Clear!Blue Communications
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Holmes Report
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Clear!Blue Communications

Holmes Report

Marketing communications firm with strong automotive specialty

Detroit, Chicago


Exclamation. With a point,” is the mantra at Clear!Blue, a unique creative communications consulting firm that combines special events expertise with traditional public relations to generate buzz: the way it did for Jeep Grand Cherokee, creating a stunt that drove the vehicle up the side of a Manhattan skyscraper and deposited it in a “Jeep-only” parking space atop the 30-story building, or more recently for the introduction of the 2006 Jeep Commander, deploying two helicopters and seven skydivers 14 million television media impressions and almost three times as many in all media. Such events are indicative of the firm’s “Strategic Splash” philosophy, which says it’s not enough to create a splash (though nobody does that better); it has to fit the corporate strategy and advance the brand positioning.

                Clear!Blue was founded in 2000 by veterans of the Detroit automotive business, all of whom had found themselves spending more time than they wanted to on administrative tasks rather than the creative side of the business. That means the principals—advertising and marketing and PR professionals—are all involved in account work, a fact that makes Clear!Blue a partner to its clients.

                The senior PR team includes chief strategy officer Mike Rosenau, who was formerly brand public relations manager for Dodge and Jeep; Chicago office managing director Andrea Wood, a veteran of GolinHarris with experience on the DaimlerChrysler, Sprint and Kmart accounts; and executive director Debby Robinson, who has worked with clients ranging from Sirius Satellite Radio to Wrigley’s to Dodge Motor Sports. (Steve Harris, who recently returned to head corporate communications at General Motors, was the firm’s chief communications officer and is expected to return when his assignment at GM is over.)

                The firm now employs 58 employees at its two offices in Birmingham, Mich., and Chicago, and has $27 million in billings—though only a small percentage of that is in traditional public relations. Major clients include DaimlerChrysler, Best Buy, Compuware, and Reed Exhibitions, with significant additions in 2005 including ACCO Brands, Masterlock, Stanley Tools and Valvoline
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