Rodale hires SS&K as AOR

NEW YORK: Rodale Inc., the owner of health and wellness brands Men's Health, Prevention, and Runner's World, hired SS&K as corporate communications AOR, after an agency review.

NEW YORK: Rodale Inc., the owner of health and wellness brands Men's Health, Prevention, and Runner's World, hired SS&K as corporate communications AOR, after an agency review.

The agency, hired effective April 1, will provide PR support and branding for Rodale, its divisions, and its senior management, and will promote CEO Maria Rodale and her upcoming book, Organic Manifesto.

Robin Shallow, EVP of communications for Rodale, said the agency is "working with the Rodale corporate team on re-imagining our vision and our mission as it relates to our communication, internally and externally."

The company's AOR was Rubenstein Communications until previous CEO Steven Pleshette Murphy left his position in 2009. When Rodale became CEO in September 2009, the company decided to take a look at its communications and hire a new AOR.

"We did some research into some agencies we felt were very strong in mission-based and consumer-focused campaigns," as well as some agencies it has worked with in the past, Shallow said. "In doing that, we probably talked to six to eight agencies and narrowed it down to three and from there we sent out RFPs to those agencies and did more formal presentations."

The company chose SS&K because of its work with organic brands like Honest Tea, and health and wellness initiatives through the Lance Armstrong Foundation and Michelle Obama's anti-obesity campaign, Shallow said.

She declined to give the financial details of the account or name the other agencies involved in the review, but she did say incumbent Rubenstein was not invited to pitch. Rubenstein had no comment.

A core team of five will run the account for SS&K, including founding partner Mark Kaminsky. He said via e-mail that the agency plans to "develop a multi-tactical program to advance the unique Rodale brand among consumers, advertisers, partners, and various other audiences."

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