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OgilvyEngage to leverage socially-beneficial behavior change to help businesses

17 May, 2012


NEW YORK – Ogilvy Public Relations has launched a new global behavior change practice, OgilvyEngage, to help companies motivate and assist consumers and other stakeholders to adopt socially-beneficial behaviors that are good for individuals, good for society, and good for business.

“Businesses frequently seek to drive awareness of important social issues. But more can be done. What’s needed is to move people beyond awareness toward actions that matter which is where behavior change can play a role,” said Christopher Graves, CEO of Ogilvy Public Relations.

According to Miles Young, Global CEO of Ogilvy & Mather, companies want to make lasting, meaningful impacts, but they’re also keenly aware of the need for direct, positive impacts on business performance. “We believe ours is a business solution that sets them—and us—apart,” Young noted.

OgilvyEngage is built on Ogilvy Public Relations’ nearly 30-year legacy of social marketing, a proven discipline that applies marketing principles and techniques to prompt and support behaviors that benefit society as well as the individual.

Graves noted that changing the components of personal behavior, such as attitudes, motivations, or abilities, can prompt people to take medications regularly, encourage the routine purchase of healthier food products, motivate home safety preparedness, increase financial responsibility, and more.

"A company can deepen its relationship with its customers by supporting them in such actions as managing their healthcare, developing better nutrition habits, and protecting their homes and their assets. It’s good for the customer and society and that makes it good for the business. We think there is a lot of power in that equation," Graves said.

OgilvyEngage uses science-based behavior change models and theories to craft award-winning public health and safety campaigns to get people to buckle up, get screened for colon cancer, purchase flood insurance and more.

Tom Beall, who heads Ogilvy’s global social marketing capability, said that while some think that influencing public behavior movements to support socially desirable outcomes is the distinct purview of governments or nonprofits, changes to the economy and to society are mandating new approaches. “Adding behavior change leadership from the private sector to that of government and public interest organizations will create a multi-faceted approach with exponential benefits, he noted.

OgilvyEngage will help clients assess behavior change opportunities, better understand the motivations of their consumer audiences, and design results-oriented messages, strategies and programs. It will offer clients access to the agency’s proprietary Dynamics of Change model, a tool designed to define the types of change a company should invest in to bring about maximized outcomes for its business, individuals, and society—and the processes for implementing change programs.

In concert with the launch of OgilvyEngage, the agency has released the latest in its thought-provoking Red Papers series. From Cause to Change: The business of behavior discusses how companies can reap meaningful and measureable business performance and return on investment from socially-beneficial behavior change programs.

OgilvyEngage will be led by Bess Bezirgan, senior vice president at Ogilvy Public Relations, who joined Ogilvy in September to develop the new offer. Bezirgan is a veteran specialist in corporate communications, sustainability, and corporate responsibility. Throughout her career, she has worked with influential global brands including Tetra Pak, Aveda, Alcoa, and the Dow Chemical Company on social engagement initiatives. Her private sector experience is complemented by work in the ptmublic sector—for elected officials in the U.S. Congress, advocacy organizations, several government agencies, and for the Government of the Cayman Islands.

Ogilvy Public Relation’s social marketing expertise has helped clients build agenda-setting initiatives such as the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute’s women’s heart health campaign, The Heart Truth®; the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Screen for Life: National Colorectal Cancer Action Campaign; and the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s FloodSmart flood insurance promotion program.

For further information contact:
Rachel Ufer
Senior Vice President
External Relations and Business Development
Ogilvy Public Relations

Bess Bezirgan
Senior Vice President
OgilvyEngage 202.729.4297

About Ogilvy Public Relations
Ogilvy Public Relations (Ogilvy PR) is a global, multi-disciplinary communications leader operating in more than 80 offices across six continents. In 2011, Ogilvy won more Cannes PR Lions than any other agency worldwide, was named Global Digital/Social Consultancy of the Year by the Holmes Report, won Specialist Agency of the Year in Asia Pacific (Campaign Asia), and won the WPP global, top award (WPPed Cream, Crème de la Crème) for the fourth time in five years. Ogilvy PR integrates deeply with all Ogilvy & Mather disciplines (advertising, direct marketing, activation, promotional, digital and entertainment) through the proprietary Ogilvy Fusion™ approach to delivering comprehensive, business solutions through content creation, community building, and communications with measurable results. Ogilvy PR is a unit of Ogilvy & Mather, a WPP company (NASDAQ: WPPGY), one of the world's largest communications services groups. For more information, visit our Web site at or follow us on Twitter at @ogilvypr.

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