C-K Makes PR Play

Peter Kriv kovich thinks public relations is a wide-open field for a shop that approaches the discipline from the strategic viewpoint of an ad agency.

“It’s the area [where] we see the most competitive weakness,” said Kriv kovich, CEO of Cramer-Krasselt in Chicago.

C-K’s new unit, CKPR, is an effort to grab PR business that doesn’t come in through the agency’s advertising door, Krivkovich said. The shop has built a PR practice with revenues of $10 million, but almost all of the accounts are outgrowths of integrated plans for clients that started with advertising.

The goal is to win business through cli ent PR directors, CFOs and other executives, rather than just a company’s marketing arm, Krivkovich said. Its point of difference in PR pitches: CKPR will proffer the data systems, brand analysis and stra tegic thinking it has built through its ad arm.

CKPR will be run by two vp/managing directors, Steven Carr and Joel Curran. Krivkovich takes the title of president of CKPR.

The unit will encompass the PR groups of C-K’s four offices in Chi cago, Milwaukee, Phoe nix and Orlando, Fla., with about 85 employees.

“We’re building a public-relations brand that’s strategy-driven, not press release-driven,” he said.

Krivkovich also left open the possibility of forming other units for C-K’s below-the-line activities.