Many agencies integrate advertising and public relations, but at KemperLesnik the range of services is even broader, with PR and advertising working alongside one of the nation’s premiere sports marketing operations and a dedicated meetings and events division. But KL doesn’t try to impose integrated programs on its clients: it examines the challenge facing each client and applies the appropriate discipline—or range of disciplines. In many cases, that’s PR, and when it comes to designing and implementing a straightforward public relations campaign, KL is as good as any firm in the Chicago market, particularly in the consumer and business-to-business marketing arena, but increasingly in the technology space too, following the appointment of Jim Martinez as president in 1999.
KemperLesnik’s strength is that it is not confined by traditional definitions of public relations. The firm has helped clients pitch program ideas to television networks, and created campaigns that deliver a client’s product directly into hundreds of corporate offices. The firm has also launched a strategic brand positioning, new in 2000, under the Reality Branding banner. The process is a designed to match the company’s growth goals and the unique marketplace opportunity for the brand, and has helped clients across all KL business units focus more clearly on what their marketing investment needs to achieve.
The firm estimates 2000 billings to be more than $7.5 million, with new business coming from Orbitz (the new travel website jointly owned by United, Delta, Northwest, Continental and American Airlines); Pennzoil, for which the firm will handle corporate communications; Burger King, which uses KL for franchise communications; and Nuron. Other clients of note include Glenlivet, for which KL manages an award-winning Office Putting Championship, now in its fourth year; and the Maui Invitational basketball tournament.
Key hires last year supported the firm’s integrated units. Alan Rose joined as president of the advertising unit, having spent 11 years at J. Walter Thompson, and Lee Bush—formerly of Ogilvy PR—was named to head the Reality Branding function. On the technology side, Bill Rader joined as senior VP from BuzzDivine.