Lincoln Financial picks Cohn & Wolfe after RFP

NEW YORK: Lincoln Financial Group hired Cohn & Wolfe as AOR, after a competitive pitch.

NEW YORK: Lincoln Financial Group hired Cohn & Wolfe as AOR, after a competitive pitch. The work began on May 1 and the agency's corporate and digital practices will work with Lincoln Financial on branding, corporate positioning, and thought leadership.

As AOR, C&W will provide strategic communications counsel and will offer national and business news media relations, said Heather Dzielak, CMO of Lincoln Financial Group. She declined to release the financial details of the account.

"[Cohn & Wolfe] demonstrated some creativity in their RFP that was realistic. It was definitely a creative approach that we felt we could execute on," she added. "They also have significant experience in our industry and truly came across as very much understanding the challenges inherent to the insurance industry."

Michael Bayer, EVP, US corporate practice leader, and deputy MD for New York for C&W, will lead the account with a team of about 10, including social media and digital teams.

"They are looking to define their enterprise and corporate brand story," he said. "PR will really focus on working with the C-suite to create and define and distinguish the enterprise story."

C&W was one of three finalists after a four-stage review process, which ran from February to late April. Dzielak declined to name the other agencies involved.

Tierney Communications served as AOR for Lincoln for seven years until mid-2009 and declined to repitch the business because it works with competitor Sun Life Financial, GM Steve Albertini told PRWeek in March.

Dzielak said the company "had taken a pause and hiatus and leveraged our internal communications resources" after working with Tierney. As the market started to turn, and interest in the insurance industry rose, she added, "it was a strategic move to engage with an agency like Cohn & Wolfe."

Lincoln Financial reported a net income of $283 million for Q1.

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