Global profile: Hill & Knowlton

Headquarters location: New York

Headquarters location: New York

Total staff numbers in US

Not supplied

Total non-US staff numbers

Not supplied

Please list all office locations around the world, identifying which ones are affiliates, partnerships or wholly owned.

All offices are wholly owned, except those indicated with * are associates.















Buenos Aires









Guatemala City



Ho Chi Minh City*

Hong Kong





Kuala Lumpur




Los Angeles



Mexico City







New Delhi*

New York






Quebec City






San Francisco

San Juan


S?o Paulo







St. John's*










Washington, DC


Please describe how your agency is structured globally

Our agency is structured by region and by practice. We have key client relationship managers that deliver consistent quality and seamless client service across regions and practices. They provide counsel and direction to the client and team, and serve as the central control point on all matters relating to Hill & Knowlton's day-to-day working relationship with the client. Key client relationship managers implement client reviews on a regional or global basis as required, and help to establish metrics to ensure total client satisfaction.

Please list three of your biggest international accounts

  • Three of Hill & Knowlton's largest multi-region accounts include HP, NASSCOM and Johnson & Johnson.

    All are served in the US, Europe and Asia-Pacific.

    For HP, we provide corporate, marketing communications and public affairs counsel, with specialists from our technology practice heavily involved.

    For NASSCOM, we provide corporate and public affairs counsel, also with technology specialists involved.

    For a specific product of Johnson & Johnson, H&K provides marketing communications counsel with specialists from our health & pharma and marcomms practices heavily involved.

    How have international revenues changed from one year ago? Revenue is defined as revenue generated by all regions excluding the region in which your agency is headquartered.

    Not supplied

    How has international staffing changed from one year ago?

    Not supplied

    If you are unable to answer any of the revenue or staffing questions, please describe in whatever terms you can the performance of your global operations over the past year.

    Over the past year, revenues have increased with a mix of clients for whom we handle central coordination of various projects and those with whom we have agency of record relationships. Global opportunities were strong, with most interest from companies based in Asia and Europe with interests in investing in the US. We have also seen growth with intra-regional versus transatlantic work. For example, work between Korea, Hong Kong and mainland China in Asia-Pacific, and amongst the UK, Germany, France, and the Netherlands. In the Americas, we have been seeing increasing exchanges from North to South.

    Did performance meet or exceed expectations, or not? Please explain why. What external factors such as the war in Iraq, political issues, cultural issues, affected performance?

    As a global full-service agency, we always see unique opportunities to serve clients facing communications challenges, whatever the external factor. But the biggest threat has been the weakened dollar, which has led to scale-backs by multinational companies.

    What business have you won, or lost, in the past year due to a global consolidation of PR business by the client? Please list:

    Not supplied

    What regions are performing best right now and why? What regions are under-performing?

    Globally, Europe continues to be strong, especially with western continental Europe seeing good growth. Latin America continues to be bullish, and Asia Pacific is seeing some upside. The US region is holding its own and is seeing a light at the end of the tunnel.

    What region do you plan to invest more resources in this year than you did one year ago and why? What region are you decreasing investment in and why?

    While we invest strongly in all our regions, North Asia is a primary focus as opportunities in Japan, Korea and China grow, and we have hired James Heimowitz to run the region and make further inroads.

    What new region/country will you consider entering this year and why? Are you considering international acquisitions or organic growth?

    Hill & Knowlton operates wholly owned offices in more markets than any other PR firm. We are always considering acquisitions in important markets, however our priority is on creating depth of talent to get to organic growth.

    Please describe some of the pro bono activities that you undertake internationally, or other ways that your firm connects with the international regions in which you operate.

    We are experimenting with the level of our contributions, but 2% of global revenues is where we net out between direct contributions and pro bono activities, which are highlighted below.

    Hill & Knowlton & Ashoka: A Successful Global Pro Bono Partnership

    As a firm, Hill & Knowlton always has believed in the power of creative ideas to change the world, and has been committed to advancing the important causes of our society. To that end, in 2002, the firm formed a global pro bono partnership with a unique and entrepreneurial organization called Ashoka.

    Ashoka is a global non-profit organization that identifies and invests in social entrepreneurs who it designates as "Ashoka Fellows" - extraordinary individuals who have demonstrated that their ideas can drive social change in their communities. Ashoka helps these emerging social entrepreneurs by electing them to an international Fellowship of their peers, and by providing significant financial support and an array of demand-driven, non-financial services. Ashoka's non-financial services aim to grow these entrepreneurs' enterprises and to help them collaborate with like-minded peers around the world. Ashoka does not accept government funding; instead, its work is privately financed by individuals, volunteer chapters, foundations, and business entrepreneurs.

    In this relationship, Hill & Knowlton has adopted Ashoka as its strategic philanthropic partner, on the belief that Ashoka's concept of social entrepreneurship mirrors the entrepreneurial spirit that the firm fosters. Hill & Knowlton joins other Ashoka partners such as McKinsey & Company and the International Senior Lawyers Project in providing pro-bono counsel to the Ashoka organization, as well as to individual Fellow programs.

    While the relationship (managed out of the firm's headquarters in New York) had its beginnings with long-term ties between Ashoka founder Bill Drayton and former Hill & Knowlton Chairman (now WPP board member) Howard Paster on the individual level, the formalization of the firm's commitment to Ashoka to help communicate its concept of social entrepreneurship has spread far into the Hill & Knowlton organization across US, and into Canada, Europe and South America. The partnership has allowed Hill & Knowlton's employees to contribute to and learn about the numerous leading citizen sector organizations housed under Ashoka, while providing pro-bono communications counsel and support in areas ranging from branding and positioning to litigation support, media training and media relations.

    Hill & Knowlton began work with Ashoka in January 2002 by media training 15 Ashoka Fellows attending the World Economic Forum in New York. This periodic training has continued with recent presentation and media training sessions with several Fellows given by the firm's Washington, DC and New York Media Communications specialists. Specifically, the firm guided members of the College Summit (CS) program through media outreach training, supporting media coverage of President Clinton at Georgetown University, and working to leverage actor Don Cheadle's involvement with CS. The program's mission is to increase the college enrollment rate of low-income students who are ready for college, by giving them access to the "know-how" and guidance in the transition and application process.

    In DC, the team also provided media and presentation training for the leader of Center for Artistry in Teaching (CAT), and counsel for this Fellow has expanded to New York where a team is assisting with its re-branding initiative in cooperation with WPP sister agency, Enterprise IG. CAT is a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the quality of teaching and learning in our schools, with a strong focus on the Washington, DC Public Schools, through teacher and youth development programs that help make school a place where every child can master academic skills in a stimulating instructional environment and can feel engaged, valued, and challenged.

    Among other Ashoka clients is the Gay-Straight Alliance Network (GSA Network), a youth-led organization dedicated to ending harassment and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity in schools. The firm's Los Angeles office provided support in a landmark legal case regarding the rights of gay students. The anti-gay harassment lawsuit was won, and was the first of its kind in the US to result in comprehensive school reforms. The GSA Network sought Hill & Knowlton's support given the agency's extensive experience with and understanding of gay and lesbian issues. The work centered around a precedent-setting legal settlement by a gay former student who sued his discriminating school district.

    Also, in San Francisco, Hill & Knowlton has worked closely with TransFair in several areas, including development of a marketing and public relations plan for 2003 and help them define its vision and craft its messages. TransFair USA's mission is to encourage US and global consumers to look for its Fair Trade Certified label, which guarantees that coffee producers received a fair price for the coffee they produced for that cup of java.Further, the team trained the client on using media training principles to create its own "training" for farmers in coffee producing countries. The team also collaborated with the Boston office to help generate media coverage for a coffee "cupping" (tasting) held at a coffee conference in Boston in this past April. At the conference, the TransFair team used H&K's principles to train more than 82 farmers to tell Fair Trade stories with the passion they inherently have for the system.

    Currently, the firm's Chicago office is creating specific communications plans for two Ashoka Fellow programs in the Midwest - Milwaukee-based Strive Media, which has turned minority high school students into media professionals, including television producers and advertising executives, and Minneapolis-based Global Deaf Connection, which has created an educational system for deaf students in Kenya and Jamaica.

    Overall, H&K's New York office has provided ongoing branding counsel for Ashoka, which has allowed the organization to focus on clarifying its positioning and honing its messages. As part of this effort, Hill & Knowlton Chicago initiated a relationship between Ashoka and the communications class at the University of Missouri, which was charged with developing a communications strategy on behalf of the non-profit organization. Based on lengthy discussions between H&K and Ashoka, plus its own research, the class provided useful recommendations that the firm has included in its ongoing communications counsel to the organization.

    In addition to our work together in the United States, H&K has collaborated with Ashoka to launch programs in Germany and Canada, and has provided support for events and activities in Brazil. In 2004, we are expanding our partnerships throughout Western Europe as Ashoka plans to launch programs in the UK, France and Spain.

    Apart from this variety of pro-bono work, Hill & Knowlton is confident that its firmwide relationship with Ashoka will continue to grow, and welcomes these opportunities as Ashoka initiates new Fellows and expands its programs into new global markets.

    The John W. Hill/Hill & Knowlton Foundation

    Hill & Knowlton also contributes to the communities where we operate through the John W. Hill Foundation and other pro bono activities in local offices.

    The John W. Hill/Hill & Knowlton Foundation, established in 1957 with a gift from John W. Hill. The Foundation supports projects that mark the legacy of Hill's interest in quality local, national and international communications. It provides funding for projects by arts and educational institutions, social and community group, and bi- and multi-national institutions whose purpose is to increase international communications and understanding through the exchange of people and ideas.


    Over the course of 2004, Hill & Knowlton Washington, DC will provide pro bono services to CharityWorks, a local philanthropic organization involved in health, education, and poverty reduction. CharityWorks needed to generate awareness of its philanthropic endeavors to inspire financial contributions and participation in annual fundraising events to benefit See Forever, which operates The Maya Angelou Public Charter School in Washington, DC. Hill & Knowlton will deploy high-impact media relations campaigns around CharityWorks' main fundraising events including a poetry reading with Maya Angelou, wine auction, Nordstrom Fashion Show and Fairy Tale Evening Ball.

    Greater Seattle Chamber of Commerce

    Since 1882, the Greater Seattle Chamber of Commerce has been Seattle's most powerful and enthusiastic advocate, playing a part in nearly every major development affecting the city. Since that time the Chamber has served as an advocate for business, a community partner, a resource for business, and is dedicated to serving both the needs of our members and the economic development needs of the broader community. Rockey Hill & Knowlton is working with the Greater Seattle Chamber of Commerce to provide pro bono media training for its president top staff members.

    Houston Wilderness

    Houston Wilderness is a new organization, a coalition of business, environmental and government interests that aims to preserve and promote the natural beauty of the area's 19,000 square miles of diverse habitat. Hill & Knowlton is working with the organization on the launch of its new website and the beginning of educational outreach for the group, including an editorial board meeting, press kit development, media launch event including a bayou boat trip by Houston's mayor, website counseling, and development of a long-term communications and marketing plan.


    iBIO, the Illinois affiliate of the Washington, DC-based Biotechnology Industry Organization, is a regional community of leaders from the public, private and academic sectors. Hill & Knowlton Chicago has worked with the iBIO volunteer Board of Directors on a number of internal and external communications programs designed to increase iBIO membership and solidify the organization's position as the premier industry advocate for the Midwest biotech arena. In addition, to garnering high-profile media placements in the Chicago Tribune and Sun-Times, as well as top tier life sciences trade publications, H&K is working with iBIO on raising awareness of the Chicago Technology Forums and on building momentum and attendance for the upcoming BIO2006 international conference, which will be held in Chicago and hosted by iBIO.

    Town Hall Los Angeles

    Town Hall Los Angeles, one of the nation's preeminent civic speakers forums, has formalized a partnership with Hill & Knowlton Los Angeles, by naming the firm as its pro bono public relations agency of record. Town Hall Los Angeles has provided a forum for some of the world's most influential thinkers, including international leaders, captains of industry, philosophers and authors. As pro bono agency of record, Hill & Knowlton will leverage the impact of the free expression of ideas Town Hall Los Angeles encourages, as the basis for a campaign designed to mobilize even more people to get involved and have their voices heard in the business and political conversation.

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