Multi-specialist with expertise in consumer, healthcare, and technology
Over its first five years in business, what was then PR21 grew at a consistently impressive rate, but it lacked consistent leadership, with a succession of chief executives articulating very different visions for the firm—which started life as a conflict brand for parent company Edelman—that sometimes seemed driven by expediency rather than strategy. But over the past couple of years, industry veteran Jerry Epstein has brought much-needed stability, not to mention the experience and management savvy to earn the respect of a demanding parent company.
Zeno (the name derives from Zeno of Citium, the ancient Greek philosopher and founder of the Stoic school) is a full-service communications agency with corporate and consumer practices and a sharp focus on the healthcare, consumer packaged goods, financial services and technology sectors. The firm’s corporate capability spans crisis, public affairs, internal and financial and investor communications, while its consumer offering includes event marketing, a targeted service called “Speaking Female” (and aimed at women consumers), product launches and sponsorships. Underpinning all of that is a commitment to the idea that the best and most creative public relations is driven by market intelligence and insight, which means a strong research team that draws on several proprietary products: Influential Core, which identifies and reaches out to media, analysts, academics, customers and others who have a disproportionate ability to “make a market” for clients; Beyond the Horizon, an analysis tool that enables Zeno to anticipate trends, spot opportunities and allocate resources in a more efficient manner.
In addition to Epstein, who spent 17 years at Fleishman-Hillard and founded an incentive management company, The PeopleTrends Network, before joining Zeno, the senior management team includes Phil Armstrong, managing director of the Washington office and corporate public affairs lead, formerly head of the Washington office for Euro RSCG Magnet; John Berard, managing director in San Francisco and technology lead; Chicago managing director and consumer marketing lead Bridget Brennan; Lisa Robinson, managing director in L.A, and head of creative; Charlotte Wray, managing director in New York and healthcare lead; and research director Hiroshi Wald, a veteran of the first Bush White House and the strategic services group at Hill & Knowlton. They were joined this year by Sue Ryan, former head of GCI’s