Widmeyer picks up Steelcase Education account

Steelcase Education Solutions has hired Widmeyer Communications to help it introduce its products to high schools and colleges.

WASHINGTON: Steelcase Education Solutions has hired Widmeyer Communications, a Finn Partners Company, to help it introduce its products to high schools and colleges.

The company brought on Widmeyer's higher-education team to provide strategic communications planning and counsel for Steelcase's products.

Steelcase produces a range of educational furniture options, including desks and faculty stations.  

The contract will formally begin on March 1, the start of Steelcase's fiscal year, but the company also hired Widmeyer for January and February, said Margaret Dunning, managing partner at the firm. The contract will run for one fiscal year.

Widmeyer's goal is to help colleges and high schools know more about their options for spaces such as classrooms or libraries by showing them what Steelcase has done for other schools, said Dunning. She added that the company tries to encourage more collaborative learning, and it has created furniture and equipment based on how students study.

“We have worked in education since the firm was created,” said Dunning. “As we learned more about [Steelcase], our respect just grew. They're research-driven – that's always a plus.”

Steelcase Education has customers ranging from Kindergartens to universities, she noted, adding that Widmeyer will help it build awareness for the brand at every level.

Aideen Doherty, spokeswoman for Steelcase Education Solutions, said the company set out to find a communications partner that understands the education market and its many facets.

“It is important that an agency can put forward a point of view that takes into account several perspectives,” Doherty said, via email. “Each member of the Widmeyer team that has been assigned to us also has an individual career path solely in education.”

Steelcase also works with Peppercomm on other parts of its business.

Finn Partners acquired Widmeyer this summer and rebranded the firm as Widmeyer Communications, a Finn Partners Company.  

Steelcase reported a 7.9% jump in revenue in its fiscal third quarter, the most recent period for which it reported earnings, to $784.8 million. It said sales in the Americas were up 11% in its most recent quarter.

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