Edelman fills new diversity post, buys SCH

CHICAGO: Edelman has created a senior HR position overseeing diversity initiatives, both within the agency and throughout community relations programs.

CHICAGO: Edelman has created a senior HR position overseeing diversity initiatives, both within the agency and throughout community relations programs.

Tracy Owens, previously manager of communications for Ameristar Casinos, has been tapped to fill the post.

Owens said that his duties will include leading minority-recruitment efforts for the agency, identifying promising groups to support with community relations campaigns, and building partnerships with minority-owned businesses. He described the firm's approach to diversity as "holistic."

"Edelman has really taken this as an important part of doing business," he said.

In another move last week, Edelman acquired French public affairs firm SCH Consultants as part of an ongoing push to strengthen its public affairs practice in Europe.

"We've made a lot of progress in London and Brussels in the last couple of years, and we need to do that in other places. So Paris was an obvious place to start," said Michael Burrell, vice chairman of Edelman Europe.

Burrell added that Edelman is now satisfied with its capabilities in France, but will continue to add to its public affairs capacity in Western, Central, and Eastern Europe.

"Some of that will be organic, but we're certainly open to the idea of some more acquisitions," he said.

SCH founder Christian Marmain will become an Edelman VP and public affairs director. He will report to Burrell and Marie Rouet, president of Edelman Paris.

The SCH brand will be absorbed into Edelman over a period of about two years, explained Burrell. He said that no layoffs were anticipated as a result of the acquisition, and that the agency hoped to grow SCH and recruit talent in the future. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, but Burrell estimated the length of earn-out at three years.

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