Duffey Communications has announced grand expansion plans for 1999, with a move into graphic design and a new office in San Francisco.
Duffey, the largest independent PR firm in the Southeast, recently acquired Atlanta-based graphics group Russel Moore Design and has used the firm to form the basis of a new design division called Studio D.
According to Duffey Communications president Lee Duffey, the development of a design practice echoes the trend of PR firms venturing into services traditionally offered by ad agencies. 'We are no longer completely guided by editorial,' he said. 'We are moving more and more into the arena of business counseling, which is more about the product than the corporate image.'
Duffey said that the firm will continue to be anchored in traditional public relations, but he cites escalating client demand for integrated services as the reason behind Studio D.
Building a separate brand identity for the new service will allow the firm to market Studio D independently as well as serving in-house clients.
Duffey has also opened an office in San Francisco. 'The explosive growth of our technology, telecommunications and interactive marketing areas make San Francisco and the Silicon Valley an important geographical area for our company,' said Duffey.
The new San Francisco office will manage media and analyst tours for three new Duffey clients: Employease, Navision Software Worldwide and America Banker On-Line.
Duffey has also been tapped recently by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, also based in Atlanta, to work with iXL and launch a multipart integrated communications program. In addition, the agency has just signed Kinko's as a PR agency of record. Account work for this client will focus on consumer and business-to-business brand positioning.
Additionally Duffey has recruited Paul Ellen, former Cohn & Wolfe group director, as senior vice president and director of the firm's corporate and consumer services practices groups.