Facing a media business in decline and an endemic crisis in trust, Edelman is evolving its own way of doing business. The giant public relations and marketing consultancy firm has in recent years been quietly bulking up its creative, paid media and consulting expertise. Now it's launching a repositioning campaign called "Act with Certainty."
The campaign is meant to promote Edelman's work with brands in this expanded capacity, like its working with REI to close its stores on Black Friday and start its #OptOutside movement; helping guide CVS Health as it pulled cigarettes and tobacco products from more than 7,000 stores; and helping Dove launch an all-female production company to tell women's stories. The campaign appears in marketing trade publications for now.
It's all meant to illustrate Edelman's new focus on "communications marketing," which goes beyond its public relations roots to include integrated creative campaigns and movements "driven by earned-centric, social-by-design storytelling." The firm says it is on track to bring in $1 billion in annual revenue within the next year and a half.
Edelman President and CEO Richard Edelman cited a few factors that led the firm to the new marketing approach. The media business was in the midst of a "business model problem," he says, where journalism was changing and there were simply fewer reporters to pitch stories to. And traditional creative agencies had a slate of new competition from media buying and digital firms encroaching into the creative business. There was a "real crisis in trust," he says.