Edelman was named yesterday as one of Ad Age’s Best Places to Work. We are one of two PR firms to make the list. It is indeed a high honor and one that we will cherish.
What makes Edelman different as a place to work? Here are a few reasons:
- We Promote from Within — Matt Harrington, Global Chief Operating Officer, has been with us for 29 years. Russell Dubner, president and CEO of Edelman U.S., has been with us for 25 years. Fiorella Passoni, head of Edelman Italy, has been with us for 26 years. All three started as account executives.
- We Continue to Evolve — We were the first to recognize the potential of digital, with a web version of the Butterball Turkey Talk Line in the mid-90s, so that now we are the leading social digital firm. We saw the opportunity for creative that is earned at the core and social by design, and have hired more than 600 creatives, planners and paid experts over the past three years.
- Diversity Is Critical — The gender and diversity statistics show that we are making real progress, with women now representing more than 47 percent of our global senior management and nearly 26 percent of our U.S. workforce from diverse racial/ethnic backgrounds. We needed to promote more women into senior management. We had too many women leaving the firm mid-career. Gail Becker agreed to run our Global Women’s Executive Network (GWEN), which was rebranded Global Women’s Equality Network this week. And now under Lisa Kimmel’s leadership we are pushing GWEN even further. We also have specific efforts to recruit racially and ethnically diverse talent. Our global chief diversity & inclusion officer, Trisch Smith, my sister Renee and others continue to work with diverse organizations and higher-education institutions to attract racially and ethnically diverse talent to Edelman.
- We Are Truly Global — We are working with Japan-based Ajinomoto Co., Inc., to set the record straight about long-misunderstood monosodium glutamate (MSG) in the U.S., a close collaboration among our Tokyo, Washington, D.C., Seattle and New York offices. Great ideas for Unilever brands are taken from local markets to global implementation.
- Everybody Is an Account Executive — We all work on clients. That is how we add value, calling reporters, counseling CCOs and getting new micro-influencers.
- We Have a Deep Feeling About Community Service — All credit to my brother, John, who runs the Daniel J. Edelman Family Foundation and matches local office donations to worthy causes, as long as local Edelman employees give sweat equity through their own time commitment. So much good has been done in cities that have suffered tragedies, such as Dallas and Orlando.
- Work that Changes the World — As I write this sitting in my father’s former office in Chicago, I look around at the programs that have made a difference, from working with CVS to remove cigarettes from drug stores, to helping Starbucks on its 100,000 Opportunities Initiative in which urban youth got a chance at great jobs, to the Unilever/Omo Dirt is Good campaign giving access to playgrounds in underserved neighborhoods, to the first environmental program on behalf of Heinz StarKist for dolphin safe tuna ending the use of drift nets.
- An Intellectual Place — We have the Edelman Trust Barometer, about to debut in Davos for the 19th time, which over its history has recognized the “mass-class” divide, the rise of “A Person Like Me” and plunging trust in social media. Our Earned Brand study demonstrated the importance of purpose in brand marketing. These are the kinds of insights that enable ideas such as #OptOutside for REI.
- A Family Company — We remain private and independent. We share 40 percent of our pre-tax income with our people. We care about the work and the clients much more than the money. We are in this for the long term.
Thank you Ad Age for recognizing Edelman. And thank you to all Edel-people who bring their best to the office every day and to the clients who make it all possible. We will continue to listen to your feedback and points of view, as we strive to make the experience of all our employees one they will cherish in their career journey.
Richard Edelman is president and CEO.