KNOXVILLE, TN—Twenty independent public relations firms from across the United States have joined together to form The Croft Society, an alliance named for the late Al Croft (pictured), that will share knowledge and insight and work together on new business as appropriate.
The participating firms were all members of the Sedona Roundtable, a group convened by Croft that focused on helping entrepreneuris with business management issues such as becoming more productive and profitable, developing exit strategies for owners, and building strong teams of professionals.
Members include Ackermann PR of Knoxville, Tenn.; Anne Klein Communications of Mount Laurel, NJ; Graham & Associates of San Francisco; Greentarget and JSH&A of Chicago; Pierpoint Communications of Houston; Rosica of Paramus, NJ; Standing Partnership of St Louis; and firms in markets including Seattle, Portland (Ore.), Milwaukee, Tallahassee, and Denver.
According to Cathy Ackermann, president of the Tennessee firm that bears her name, “There was a core group of regular attendees who realized the value in getting to know each other and our firms pretty intensively over this period of time, and we wanted to continue meeting a couple of times a year to exchange best practices, and discuss common challenges…
“So the primary focus is learning from and supporting each other, but we will—and have already--collaborated on new business pitches and have brought each other in to assist with existing clients when there is a specialty area that one of us has.”
Ackermann says the Society, which remains informal and does not yet have a formal leadership structure, will meet twice a year. “Because of the longevity and make-up of the group, we may add the occasional new member, but we are not really seeking additional members beyond our current group of around 20 firms,” Ackermann adds.
Croft, who founded three firms of his own and worked at Bozell and Ketchum, died in July.