Edelman Taps Murray to Head Brand Experiences Unit
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Edelman Taps Murray to Head Brand Experiences Unit

Edelman has launched a practice it calls Brand Experiences, which will formalize its ability to offer special events, traveling exhibits, and other experiential marketing programs.

Paul Holmes

CHICAGO, December 15—Two years ago, Edelman Public Relations Worldwide adopted a new strategy, a plan to become what president Richard Edelman calls the only global “PR-centric” communications firm. Shortly after that announcement, Edelman acquired an advertising agency. Now it has launched a practice it calls Brand Experiences, which will formalize its ability to offer special events, traveling exhibits, and other experiential marketing programs.
 
The new group will be led by Rick Murray, who joins Edelman’s Chicago office as executive vice president from Golin/Harris International, where he was executive vice president and worldwide managing director of its CrossMedia division. Previously, Murray was chief operating officer for Motivation Media, a corporate communications company and vice president of marketing for Pepsi-Cola in Canada.
 
According to Pam Talbot, president of the firm’s U.S. operations, “What we have been trying to do is expand what we can do for clients and extend the definition of PR. One of the critical things in marketing is to touch the customer in the most number of ways possible, and that includes special events, which we have been doing but which we believe we can now do in better ways.
 
“We want to take what the brand is all about and turn that into a direct relationship with the consumer.”
 
Edelman Brand Experiences will be responsible for creating and producing meetings, seminars, live events and traveling exhibits that leverage one-to-one interactions with stakeholders to build brand equity. Edelman has been producing media and consumer experiences for years, most recently for the November launch of Microsoft’s Xbox, but the decision to centralize this function is indicative of increased interest among clients in forging meaningful connections with their key stakeholders.
 
Murray has worked with many of the world’s leading brands including: Pepsi-Cola, Nestle, Frito-Lay, Marriott, McDonald’s, KFC, MasterCard, CrediteSuisse First Boston, Ameritech, Allstate, Citibank, ICI, DaimlerChrysler and R.R. Donnelly.
 
“We’re looking to build stronger relationships with consumers and other stakeholders,” Murray says. “Reaching customers through the media is great, but with brand experiences we can reach them where they live and make the brand more relevant to them.”
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