GolinHarris "doubles down" on G4 by hiring Edelman's Caroline Dettman

GolinHarris has brought in Edelman executive creative director Caroline Dettman to run its G4 structure as chief creative and community officer.

GolinHarris president and CEO Fred Cook: "The purpose of this role is to double down on G4"
GolinHarris president and CEO Fred Cook: "The purpose of this role is to double down on G4"

Dettman will begin in the newly created role on 19 March, reporting to GolinHarris CEO Fred Cook.

She will be tasked with driving strategy and creative for the firm's clients and new business. As part of Dettman's G4 responsibilities, she will oversee training, community management and the development and deployment of proprietary products, such as Golin's 'Bridge', its global network of real-time marketing-engagement centres. 

"The purpose of this role is to double down on G4; it is like we are placing a gigantic bet on our new model and hoping [Dettman] will take it to the next level," said Cook. "With her strategic skills, creative insights, and experience managing a lot of people, she will run G4 and help us transform into a more diversified, specialised firm that offers a broad range of services, deep strategy and breakthrough creative."

In 2011, GolinHarris began redesigning the way it works in a bid to double its size globally within a decade. Instead of the standard hierarchy of about 17 job titles from assistant account executive to MD, the firm is classifying its employees into four community groups as part of its 'G4 model' – strategists, creators, connectors and catalysts. It also formed global teams of specialists embedded on all accounts.

Previously, G4 had an 'organic' organisational structure in that each community had a leader, but there was not one person running the entire model. With Dettman's addition, Cook said he hoped G4 would be more structured and accountable.

"From an external perspective and having been its competitor for so long [at Edelman], I watched what GolinHarris did with G4 and it made me inspired, envious, and angry because it did it first," said Dettman. "When you've got different experts working together around the table, that is when the magic happens; that's why I'll aim to ensure we have the right talent in our offices globally."

Although Dettman will have no direct reports, she will manage the G4 community leaders, and all staffers in those groups will follow the programmes she initiates.

After 17 years at Edelman, Dettman left the firm on 4 March. Prior to her most recent role as Edelman's executive creative director for the strategic and creative guild, which she held for four years, Dettman ran the firm's US consumer marketing practice.

Edelman is looking for a replacement both internally and externally and it hopes to have someone in place as soon as possible, said Mark Hass, president and CEO for Edelman US.

Dettman's responsibilities will be covered by Edelman's executive creative directors at each of its hubs, who will report to Hass, and continue to manage creative in New York, Chicago, Washington and the West Coast.

"Since [Dettman] reported to me, I will continue to keep the trains moving until we get her replacement in place," said Hass. "The overall creative work is still being handled in the same way it was before."

GolinHarris named Chuck Hemann as its executive director of analytics last month. In January, the firm's New York corporate communications lead, Gregory Papajohn, stepped down, with Tony Telloni taking over his role in the interim. Telloni is continuing in his prior role as MD of the firm's New York office, reporting to Gary Rudnick, president of the Americas.

In February, Interpublic Group's Constituency Management Group, which contains GolinHarris and other PR agencies such as Weber Shandwick and DeVries, reported organic revenue growth of 11.7 per cent in the final quarter of 2013 to $374.8m.

This story was first reported by PRWeek US.

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