Lens maker Essilor of America brings on Golin as PR AOR

Golin's Gary Rudnick said the account from the maker of Transitions lenses is the firm's most significant account win of 2016.

DALLAS: Optical lens manufacturer Essilor of America has selected Golin as its PR AOR, effective immediately.

The company picked Golin in mid-November following a competitive RFP process that began in September. Seven firms pitched, and Golin was chosen from three finalists. The panel that selected Golin was made up of 21 Essilor staffers from the company’s executive team, corporate communications department, consumer marketing team, and the heads of each of its lens brands.

"The panel was close to unanimous on the decision to choose Golin," said Holly Gillentine, Essilor of America’s VP of corporate comms. "We were impressed with them. They made our comms easy and made it work across our stakeholders."

Golin’s work is initially focused on the U.S., but Golin co-CEO Gary Rudnick explained that the firm’s work could expand globally as its relationship with Essilor develops. Budget information was not disclosed. However, Rudnick noted that this is Golin’s most significant account win of the year.

The agency's responsibilities include consumer PR, corporate reputation, employee comms, earned media, social media, and CSR. The firm is also "doing creative within the earned context of the relationship," explained Rudnick. Apart from work on the overarching Essilor brand, Golin is also supporting the company’s Transitions lenses brand.

The agency is also handling PR for the Essilor Vision Foundation, which is committed to "eliminating poor vision and its lifelong consequences, and to providing underprivileged people the opportunity to live a better life through better sight," according to the foundation’s site.

Weber Shandwick was the incumbent on the account. A rep from Weber was not immediately available for comment.

Essilor decided to bring on a new agency because the medical industry as a whole is changing, along with the way consumers are shopping, said Gillentine. She added that the company needed to rethink how it communicates within the medical industry and how it goes to market and makes lenses and glasses something consumers care about.

"When most people pick glasses, they think about the frames and do not think about their eyesight or ability to have good lenses to be able to see well," she said. "We felt like we needed to talk to our industry and consumers in a more simplified way. We wanted to see if there were different approaches than what we were doing before, which is why we started the RFP process."

Rudnick said Golin is also working to make Essilor a household name. The firm’s Dallas and Chicago offices are co-leading the account. Essilor is based in Dallas, Texas.

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