Omnicom Group's Porter Novelli has tapped Michael Goldberg to join the PR agency as a senior partner and its global chief marketing officer. Most recently, he was exec VP-CMO at sibling agency Zimmerman Advertising in Florida.
Mr. Goldberg will report to Porter Novelli CEO Gary Stockman and be based at Porter Novelli's New York headquarters. He'll move from Florida during the fourth quarter and officially start in the new post at the beginning of 2012. The new job not only takes him from a creative agency to a PR shop, but also from a national role at Zimmerman to a worldwide one. Porter Novelli has about 90 offices in 60 countries.
Mr. Stockman told Ad Age that Mr. Goldberg's experience in the advertising world will be a boon to Porter Novelli in new-business development and in sharing the agency's story internally and externally. "Michael will provide additional leadership in marketing," he said. "There's great growth potential in PR, and we want to win an unfair share."
Mr. Goldberg, who is filling a role left vacant for years, will be key in branding the agency after a tough year. The firm recently lost its $4 million-to-$6 million Gillette business to Omnicom's Ketchum. It's a high-profile account the agency had for 20 years, and losing it to a sibling shop that 's not even on the P&G roster doesn't bode well for its image. In addition, the firm has cut at least 20 positions within the year, according to numerous industry executives. Among those who have recently exited are senior-level digital and P&G account executives, including Sheryl Kornfeld, John Havens, Peter Pitts, Brad McCormick and David Richeson, among others.
On the flip side, the agency has won business in its food and beverage practice -- it estimates 20% growth in that sector -- and it expects to continue its momentum in health-care. It also recently joined forces with Burson-Marsteller to help Chartis develop ReputationGuard, a program that will use the firms to provide Chartis clients with communications support.
Mr. Goldberg said about his new employer that he's committed to "making sure they win more when they're at the plate. I believe that with what i do well there could be a meaningful and measurable difference quickly."
Asked what prompted him to leave Zimmerman, he said it was a tough decision. "I am wildly proud of what we accomplished [at Zimmerman], I was a part of a great team," but, he said, "I have always been intrigued by PR because they're in sort of a renaissance as an industry."
"PR has wildly trusted relationships with executives at companies that they've built over time and a great understanding of consumer behavior, yet they don't have a loud enough voice at the table at sometimes ... PR is more modest [than advertising] and should be heard more."