Principal: Peter Krivkovich, president/CEO
Offices: Chicago, New York, Phoenix, and Milwaukee
Cramer-Krasselt bills itself as a full-service integrated marketing and communications agency. Overall revenues at the independent firm in 2011 were $152.6 million, of which $16.8 million were attributed to PR services through four offices across the US.
Growth in 2011 came particularly from new-business integrated assignments won in the second half of the year, including Cedar Fair Amusement Parks (a $50 million account), Truly Nolen Pest Control, Generac Generators, Joy Global, and Safety-Kleen. The agency stopped working with SCA Americas' Tork brand and the University of Phoenix.
“You can't do strategic communications without having PR as part of it,” says Peter Krivkovich, president and CEO of Cramer-Krasselt. “We don't even know what is and isn‘t PR anymore. You need a balance of digital, advertising, and paid, earned, shared, and owned media. None of it works in a vacuum and it's dangerous to keep them split.”
Its PR practice areas include crisis communications, corporate responsibility, consumer, b-to-b, brand marketing, multicultural, public affairs, issues management, social media, employee communications, and reputation management.
About 13% of the agency's staff works in the PR division. Dan Verakis was recruited in August as SVP and director of public relations in its Chicago office after a prolonged search process. Verakis brought integrated experience with him working across clients including Kraft, ACCO, Monsanto, and Whirlpool, as well as PR firms Gagen MacDonald and Grossman Group. John Mose is SVP and director of PR in Milwaukee and Lisa Noble is SVP and director of PR in Phoenix.
Jeff Johnson returned as EVP, general manager of Cramer-Krasselt's New York office after a year-long sabbatical, replacing Anne Bologna.
Due to the agency's advertising roots, 90% of accounts are on retainer. Existing stand-alone PR clients include Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona, SCA Tissue, Kohl's, Magellan Health Services, and Meritage Homes, plus integrated accounts such as AirTran Airways, Benihana, and Bissell.
“Every year it becomes more difficult to split PR out from our overall offer,” says Krivkovich. “If you look at an organization chart and there are hierarchies independent of each other, that is an incentive against integration and it becomes a turf war. The bottom line here is the account, not the discipline. Otherwise you are starting with an off-the-shelf solution, not a bespoke answer to a problem.”