SKDKnickerbocker Wins Agency Award for Crisis Management

2017 SABRE Award for Crisis Management Excellence in North America

WASHINGTON – At its annual awards ceremony in New York City Tuesday night, The Holmes Report named SKDKnickerbocker (SKDK) the 2017 Gold SABRE Award (North America) winner for excellence in Crisis Management for the agency’s work on Herbalife. The award recognizes achievement in the practice area of Crisis Management in North America.

SKDK won for its crisis management work entitled, “Leading a Campaign for a Company Under Attack-Herbalife with SKDKnickerbocker.” In December 2012, activist investor Bill Ackman placed a $1 billion short on Herbalife stock and immediately launched an unprecedented campaign to influence regulators and elected officials in an effort to destroy the company. When this occurred, Herbalife had a very small internal PR team. SKDK collaborated with the Financial Communications experts at Joele Frank and the in-house Herbalife team to manage a multi-pronged campaign that included proactive and defensive communications and a national and regional strategy; a concurrent lobbying campaign to educate local, state and federal elected officials; digital, print and television advertising; as well as third party engagement and social media. Herbalife increased its external affairs capacity and eventually brought in Alan Hoffman as executive vice president. In July 2016, the FTC ultimately ended its investigation of Herbalife and cleared it of the pyramid scheme allegations brought by Mr. Ackman.

“It is great to have our unique crisis work recognized by the Holmes Report,” said Hilary Rosen, SKDK managing director. “Organizations and leaders under fire need a responsive, strategic and trustworthy team to manage today’s rapid-fast communications environment. Our team brings a diverse set of expertise to each client and we collaborate with others at the table 24/7 until a crisis subsides. Then, we help them work though the aftermath. Doing this well is a great reward. We were honored to work with Alan Hoffman and John DeSimone at Herbalife and grateful to them for giving us the chance to lead this effort.”

The 2017 North America SABRE Awards winners were selected from more than 2,000 entries in this year’s competition, which recognizes Superior Achievement in Branding, Reputation and Engagement. For more information on the SABRE awards, visit The Holmes Report website here.

This prestigious acknowledgment follows consecutive wins for SKDK as The Holmes Report’s 2016 Global Public Affairs Agency of the Year and North America Public Affairs Agency of the Year in both 2015 and 2016.