DALLAS—When Cohn & Wolfe acquired Texas-based technology public relations specialist Springbok Technologies in 2001, it hailed the deal as a major expansion into the high-tech arena. At the time, Springbok had revenues of close to $10 million and was coming off a year of 70 percent growth. It was the largest independent PR firm in Texas, and a two-time member of the Inc 500.
Last week, Cohn & Wolfe quietly closed the former Springbok operation, after the firm had seen staffing levels dwindle from more than 100 to just a handful of employees.
Cohn & Wolfe chief executive Donna Imperato said the closing of the Dallas operation was part of a new three-year strategic plan that will see the firm focus on the marketing communications and healthcare sectors. It will maintain its technology practice, which has been doing will, but will focus more on national and global accounts.
“Dallas is not a strategic market for the future of Cohn & Wolfe,” said Imperato, who pointed out that Springbok was primarily a local brand serving local clients. If Cohn & Wolfe clients need local expertise, sister agency Burson-Marsteller has a strong presence in the Texas market.
Over the past decade, Cohn & Wolfe, historically best known for its marketing prowess, had expanded into the public affairs, corporate communications, and financial PR sectors. It will likely continue to offer those services to existing clients, but new business efforts will focus on marketing.
Springbok was founded in 1992 by former journalist Glenn Abel, and grew to become one of the largest PR firms in Texas. Last year, it reported revenues of $6.6 million, making it the second largest in the Dallas area. Clients included big names such as Texas Instruments Educational & Productivity Solutions, Cirrus Logic, AOL/AAdvantage and MobileStar. But the tech bust hit the firm hard, causing layoffs and ultimately closure.