There is a growing recognition that brand promises are difficult to keep if employees don’t understand and buy into them, that corporate reputation is difficult to maintain unless it’s rooted in corporate culture, making employee communications and increasingly essential element in managing relationships with all stakeholders. But many top-tier public relations agencies are still struggling to establish their credentials in internal communications, leaving it to a handful of specialist firms—like Chicago’s David Grossman & Associates—to blaze a trail in a potentially high-growth area.
DG&A helps organizations achieve better business results through effective communication from the inside-out, which means telling the organization’s story to employees first. The firm has four primary practice areas—internal communications, branding and marketing, media relations, and assessment and measurement—but its sweet spot is internal and executive communications. It relies on a suite of proprietary tools—Message Map, which helps clients develop key messages, and Engage, which helps leaders understand the importance of employee engagement—but at DG&A’s core is founder David Grossman’s Thought Partner philosophy, the idea that DG&A is a strategic business partner first, and a public relations and communications counselor second.
Revenue in 2004 was slightly in excess of $1 million, with new assignments from ACNielsen, The Johnsson Group, Cisco Systems and QUALCOMM in addition to several new projects for long-term clients such as Baxter Healthcare, Bayhealth Medical Center, Lockheed Martin and McDonald’s. For the latter, the firm worked to ensure the U.S. leadership team was “on message,” developing a quarterly communications toolkit that gives leadership team members the tools they need to cascade key messages to their employees and franchisees. Lockheed Martin, meanwhile, engaged DG&A to develop a strategic framework for its community relations activities.