Consumer marketing with food expertise and strong media relations capabilities
Before she sold her firm to a new generation of leadership in 2000, Barbara Hunter had earned a reputation for combining big creative ideas with attentive client service—a formula that helped her firm attract blue-chip food accounts and ultimately marketers from across the spectrum of consumer products: home and office products, toys and games, retail and even financial services. The team that took the helm five years ago—led by president Grace Leong—has honored that legacy, retaining the core values that made Hunter successful and expanding its capabilities, particularly when it comes to helping clients pitch their products to top tier media (via a six-person media department that knows what the TV morning shows and the glossy magazines are looking for.
The firm’s roster includes a mix on longtime clients like Tabasco (with the firm for 15 years, ever since it first opened its doors), Kraft (14 years), and 3M (nine years) and more recent additions, including Coldstone Creamery, E&J Gallo Winery and Hasbro. Those wins, along with additional assignments from Kraft, 3M and McCormick offset a decline in spending from Discover and helped the firm to 5 percent growth, with fee income of around $6.75 million—enough to rank in the top 20 independent PR firms in the country.
Clients get senior level strategy from Leong and partners Jason Winocous (a nine-year veteran who supervises the 3M account); Jonathan Lyon (a food and wine expert); and Nora Betucci (manager on the Jell-O account since 1997)—all nine year veterans of the agency. But those same clients get creative input from every one of the agency’s 35 people, all of whom take a three-day retreat each year to immerse themselves in new brainstorming techniques and ensure that their creative thinking stays fresh, even on clients that have been with the firm for a decade or more.