CHICAGO: Burson-Marsteller has formed a strategic alliance with public affairs shop Jasculca/Terman & Associates, designed to expand Burson's public affairs capabilities in the Midwest.
Jasculca, which will remain independent, expects to gain more business across the region by jointly pitching for new clients with Burson. Jasculca was the 10th largest PR shop in Chicago in 2001.
"Going after large corporations as a small, independent public affairs firm can be difficult," explained chairman and CEO Rick Jasculca.
Larger agencies have approached Jasculca about buying the firm over the years, but "we have had zero interest in being acquired," he said.
Bob McEwen, president and CEO of Burson's Midwest region, said of the alliance, "It brings us major public affairs capabilities in this region."
Burson has mid- and junior-level public affairs staffers in Chicago, but has been searching for someone to head that operation. The search will continue, and the new hire will "take a lead role in managing the collaboration with Jasculca/Terman," McEwen said.
Jasculca has 55 employees in its Chicago and Washington, DC offices.
Both its founders have political backgrounds.