Armstrong Takes Helm at Earle Palmer Brown
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Armstrong Takes Helm at Earle Palmer Brown

Phil Armstrong has been named president and managing partner of Earle Palmer Brown Public Relations following the departure of Fred Thompson, who is leaving the firm.

Paul Holmes

STAMFORD, September 27—Phil Armstrong has been named president and managing partner of Earle Palmer Brown Public Relations following the departure of Fred Thompson, who is leaving the firm to become president and chief operating officer of the Jane Goodall Institute.
 
Armstrong will continue to work out of EPB’s Washington office, where he leads the firm’s public affairs practice. He will work closely with EPB sister companies, specializing in advertising, direct, and interactive, as part of the Panoramic Communications group.
 
“The main challenge right now is hanging on to critical mass,” says Armstrong, who says he was feeling optimistic about an upturn in the business before the events of September 11. “We want to hang on to our good clients and good people.” EPB clients include DuPont, Johnson & Johnson, Novartis, Ruth’s Chris Steak House, and UPS.
 
Armstrong says the firm’s healthcare and public affairs practices have been performing well, but that EPB also has capabilities in consumer marketing and business-to-business technology marketing, two sectors that have been relatively soft, and an emerging workplace communications practice that he expects to grow over the coming months.
 
Geographically, the firm’s operations stretch from Washington, D.C., to Stamford, but Armstrong says one of his priorities will be to break down geographic boundaries. “We work together as one agency rather than four separate geographies,” he says. “We will be organizing along a practice model, similar to what some of the larger agencies have done, but we believe it will be easier to organize in a midsize firm like ours.”
 
Thompson, meanwhile, will move on to the Jane Goodall Institute, a leading non-profit focused on animal and environmental preservations, research and education. According to the group’s founder, Jane Goodall, “At the core of our mission is motivating individuals to take actions that will make a difference in the preservation of our planet and its inhabitants. Fred’s ability to help us translate this mission into compelling program themes and partnerships.”
 
Thompson has headed EPB since 1995, when the agency acquired his firm, Kerr Kelly Thompson. Previously, he held management positions with Burson-Marsteller, Manning Selvage & Lee, and Bozell PR.
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