Let’s Back Up

Read the book about Dan Edelman and the company he created.

In 1952, Dan Edelman started a new kind of company – one that would redefine the role of public relations. He aimed to build a firm that delivered creativity and quality work. We began with a commitment to our clients and all stages of their growth. So we engaged with various companies – the Toni Company, Sara Lee, Brunswick Bowling, Paper Mate and ReaLemon – and helped them capture a market niche. Edelman introduced the concept of telling stories through the media to sell products and build the corporate brand. It was about public engagement.

We grounded ourselves in consumer marketing. Then we diversified into health, public affairs, technology and crisis management. Our client list grew to include Roche, Nestle, Dow Chemical, S.C. Johnson and Mobil. Practice expansion paralleled geographical reach. We opened offices in New York (1960), Los Angeles (1965), London (1967) and Washington, D.C. (1969), and later opened additional offices in Asia Pacific, Middle East & AfricaCanada, Europe & CIS, Latin America and the United States.

Some of our milestones:

  • 1952: Daniel J. Edelman created the first ever media tour with the “Which Twin has the Toni” campaign for Gillette
  • 1962: Helped Finland overcome the reputation that it’s a Soviet satellite country
  • 1970: Created the Mail Preference Service, growing direct mail
  • 1975: Repositioned Kentucky Fried Chicken as KFC
  • 1981: Put together the first free consumer help-line with the Butterball Turkey Talk-line
  • 1982: Invented litigation PR with the CBS “60 Minutes” versus General Westmoreland lawsuit
  • 1983: Introduced Interferon (Schering-Plough), first biotech product launch
  • 1984: Invented the gold standard in Rx to over-the-counter switches with Advil
  • 1991: Created environmental PR with StarKist Dolphin-Safe Tuna
  • 1992: Became one of the first multinational PR firms to bring modern public relations to China – launching western products for M&M Mars, P&G and KFC
  • 1993: Handled communications around the merger of Viacom, Blockbuster and Paramount in what is considered “the deal of the decade”
  • 1995: Became the first PR firm on the web
  • 1996: Devised online crisis management for Odwalla Juice
  • 1999: Conceived the first corporate citizenship program in Brazil for the largest supermarket chain in the country
  • 2002: United seven competing pharmaceutical companies to offer a prescription drug savings card, Together Rx, to seniors without prescription coverage
  • 2003: Helped UPS undergo one of the largest re-branding efforts in history
  • 2004: Helped initiate the Dove Campaign for Real Beauty, sparking a global conversation about beauty and changing the perception of women in the media
  • 2006: Planned and managed the roll out of the Iraq Study Group Report
  • 2007: Partnered with AstraZeneca to educate millions about the risks and consequences of  cardiovascular disease
  • 2010: Launched Kinect for Xbox 360 in 15 major markets reaching hundreds of millions worldwide and helping Microsoft set a Guinness holiday sales record for the fastest selling consumer electronics device
  • 2011: Helped Starbucks reach a record $11.7 billion in revenue with a comprehensive 40th Anniversary campaign

In the 1990s, we dimensionalized our business by surrounding it with strong research, experiential, paid and consulting offerings. We provided full-service solutions to clients. We established Edelman Intelligence, our integrated research, analytics and measurement division. We set up an interactive services division, now Edelman Digital. We used our background in Global Citizenship to expand into Corporate Social Responsibility. DJE Holdings puts PR at the center of the marketing and corporate communications universe.

Dan and Richard Edelman, father and son, led Edelman to become the world’s largest public relations firm. They shared a belief that ethics, respect, passion, innovation and breakthrough ideas have led to our success – as well as a consistency of thought and leadership. More than 80 percent of our largest clients have been partners for more than a decade. We’ve helped Heinz lead its category for 31 years, Butterball for 30 years, Microsoft for 19 years and Samsung for nearly two decades.

During the past 60 years, we have maintained our values to focus on the needs of our clients. We are taking our entrepreneurial spirit, intellectual curiosity and creativity into the future.

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