Porter Novelli, healthcare shop Rabin Martin ink strategic partnership

The firms will share office space and new business leads but maintain their brands.

Porter CEO David Bentley
Porter CEO David Bentley

NEW YORK: Porter Novelli is set to begin a strategic partnership with healthcare firm Rabin Martin at the start of next month. 

Both Omnicom Public Relations Group firms will retain their brands and P&Ls. Kate Cusick, Porter CMO, said the agreement is not a merger, but “a strategic alliance that allows us to work flexibly with terrific team members as part of OPRG.” 

No employees will be let go as a result of the partnership, according to a Porter representative. Both agencies will move to a new combined location in Midtown Manhattan, and their London offices will also be combined. 

Porter and Rabin Martin will share client referrals, marketing resources and new business leads, the two firms said in a statement. 

The agencies have worked together on projects, but Cusick said a formal partnership “allows us to get to know Rabin Martin and their people a lot better and work a lot more closely.” 

“Cohabiting with them in New York will make it easier to look for opportunities to work with them across our respective areas,” she added. “It allows us to get closer with their people and find new ways to form products and offerings and better integrate into each other’s client rosters.”

A source familiar with the matter said it is part of Porter chief executive David Bentley’s efforts, since he was named CEO in March, to streamline Porter’s resources. The deal follows an announcement on Wednesday that Ketchum and Porter Novelli will be integrating their operations in Brussels.

“[Bentley] has been here three months, and after starting, he quickly saw how diverse and spread out [Porter’s] resources were and also saw there were opportunities inside OPRG,” the source said. 

Both firms are part of Omnicom Public Relations Group, which was created in 2016 and also houses Marina Maher Communications, FleishmanHillard, Portland, Cone and Mercury. Omnicom acquired Rabin Martin in 2016 and integrated it into OPRG.  

Omnicom’s PR revenue increased by 0.2% organically in Q1 to $331.6 million. Porter’s revenue dipped 4% last year to $145 million, according to PRWeek’s Agency Business Report 2020

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