Almost 12 years ago, my business partner Rebecca Mosley and I did something drastic. On a whim, we quit our budding careers at a large global agency and established our own PR firm. When I say “established,” I mean the first few months consisted of the two of us hunkered down in a guest-room-turned-haphazard-office in my home, passing floppy disks back and forth while one of us manned an antiquated desktop computer and the other wielded an extra-chunky laptop on loan from a charitable friend.
By all known laws of how to properly establish a business, we had no right to survive. We had no business plan. We had no money. We had no experience actually running an agency. And yet, through sheer hard work and determination, we tipped the odds in our favor and built a successful consumer PR firm here in Seattle of which we are immensely proud.
Today that pride doubles.
We are incredibly excited to announce our merger with Impress Labs, an agency that shares our passion, commitment to excellence and vision for the future of PR. Complementing our business-to-consumer focus, Impress Labs services business-to-business clientele from offices in Phoenix, San Francisco and outposts around the globe, while maintaining full in-house creative services and a content and digital marketing team we have readily tapped.
Each of our agencies will continue to operate under our existing brands for the immediate future, while combining back-of-house operations under the newly formed parent company, KiteRocket LLC.
Rebecca and I are fortunate to join forces with Impress Labs founders Martijn Pierik and Dave Richardson, whom we admire greatly for the agency they created (established exactly one year and one day after our own), and who perfectly round out our Myers-Briggs talent and personality circle to create an amazingly strong management team.
In today’s shifting landscape—where disciplines, industries, brands, mediums and media continue to cross paths and forge new ones—we aim to be an agency of the future that leads the trajectory.
Official press release below. 3, 2, 1 … blast off!
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Impress Labs and Duo PR Announce Agency Merger
U.S. West Coast agencies combine to build PR firm of the future
Phoenix, San Francisco and Seattle – July 27, 2016 – Impress Labs and Duo Public Relations Inc., both flourishing U.S. West Coast public relations and marketing firms, today announced the two agencies have merged. For the immediate future, the two brands will continue to operate under their existing agency names, though now they are part of the newly formed parent company KiteRocket LLC. The move enables the two companies to combine resources and offer full-service business-to-business and consumer public relations, creative services and digital marketing under one umbrella and across expanded geographical locations.
Combined, the two agencies total more than $5M in annual billings, employ more than 40 full-time employees and have offices in San Francisco, Seattle and Phoenix, with satellite offices in Providence, Rhode Island, London and Taiwan. The founders—industry veterans Martijn Pierik, Dave Richardson, Rebecca Mosley and Amanda Foley—will serve as managing partners of the newly formed company.
“Though Impress Labs has a business-to-business heritage, and Duo PR focuses on business-to-consumer, the management team has a shared vision of what modern PR is, and how we’ll build an offering in today’s marketplace that emphasizes human-to-human marketing around the clock, across numerous channels,” commented Pierik, co-founder of Impress Labs. “Our teams and cultures very much align, and with more than a decade of success behind both agencies, we have an exceptionally strong platform to build upon.”
The two agencies met through PR Boutiques International (PRBI), an unaffiliated global network of independently owned firms. After beginning discussions in 2015, and collaborating on clients throughout the last several months, the deal was formally inked in early April 2016. The firms have already streamlined back-of-house and managerial operations, and are jointly working with agency clients as part of a cross-company service offering.
“The idea to join forces came together very organically,” commented Duo PR Co-Founder Rebecca Mosley. “We all attended PRBI’s annual conference in London last June, which is always an incredibly energizing event, and started talking about what’s next for our respective agencies. It was apparent we had complementary offerings and pieces of the growth puzzle, in terms of geography and service offerings, the other could benefit from. The chemistry and collaboration easily fell into place.”
Impress Labs, founded by Pierik and Richardson in 2005, brings significant experience in international public relations and marketing to the merger, particularly within solar, semiconductor and life science verticals. The company maintains PR operations in the U.S. (San Francisco, Phoenix and Providence, Rhode Island), Europe and Asia, while also offering a full-service creative and digital marketing division. This fuels creative strategies, resulting in an integrated PR approach using SEO, content marketing, social media, graphic design, web/app development, production and more.
Duo PR, founded by Mosley and Foley in 2004, comes to the table with deep consumer PR knowledge, with a specialty focus on national and regional clients in the food and beverage, travel, and health and wellness industries. The company manages a prestigious client roster from its Seattle office, where it focuses on traditional media relations, influencer marketing, events and social media.
No employee jobs were affected as a result of the merger; in fact, the company is actively recruiting talent and welcomes interested parties to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Impress Labs
Impress Labs is a global brand, creative and communications agency focused on helping solar, cleantech, life science and semiconductor companies reach their communications and business objectives. Our Creating Agents™ process specifically targets people who influence buying decisions and provides companies with a path to increased sales through brand development, creative expression and public awareness through well-executed PR and dynamic digital and social media strategies. www.impresslabs.com
About Duo PR
Duo Public Relations is an innovative Seattle public relations agency specializing in consumer and lifestyle PR. Founded in 2004, the agency’s specialty practice areas include food and beverage, travel and hospitality PR, as well as health and wellness PR. Working with a wide range of companies, from household names to independent entrepreneurs, Duo PR focuses its campaigns on merging traditional and contemporary communication avenues to engage consumers and deliver measurable results. www.duopr.com
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