Two years after FleishmanHillard and fellow Omnicom firm GMR Marketing acquired Freshwire (then called Amos Content Group), Fleishman is taking full control of the venture.
Freshwire — a digital content studio with video, editorial and social capabilities based in Los Angeles and New York — will continue to operate its own P&L as a Fleishman subsidiary. Founder Shawn Amos will report into Fleishman’s Eastern region president Robert Dowling. Since the deal has been in motion, Fleishman’s New York office has integrated Freshwire as part of the firm’s digital and social media team.
“[Freshwire’s chief creative officer] Sarah Amos participates in and leads the editorial meetings we have at 10 a.m.,” says Ephraim Cohen, Fleishman’s East Coast social lead. Freshwire will be packaged as an integrated offering with Fleishman’s existing digital and content capabilities, but it will also retain its own portfolio of clients.
As part of the move, Freshwire is moving from a content studio to a branded journalism network. Similar to rival Contently, Freshwire's network will comprise of freelance and on-staff journalists with established reputations and authority in various sectors.
“What’s different from Contently is Freshwire is a managed service so you get quality control,” Cohen says. “All of the content is overseen by an editor.”
Another upside, Cohen adds, is Freshwire houses senior SEO specialists charged with ensuring content fits with Google and Facebook ever-changing optimization algorithms.
The Freshwire integration builds on the nine content studios that Fleishman has established around the US, each with a specific speciality like social content, entertainment marketing or broadcast. Fleishman also recently rolled out its native newsroom for LinkedIn.The majority of Freshwire’s team is based in Los Angeles with some people in New York. The shop was founded in 2009 and then acquired as a joint venture between Fleishman and GMR Marketing in 2012. This is the latest example of a PR firm looking to solidify its content offering. Other examples include WPP firm Hill + Knowlton Strategies buying Group SJR last year and LaunchSquad's Original9 content offering. *Update: Contently informed us that since 2014, every Contently account gets a professional editor staffed on it, and every client gets a dedicated account manager for quality control. The only exception is if the brand has its own editor and doesn't want editorial help from Contently.