Charting the future of public relations
Onechocolate Communications
Holmes Report
Holmes Report
News and insights from the global PR industry

Onechocolate Communications

Technology, consumer and corporate PR U.K., France, Germany

Holmes Report


Six years ago, when technology public relations specialist Grant Butler Coomber created a consumer specialist brand, Chocolate Communications, the two brands helped the firm convince two quite distinct markets that it could meet their specific needs. But the market has moved on, and the decision in May of 2010 to bring the two firms back together under the onechocolate banner was a response to client demand: more and more campaigns are blurring the lines between what were once distinct disciplines, and onechocolate will offer clients such as PC Tools, Playmobil and the Beverage Can Makers of Europe access to a full range of services.
The two firms have long been known for combining creativity with a rigorous methodology, a focus on setting objectives and measuring results underpinned by their own proprietary tool, Validate—a discipline that enabled an unusually heavy focus on sales lead generation for business-to-business clients in particular. The firm has also worked to introduce its “conversational PR” methodology-philosophy into all campaigns, integrating social media elements with traditional communications techniques. And the past 12 months have seen an expansion of corporate communications capabilities to complement established marketing skills, with assignments for Servcorp (office leasing), the Itau bank (finance), BCME (sustainability), and Environmental Hygiene Solutions (clean tech).
Despite the potential distraction of the rebranding, onechocolate held its own during a difficult year, taking a third recession in the firm’s 20-year history more or less in stride. It continues to work for a portfolio of brands that includes Playmobil, Suunto, Chang, Canmakers, BCME, PC Tools, Amdocs, Pega and Wyse, and picked up new assignments from Chang, Plan UK, Can Makers, PC Tools,  Amdocs, Pega and Itau. Interesting work ranged from helping Playmobil achieve 30 percent year-on-year growth to supporting PC Tools as it sought to establish itself as a consumer brand.
“onechocolate have really got behind the Chang brand and is supporting us all the way,” says one satisfied client. “From the social media, through to PR and events I know that they are pushing as hard as they can to get the results. It’s a pleasure to work with an agency that understands the markets and is with you every step of the way.” Adds another: “At Wyse, not only has the campaign enabled me to move into a new market (the public sector) but they have also worked closely with me to integrate a new social media strategy into our PR and public affairs campaigns. I would recommend them every time for thinking outside the box and doing things differently.”
The merged firm is led by founders and co-directors Sue Grant and Jill Coomber. Grant, who launched GBC in 1992, has worked with leading IT clients including Computer Associates, Unisys, Brightmail and Intuit, while Coomber, who previously led Chocolate, has a consumer background, having worked with Coca-Cola, Nokia and other major brands.
The other major development of the year was the growth of onechocolate’s relationship—announced in 2009—with Omnicom-owned international PR firm Brodeur. Grant and Coomber have always had an international outlook, with 20 years of experience developing and managing international programmes, and onechocolate has its own offices in France and Germany (and the U.S.) in addition to its U.K. headquarters. The firm has long served as lead European agency for many of its clients, partnering with firms across the continent according to client focus and requirements. But the Brodeur alliance has brought international assignments from Itau, a leading Brazilian Bank; and IBM for an EMEA spokesperson programme; as well as projects from Sailpoint and EC Telecom.
View Style:

Load 3 More
comments powered by Disqus