Aaron Kwittken, 42, is CEO and Managing Partner of Kwittken + Company Worldwide (KCO) and is based in the agency’s headquarters office located in New York City’s SoHo neighborhood. In addition to working closely with many of the agency’s clients, Aaron oversees the firm’s growing global footprint, including its wholly owned London office and its affiliate network in Canada, Germany, France, Spain, Brazil and Hong Kong.
Aaron is also an adjunct professor with New York University’s (NYU) School of Continuing and Professional Studies (SCPS) where he teaches a class to masters degree candidates in public relations consulting.
Aaron co-founded KCO in late 2005 following an illustrious PR career and rapid ascent through the global PR agency world, which began with his issues and crisis management internship at Manning, Selvage & Lee/Washington D.C. at the young age of 19. A senior vice president at Fleishman Hillard by age 25, an executive vice president of GCI Group (now Cohn & Wolfe) managing its 250 person NY office by age 29, a president handpicked to resurrect Internet PR agency Euro RSCG Middleberg by 31, and CEO of Euro RSCG North America (now Havas PR) at age 33, Aaron is a highly regarded and admired PR industry professional who was recognized by industry touchstone PRWeek in 2007 as one of the nation’s top 40 public relations professionals under the age of 40.
Under Aaron’s leadership, KCO has been one of the fastest growing, award winning PR agencies in the United States, experiencing double-digit growth nearly every year since its inception. Believing that the old PR agency model would soon become fossilized by the rise of digital and social media and other undeniable market dynamics, Aaron in 2010 masterminded a partnership with one of the world’s leading integrated marketing communications firms, KBS+, which is part of The MDC Partners network. KBS+ acquired a majority stake in KCO, which in turn provided the agency with a suite of new capabilities in high client demand, including digital, social, CRM, planning, research, strategy and advertising.
In 2011 KCO was named Boutique Agency of the Year by PRWeek, Multi-specialist Agency of the Year by The Holmes Report and Agency of the Year by the American Business Awards. The firm was also named the best new agency of the year by The Holmes Report in 2006, won honorable mention as Small Agency of the Year at the 2007 PRWeek awards and was a finalist for PRWeek’s Boutique Agency of the Year in 2009.
During the course of his 22-year career, Aaron has counseled numerous iconic brands and blue-chip companies such as American Express, Amadeus, Stryker Corporation, Better Homes & Gardens Real Estate, CourseSmart, McGraw-Hill, Peasron, IBM, Yahoo!, Mercedes-Benz USA, Cantor-Fitzgerald, D&B, ThomsonReuters, Visa International, Goldman Sachs and KPMG.
As a CEO who genuinely loves the craft of PR and enjoys client interaction, Aaron makes a point to work very closely with a majority of KCO’s clients, providing strategic counsel and day-to-day management oversight. His core areas of expertise include brand management, crisis communications, issues management, trade and national media relations, corporate social responsibility, social media and integrated marketing communications. Aaron also runs the agency’s spokesperson training program, preparing some of the most recognized names in business for interviews with journalists, analysts and other key stakeholder audiences.
Aaron believes that it is important to give back to the public relations profession as well as to the community at large. Philanthropy has long been a part of KCO’s philosophy, and since its founding the agency has committed nearly 2 percent of its net income each year to various charitable organizations. For the past decade Aaron has also served as a board member of Westchester Jewish Community Services (WJCS), the largest social services agency in Westchester County, NY, providing services to more than 17,000 people a year from Yonkers to Yorktown.
Aaron contributes to the industry through his active membership in the Public Relations Society of America and through his firm’s membership on the Council of PR Firms. Aaron also wrote a regular monthly column for Entrepreneur Magazine, called the PR Post. He makes regular guest appearances on CNBC, FOX Business Network and Bloomberg TV to provide his point of view on matters involving reputation/brand management and he also blogs for Forbes.com. His philosphy on management has been featured prominently by Fast Company magazine’s 30 Second MBA Series and its Early Riser column.
His remarkable dedication to his career has not, however, held Aaron back from his life outside the office. A competitive swimmer, avid runner and cyclist, Aaron started competing in triathlons in late 2008. On August 11, 2012 Aaron took his passion for the multi-sport life to an entirely new level by competing in the US IRONMAN Championship competition in New York where he swam 2.4 miles, biked 112 miles and then ran 26.2 miles all while raising $30,000 for Center Lane, a program that serves LGBTQ adolescents, teaching them how to deal with discrimination and bullying.
Aaron earned a bachelor’s degree from The George Washington University in 1992 with a major in speech communication and minor in psychology. He lives with his family in Armonk, New York.