GolinHarris rebrands as Golin, emphasizing evolution since introducing g4 model

The name change reflects how the g4 model has transformed the agency by classifying its employees into four groups - strategists, creators, connectors, and catalysts. It has also introduced a new slogan, "Go All In."

Fred Cook
Fred Cook

CHICAGO: GolinHarris has rebranded as Golin to showcase the firm’s evolution since launching its g4 model in 2011.

The name change reflects how the g4 model has transformed the agency by classifying its employees into four groups – strategists, creators, connectors, and catalysts — and it paves the way for Golin’s identity moving forward, said CEO Fred Cook.

Cook said the name change is "the next step" in the agency’s transformation, which began three years ago.

He added that he’s not worried about losing equity with the new name because "only half of it is going away," so it’s a familiar change. Also, Cook said most people called the firm "Golin" prior to the rebrand.

In addition to the new branding, the firm has introduced a rallying cry, "Go All In," to show its commitment to clients, big ideas and talent.

Along with the new name comes a revamped logo, redesigned website, and new email addresses. The firm's Twitter handle was switched from @GolinHarris to @Golin_goallin.

The "Go All In" rallying cry, Cook said, is significant for the firm because it focuses on how Golin wants to "continue to be on the cutting edge."

Cook explained that "Go All In" is an anagram for founder Al Golin.

Earlier this year, Golin brought on former Edelman executive creative director Caroline Dettman to run its G4 structure as chief creative and community officer, a newly created role. She reports to Cook.

The rebranding is the latest of several name changes for the agency in its 58-year existence, but the first in more than 30 years.

In 1956, Al Golin began setting up the agency’s foundation in Chicago when he brought McDonald’s in as a client while working at Max Cooper & Associates, according to Golin’s website. Two years later, the agency was renamed as Cooper, Burns & Golin.

By the late 1970s, Tom Harris was serving as president of the firm, then Golin Communications, and in 1981, the agency was renamed GolinHarris to represent his contributions.

Harris retired from the firm 25 years ago and has not been involved since, while Golin serves as chairman and stops by the Chicago office every day, said an agency representative.

At the 2014 PRSA Foundation Paladin Award ceremony in May, Harris Diamond, CEO of ad agency network McCann Worldgroup and former CEO of Weber Shandwick, joked about how Golin shouldn’t drop the "Harris" from its name because he "finally got his name on the door," said Cook.

When Cook later told him that it planned to lose the latter half of the agency name, Harris was "of course supportive of it," Cook said.

Golin’s move to refresh its identity follows similar rebranding efforts made by a slew of agencies in the last year, such as FleishmanHillard, Spong PR, Olson Engage, Highwire Public Relations, Grayling, Bender Group PR, and Racepoint Global.

On June 15, Golin will be the first PR firm to open the Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity on the main stage. The agency will reveal research on brand relevance at the event with celebrity David Hasselhoff.

The firm achieved US revenue growth of 10.5% in 2013, up from a rate of 5.2% in 2012. Its global revenue growth was also 10.5%, year-over-year.

This story was updarted on June 12 with quotes from Cook.

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