John H. Frew
Hamilton Public Relations
John Frew founded Hamilton Public Relations, a public relations and communications firm, in the summer of 2000. The impetus for founding the firm was Frew’s belief that the top talent of agencies should be more directly involved with, and accountable to, the firm’s clients.
The Hamilton Public Relations business model is more analogous to that of a professional services or consulting firm, where the principals are devoted to a limited portfolio of clients.
The firm has had success attracting clients in consumer marketing, healthcare, business-to-business, lifestyle marketing and sports.
Prior to forming Hamilton Public Relations, Frew was Chief Operating Officer/Managing Director, Client Services for the MWW Group, then world’s fourth largest independent public relations firm. He reported directly to MWW founder and Chief Executive Officer Michael Kempner.
Frew was integrally involved with all elements of MWW’s business from overall management and administration to direct client oversight and service. At MWW Frew oversaw the transition of the New York office from a service outpost to a stand-alone profit center of nearly 40 people, managed its relocation and developed an overall firm real estate strategy that resulted in nearly 25% cost savings in several office moves throughout the country.
Frew also played key roles in such new business wins as the Hard Rock Café, Reckitt Benckiser, Laser One and the Continental Basketball Association.
Prior to joining the MWW Group, he was Vice Chairman, US Region of Cohn & Wolfe Worldwide division of Young & Rubicam, Inc. and served on the agency’s six-person Worldwide Management Committee. He was also the agency’s chief liaison with The Association of Public Relations Firms, the industry’s professional trade association.
His responsibilities as Vice Chairman included evaluating potential new areas for company growth and expansion including sports and event marketing, technology, and consumer marketing. Frew also headed the agency’s acquisition team, bringing several companies to the offering stage and played a prominent role in generating new business for the company.
Prior to becoming Vice Chairman, Frew was CEO of Cohn & Wolfe’s New York office from 1993-98. Under his leadership the office grew to become a major force in the industry both in New York and nationally. New York’s billings grew from $5.3 million in ‘93 to more than $16 million in ‘98. The office recorded profit margins among the highest of any Young & Rubicam profit center in the world. Staff size grew from under 40 to nearly 120 during that time period.
During his tenure, C&W New York received numerous awards including an unprecedented 7 CIPRAs (Creativity in Public Relations). The office was cited by the trade including the publication Inside PR as offering one of the most collegial work environments in the entire PR industry. He also expanded its business from its traditional consumer marketing and sports offerings into technology, business to business, healthcare and corporate work
As Cohn & Wolfe grew so did the quality of its clients and the size/scope of its relationships. During Frew’s tenure as New York CEO the list of clients handled exclusively or predominantly by the office included SONY Consumer Electronics, the US Postal Service, Eli Lilly & Company, Dupont, Intel, Reebok, divisions of Campbell Soup, Deloitte & Touche, the US Army, the PGA of America, the Women’s Tennis Association.
Frew also developed brand building identity and communications programs for Young & Rubicam companies Landor & Associates and Brand Asset Valuator, the company’s proprietary brand analytical resource group.
Other prominent clients the office worked for included, Avon, BMW, Guinness Import Company, Sprint, Haagen-Dazs, Philip Morris USA, Chase Manhattan, and Cushman & Wakefield. Frew played an important or lead role securing or servicing all of the above clients during his tenure.
Before becoming CEO, Frew managed the office’s consumer marketing and sports and events business. Under his direction C&W became the number one (in billings) sports and events public relations firm worldwide. His client responsibilities included work for Philip Morris USA (including Marlboro Racing, Virginia Slims Tennis), Colgate Palmolive, Sprint, the Guinness Import Company, Golden Bear Int’l. and the PGA of America.
Prior to joining Cohn & Wolfe, Frew was the Executive Vice President, Director of Client Services and a shareholder of the Softness Group, Inc., a New York based public relations firm. During his eight years there, Frew directed work for such clients as BMW, Colgate Palmolive, Equitable Life, Chase Manhattan and UST Inc.
Prior to his work in the agency business, Frew spent five years at Hofstra University where he held several positions including Director of Sports Information/Business Manager of Athletics, and Editor of the Hofstra Report, the University’s award winning magazine for alumni and friends.
Frew is a graduate of Hofstra University and completed his post-graduate work in business management there. He is a former sports correspondent for the Associated Press and The New York Times, maintains memberships in several professional organizations and is a frequent speaker on issues impacting the public relations, event marketing and marketing communications fields.