ConAgra gives ex-H&K MD its PR rein

OMAHA, NE: ConAgra Foods has hired Chris Kircher, former senior MD of Hill & Knowlton's corporate practice, in an effort to change public perception of what the company does.

OMAHA, NE: ConAgra Foods has hired Chris Kircher, former senior MD of Hill & Knowlton's corporate practice, in an effort to change public perception of what the company does.

Kircher is moving from New York to ConAgra's Omaha, NE headquarters to become VP of communications. He will report to Tim McMahon, ConAgra SVP of communications.

"ConAgra is still seen as an agricultural products company, and it's not; it's a food products company, said Kircher. "We want to establish an overall corporate identity beyond what historical perceptions have been."

Kircher expects ConAgra, which has no agency of record and is unlikely to seek one, to keep working with a variety of outside firms on a project basis.

Kircher worked at H&K from 1989 to 1996. He left to become manager, financial communications for Philip Morris, but returned to H&K in 2000.

Bumble Bee, Healthy Choice, Orville Redenbacher's, and Armour are all ConAgra brands.

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