NEW YORK: Ketchum today is launching a new and separate PR agency called Emanate with inaugural clients Embassy Suites Hotels, National Geographic Society, and Panera Bread.
Kim Sample, previously a partner and associate director of Ketchum New York, will serve as CEO of the agency.
Emanate will combine PR with "emotion-based research methodologies" in order to understand what motivates target audiences. Sample said tactics will include traditional media relations, "but we're also looking to expand the boundaries by building communities" by using viral and online marketing activities.
To help accomplish this goal, the new agency has entered into an exclusive partnership with New York-based Community-Centric Marketing (CCM), which specializes in helping companies move from targeting individuals to collaborating with communities. CCM's founders Di-Ann Eisnor and Jason Wilson will serve as strategic and creative consultants to the firm.
Sample said Emanate will keep distinct from Ketchum. "We're using some proprietary products that Ketchum does not use and with this CCM partnership, it's definitely a different approach than Ketchum. On the broadest level, we're a small agency. So it's big-agency thinking with that boutique-level service and I think that's really compelling in the marketplace right now."
Sample said what will distinguish Emanate from other agencies will be its attempts to understand and utilize the emotional connection between consumer and brand.
"What's different about what we're doing is digging a bit deeper and understanding the emotional connections that constituents have with our clients," Sample said.
John Lee, VP of brand marketing and communications for Embassy Suites Hotels, said the company was looking for an AOR for a couple of months and went with a brand new agency because of its lineage.
"My objective was to get everything under the Omnicom umbrella," Lee said. "We've been with TBWA/Chiat/Day for about seven years and then last year we were able to move our media over to OMD New York and my objective was to try and get our consumer PR under that same umbrella. I can go and meet with TBWA, OMD and Emanate and get them around the table and those kind of synergies are great and that's what I've been trying to achieve here and I finally have it."
Emanate is already working on a number of projects for Embassy Suites.
"Emanate is working on a project for our complimentary cook-to-order breakfast," Lee said. "We want our target audience more aware of it, and they came up with a program called "Empower Breakfast" that really gets to the heart of why breakfast is important to business travelers."
Lee said the effort focuses on the omelet being Embassy Suites' "signature differentiator between our breakfast and other breakfasts at other hotels."
Emanate will coordinate "desk-side eggings" in New York in early June, which will involve visiting media and having an Embassy Suites chef prepare an omelet for them at their desk.
Lee said Emanate is also working on a kids concierge program designed by kids for kids call "Kid's Eye View."
"This was a program we had underway before Emanate came on board, but they're taking it and blowing it out."
Lee said he originally chose to go with a Sample-led Ketchum team, but was soon notified that Sample would be launching Emanate.
"I was offered the opportunity to stay with Ketchum or to go with Kim, and I went with Kim," Lee said.
The New York-based agency will launch with 20 employees, including Mike Doyle, also formerly of Ketchum, serving as managing director. Sample said the number of employees is likely to increase over the next year. Emanate will join Omnicom Group's Diversified Agency Services network.