The industrial business-to-business sector has historically been regarded as the least glamorous corner of the public relations field, but don’t tell that to the folks at Gibbs & Soell who specialize in creating compelling communications strategies for obscure products and services. In the past year, several Gibbs & Soell employees ventured into the jungles of Thailand on behalf of Dow Chemical’s liquid separations business, media training participants from eight countries and staging a mock press conference, while another team has worked with Adaptive Broadband, a 30-year old company seeking to position itself as a wireless pioneer. The firm has even made inroads in the consumer marketplace, working with Delta Faucet Company on in-store promotions (hiring models to emphasize the product’s style) and trade shows.
Gibbs & Soell brings a healthy measure of creativity to market segments where public relations often amounts to little more than making sure the spec sheets get into the right hands. The firm’s approach emphasizes in-depth knowledge of specialized technologies and arcane markets. Its people aren’t afraid to roll up their sleeves and get their hands dirty, literally or figuratively. Throw in solid writing skills and top-notch media relations skills and it’s easy to see why G&S enjoys a client turnover rate that’s considerably lower than the industry average.
The firm will enjoy modest growth in 2000, up to about $13.5 million (enough to rank among the top 10 independents in the country) with new business coming in from clients such as Masonite, Schindler Elevator, DeLonghi Appliances, and Network Peripherals. Gibbs & Soell continues to be a leader in the agricultural and industrial categories, and a significant player in the information technology arena. It is also beginning to establish itself as an international player, adding a Zurich office to its overseas presence in London and Tokyo.