We've found the key to High Performance PR.

How Kohnstamm partners with clients to achieve exceptional results

Clients come to Kohnstamm because they‘re looking to re-invigorate their company’s brand and bolster sales.

Often, they arrive having been disillusioned by PR execution in the past. Kohnstamm Communications was founded, in part, due to the chronic up-selling and fierce avoidance of transparency its founder experienced working for big PR organizations. He knew it could be done differently.

Through this lens, the formula for successful, sustainable, value-generating PR was found by adhering to three overriding principles: partnership, transparency and accountability.

But it requires the right people.

The three-legged stool of accountability, transparency and high performance-producing partnerships is the golden ticket virtuous cycle. However, it requires the right PR people to consistently pull it off.

At Kohnstamm, a common thread is that our people tend to check egos at the door, are killer at collaboration, eschew territorial behavior and a sense of entitlement, and are boringly heads-down mastering client content to inform opinion. We work hard to line up the stars and truly earn the client’s trust and access, to know our stuff, have something to say, and prove it in the marketplace.

The best part is, that when this happens, the fun truly begins and all of this no longer becomes work. In fact, this higher level state is what client and agency people ultimately have most in common. Only certain agencies have the wherewithal and demeanor to jointly get you there. That’s Kohnstamm.

  • At Kohnstamm, a defining approach towards meeting and exceeding high expectations and delivering the strategic value that clients deserve is by setting the right tone and a shared commitment to truly partner from the beginning. This commitment requires smarts, self-awareness, and courageous vulnerability — hard to find in the PR industry, no joke — to make happen. In the absence of partnership, what you wind up with is a vendor-based relationship — tactical, not strategic, and transactional in nature — a “pay for play” that tends to squelch the most coveted, upside-producing PR right out of the mix. That’s a lose-lose.

    The client-agency partnerships Kohnstamm is known for, on the other hand, consistently produces the long-term, strategic and sustainable results that transform brands — and, importantly, keep clients from going insane.

    Yes, this is what Kohnstamm is known for: keeping clients from going insane…We are polyanna-ish enough to believe PR does not have to be both a blessing and a curse to ultimately achieve consistent, high-level outcomes. This is what they call a win-win.

  • CMOs hire PR agencies rather than bringing the work in-house precisely because they desperately need to hold accountabilities — not only to justify the budgets, but to have a clear line of sight towards securing the high-visibility results PR is known for. Here’s the dirty little secret: PR people (not to mention millennials) actually do much better work when accountability is baked into the system.

    So, we bake it into the system. Clients find that Kohnstamm openly talks about the various elephants, gorillas and other animals in the room, especially “bright lines,” expectations, and the other critically important topics well before the client even thinks about bringing it up.

    How-are-we-doing conversations are the norm, with sure-footed openness in both directions as the standard for working together, and contracts designed always with out-clauses that reinforce continuous performance at the highest level.

  • True client-agency partnerships require total trust; total trust requires transparency.

    A lot of PR firms suck at providing their clients real transparency. Worse yet, clients, in the darkness of night, think that the junior PR staff they’ve been stuck with is only telling them half a story with meaningless numbers. Instead, Kohnstamm believes the burden should lie on the agency to openly challenge itself laying bare the tough questions and clear metrics that make transparency self-evident from the git-go: numbers that are conservative and meaningful; goals that are consequential and clear; reports that highlight successes as well as core challenges. Obfuscation (excuse me) knows no home here. Instead, clients find that Kohnstamm goes above and beyond on clear time reporting, invoicing and updates with the explicit goal to openly address client questions well before they’re asked.

    Because trust is the key to creating authentic, long-standing partnerships, transparency must be more than a corporate lunch-room motivational poster.

Partnership

At Kohnstamm, a defining approach towards meeting and exceeding high expectations and delivering the strategic value that clients deserve is by setting the right tone and a shared commitment to truly partner from the beginning. This commitment requires smarts, self-awareness, and courageous vulnerability — hard to find in the PR industry, no joke — to make happen. In the absence of partnership, what you wind up with is a vendor-based relationship — tactical, not strategic, and transactional in nature — a “pay for play” that tends to squelch the most coveted, upside-producing PR right out of the mix. That’s a lose-lose.

The client-agency partnerships Kohnstamm is known for, on the other hand, consistently produces the long-term, strategic and sustainable results that transform brands — and, importantly, keep clients from going insane.

Yes, this is what Kohnstamm is known for: keeping clients from going insane…We are polyanna-ish enough to believe PR does not have to be both a blessing and a curse to ultimately achieve consistent, high-level outcomes. This is what they call a win-win.

Accountability

CMOs hire PR agencies rather than bringing the work in-house precisely because they desperately need to hold accountabilities — not only to justify the budgets, but to have a clear line of sight towards securing the high-visibility results PR is known for. Here’s the dirty little secret: PR people (not to mention millennials) actually do much better work when accountability is baked into the system.

So, we bake it into the system. Clients find that Kohnstamm openly talks about the various elephants, gorillas and other animals in the room, especially “bright lines,” expectations, and the other critically important topics well before the client even thinks about bringing it up.

How-are-we-doing conversations are the norm, with sure-footed openness in both directions as the standard for working together, and contracts designed always with out-clauses that reinforce continuous performance at the highest level.

Transparency

True client-agency partnerships require total trust; total trust requires transparency.

A lot of PR firms suck at providing their clients real transparency. Worse yet, clients, in the darkness of night, think that the junior PR staff they’ve been stuck with is only telling them half a story with meaningless numbers. Instead, Kohnstamm believes the burden should lie on the agency to openly challenge itself laying bare the tough questions and clear metrics that make transparency self-evident from the git-go: numbers that are conservative and meaningful; goals that are consequential and clear; reports that highlight successes as well as core challenges. Obfuscation (excuse me) knows no home here. Instead, clients find that Kohnstamm goes above and beyond on clear time reporting, invoicing and updates with the explicit goal to openly address client questions well before they’re asked.

Because trust is the key to creating authentic, long-standing partnerships, transparency must be more than a corporate lunch-room motivational poster.

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Fulfilling the promise of PR.

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