Kraft comms unchanged despite coming split

NORTHFIELD, IL: Kraft Foods will keep its in-house communications and PR structure unchanged for at least a year despite an upcoming company split.

NORTHFIELD, IL: Kraft Foods will keep its in-house communications and PR structure unchanged for at least a year despite an upcoming company split.

Kraft announced yesterday that it intends to separate the company into two independent businesses, one focusing on North American groceries and the other on global snacks.

While the plans are being finalized, the company's PR and communications strategies will remain unaffected.

“It's a process that's going to take 12 months or more, so there are a lot of steps that will have to take place between now and then,” said Michael Mitchell, senior director of corporate external communications at Kraft. “At this point, it's entirely business as usual.”

In its current structure, the company has three communications SVPs who all support different business aspects. The SVPs and the corporate affairs staff all report to Mark Firestone, EVP and head of corporate and legal affairs. Firestone reports to Irene Rosenfeld, Kraft chairman and CEO.

According to Mitchell, other important members of the communications office include Nancy Daigler, SVP of corporate affairs and global business unit structures, and Perry Yeatman, SVP of corporate affairs and external engagement and president of the Kraft Foods Foundation. Mitchell reports to Ernest Duplessis, who heads up the corporate communications office.

Kraft doesn't have an AOR, but the company works with various PR agencies on different projects, depending on the needs of the business units, Mitchell said.

Last August, Weber Shandwick led the company's Huddle to Fight Hunger campaign, a wide-scale integrated communications initiative to reduce hunger in the US. This May, the agency helped launch Kraft's Lunchables campaign, which promoted its new sandwiches and the inclusion of Dole Fruit Bowls in its packages.

In May 2010, Kraft focused on developing a stronger brand identity in the US, with Yeatman helming the effort.

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