NEW YORK: Hill & Knowlton has rebranded as Hill+Knowlton Strategies, effective immediately, in an effort to emphasize its position in strategic communications and increased investment in digital and research.
Ken Luce, global COO of the WPP Group firm, said the rebranding reflects how the industry has grown with the 24/7 news cycle and that "clients have caught up to the fact that PR and marketing communications are strategic, and not just about press releases any more." The firm also designed a new logo and website.
"We are just changing the name to what we are truly doing on a daily basis, which is strategic consulting and communications work for our clients,” he explained.
Luce said the agency plans to add talent across geographies and practices, including digital and research, in coming months. No staff changes are planned.
Hill & Knowlton merged with sister WPP firm Public Strategies in January. Dan Bartlett became president and CEO of H&K USA and Jack Martin, founder and chairman of Public Strategies, became global executive chairman of H&K. Veteran H&K executives Paul Taaffe and MaryLee Sachs left the firm soon thereafter.
However, Luce said the new name reflects more of the overall strategic communications route the firm has taken versus a reflection of the merger with Public Strategies.
"Hill & Knowlton, now Hill+Knowlton Strategies, has been doing this work on a global basis, so it's taking the strategic platform and saying that we're doing strategic work on a global basis," he explained. "You can say it's a coincidence, and I'm sure people will, but the intent is that we have a really good firm doing great strategic work for our clients."
WPP's PR and public affairs revenue was up 7.4% on a constant currency basis in the third quarter to $358.1 million. Its overall revenue grew 4.7% organically year-over-year to $3.95 billion in Q3, less than the 6.7% and 5.6% organic growth seen in the first two quarters of the year, respectively.
WPP also said this week that it will acquire Glover Park Group, a Washington-based strategic communications and government relations firm.