GolinHarris launches new CSR-focused firm

CHICAGO: GolinHarris has launched Change, a corporate social responsibility (CSR) and social marketing practice.

CHICAGO: GolinHarris has launched Change, a corporate social responsibility (CSR) and social marketing practice.

Based out of Washington, DC, Change will provide CSR, strategic philanthropy, cause marketing, and social marketing services to clients in a variety of fields. In addition, it will offer broader marketing services including strategic PR, advertising, interactive services, and research.

Rob Anderson, an EVP at GolinHarris, will lead the new agency as director. He joined GolinHarris in 2002 when the firm acquired the Nixon Group, where he was a partner and led its Florida anti-tobacco program.

Anderson was also a television reporter and anchor at shows in South Carolina and Florida.

Anderson said that Change currently has 15 personnel in its DC and Miami offices and hoped to eventually place representatives in other Golin offices. The company's initial clients are the American Legacy Foundation, responsible for the anti-smoking Truth ads, and CapitalOne.

Anderson said that the purpose of the agency would be to combine different corporate citizenship practices under one umbrella.

Anderson envisioned that Change would offer services to existing Golin and Interpublic Group clients, while reaching out and attracting its own clients.

In the beginning of the approach, he expects the firm will assess how clients are currently performing in CSR-related activities.

"We'll either say, 'Yes, the platform you're using connects,' or 'No, it doesn't, so let's come up with a different approach,'" he said.

The end result needs to be a successful return on its investment, Anderson said.

"A company wants to achieve business goals and also affect the social [environment], Anderson said. "The intent is to have some impact on society, which gives them a stronger story to tell."

GolinHarris will release its second annual corporate citizenship audit through the new agency in September. GolinHarris' first survey found that 70% of respondents said they would begin or increase their dealings with companies with records of being socially responsible.

GolinHarris is part of the Interpublic Group of Companies.

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