In November 2018, after years of calling itself anything but, Golin pinned its colours to the earned media mast and rebranded itself - resolutely - as a "PR agency".
The ambition was realised in 2019, as the Interpublic agency had a strong year, adding a host of new clients alongside long-held relationships with the likes of Cisco, Dow Chemical, McDonald’s, Nintendo, Toyota and Walmart.
Last year Golin launched a suite of progressive offerings for clients. These included Customer Experience Public Relations (CXPR) to help turn customers and influencers into brand loyalists; SpeakUp, its data-based approach to media training; and The Playbook, a creative planning process.
The global executive leadership team was restructured under CEO Matt Neale, which it says was to reflect new roles and achieve gender equity at the top. For example, Carrie Galli, head of global HR, joined Golin's senior team.
Other successful progressive innovations included launching a series of Included & Empowered events in New York, London, Los Angeles and Chicago to help reach a diverse audience and recruit mid to senior-level hires.
The agency introduced the Al Golin Fellowship program to benefit the future diverse pipeline of talent through a partnership with Roosevelt University.
After signing National Alliance on Mental Illness’s pledge to be a "stigma-free company", Golin led an internal campaign on the issue, sparking conversations through employee blogs and podcasts.
Golin also reached its ambition of gender pay equity across all wholly-owned offices worldwide.
Judge's comment: "Tangible actions, such as ensuring gender pay equity, and initiatives like mental awareness month show Golin taking a lead in issues that profoundly affect our industry"
The Omnicom agency described 2019 as "truly exceptional", as it earned more than 100 awards and delivered dozens of new programmes for clients. These included Intelligence Engine: an AI-enabled innovation built to help comms and provide relevant data. New offerings also included TRUE Scape, which monitors societal issues and identifies 'tipping points' around reputation; and Authentic Executive, which helps leaders demonstrate authenticity and relevance on issues that matter.
- Hill+Knowlton Strategies
- Weber Shandwick