GAITHERSBURG, MD: Sodexo has appointed GolinHarris as its first AOR in the US.
Sodexo issued an RFP to seven agencies, five of which sent proposals. The company invited three of those firms, including Golin, to pitch. Steve Cox, VP of public relations at Sodexo, did not name the other firms that participated.
Golin is supporting corporate communications across Sodexo's core US business units, which include healthcare, education, and corporate. It is also assisting with workforce wellness, environmental, and sustainability initiatives. Insidedge, Golin's internal communications unit, is handling an internal assignment for the company.
Joseph Clayton, corporate team lead in Golin's Washington DC office, is leading the account along with digital VP Rob Philips and media VP Christy White.
The contract is for one year. Sodexo did not disclose the budget, but Clayton called it a “good-sized account” for Golin. The company previously worked with several agencies in the US on a project basis, such as APCO Worldwide, Burson-Marsteller, and MSLGroup, Cox said.
Sodexo is a multinational food and facilities management company that delivers services to corporate campuses, hospitals, schools and universities, government institutions, senior living centers, and conference centers, among others. It has 125,000 employees and $8 billion in revenue in North America.
Golin is helping to position Sodexo as a company that delivers “quality of life services,” Cox said. Its audience is primarily b-to-b, with some outreach to consumers.
“We provide about 100 different types of services to the marketplace,” Cox said. “I think the real value that GolinHarris has brought to us thus far is on the strategy end in terms of helping us articulate our quality-of-life services in a manner that is easily explainable.”
Digital is at the center of Sodexo's PR strategy, Cox added. The company is in the process of redesigning its corporate website, and it also manages social media platforms on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
“There is a real opportunity to make consumers aware of and create demand for our services by exploiting the digital component,” Cox said. “The average person might have heard of the Sodexo brand but might not understand what Sodexo does.”