Californian advertising firm adds PR practice

DGWB, an advertising and communications firm with 16 years' experience, has launched a PR practice to be helmed by Stacey Doherty, the former VP of PR at Thinkbig Media.

DGWB, an advertising and communications firm with 16 years' experience, has launched a PR practice to be helmed by Stacey Doherty, the former VP of PR at Thinkbig Media.

DGWB, with 85 marketing and advertising employees, has handled the Los Angeles-market advertising for KFC, as well as campaigns for Toshiba, The Orange County Register, and Children's Hospital of Orange County. DGWB's Hispanic practice, Adelante, is the national agency of record for KFC's Hispanic advertising.

Mandi Dossin, partner and GM, said the PR practice addition came from both a growth strategy and a need for self-promotion. In the recent past, DGWB has added a Hispanic practice, a design capability for people that wanted strategic brand planning, and a youth/alternative practice, Cynic, that has 100 events planned this year.

?A lot of our clients said, ?I wish you guys did PR.? It was the missing arrow from our quiver,? Dossin said.

The company is on the verge of announcing its first PR client, Doherty said. She will also be undertaking efforts to promote the firm itself. Doherty said that some of DGWB?s current clients are considering integrated solutions, and she plans to mine contacts from her 16 years of experience. DGWB will be able to offer both stand-alone PR and multi-discipline opportunities, she said.

Doherty is currently interviewing staff members and is considering some of the former employees who have since left Thinkbig, a mostly advertising-focused firm. She built the company?s PR practice from scratch, after she joined the firm part-time to handle PR duties for one client. The DGWB opportunity intrigued her because she felt she could build out the practice in a similar way, she said.

?Clients want a smaller firm that?s big enough to give them full-service, but also be hands-on,? she said.

She hopes the PR practice will remain small in the interim.

?I don?t intend for it to be a 40-person PR department,? Doherty said.

Prior to her stint at Thinkbig Media, she helmed her own PR consultancy and worked for Nortel Networks? global communications department.

Thinkbig hired Shaila Arora, who most recently worked as independent consultant with her firm Arora PR and Beyond PR, to replace Doherty at the beginning of April. Her experience lies in fashion and event PR, and her previous clients include Motorola, Chanel, and Escada.

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