Wrigley Taps Golin as First Corporate PR Agency
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Wrigley Taps Golin as First Corporate PR Agency

After a high-profile shoot-out between Chicago’s two leading public relations firms, Golin/Harris International has walked away with the William Wrigley corporate public relations account.

Paul Holmes

CHICAGO, September 28—After a high-profile shoot-out between Chicago’s two leading public relations firms, Golin/Harris International has walked away with the William Wrigley corporate public relations account, beating out rival Edelman Public Relations Worldwide.
 
The account was awarded after pitch teams from both agencies—including founders Al Golin and Dan Edelman—met with the management team from Wrigley, including Bill Wrigley, who took over as CEO in 1999 following the death of his father.
 
The Wrigley company has long been admired for its brand-marketing prowess. It is a heavy advertiser and uses several public relations firms, including Edelman, BSMG Worldwide, and Ogilvy PR, for brand publicity. But it has never devoted the same energy to its corporate reputation. The decision to do so comes at a time when the company is planning to expand beyond its traditional categories, with the launch earlier this year of Surpass antacid gum spearheading a move into healthcare.
 
Although the budget remains to be determined, Golin’s Chicago general manager Keith Burton says Wrigley is “one of the great brands in the consumer area” and says the account is one of the agency’s biggest wins, capping off a summer that has seen an influx of new business from Kmart—where former DaimlerChrysler PR contact Laurie McTavish took over as PR chief—and Sprint.
 
“We see our opportunity as helping the company build on what has been a very solid approach to communications,” says Burton. “Wrigley has a very integrated view of communications, and we will be working to communicate the company’s message to multiple constituencies, internal and external. It’s going to be important to make sure people inside the company understand the brand and what it means as the company expands into new areas.”
 
The agency will also support Wrigley’s expansion in international markets, Burton says.
 
The Golin team will be led on a day-to-day basis by vice president Debby Robinson. Burton will play a major role, as will corporate practice leader Scott Farrell and Dave Duschene, a specialist in employee communications.
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