With offices in San Francisco and Palo Alto, CA, Page One PR will operate as a subsidiary of LEWIS, and report to EVP Morgan McLintic. Other terms of the deal weren't disclosed.
The deal immediately bolsters LEWIS PR's social media offerings to its customers, and provides broader US and global reach for Page One. In searching for a social media agency to buy, McLintic said LEWIS met with a number of firms.
“Page One is the best in the hardest part of social media, which is business to business,” he said. “That's what attracted us to them.”
Page One was founded in 2003 by current president Lonn Johnston and managing partner Craig Oda. The agency's revenue in 2007 was $4.1 million and increased to $4.5 million in 2008. After what Johnston described as a challenging 2009, he said revenues were back on track this year.
“We are feeling a bit of uplift at the moment,” McLintic said, noting that the improving economy played into the deal. “Clients definitely need to spend to market themselves, and spend where it can be measured. Social media is a great place to start.”
Johnston said Page One's metrics-based, business-to-business social media offering has grown more than 100% in the last 18 months, and now makes up more than 50% of revenues.
“We want to help internationalize the practice,” McLintic said.
Johnston has no plans to leave the agency. “We are in it for the long haul,” he said. There were no client conflicts, and current Page One clients include Cisco, McAfee, Polycom, and VMware. Lewis PR clients include, Mozilla, Cisco, Logitech, and Samsung.
“We will rebrand as we bring the Page One team along with LEWIS,” McLintic said. Last year LEWIS PR bought the Belgium-based communications agency Leads United.