It is unusual to find a boutique agency that can serve clients that range from highly entrepreneurial start-ups to established Fortune 100 giants with equal effectiveness, but what sets Geduldig & Ferguson apart is the fact that it combines the energy of a small firm with an experience that derives from the fact that its senior people have all held top jobs on the corporate side. More than most agencies this size, they understand the issues facing senior corporate communicators—not only the external challenges but the internal pressures of dealing with CEOs, CFOs, lawyers, and others unversed in the finer points of corporate communications.
Founder Al Geduldig has an impressive resume that includes senior communications posts at Mobil and The Travelers. Partner Don Ferguson was the senior PR executive at Manville as the company struggled to recover from the asbestos crisis. Counselor Patricia Gibney was director of communication at Sony Corporation. With such a trio of seasoned veterans, Geduldig & Ferguson started life as a pure consulting firm—counseling senior corporate communicators at companies such as Levi Strauss and McDonnell Douglas, but rarely getting involved in execution. That has changed as the firm has recruited a diverse staff, and while G&F still does some consulting work (including ad agency searches, for example) a growing percentage of its work is in the traditional public relations agency realm.
For example, the firm worked from conceptualization to execution on the Prudential’s Spirit of Community awards initiative, a signature community outreach effort for the financial services giant, and more recently has worked with the Canadian Free Trade Lumber Council on a public affairs, grassroots, and lobbying effort aimed at overturning tariffs on Canadian lumber. The firm’s client list includes some impressive names, from J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. to Delphi to Visa, and new additions over the past year include L’Oreal and IBM’s software group—helping to push fee income close to $3 million.