Shift and Hoffman team up on global client referral deal

SAN FRANCISCO: Shift Communications has formed an alliance with The Hoffman Agency in which Shift will refer clients seeking global PR in Europe and Asia to Hoffman. Shift principal Todd Defren said if clients already have an international agency in mind, they are welcome to go with that choice. But for those that do not, Hoffman is Shift's dedicated first choice.

SAN FRANCISCO: Shift Communications has formed an alliance with The Hoffman Agency in which Shift will refer clients seeking global PR in Europe and Asia to Hoffman. Shift principal Todd Defren said if clients already have an international agency in mind, they are welcome to go with that choice. But for those that do not, Hoffman is Shift's dedicated first choice.

"This is about quality and a sincere collaboration between independent agencies," said Defren. He added that Lou Hoffman, president of The Hoffman Agency, recognizes the need to compete with global marketing conglomerates, and that having international reach is often important to clients.

"The [PR] world is becoming much like the electorate, split down the middle," said Defren. "You're going to have the larger agencies, and then you're going to have the smaller, independent firms who will have to band together to face larger agencies."

Hoffman said the alliance presents him with another sales channel for his firm's international capabilities, adding that he has no intention of doing numerous alliances, but only when the chemistry is strong with the other agency.

Defren said the two agencies have also promised not to poach each other's clients, and to recommend each other when the other has a client conflict that prevents it from servicing a piece of business.

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