NEW YORK—SS+K (Shepardson Stern + Kaminsky), a strategic communications firm based in New York, is opening an office in Los Angeles under the leadership of Joe Kessler, who stepped down earlier this year from a senior role in Weber Shandwick’s west coast operations. SS +K currently has offices in Boston and Seattle in addition to its headquarters in New York.
Kessler was recently president of Weber Shandwick California, overseeing four offices in the state. He also served as head of the firm’s global technology practice and as a member of its North American executive committee. Earlier in his career, he held senior management positions at BSMG Worldwide, before it merged with Weber Shandwick, and was press secretary to the late U.S. Representative Ted Weiss from New York.
According to SS+K founding partner Mark Kaminsky, “California’s the promised land of innovative thought and practice and it should be a receptive market for our brand of communications.”
SS+K’s approach focuses on creative, “asymmetric” communication programs, including attention-getting branding initiatives, corporate positioning, issue and advocacy campaigns and inside-the-Beltway programs. The firm draws its staff from multiple disciplines including PR, branding, design, public affairs, entertainment, digital marketing, polling and political campaigns.
British-based Boots Group recently selected SS+K to introduce Boots’ health and beauty products into the U.S. For Qwest’s wireless services, SS+K developed a camera phone technology for the largest urban game event in history. Other clients include Time Warner Cable, Microsoft, Qwest, the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, the Fannie Mae Foundation, Sirius Satellite Radio, the U.S. Fund for UNICEF, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and the New York Jets.
Creative Artists Agency, the leading talent and literary agency, owns a minority share of SS+K. “Our partnership with CAA makes L.A. an obvious and exciting place to grow,” says Kaminsky.