Grill added that the company looked at more than a dozen firms before inviting eight to a meet-and-greet, and then narrowing it down to three finalists to respond to an RFP. It also turned to parent company MassMutual for suggestions and support because it recently conducted a PR agency review.
"We've never had a full-service PR firm as AOR for us before," Grill told PRWeek. "We created a CMO position last October and we hadn't had one for the 10 years prior to that. Now we're a standalone department and that was done strategically to really improve our marketing voice and effectiveness."
The company has a small in-house PR team that handled the bulk of media requests and awareness building, Grill said. After a few vacancies in the department, OppenheimerFunds called on former communications employee Andrew Healy, now senior director in the financial and corporate practices group at Middleberg Communications, to help the company as it transitioned from the review to working with a new firm.
As AOR, CJP will be helping OppenheimerFunds tell its story and focus on thought leadership, Grill said. According to Jennifer Prosek, managing partner for CJP, about eight staffers will be on the account on a regular basis.
"It's a wide mandate," she said. "We're going to be working with them on positioning, messaging, and branding. We'll be working on them on media relations, thought leadership, and major events."
"Specifically, we're going to concentrate a lot of their outreach activities around our global funds and municipal bond funds," Grill added. "These are two [investment teams] that have particularly stellar performance records, plus they operate in two areas that in the investment marketplace are really on trend for now."
OppenheimerFunds also works with Euro RSCG, its longtime advertising AOR, and CJP will coordinate with the ad team as well. Grill said the company looked at both Middleberg and Euro RSCG Worldwide PR when conducting the review.
"We felt CJP stood out for its fresh and innovative thinking," he said, also highlighting the senior-level involvement from Prosek and others. "It's also got a lot of financial sector experience, including some of the key accounts we sell through, like Edward Jones, and they have done some work for competitors that we respect a lot. We felt it was a good people fit as well."