LOS ANGELES: The Los Angeles office of Golin Harris has won an increase of its Dole business to include crisis communications.
Golin won the new work after pitching against at least one other agency, Porter Novelli, said Judy Johnson, EVP and MD of the Western region for Golin.
The unusual pitch included a real-time scenario in which the agency was asked to create immediate responses to a mock crisis evolving over a period of weeks.
"It was a grueling exercise to win this," said Johnson.
Dole, which has operations in more than 90 countries, has been a Golin client for more than five years. But until now, the agency has only worked on the product side. The new win makes Golin the agency of record for Dole's crisis work.
"This is the first time they have looked to hire an AOR to assist them with crisis preparedness and any future crisis work that they might need," said Johnson.
"We had an existing relationship with Golin, so we were familiar with their capabilities, and they were also familiar with our company," said Freya Maneki, Dole's head of corporate communications.
Johnson added that Dole does not have any immediate crisis concerns, but that the company does business in countries with "civil and political unrest." It wants to be prepared for issues that could arise.
She said that the agency began work on the account by helping to conduct a crisis drill with Dole executives last week in LA. Golin also will begin monitoring Dole news from around the world on a daily basis to help spot any potential problems.
The agency's LA office also recently began work on a short-term media outreach campaign for sports venue Arrowhead Pond, which is currently hosting tryouts for the US Olympic gymnastics team.