Real Chemistry has named Steve Behm as its global crisis communications and corporate reputation practice leader, a newly created position. 

Behm stepped into the role on Tuesday and is based in Atlanta. Reporting to Emily Poe, group president of integrated comms at Real Chemistry, Behm is responsible for building a dedicated crisis and corporate reputation practice, assisting clients with issue preparedness and mitigation. 

His appointment coincides with the release of Real Reputation, an analytics product from Real Chemistry that uses artificial intelligence to help clients measure their reputation and the factors that influence it, and develop data-driven strategies to increase reputational value. 

“A crisis, even on a domestic front, can quickly become a global one,” Behm said. “We need to prepare our clients to manage and be resilient through that.”

Behm joins Real Chemistry after nearly 18 years at Edelman, most recently serving as the agency’s chair of U.S. crisis, risk and reputation. In an emailed statement, Edelman U.S. CEO Lisa Ross thanked Behm for his contributions to the firm during his tenure. 

Ross explained that Behm joined Edelman’s Atlanta office as a VP to build a new crisis and risk practice, and quickly grew it to become a “center of excellence” within the agency, strategically advising clients during the most “uncertain, high-stress and consequential moments.”

She added that, during his time at Edelman, Behm made a profound and lasting impact on the firm.

“[Behm] cares deeply about his clients, his colleagues and his larger community, and that unwavering commitment was always evident,” Ross said. “We thank him for his years of service.”

Ross said the posting for Behm’s former role will be made available soon, and that Edelman encourages internal and external candidates to apply. 

This week, another Edelman executive, U.S. chief operating officer and global vice chairman of corporate affairs Dave Samson, also announced he is retiring from the firm on September 1.

Additionally, Real Chemistry has appointed Brian Tjugum as its global social impact practice leader. Tjugum, who started his new role on July 24, is based in Real Chemistry’s London office and reports to Lucie Harper, EMEA president of integrated communications. 

The agency is establishing a social impact department under Tjugum. He will focus primarily on helping clients develop purpose-driven campaigns and initiatives, Poe said. 

“Global imperatives demand urgent action on improving and making more equitable health outcomes for individuals and societies, and I am confident that a social impact practice can help advance Real Chemistry’s vision of helping move people ever closer toward a fairer, more positive healthcare experience,” Tjugum said, via email. 

Tjugum added that, by the end of the year, he wants to build on the agency’s “unparalleled strengths in the private sector healthcare industry” and expand its client partnerships to civil society, nonprofit and public sectors.

Before Real Chemistry, Tjugum spent more than three years as an independent consultant, managing a variety of global health, philanthropic and corporate communications projects. He also worked extensively COVID-related stakeholder engagement and communications campaigns between 2020-2021.

Earlier in his career, Tjugum was EVP of health and social impact at Weber Shandwick, advising clients such as the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Children’s Investment Fund Foundation, UNICEF, Save the Children and the World Health Organization. 

Real Chemistry’s revenue increased 17% to $555 million globally and 18% to $513 million in the U.S. in 2022, according to PRWeek’s Agency Business Report 2023. In late July, the agency announced a strategic partnership with Writer, a generative AI platform. 

This article originally appeared on PRWeek US.