CHICAGO: Grubhub has brought on Golin as its PR AOR.
After an RFP process that started in December with five participating firms, Grubhub selected Golin in January and the two officially started working together in March.
Golin is handling Grubhub’s consumer PR work, working closely with its marketing team. The agency will support Grubhub with earned media, creative, influencer relations and measurement analytics.
Grubhub wants to improve its reputation in relation to the perception of its relationship with restaurants. Dave Tovar, Grubhub’s SVP of comms and government relations, noted the COVID-19 pandemic has been helpful for the company’s overall sales and revenue numbers because people were staying home and getting food delivered; and many restaurants were able to “thrive” through partnerships with Grubhub.
“But people believe our relationship is in conflict with restaurants — either they succeed or we succeed, and we are getting restaurants to spend more money on our platform,” said Tovar. “The reality is that our relationship with restaurants is inextricably linked, meaning when they grow, we grow.”
Grubhub wants to tell that broader story and demonstrate the success it helps restaurants to achieve.
“The delivery food space is extremely competitive, yet we believe Grubhub’s approach to putting data and measurement at the forefront of every innovation creates an incredible opportunity for disruption,” said Ginger Porter, Golin’s president for the Midwest region, who is also leading the account team.
Cutline Communications previously supported Grubhub with consumer PR, handling media relations work and helping the company to pitch campaigns. That relationship ended last month.
“Golin’s remit is much broader than that,” Tovar explained. “Cutline supported the company throughout the pandemic and our enormous growth; they helped us highlight the brand and get word out, especially on a data storytelling perspective. But we were looking for a broader and deeper relationship with a larger agency.”
Budget information was not disclosed.
Tovar joined Grubhub in August and this is his fourth time working with Golin. He hired the agency when he was a comms VP at Walmart and when he was SVP of comms at Sprint. He also worked with the firm when he was McDonald’s chief U.S. corporate relations officer.
“We want to define and set our strategy from a comms and PR perspective and make sure we have the resources available to be able to execute that strategy,” Tovar explained. “So having the right roster of agencies is part of that, along with making sure we have the right leadership team in place.”
Grubhub’s corporate comms agency since January 2021 has been APCO, which handles business and financial media, crisis and issues management and litigation comms. And in the fall, the company brought on Precision Network, part of Bully Pulpit Interactive, to handle its paid reputation efforts. Golin’s hire doesn’t impact the agencies’ work with Grubhub.
“I view our agencies as extensions of our team,” said Tovar. “They are fully integrated across all of our efforts.”
Recent changes to the comms team include the promotion of Amy Healy to VP of government affairs; upping Katie Norris to director of corporate and employee communications; hiring Lisa Belot as director of brand reputation and corporate philanthropy; and bringing on Christopher Krautler as director of consumer PR.
Tovar said he is hiring eight more people to fill out the team.