Phonak taps Ketchum as US AOR after review

WARRENVILLE, IL: Hearing technology manufacturer Phonak has selected Ketchum as its PR AOR in the US following a review.

WARRENVILLE, IL: Hearing technology manufacturer Phonak has selected Ketchum as its PR AOR in the US following a review.

The final round of the RFP process also included Burson-Marsteller, Public Communications Inc., and Zeno Group, said Olivier Richard, global director of corporate marketing at Phonak.

Eric Timm, VP of marketing and customer care at Phonak, said Fleishman-Hillard had served as the company's US AOR for more than four years. Fleishman representatives were not immediately available for comment. Phonak had also worked with the Chandler Group as late as November 2005.

Ketchum will oversee both traditional and social media efforts, focusing on ways to engage with the company's b-to-c and b-to-b audiences. The firm will reach out to trade media outlets and hearing professionals, as well as consumer lifestyle and healthcare publications, said Richard.

“We wanted to have a new team partner that is more focused on trying to put together both the product PR components and an initiative we call ‘Hear the World,' which is completely financed and funded by Phonak,” he said.

The goal of the “Hear the World” initiative is to educate consumers on hearing loss and provide them with information, said Richard.

He added that Ketchum will also help Phonak promote its products and tell its brand story at the American Academy of Audiology Annual Convention in Boston at the end of next month.

Timm said Phonak selected Ketchum because of the firm's “shared sense of purpose and philosophy” with the company.

Bill Zucker, director of Ketchum Midwest, said the agency's employees visited hearing-loss professionals and had tests taken to better understand the client.

“We wanted to make sure that we fully appreciated the importance of this issue and the goals of this program,” Zucker said.

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