Golin names Claire Koeneman North American corporate comms lead

The IPG firm says it is seeing significant interest in corporate counsel due to the pandemic, the push for racial equity and other issues.

Claire Koeneman, Golin
Claire Koeneman, Golin

CHICAGO: Golin has named Claire Koeneman to the newly created role of North American corporate communications practice lead.

She started in the position on January 4, based in Chicago and reporting to president and COO Gary Rudnick. Koeneman is working closely with Scott Farrell, global president of Golin’s corporate communications practice. Koeneman does not have a set number of direct reports, she said, but will be drawing on talent throughout the agency.

Koeneman and the Interpublic Group agency began discussions in October. The opportunity became compelling as she began “hearing about the growth not only in the firm but also in the corporate comms practice that Farrell has developed,” she said.

Farrell said that Koeneman “brings a very special set of skills that are new to Golin.”

“With 17 years at the Financial Relations Board (the investment relations arm of MWWPR) she has a good understanding of investor relations,” Farrell said. “She has professional and personal experience in the inner workings of corporate boards and what boards of directors deal with and how they interact with CEOs and the C-suite. That’s a value add for us.”

Golin has seen increased interest in its corporate communications practice from both existing and new clients, in part because of issues facing corporate America from the pandemic to incidents of racial injustice.

“A couple of things have changed in the space,” Koeneman explained. “CEOs have either made or broken their reputations over the last year. Also, there is a high focus on the speed that information needs to be delivered to clients in a strategic and consultative way.”

Before Golin, Koeneman was Bully Pulpit Interactive’s Chicago market leader. Bully Pulpit is not planning to directly replace her, a spokesperson said, adding that the agency is “a big fan of hers and wishes her all the best.”

Koeneman is the latest in a string of executive moves by Golin this month after it promoted Lindsay Peterson to MD of Golin Canada and named Ellen Ryan Mardiks as global chairman, replacing Fred Cook. Longtime Golin CEO Cook has moved to the role of chairman emeritus.

Golin’s revenue rose 3% to 223.5 million in 2019, according to PRWeek’s Agency Business Report 2020.

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