Maes and goes way back: it celebrates its 100th (!) anniversary this year. A perfect moment to honour the current employees, and to look back on the evolution the centenary went through. Alken-Maes also looks determinedly to the next 100 years, and takes futher important steps towards CO2-neutral production for all its production sites by 2030. A leading and crucial role in that story will be played by Mouterij Albert in Puurs-Sint-Amands.

Cristal: lager pioneer brewing even more local and sustainable

The very first Belgian lager? Cristal, in 1928. And almost a century later, Cristal continues to innovate passionately. This is reflected in an active commitment to brewing an even more local lager: with 100% green electricity – from two windmills and from right on the rooftop of the brewery. And with as many hops and barley as possible sourced from Belgian farmers. For hops, Cristal works closely with, among others, the Flemish company ‘t Hoppecruyt and the Wallonian company Forrest Farm – good for 70% Belgian hops in Cristal lager in 2023. On top of that – at the request of Belgian lager lovers – Cristal launched Cristal XTRA, a lager with extra flavour thanks to its unique blend of 3 grains. Ideal for moments when you just need a little extra. Do you prefer a moment without alcohol? Then there also is their Cristal 0.0%.

Desperados, synonym for pleasure in a safe environment

Desperados, the beer with an aroma of tequila will continue to accompany partygoers this year with its sparkling presence at festivals such as Extrema Outdoor and Pukkelpop to name just two. Desperados will also continue to build on its successful ‘unlock your vibe’ campaign: a heartfelt invitation to young people to totally immerse themselves in the moment and be free of external expectations. Being in the moment is also perfectly possible without alcohol, with Desperados Virgin 0.0%. And just like last year Desperados will again work closely with the Wel Jong non-profit association on this campaign.


As traditional as New Year’s resolutions, Walkie Talkie has once again screened this year’s trends in five domains and bundled them for you to digest. 

The main takeaway? In a rather skeptical world in which change is inevitable, trustworthiness is the key. To convince potential employees, to assure customers your A product is worth the higher retail price, and to stand out with initiatives and communication on societal themes. 

Hence, seize the moment with relevant, engaging and creative messaging that puts consumer needs first. Because content is king. However, context is God. 

Sip your latte and find out how your company should be creating content ànd context by navigating the trends in the five domains below – like brands such as Loop Earplugs, FrieslandCampina, Cowboy, Elvie, Fruitz and Guylian among others did splendidly in 2022.

WHAT’S NOW: trends that will define 2023 and beyond can be read here.

HELLO BIO-planet

From 2023, our agency will work for Bio-Planet with an all-round lifestyle & corporate communication strategy towards media, partners and stakeholders of Bio-Planet.

Bio-Planet has everything for those who want to make conscious choices, from fresh organic fruit and vegetables, meat and veggie, bread and toppings, to ecological care and cleaning products. In addition, the store also offers a wide range for people with intolerances (gluten, lactose, etc.).

Deborah Dekrem, PR account manager at Walkie Talkie:

We have a healthy dose of enthusiasm to get off to a flying start for Bio-Planet. As fans from the very beginning, we will bring the beautiful stories to the media and of course give them our own Walkie Talkie twist.

Ruth Evenepoel (Strategic marketer, Bio-Planet):

We are eager to put our really good and sustainable products and the producers who put their heart and soul into the spotlight day after day so that they get the attention they deserve. In addition, we also want to set up high-profile campaigns with Walkie Talkie on socially relevant sustainability themes such as health, climate issues, a plant-based diet or dealing with intolerances.

Did you know that Bio-Planet and Colruyt Group Academy together give inspiring workshops on organic food, well-being and sustainability? More info through this link.

Or take a look on www.bioplanet.be, where you can discover all the products.

If you like sustainable, healthy and delicious pure food, Bio-Planet is the place to be!


Walkie Talkie is overjoyed to welcome household name Smeg to its portfolio as of January 2023.

Smeg is an Italian manufacturer of large and smaller home appliances that puts design & technology first. Smeg might be best known for their iconic FAB refrigerators but are also an expert in ovens, furnaces as well as smaller kitchen appliances such as toasters, cookers and coffee machines.

PR account manager on Smeg, Maureen Richard is excited to get started for the brand:

Smeg is such an iconic brand. There is over 70 years of passion and knowledge contained in those wonderful products and it shows. I have a Smeg refrigerator at home myself, it just remains a timeless eye-catcher in your interior.

Did you know? Smeg was founded by the Bertazzoni family and they still run the brand from the location where it all began, in Guastalla, near Reggio Emilia in Italy.

And the award goes to…

It has been a particularly fruitful year for our agency. Not only did we take home the prize of ‘Specialist Agency of the year’ by Media Marketing and Pitchpoint in March. We also mastered PR for Decathlon’s “The Breakaway” that  received multiple awards – including a Grand Prix in PR, at Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity last June. We were already having a great year. And then, the first edition of the Best Of Reputation Awards (BORA) was yet to come in late November. 

Hosted by the Association of Communication Companies (ACC), the BORA’s aim to reward the best work in earned media & influencer relations. The outcome? Walkie Talkie was awarded a silver medal  for the ELVIE   campaign   “All   boobs   welcome”; empowering women to feel safe and comfortable breastfeeding in public. The annual Vlaams Centrum voor Agro- en Visserijmarketing (VLAM) trajectory for “Week van de friet”; celebrating our national pride – freshly baked fries from ‘de frituur’ – seized a bronze award.

The recurring theme in our victory speeches this year? We focus on earned first creativity. We  encourage our clients to prioritise PR within their marketing mix. We believe that brands these days need to entertain and facilitate in finding solutions for their clients, rather than interrupting their consumers with unfitting and out of touch campaigns and PR approaches. 

Our main goal is therefor to make an impact without a media budget, via creative PR campaigns and influencer approaches. To make real stories that people want to hear and share. We believe that this is the best – if not, only – way to win hearts and minds. And as 2022 has shown: awards as well. 

Hats off to everyone at Walkie Talkie, and to all of our clients and partners, for these major accomplishments. We cannot wait to see what 2023 has in store for us and our clients!

Walkie Talkie awarded ‘Specialist Agency of the Year’

We’re thrilled to take home this prize awarded by Media Marketing & Pitchpoint. This is truly the cherry on the cake for our amazing team that keeps bringing it year after year! 

Why a specialist? Because everything we do originates from creative PR concepts aimed at earning the attention they deserve. Impact without media budget is our main goal, via creative PR campaigns and influencer approaches. 

Our philosophy is that brands these days need to entertain and facilitate in finding solutions for their clients rather than interrupting their consumers with unfitting and out of touch campaigns and PR approaches.

At Walkie Talkie we encourage our clients to prioritise PR within the marketing mix, creating relevant PR concepts, as this is the way to win hearts and minds. 

And looking back on 2021

🤝 Over 80 clients in 17 different industries serviced
🌱 6 new hires in 2021
🧠 1613 hours spent brainstorming & researching
💌 867 press mailings in 2021, 17/week on average
🥳 0.2% unsubscribe rate on our press mailings
🍾 For a bunch of brands we were best practice within the EMEA markets
🏆 Walkie Talkie contributed to the work of numerous award-winning agencies
👊 And we only worked for clients of which we are true fans

More exciting things to come in 2022! 

And in the meantime we invite you to discover our services & work



This Thai saying pretty much sums up this year’s trend report, compared to last year’s. Following the initial shocks of 2020, the impact of the C-word continued to be felt across the world in 2021. Despite that, life went on and people and markets adapted in the best way possible. And Walkie Talkie, once again, scanned a series of (inter)national trend reports and bundled the most interesting takeaways and stats in a snackable format for you to digest.

The common theme throughout our 2022 trend paper is undoubtedly self-awareness. Individuals are becoming more woke: conscious about society and its lingering issues and inequalities. People are well aware of what they want, value and oppose. The latter sparking the so-called cancel culture – the phenomenon of promoting the boycotting of people, brands and objects due to offensive or problematic remarks or ideologies. All this leads to an all-time high coverage of mental health, inclusivity, sustainability – and hybrid forms of communication, events and jobs. How companies like yours are – and perhaps should be – reacting to these turn of events?

You’ll read it right here.

Listen up: audio content is booming in a media landscape dominated by visuals

Rumour has it that audio is to the web what the web is to print: an emerging successor. But while content for both senses will likely continue to peacefully coexist, it is remarkable that multiple forms of lengthy audio content are thriving in a world where snappy visuals – preferably short videos – are more present than ever before. The latter is particularly the case in the life of Gen Z-ers who have a reported average attention span of just eight seconds – down from twelve seconds with Millennials.

Regardless of whether this content led to the shorter attention span or vice versa – being a chicken-or-egg-story, a March 2021 TikTok study found that one third of its users watched videos at double-speed. Half of TikTok viewers found videos longer than one minute stressful. Not because of a time issue, but due to lack of concentration, one of the participants said. So with youngsters seemingly preferring short and visual content, why is long-lasting audio content on the rise, even within those same age categories? 

Radio: a safe and personalised haven 

In the latest annual imec.digimeter from 2020, that charts the trends on the use and attitudes of media and technology in Flanders, 79% (up from 73% in 2019) of all Flemish people listened to the radio on a monthly basis. The biggest jump (13%) was noticeable in the age category 16-24. Today’s youth clearly digs a return to the classic news channels for their news consumption. The Centrum for Information on Media (CIM) showed that in early 2021, even 92.4% of the Flemish listened to the radio on a weekly basis

Why the jump in recent years? ‘Due to a combination of clear disadvantages of modern communication such as fake news, privacy violations and risk of addiction’, according to Prof. dr. Lieven de Marez, professor of media at the University of Ghent. On top of that, radio is a real-time medium that does not require your full attention as you can combine it with an automated task such as driving. Upcoming hyper localized and personalized playlists in radio  apps add to the image of radio as a safe and personalized medium. 

Podcasts are reaching the unreachables

By giving a brand a voice and providing a human connection and involvement in a snackable and accessible format; podcasts are possibly the best thing since sliced bread. Podcasts create enormous engagement as 88% of people starting a podcast, listen to the whole piece. And whereas the average reading time of an online news piece is one minute, a podcast lasts 25-30 minutes. Plus: they tend to be enjoyed by groups of people not easily reached through other media channels. 

Numbers don’t lie: 60% of the audience of the Dutch newspaper NRC’s podcast for instance are aged 18 to 35. And while the New York Times reached two million people with its print newspaper at its peak, four million people listened to its podcast ‘The Daily’ already back in 2019. Closer to home, the podcast from De Standaard had 100.000 unique listeners and downloads at the end of 2020, compared to 75.000 at the beginning of 2020 – and only 1.500 in 2017. 

How come? Podcasts do not simply carry voices and stories into our ears, they bring in the outside world. Take KLM for example, whose podcast ‘The Journey’ tells true stories about people whose lives were changed by one journey. Or Reebok’s ‘Flipping the game’ – about the world’s first sneaker for women – on innovation and gender. Decathlon shares audio content on sport – on its advantages, how to bounce back from injury etcetera – as well its business transformation to inspire entrepreneurship. All three podcast examples tickle listeners’ imagination with timeless and intense personal stories – free of charge and marketing. 

Audio books: listening is the new reading

In a world in which we’re consuming more media and screen time than ever before, immersing yourself in a lengthy paper or digital book – and not getting distracted by notifications – can be a hard task. A recent study by Storytel, one of the world’s biggest subscription services for streaming audio books, showed however that 15% of Belgians listened to an audio book in the last twelve months. 

As Storytel and Spotify are teaming up this year in the Netherlands and with the earlier this year hyped social network based on voice called Clubhouse – where people come together to talk, listen and learn from each other in real-time – it is safe to say that listening is the new reading. A global forecast predicts that the value of the market for audio books will multiply by no less than five between 2019 and 2027. This indicates that the European audiobook market will grow by 25% each year, compared to just 4% for the overall entertainment sector. 

Key factors for this whopping growth? Increase in younger listener inventory and easy accessibility of copies –  Storytel for instance offers a library of 300.000 audio and e-books – according to the global study. 

Hear, hear: audio content and influencers from a PR perspective

As an industry, it’s our job to create, predict and adapt to new trends in consumer habits and demands. The rise in consumption of audio content has presented us and our clients with the opportunity to explore extra ways of communicating with new audiences – or former ones, such as the ones lost touch with due to the changing media landscape. Creating an own audio product or working via renowned audio influencers might do the trick. 

The latter are a vital part of the phenomenon of social audio; where people connect through conversation and chat rooms – providing great opportunities for companies to share and extend thought leadership. Just imagine reading this article and being able to hear industry experts discuss the content in real-time, or hearing opinions recorded from your most trusted circle: resulting in a one-of-a-kind immersive audio experience.  Interested in finding out more about how Walkie Talkie can help your company stand out and effectively reach Gen Z-ers and Millennials with tailored content? Please reach out to us via walkie@talkie.be or +32 (0)9 391 60 63.

Beyond the numbers: why local data matter to media

In today’s world, we are online more than ever with an almost 24/7 global news stream within reach. This has ups and downs: e.g.journalists don’t always have the time or means to dig into the amount of handed information and look for story angles that match their audiences’ interests. As every cloud has a silver lining: brands have the opportunity to offer media the tailored and tangible content pieces they are looking for. How? By committing to customized surveys for local data. 

Thought-leadership, broader media scope and more  

Those studies are the bread and butter of market research companies such as Ipsos, InSites Consulting, GfK and iVOX. In combination with a partner like that – Walkie Talkie manages and consults clients from A to Z, brands can offer media valuable content. News pieces with a touch of local numbers and take-aways that transcend your everyday product launch or business news announcement are appealing both to journalists and consumers.

Brands benefit from surveys too, in more ways than one, by:

  • Positioning themselves as thought-leaders in their domain to Belgian media, by providing valuable insights unknown to or unthought of by competitors.  
  • Addressing other media types than a brand’s usual suspects, broadening their scope. 
  • Hitting two birds with one stone by distilling multiple press releases from one survey.  
  • Seizing the moment by communicating in periods with few broad news stories such as during the summer. 

It is safe to say that local data and take-aways are attractive formats for both journalists and consumers, and a must for brands to consider. Take it from our close contact Rik Hannes, Insights Sales Officer at iVOX Leuven: ‘Surveys create powerful consumer insights, newsworthy branded stories and media campaigns driven by a strong focus on connecting with consumers. Its power lies in the fact that it provides a multitude of interactive conversation and feedback channels with brands and media.’ 

Tangible cases

As actions speak louder than words, here are some examples of our clients:

Interested in finding out how Walkie Talkie can help your company to offer media tailored and tangible content pieces, address other media types and position your brand as a thought-leader all in one? Please reach out to us via walkie@talkie.be or +32 (0)9 391 60 63. We don’t bite.