New York: London-based PRCo's first North American firm, Conran PRCo, has opened its New York City office and announced Four Seasons as its flagship client. The amount of the account was undisclosed.
Conran PRCo began representing Four Seasons on May 3rd. The firm will handle Four Seasons' North American media relations, while working with sister firms that have represented the Four Seasons in various foreign countries for more than a decade.
Four firms participated in the upscale hotel chain's agency search. Ruder-Finn, the Four Seasons' former North American AOR, was not one of them. All the competing firms were smaller-sized, travel PR-specialty firms, according to Elizabeth Pizzinato, Four Seasons' director of corporate PR.
"We're entering an exciting time in our growth with more hotels outside of the United States than in it," said Pizzinato, adding that the synergy that stemmed from Conran PRCo's association with the Four Season's other international AOR had an effect on the choice.
The outside agency will work closely with Four Seasons' Toronto-based PR team, which is led by Pizzinato.
"I'm responsible for managing and directing our global PR strategy," Pizzinato said, adding that the in-house department acts like an internal agency for its hotels and centralizes the company's interaction with the external PR firms.
She said that the company was looking for coverage and publicity beyond gimmicks and that PRCo had a great track record for building upon a well-known brand.
Conran PRCo was established when PRCo acquired New York boutique travel PR agency, Conran Communications. The firm will complete the transition on July 1st. Gayle Conran, previously the founder and owner of Conran Communications, and Jenny Matrosovs, previously a senior corporate counselor at National PR, will helm the office as partners.
Other clients include Lake Geneva Region Switzerland, Lake Geneva and Matterhorn Region Switzerland. Former Conran Communications clients like Lenox Suites have joined the firm in its transition. The firm currently has three employees and is in the hiring process.
"We're anticipating slow and methodical growth," Conran said, citing the phrase that "bigger is not always better."