Skip links


Lonely at the Top? Not at Golin

Published on May 7, 2024 at 2:04 p.m.
by Halston Seton.

Many professionals within the public relations industry are familiar with Golin, the ever-advancing, award-winning agency headquartered in Chicago; and if you are a professional in the industry who is not familiar with it, you should be.

Since 1956, Golin has “helped to create change that matters,” and its employees stand firm in the fact that Golin is the best of the best.

Photo via Golin

Once again, Golin has won PRWeek’s Agency of the Year award, and its employees have never questioned why.

The people who make the place

The thing about Golin that sets the company apart from others in the PR industry are the people.

“We say that collaboration is our superpower. … We reflect many people and have a lot of diverse views, opinions and perspectives. That makes us better marketers for our clients,” Ginger Porter, chief client officer, said.

Each team at Golin carries mixed talents, and when brought together those teams create some of the leading PR campaigns in the industry. Porter first introduced Platform Magazine readers to the agency’s structure back in 2018, noting that employees are placed in one of four categories: strategists, creators, connectors and catalysts.

As author Elizabeth Summers explained in that article, “Strategists study consumer behavior and are fueled by data insights. Creative-driven employees who deliver on ideas are creators. Connectors are channel experts that specialize in delivering a story in a way that attracts the media. Catalysts work to seamlessly integrate all resources of the agency for the client.”

This strategic approach produced by Golin is how the agency successfully executes each and every campaign.

Golin’s ASICS campaign: a PR triumph

One of the many industry-leading campaigns conducted by Golin is the ASICS Dramatic Transformation campaign.

Photo via Golin

In 2022, ASICS teamed up with Golin to develop a campaign centered around World Mental Health Day. It consisted of before

and after workout photos of various people, of all different backgrounds, to promote that extreme body transformations are unrealistic. The photos were taken before some type of workout and 15 minutes and nine seconds after. They portrayed that seeing a result in physique immediately after any workout is unrealistic — and the world loved it.

According to Contagious, “The company generated a 22% increase in share of mental health media coverage, in comparison with competitors, and a 14% increase overall.” This campaign is a prime example of how Golin continues to stay the no. 1 PR agency.

It can be difficult for top competing agencies to keep up with the latest trends, but it seems to come easy to Golin. Within the agency, there are teams for each step of the campaign process, including teams to monitor the latest news and social media trends, but the biggest strategy of them all is listening.

Porter explained that to be in the PR industry it is most important to learn how to listen to clients. She stated, “One of the No. 1 ways to start on top of where our industry is going and growing is to listen to our clients’ problems, the things that they’re trying to solve or the opportunities they are trying to chase.” Being innovative is exactly how Golin continues to succeed in its areas of expertise.

Overcoming challenges

Every agency faces some sort of challenge every now and again. But how does Golin overcome obstacles?

Photo via LinkedIn by Samantha Kelsen

“The biggest challenge is that we continue to stay at the top,” Samantha Kelsen, Golin senior associate, said. “So how can we continue to stay at the top? How can we continue to provide the best services to our clients? Really, it is just a testament to our people.” Because Golin values its people so much, the agency rarely runs into major catastrophic issues.

When asked this same question, Porter stated, “What’s on my mind right now is maybe not the past. It’s more about the future [of artificial intelligence].” The traction that AI continues to bring to agencies is changing the game, Porter said. It is more significant and beneficial for agencies to prepare for the future of AI and navigate how to use it to its best abilities, while remaining ethical. This may be a difficult new challenge that Golin will take on, but nothing seems too difficult for this progressive PR agency.

What’s next?

As Golin gains more popularity each year, all PR professionals want to know what’s next for this evolving agency. Kelsen said Golin is pushing the exploration of influencer marketing in 2024. Influencer marketing is the major trend right now, and Golin employees know they will have to think outside the box as they compete with other agencies for their clients.

“We have some exciting things that we’re going to roll out with our clients this year,” Kelsen said.

Keep an eye out for Golin’s newest, innovative campaigns as the team sets new standards for companies all over the world.


Return to top of page