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Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Greg Zimprich has joined Kohnstamm as EVP

Greg Zimprich has joined Kohnstamm Communications as the agency’s first Senior Vice President of Agency Operations and Strategic Insight. Zimprich brings more than 25 years of proven industry experience to the position, including the last 19 years with General Mills. During his tenure with the Golden Valley-based food giant, he helped launch more than 100 new products and created a number of nationally recognized marketing capabilities. He is probably best known in the PR industry as a thought leader and pioneer in social media and word of mouth marketing, having transformed the way General Mills brings new products to market.

PR Week broke the news of Zimprich’s departure from General Mills last summer as part of a sweeping corporate reorganization, noting that he had lead PR in the role of director of brand public relations there for the past seven years. At the time of his departure, Zimprich headed an extended team of nearly 20 PR professionals with an annual budget of approximately $15 million.

At Kohnstamm, Zimprich takes the helm of an agency – alongside founder Josh Kohnstamm – that is growing at a 24-percent annual rate. He will aid in Kohnstamm’s emergence as a national leader in brand-building for consumer products and professional services companies, as well as lead the team in new social media strategies. Already, the agency has earned a national reputation as Boutique Agency of the Year via The Holmes Report, while breaking new ground in the fast-growth social media consumer and B2B space.

Zimprich’s innovative work in word of mouth, influencer marketing, crisis communications, sponsorship development and media relations has generated extensive industry recognition. But it was his pioneering work in social media that truly helped position General Mills as one of the first major consumer products companies to embrace a strategic approach to social media marketing. Architected by Zimprich and his team, blog seeding and consumer-influencer networks allowed General Mills brands to effectively foster direct relationships with consumers and key influencers. He also developed and implemented enterprise-wide social media guidelines and training for General Mills employees, and established an effective crisis response platform for its brands.

Zimprich, 48, began his career as a newspaper reporter before holding positions with three different PR agencies, including Mona Meyer & McGrath (now Weber Shandwick). He joined General Mills in 1993. A native of Faribault, Minn., he earned a bachelor of arts degree in journalism and psychology from Saint Mary’s University and a master of arts degree in mass communications from Marquette University. In addition to volunteering with a number of local organizations, he is a frequent guest lecturer at area universities and has coached youth athletics for nearly 20 years.