WASHINGTON, D.C.—Fleishman-Hillard has acquired a majority interest in [email protected], a D.C.-based public affairs firm that specializes in automotive and transportation public affairs and has offices in Washington, D.C., and Detroit.
[email protected] will join a formidable line-up of public affairs capabilities in Washington, including Fleishman-Hillard’s existing public affairs operations, issues advertising specialist GMMB, and the recently renamed Fleishman Hillard Government Relations. In addition, FH has been expanding its public affairs operation elsewhere, including an office in Sacramento and its Allyn & Company subsidiary in Dallas.
According to John Graham, Fleishman-Hillard’s chairman and chief executive officer, “Jeff Conley, Ron DeFore, and Diane [email protected] founding principals—are three of the most respected communications professionals serving the transportation industry. Together, they have built one of the most successful and influential public affairs firms in Washington, D.C.
“The addition of [email protected] to the Fleishman-Hillard family not only reinforces our position as the world’s leading public affairs consultancy, but strengthens our leadership position in the Washington, D.C., market and adds a presence for us in the Detroit market as well.”
[email protected] will operate independently as a Fleishman-Hillard company and maintain its existing offices under the leadership of Jeff Conley, Ron DeFore, and Diane Steed. [email protected] will draw upon Fleishman-Hillard’s worldwide resources in public affairs, crisis communications, corporate branding, marketing communications, employee communications, issues management, investor relations, interactive design, and government relations, to offer clients strategic counsel on a range of issues.
“This is a real added plus for [email protected] clients,” said [email protected] principal Jeff Conley. “By becoming part of one of the world’s largest public relations agencies, we can offer [email protected] clients direct access to the powerful, global resources of a team of outstanding communications professionals who share our passion for great service and quality results. In our shared culture and values and in our commitment to our clients, our firms complement each other in every way.”
Conley is an expert on automotive, environmental, and energy public affairs who was executive vice president and chief financial officer of the E. Bruce Harrison Company, before launching [email protected] Ron DeFore, principal and cofounder of [email protected], was deputy assistant secretary for public affairs at the U.S. Department of Transportation and director of public and consumer affairs at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Diane Steed was administrator of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.