RSM bows major brand campaign

BLOOMINGTON, MN: Financial services firm RSM McGladrey has launched a major branding campaign as it unveils a new logo and tagline - "We See It."

BLOOMINGTON, MN: Financial services firm RSM McGladrey has launched a major branding campaign as it unveils a new logo and tagline - "We See It."

The company, owned by H&R Block, has traditionally been known as a CPA firm. In the new campaign, it wants to stress to its middle-market clients that it offers a wide range of services, including retirement planning, insurance advice, and payroll services.

At the same time, it will stress the separation of such activities within the company to address concerns of possible conflicts raised by the recent downfall of Arthur Andersen.

"PR is a key component of the campaign in that our message is too complex to just rely on the 60-second commercial," said Lynnette Zika, senior marketing director, national marketing, with RSM, which reported revenues of $559 million in its latest fiscal year.

Last year, the company began working with Bloomington, MN-based Kerker Communications on the internal aspects of the branding campaign.

With the employee communications component under way, the company is now focusing on customers as well as potential customers.

While McGladrey has worked with PR agencies in the past, the Kerker hiring was the first time it picked an agency of record, Zika said.

This year, Kerker has been helping assemble PR tools for local marketing staffers.

RSM has targeted six markets where it hopes to sponsor events that will allow it to position the company as a financial services expert. In Kansas City, MO, for example, it's already sponsored the local chamber of commerce's annual September economic forecast breakfast.

The test markets are Chicago; Seattle; Los Angeles; Minneapolis and St. Paul, MN; the Madison-Rockford area that straddles the Wisconsin-Illinois border; and the Washington-Baltimore-Richmond, VA area.

The company wants potential customers to be exposed to the RSM name 15 to 18 times through a combination of advertising and PR activities. "It really does have to be a mix," said Zika. "The grassroots activity is great, but there has to be both ground cover and air cover."

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