As reported in the South Florida Business Journal
  
ENTERPRISE
John T. Fakler
 
NewsMark in Boca Raton is betting that an Internet expansion and untapped niche markets at home and abroad will help fuel its new business beyond an army of full-service PR agencies already established in South Florida. 
And CEO Mark Hopkinson’s experience as a BBC-trained journalist and U.S. media strategist for the British government keeps his business vision especially on target. 
World Compliance, a Miami provider of due diligence screening to look for suspected terrorists, money launderers, narcotics traffickers and fraudsters, retained NewsMark July 18 to publicize its new generation of screening services for banks and financial institutions. 
“It’s an early warning system [for clients],” said Hopkinson, who recently promoted the service in India. “I’m reading German newspapers, reading about ongoing corruption scandals. In Germany at the moment, they are going through a real internal review like [what happened in] America. An EU [European Union] directive could be far-reaching in terms of the way financial institutions do business. It’s a good time to look at the American experience and see what translates well there.” 
World Compliance helps financial institutions and banks with a massive database allowing clients to determine if they have terrorists or any money laundered in their systems, he said. 
And the problem now appears to be a worldwide phenomenon. 
Former Commerzbank AG board member Andreas de Maiziere resigned last month from Commerzbank’s management team after German and Swiss authorities searched the bank’s Frankfurt headquarters in connection with a money-laundering probe, The Wall Street Journal reported, citing a bank spokesman. 
“It’s imperative that today’s communication strategies focus on regaining trust internally and externally,” Hopkinson said. “The battle is not only for sustainable media outreach, but for credibility. That’s the test that many companies are facing with the renewed emphasis on corporate governance.” 
Hopkinson uses stringers for certain functions while growing the business, though he said he hopes to expand staff soon. 
“I have a network of people as far away as Eastern Europe,” he said, noting others located in Europe, Canada, London, New York and the West Coast of the United States. “I’m looking at space, but I’m torn between the business buzz in Miami and the kind of quiet deliberation I can do in Boca, where it’s more reserved. I’m scratching my head at the moment.” 
His new flash Web site is designed to demonstrate for clients the stories he has placed – like the time Lou Dobbs presented his client on CNN through arrangements he made. 
In its News Gallery, client coverage on network and local TV, on radio and in print can be sampled. 
“It’s like watching a movie. Flash is the future.” 
NewsMark won an award for outstanding achievement in the development of its corporate Web site in 2004 from the Web Marketing Association. 
But nothing can replace the one-on-one relationship, Hopkinson said, adding that he detests “pitch-blasting,” a technique of mass e-mailing practiced by many PR firms. 
“They are just filling people’s in-boxes,” he said. “It’s a shame.” 
Laptop computer in tow, Hopkinson visited India in June, then Germany, Austria and Dubai in July, to look for news pegs and new ways of presenting client information, he said. 
“What’s nice about the technology is you can do it from anywhere,” he said. “But you can’t overlook the value of meeting the clients face to face. The media want it clean and fast. The more succinct and straight ahead you are, the better the reception.”