Whether because employee communications programs are more often run out of human resources departments than corporate communications, or because the majority of public relations firms have failed to address the strategic internal needs of their clients, employee communications remains a great source of untapped business opportunity for the bulk of the PR industry. But not for Grossman Group (formerly dg&a), which specializes in helping corporate clients communicate with their internal audiences, with a focus management consulting and coaching, change management, employee communication, strategic messaging and communication research and measurement and a commitment to client service it calls “the thoughtpartner philosophy.”
Over the years, Grossman has developed a suite of proprietary tools and methodologies designed to help clients address three critical challenges: minimizing the downside of change; turning employee apathy into engagement; and maximizing the upside of change to accelerate business results. The past 12 months saw the introduction of several new products including an expanded suite of “ultimate leader” tools, designed to enhance two-way communication inside organizations and create a common understanding of business strategy across employees at all levels, functions and geographies; the publication of David Grossman’s book, You Can’t Not Communicate (a sequel is already in the works); and a series of leadership communication workshops with partners including Abbott, Amway, Boeing, Caterpillar, CitiGroup, Raytheon, the US Olympic Committee, PRSA, and IABC.
The firm also saw increase demand for its expertise in shaping the communications function, working to build the skills and competencies of in-house internal communications staff; measuring the effectiveness of communication (drawing on the firm’s Internal Communication Climate Index and other diagnostic tools); message strategy; and leadership coaching. The result was modest growth during a difficult economy. New business came from Accor (parent company of Motel 6/Studio 6 and other motels), Amway, Boeing, Caterpillar, CitiGroup, The HAVI Group, Hill-Rom, MedStar, Microsoft Canada, the US Olympic Committee and Zimmer, while the firm expanded existing briefs with clients such as Abbott, Geisinger HealthSystem, Johnson Controls, Inc., LifeScan (a Johnson & Johnson Company), Nielsen, and Texas Instruments. The firm also added new talent, bringing in Megan Ross, formerly of Burson-Marsteller and GolinHarris.
”David Grossman is a savvy, experienced, intuitive partner,” says John Greisch, CEO of Hill-Rom Holdings. “He has an unusual ability to quickly define your organization’s culture—both on and below the surface—and diagnose what’s needed to make it work more effectively.” Adds Susan Hunsberger, SVP of global business services at Nielsen: ”David zeros in on the most important activity of leadership-engagement by communicating context, and he does it by offering a wealth of practical insights leaders can use tomorrow to create clarity and purpose for employees.”
While The Grossman Group works primarily in domestic markets, several clients are global companies and have sought the firm’s input on international communications strategies.