Principal: Grace Leong, managing partner
Offices: New York
Hunter Public Relations managing partner Grace Leong says she had three focus areas for the agency last year—food and beverage, health and beauty, and specialized services—all of which showed significant growth.
In Hunter's food and beverage practice, which Leong refers to as “the core” of the agency, a number of new accounts were picked up in 2011, including Dole Foods, New Zealand King Salmon, Post Cereals, and Energy Kitchen. The firm also won pork product manufacturer Smithfield Packing Company in May 2012.
Related to the food practice, but also touching health, are the anti-obesity initiatives that Hunter won last year for the American Heart Association.
The firm's health and beauty practice picked up a number of accounts last year, boutique cold and flu product company Oasis Consumer Health, Purell, and cosmetic laser treatment Zerona. Hunter also won McNeil's Zyrtec business in November 2011 and launched a big campaign this spring that brought together health and beauty by focusing on how consumers can avoid “allergy face” by taking the medicine, says Leong.
With health and beauty work growing, the agency made a strategic appointment in the sector last year by hiring former Johnson & Johnson PR consultant Kevin Tressler to serve as VP of the practice, Leong adds.
Bloomberg BusinessWeek is another account win for Hunter, and the only loss of 2011 was Kellogg.
After analyzing client demands last year, the firm added two new specialized services to its roster: Hispanic strategies and solutions and research and insights. The Hispanic division was formed because Hunter's Diageo client “was looking to invest more” in the agency's capabilities, explains Leong.
The research and insights team targets the consumer market, helping Hunter with creative work and engagement strategies, she says.
“Even just spending one year on our specialized services, we saw complete growth in each one of them, so we're going to continue to do that in 2012,” says Leong.
She adds that the agency's digital and social media practice does a lot of work for clients, such as managing 24 different Facebook communities, engaging bloggers, and creating videos and apps. For Ketel One, Hunter's digital team developed a Facebook app called “Win a Mixologist,” where fans could enter to win a drink mixologist to attend their next party.