BROCKTON, MA: W.B. Mason, the largest independent office supply store in the country, has hired Boston-based O'Neill and Associates as its first ever PR agency since the company was founded in 1898.
The firm will provide general PR support, media relations, and relationship marketing for the regional company, which serves the Northeast region from Maine to New Jersey.
The partnership came about through a personal relationship, when W.B. Mason principal John Greene told O'Neill VP Ann Murphy that the company, which netted $10 million in sales in 1986 and now nets $300 million, had spent millions of dollars in advertising, but never had a PR agency.
Relationship marketing, said Murphy, involves "taking a Rolodex and opening it up to a client who wants to hit the ground running in a particular market space."
For W.B. Mason, that means positioning the company to take on their national competitors in the Northeast, said Tom O'Neill, president. "They were a small mom-and-pop, then they knocked on doors, hired a sales force, and grew in a professional way," he added. "Now we'll help them get to know the CEO community of our town and state."
PR efforts will also support print, TV, and radio ads done by local ad agency Baldwin & Stone. On April 9, the firm publicized the unveiling of an ad on the Green Monster, Fenway Park's famous left-field wall.