MINNEAPOLIS—Carmichael Lynch Spong, which has built a reputation as one of the Midwest’s most creative independent public relations firm is opening a Chicago office and has named public relations veteran Jim Heininger—formerly of Ketchum and Porter Novelli—as a partner and head of the Windy City operation.
Most recently, Heininger was partner and general manager of Porter Novelli’s Chicago office. Previously, he spent 13 years at Ketchum, where he was senior vice president and associate director. He has led both domestic and international award-winning campaigns for clients such as Procter & Gamble, Anheuser-Busch, and Lions Club International.
For CLS, this is the third new office opening in the past three years. The firm opened offices in Denver and New York City in late 2000. Agency founder and managing partner Doug Spong says the firm continues to grow, with fee revenue up 18 percent last year, thanks in part to the addition of new clients such as Maytag and Amana appliances and Lightlife Foods.
“While our competitors are retrenching in a sour economy, we’re keeping our foot on the accelerator and expanding in Chicago, the PR industry’s third-largest market,” says Spong. “We found a very like-minded leader in Jim Heininger in a market that appeals to our kinda people and is loaded with our kind of clients.”
CLS has won several clients in competition with Chicago firms, he says, Maytag Appliances and Buell Motorcycles.
Heininger says he was attracted to CLS’ “values, style and commitment to best practices.”