CHICAGO: CNA Financial Corp., a dollars 17.1 billion insurance giant that had been considering hiring a PR agency of record (PRWeek, August 2), has decided not to do so and instead will continue to work with a variety firms on a project basis.
CHICAGO: CNA Financial Corp., a dollars 17.1 billion insurance
giant that had been considering hiring a PR agency of record (PRWeek,
August 2), has decided not to do so and instead will continue to work
with a variety firms on a project basis.
The insurer, which has shuffled several top executives as part of a
refocusing of its business over the last year, may have been getting
ahead of itself in considering taking on an agency of record, according
to Karen Foley, group VP for corporate development.
’Our business strategy is continuing to take shape,’ she said. ’We might
have been ahead of the curve in looking for an agency.’
Foley would not name the firms with which CNA met before making its
final decision. These reportedly in the hunt included several of the
industry’s biggest names: Burson-Marsteller, Hill & Knowlton,
Fleishman-Hillard, Ketchum and Edelman. CNA’s annual business was
estimated to be worth more than dollars 1 million in annual fees.
In lieu of a full-time PR partner, CNA has awarded new project
assignments to Ketchum’s Chicago office and to the Washington, DC-based
Eddie Mahe Co. Foley, though declining to discuss details about the new
assignments, stressed that CNA will continue to work with a wide range
of firms on a project basis.
As part of the business refocusing, CNA has been selling off some
insurance lines and acquiring others. The company maintains a core of
commercial insurance businesses and a business risk management
operation, but also boasts a consumer-based life insurance unit. From a
PR perspective then, there are multiple challenges: addressing
commercial and consumer interests as well as the network of independent
CNA insurance agents.
Recently, Foley has been examining the overall flow of the company’s
marketing efforts. To date, CNA has taken an integrated approach to
communication issues, starting with a business objective and then
deciding which marketing component (PR, ads) can best achieve that