Fahlgren Mortine acquires Turner PR

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Fahlgren Mortine, one of the nation’s largest independent marketing and communications agencies, has acquired Turner PR, a boutique public relations and digital communications firm, as a wholly owned subsidiary.

Fahlgren Mortine has an office in Parkersburg.

Under the agreement, Turner PR will operate as an independent boutique agency, preserving its brand, leadership, employees, New York and Denver offices, and global client portfolio. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

“The Turner PR team has more than just a solid reputation in the travel, tourism and active lifestyle industries; they’ve also been consistently at the forefront of the intersection of public relations and digital media, a space that complements Fahlgren Mortine’s offerings,” said Neil Mortine, president and CEO of Fahlgren Mortine, in a news release. “They’ve done a tremendous job of talent acquisition and the retention of deep industry expertise, and their client list speaks for itself.”

Fahlgren Mortine’s vision to build core industry practices and Turner’s vision to maintain its independent culture, yet optimize operational efficiencies with resources that will provide a platform for growth, made this the right partnership at the right time for both firms, company officials said.

One of Fahlgren Mortine’s key industry practices is tourism with longstanding clients and award-winning work. Fahlgren Mortine will continue to service its current tourism clients and will build future tourism business under the Turner brand due to the company’s niche in this field, company officials said.

Since its founding in 1997, Turner PR has become a leader in the travel, tourism and active lifestyle industries. Turner PR has 28 employees in two offices in New York City and Denver, Colo., to service its worldwide clients based in the U.S., UK, Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean and Latin America.

“Turner PR began 17 years ago at my kitchen table; today we have offices in New York and Denver, with 28 of the most skilled specialists in the industry, and a stellar client portfolio,” said Christine Turner, president of Turner PR. “Our next chapter as a Fahlgren Mortine company will be even more exciting as they’re allowing us to continue to do what we love, and giving us the resources to grow. They have a brilliant team of award-winning executives who bring the same passion to their work that we’ve worked so hard to cultivate.”

Through this partnership, Fahlgren Mortine and Turner PR will create opportunities for shared resources between the two agencies, including transmedia strategy, operations and best practices. Turner PR will continue to specialize in its travel, hospitality, tourism and outdoor, fashion and active lifestyle brands.

The two operations combined are expected to rank in the top 15 of independent agencies, as listed by O’Dwyer’s, and the top five of independent tourism agencies in the same publication, based upon 2013 rankings.

The company employs 200 associates in New York City, Columbus, Cleveland, Cincinnati, Dayton and Toledo, Denver, Charleston and Parkersburg, Fort Lauderdale and Tallahassee, Fla., Boise, Idaho, Lexington, Ky., and Greenville and Myrtle Beach, S.C.

Fahlgren Mortine’s revenue has grown more than 27 percent through organic and new business growth, and strategic mergers and acquisitions, since 2009, the company said.

In 2010, the agency acquired and absorbed Edward Howard & Co., a public relations firm based in Cleveland; GRIP Digital, an interactive agency based in Columbus, and Sabatino/Day, a marketing and communications agency based in Dayton, Ohio.

This is the first wholly owned subsidiary transaction for the board of directors of Fahlgren Mortine, supporting the company’s vision to expand in specific vertical industries through a combination of strategic acquisition and organic growth, a press release states.

Fahlgren Mortine provides a full-service offering to clients around the world with industry specializations in automotive, business-to-business, consumer packaged goods, education, financial services, health care, retail, technology, and tourism and economic development and lifestyle brands. Capabilities include social media, digital services, advertising, public relations, research, branding, media planning/buying, creative and design.