NEW YORK: Edelman has named Christopher Hannegan and Nick Howard chairs of its employee-engagement practice as it refocuses the unit to help clients' staffers communicate more effectively with each other and the outside world.
Hannegan and Howard will retain their previous duties as EVP of the Chicago office and director in the London office, respectively.
The agency made the decision to refocus the practice after realizing clients were more often asking questions about content creation, storytelling, and engagement.
“That was our impetus to look at the offering and recast it,” Hannegan said. “What we tried to do was design it in such a way that it not only answered the questions they're asking today but also [tried] to anticipate the questions they are going to be asking tomorrow.”
Hannegan added that data from the agency's 2012 Trust Barometer, which found that effective employee engagement can boost external reputation, was a motivation to change the practice.
At the beginning of this year, the firm began to look seriously at how it could recreate the practice's offerings “in a way that did a better job of harnessing all the expertise that exists at Edelman that we felt could make for a much richer and more effective employee-engagement offering,” said Hannegan.
To do so, the firm also worked to grow its strategy development and implementation services, such as helping companies use social media and intranets to encourage collaboration. It also wants to boost content-engagement and provide research and measurement to guide projects with sister firm StrategyOne.