PR outfit expands beyond PR to sell client's products

ST. LOUIS: Kupper Parker Communications is taking a somewhat different approach to expansion from other communications companies.

ST. LOUIS: Kupper Parker Communications is taking a somewhat different approach to expansion from other communications companies.

Kupper Parker is investing in a joint venture to sell medical record-keeping software. The agency is setting up the joint venture with Medsys Technologies, a company that originally approached Kupper, about three months ago, in search of marketing help.

"We decided to take a position, and get aggressive, said Bruce Kupper, chairman of the firm. "Clearly, healthcare is the major growth industry in the US right now."

The firm has taken on a sales manager, and has plans to hire 15 salespeople to peddle Medsys' products.

Kupper Parker has allocated some of its own office space to house the new joint venture. Kupper estimates his total investment in the new project at $1 million, including the value of the office space and his own time allotted to the project.

Kupper's firm, an integrated communications shop, has supplied marketing help to clients in the past, sometimes functioning as an outside marketing department. But this is the first time the firm has become involved in selling a potential client's products.

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