Fahlgren Mortine brings on Doug Spong in of-counsel role

After more than two decades at his own Minneapolis-based firm, Doug Spong is lending his experience to Fahlgren Mortine.

COLUMBUS, OH: Former Carmichael Lynch Spong and Spong PR principal Doug Spong has joined Fahlgren Mortine in an of-counsel role, the firm said Wednesday morning.

He is collaborating closely with Fahlgren Mortine president and CEO Neil Mortine to help the agency refine its position in the industry. He is working to strengthen its practices in retail and consumer, among others, and to attract clients.

Spong began working at the Columbus, Ohio-based agency in mid-February.

"[Spong] is one of the most revered, iconic figures in the PR and communications industry," said Mortine. "It’s an honor for us to have this relationship with him."

Spong left his namesake PR agency, Spong PR, and ad agency Carmichael Lynch at the end of 2015 after 25 years. In January, he started consultancy The Doug Spong Co. to offer his expertise to other agencies and clients and began talks with Mortine to work with his firm. Spong promoted Julie Batliner to president, reporting to Carmichael Lynch CEO Mike Bescarbeau, last October.

"I want to take advantage of his experience," Mortine said. "[Spong] has practiced at the highest levels of our profession."

The decade-long friendship between Mortine and Spong was part of what drove Spong to work at Fahlgren Mortine, as well as several similarities between Fahlgren Mortine and Minneapolis-based Spong PR. Both are mid-sized integrated agencies based in the Midwest.

"Fahlgren Mortine is similar to Carmichael Lynch and Spong. It’s a highly integrated agency with the authenticity of a PR firm and creativity of ad agency," Spong said. "It’s very similar to what we’ve done with [Spong PR] the last 25 years."

Independently held Fahlgren Mortine has 13 offices across the U.S. and specializes in healthcare, education, technology, and tourism communications. As of 2014, it had 15 offices, PR revenue of nearly $19 million, and a headcount of 104.

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