GolinHarris – rebranded on Thursday as Golin – did not start with either Al Golin or Tom Harris.
Golin, now the agency’s chairman, joined the firm in 1956. After securing a contract with McDonald’s, his name was added to the firm’s branding two years later. In 1981, the shop was again rebranded as Golin/Harris to reflect the contributions of then-president Harris.
In 2008, Golin told PRWeek that he "got into the business because my family was in the theater business, and I always thought I wanted to get into movie production."
"I got a job doing publicity for MGM Pictures, thinking it would lead to movie production. I never got into that – I stayed in this industry," he recalled. "I joined a guy from a small agency in Chicago named [Max] Cooper. Shortly afterward, I made a cold call to [McDonald’s founder] Ray Kroc, who was running restaurants around Chicago. That sort of launched our business."
1956: Al Golin joins Max Cooper & Associates
1958: Firm rebranded as Cooper, Burns & Golin
1965: The shop’s name is changed to Cooper & Golin after partner Ben Burns departs
1975: Agency’s name is changed to Golin Communications after Cooper leaves
1981: Firm is rebranded as Golin/Harris Communications
1998: Interpublic acquires Shandwick, which bought Golin/Harris nine years earlier.
2004: The agency’s name is simplified to GolinHarris
2014: GolinHarris rebrands as Golin to represent its evolution since embracing the g4 model
Source: PRWeek and GolinHarris