Vorhaus & Co. switches business model to consultancy

NEW YORK: Vorhaus & Co. is changing its business model from a full-service PR agency to business consultancy and resigning its consumer clients.

NEW YORK: Vorhaus & Co. is changing its business model from a full-service PR agency to business consultancy and resigning its consumer clients.

The 15-year-old company is run by Robbie Vorhaus, an author and frequent CNN contributor. In an interview, Vorhaus said he wants to devote more time to his family, his writing and speeches, and other pursuits such as clamming and gardening.

The consultancy will still advise a number of crisis and corporate board clients.

Vorhaus started the agency in 1989, after a career at CBS, and built it into a successful mid-sized shop with a consumer client roster that included Bertolli Olive Oil, Keebler Cookies, as well as the pizza giant Domino's, which has issued an RFP for a new AOR.

The economic downturn that wracked the industry took particular toll on Vorhaus, who came to realize that heading a business wasn't for him.

He said: "I recognized that I loved writing. I loved telling stories. I loved helping our clients. I was not that good at running an agency. I didn't have that fire in my gut to want to be the leading PR firm. I didn't see this as a personal mission."

After notifying his employees and clients of the change in business model just after Memorial Day, Vorhaus helped employees and clients make transitions to other firms. The transition will take effect at the end of this month.

One client, the car-sharing service Zipcar, is now working with RF Binder. The account will now be handled by Josh Gitelson, managing director in the RF Binders' Boston office, and David Shein, managing director in its New York headquarters.

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