One of the biggest PR firms in the world, owned by Interpublic.
Adapted from the GolinHarris website:
- 1951 Al Golin begins his public relations career as a field press representative with MGM Studios, where he covered offices from Cleveland, Ohio, to Omaha, Nebraska, and just about everything in between.
- 1956 Al joins Max Cooper & Associates. The staff was six and at that time, the practice of public relations was essentially a publicity function.
- 1957 Al places a cold call to Ray Kroc, founder of the then-fledgling McDonald's hamburger chain. As a result of this call, Mr. Kroc asked Al to come over and meet with him. An hour later, Al began working for McDonald's for a retainer of $500 a month. More than 40 years later, Golin/Harris is still working for McDonald's, but Al admits, "the monthly retainer is a bit more than $500."
- 1970 McDonald's celebrates its 15th anniversary and its 12-year partnership with Cooper & Golin. It was during the early 70's that Al and Ray Kroc developed the concept of the TrustBank.
- 1971 Al commissions Norman Rockwell to paint the McDonald's annual report cover art.
- 1975 Max Cooper leaves to become a full-time McDonald's franchise and pursue his hobby of producing Broadway musicals. The firm is renamed Golin Communications.
- 1985 Expansion beyond Chicago is furthered by the agency's acquisition by Foote, Cone & Belding (FCB)
- 1989 Golin/Harris is acquired by Shandwick International.
- 1990 Tom Harris retires from the firm to teach courses in public relations and integrated marketing at Northwestern University, and write books about marketing and public relations.
- 1992 To salute the man who helped make community services part of the McDonald's way of life, McDonald's establishes the "Al Golin TrustBank Award" and makes Al the first recipient. It is to be given annually to one of McDonald's worldwide public relations firms that best reflects Al's commitment to community service.
- 1999Golin/Harris Communications is acquired by the Interpublic Group of Companies and renamed Golin/Harris International.
- 2000 Golin/Harris begins its expansion into Asia by opening the Tokyo and Hong Kong offices.
- 2003 Al Golin publishes his first book, "Trust or Consequences: Build Trust Today or Lose Your Market Tomorrow. Al embarks on a worldwide tour speaking to various industry groups in the Americas, Asia and Europe.
- 2003 Golin/Harris merges with the Weber Group in London expanding the already existing team and capabilities.
- 2004 Golin/Harris expands its presence in Greater China by opening offices in Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou.
- 2005 McDonald's, a client of 48 years, honors its partnership with GolinHarris by naming an award after Founder Al Golin. The Al Golin Public Relations Award of Excellence will be presented annually to the McDonald's franchisee and/or organization that best exemplifies the commitment of building trust through community involvement.