Two years ago, Bender Goldman Helper was one of a handful of midsize entertainment PR firms with a long list of celebrity and other entertainment industry clients and little but the background of its founders—veterans of the Hollywood publicity business—to distinguish it from its rivals. Today, Bender Helper Impact has restructured itself to focus on the convergence between entertainment, new media, and information technology, with stunning success. The agency has a staff of around 60 in offices in Los Angeles, New York, and San Francisco, and an impressive client list that includes some of the biggest names in the convergence space: Disney Interactive, 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment, Blockbuster, Marvel Entertainment, the American Film Institute, Simon & Schuster, Playboy, and the Internet Advertising Bureau.
The agency split into divisions focused on areas such as interactive entertainment and gaming; the Internet and e-commerce; licensing and merchandising; special events; and corporate communications, helping entertainment companies communicate corporate and financial information, and working with mainstream clients such as Korn Ferry International and Tele-Communications Inc. to position them within the entertainment community. In addition, partner Lee Helper created a new operating unit, EMBizImpact, dedicated to providing strategic counsel and other business development services.
The firm also brought in Steve Honig, formerly a vice president with Golin/Harris, as senior VP in its San Francisco office, leading a business-to-business practice that supplements the firm’s high tech and financial expertise in the Bay Area. New client wins reflected this focus, with key additions including etown.com, photopoint.com, zowi.com, and Burst.com.