Golin/Harris Is Tasters’ Choice

SAN FRANCISCO Golin/Harris International will assist the American Culinary Institute and the American Tasting Institute on a major branding and public relations effort, the agency said.

The San Francisco public relations firm won the account following a review that included four national PR firms as finalists, said Julie Hagler, chief marketing office of the San Francisco-based institutes. She declined to name the agencies.

The work will include building brand awareness for the institutes’ Gold Medal awards and educating consumers about the institute and the integrity behind its awarding process. The client declined to comment on the size of the account.

This is the first time the institute has worked with a PR firm. The major focus is to “break through the clutter and let consumers know they can trust this credible third-party brand,” said Hagler.

“The most important part of our program for the first year will be to get consumers to recognize and seek out the Gold Medal when they shop,” said Tim Johnson, managing director of GHI. “Since having them for a client, I know I look for the Gold Medal and I know [the product] is judged by experts.”

Johnson noted that the win was also particularly important for the San Francisco office, which has worked to expand beyond its technology-focused client roster.

The institutes’ parent organization, Quality Institute International, was founded in 1985 by professional chefs. The two institutes judge nationally distributed food products and culinary equipment via panels of acclaimed and accredited third-party chefs to determine the best tasting and performing food and culinary brands in the marketplace through secure, double-blinded test procedures.