NEW YORK— DeVries Public Relations has formed a strategy and innovation group, led by seven-year DeVries veteran Stephanie Smirnov. The group will work side-by-side with DeVries account teams to bring thought leadership and translate the firm’s creativity into brand-building programs.
According to DeVries chief executive Jim Allman: “The creation of this group was inspired by the dynamic and rapidly changing communications and media environment in which we work. Almost daily, media channels—digital and traditional—are evolving, and we are faced with so many wonderful opportunities to touch consumers’ lives with relevant ideas and information.
“Moreover, as our clients increasingly and correctly focus their agencies on integration in the service of the all-important big idea, we believe the more diverse our experience and multi-disciplinary our point of view, the better equipped we are to deliver best-in-class strategic counsel and creativity.”
The new group will also include Michael DeCicco, director of research and analytics; Jon Cronin, director of digital strategy; Ivette Sanz Osso, director of client service & new business development; and new hire Lee Maicon, director of strategic planning. Maicon most recently was Head of strategic planning for Strawberry Frog, a full-service communications agency, where clients included Microsoft and Fosters. Prior to Strawberry Frog, he was with Berlin Cameron.
Smirnov adds oversight of the new strategy and innovation function to her current responsibilities as head of the agency’s beauty and retail practice.